Turkey & YUMMY cookies too!

Homemaker Mondays is hosted by Robyn at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven
Making a Happy Home Monday is hosted by LL at As for me and my house…
Tips on Tuesday is hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed with Grace
$5 Dinners Tuesday is hosted by Erin at $5 Dinner Challenge *SEE HER GUIDELINES BELOW

Beginning today, Erin over at $5 Dinners is hosting a new Meme $5 Dinner Challenge in an effort to help us all exchange frugal recipes. For me $5 dinners means that I can feed the two of us for $5, but I rarely am able to prepare a serving for 2 LOL too many years of cooking for many more so often my recipes are for full portions and I freeze much of it (usually 2 or more freezer portions) for future use but they usually average $5 per serving.

I’ll start with Thanksgiving. Of course we have turkey, but it’s what I do with the turkey that counts. There were just the 2 of us this year, but I still bought a 25 pound bird. The sale prices are phenomenal at this time of year. Hubby and I can eat turkey until we’re the ones that are stuffed and then still have enough left over to portion out and freeze.

When I make my turkey I start with a roaster full of chopped carrots, celery and onions as a cushion under the bird. Then I throw in a bag of cranberries, the heart, liver, gizzard and a stick of butter that has been cut into several pieces. To that I add 3 cups of homemade chicken broth. I stick another stick of butter in the bird’s cavity, salt and pepper the bird really well and tent foil it. I don’t uncover it again until 20-30 minutes before it should be done. I baste it every 10 minutes until crisp. The result is the juiciest and tastiest turkey you ever did eat.

Now while hubby is carving the turkey, I start the gravy. By the time the turkey is done the vegetables have turned to mush which is fine by me. If they haven’t, I puree them in the food processor until they are. The cranberries add a bit of tart to the gravy that we like. This makes enough gravy for hubby and I for several days as well as 4-4 cup portions for the freezer.

Eventually I have nothing left but the carcass and crisp skin and start the broth process. I use a large stock pot and cover the carcass with water. I let it boil for about an hour and it creates the tastiest broth. I strain the broth in batches. This year I ended up with 9-4 cup portions of broth for the freezer. YAY! We have lots of soup base! All in all my $25 turkey has provided us with the basis for about 15 meals bringing me in way under budget!

TIP: If you ever have the opportunity to get these Tupperware labels, they are awesome. They stick in the freezer, peel off easily and are inexpensive. They are a great way to keep the “freezer mystery surprise” out of your freezer and stay organized too.

While the broth was boiling I made these awesome and SUPER EASY Butterfinger cookies and some strawberry ones too.

Ritz crackers
creamy peanut butter
almond bark

Spread peanut butter on ritz crackers and top with another cracker. Melt almond bark in the microwave. Dip each cookie in the almond bark and set onto wax paper to harden. If you’re using sprinkles do so before the almond bark hardens.

Vanilla wafers
strawberry cream cheese
almond bark

Spread strawberry cream cheese on a vanilla wafer and top with another wafer. Melt almond bark in the microwave. Dip each cookie in the almond bark and set onto wax paper to harden. If you’re using sprinkles do so before the almond bark hardens.

I participate in the memes: Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie, Favorite Ingredient Friday hosted by Kathryn at Overwhelmed with Joy, Freezer Food Friday hosted by MJ at mjpuzzlemom, Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Meredith at Mercedes Rocks, Homemaker Mondays hosted by Robyn at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven, Making a Happy Home Monday hosted by LL at As for me and my house…, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed with Grace, Slow Cooking Thursday & Tips on Tuesday hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed with Grace and $5 Dinners hosted by Erin at $5 Dinners. Doing them all make great additions to help keeping me on track and finding so new recipes!

*THE $5 Dinner Challenge is coming…the first week of December! Starting in December, Erin will post a Mr. Linky every Monday night for you to share your $5 Dinner Challenge meals! In these trying economic times, we could all use a little more frugal meal inspiration! Erin is always looking for new meal ideas that are not only frugal, but also healthy and nutritious! (aren’t we all?)

$5 Dinner Challenge Guidelines

1. The $5 Dinner Challenge is open to ANYONE. If you have a blog, you can link your $5 Dinner Challenge post to Mr. Linky. If you do not have a blog, please feel free to post your frugal and healthy dinner idea in the comments section.

2. You are NOT limited to $5! I encourage you to set a dollar amount based on the size of your family and the prices in your region. This is a challenge for YOU! Get those creative frugal juices flowing!

3. Please do not feel like you have to do the cost breakdown if you don’t remember all the prices! I would love to hear about some of the deals you are finding on some of the products that you use to make the meal. (And a quick nutrition note…please refrain from posting unhealthy meals like hot dogs or frozen pizza rolls.)

4. To keep things simple for others who wish to learn about your favorite frugal meal, please post the link to your recipe, NOT to your homepage. To do this, click on your dinner post, copy and paste the whole url address into the Mr. Linky.

5. When posting into Mr. Linky, please leave your name and your dinner idea as follows…
$5 Dinner Mom (Rice and Bean Soup).

6. Erin would appreciate it if you would use the image above (coming soon…I’m working on it!) in your post, although you are not obligated. If you’d like to use it, simply save the image to your hard drive and attach it into your dinner post. I do, however, ask that you post a link back to $5 Dinners.

7. Erin will post this no later than 10 pm EST on Monday evening.

Make it your goal to make a healthy, well balanced and frugal dinner on Monday night so you can share it with us all on Tuesday 🙂

final blog signature.


thanks for joining me on Making a Happy Home Monday. 😀

I love your “cushion” for your turkey. I never thought about putting it UNDER the bird also…I’ll have to remember that.

Your memes sound good…might have to join in on a few more 😀


thanks for the freezer turkey how to-thats something I’m very interested in. Love your freezer containers-old tupperware? They look VERY well made. The cookies look divine! Thanks for sharing.