Slices of this were much easier to insert under the skin of the turkey - but I'd forgotten all that fat put under there doesn't give you a uniformly golden crispy layer of skin on the bird after all that cooking, but instead you get VERY DARK spots, and other spots that aren't as golden (the cooking bag the turkey was in probably had something to do with this as well). Oh well - sure tasted good!
Sharon had pointed out a chocolate pecan tart recipe that looked really good - so I dumped the chocolate espresso pecan pie recipe I'd been considering for the one Sharon sent. I've apparently lost my crust-making-mojo (I was REALLY good at making crusts a few years ago - not so much these days). This crust, made with lard (per Peter's suggestion) went one of the two ways all my crust problems head. Either tough, or in this case a little greasy and just crumbling apart like loose cornmeal. I'm wondering if that means I'm being too paranoid about overworking the dough and not working it enough to give it some structure? OH well - while the crust was a bit too crumbly, this tart ROCKED! VERY good - definitely something to consider making again! (And hey, now that I have tart pans, it was fun to try something new in them!)
Another great recipe is one Carolyn made a few years back when she and Rick joined us for Thanksiving, and it's actually one that Mary had shared with Carolyn. While this recipe is really sweet (it would do well for a dessert), it rocks on flavor and texture and I LOOOOVE IT!
Before the topping...
With the topping (I used pecans):
And here's the recipe - I think you should bookmark this for making later! (Btw - last time I made this I boiled the sweet potatoes, and this time I roasted them. No real noticeable difference in the end result)
Aunt Virginia's SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
3 cups sweet potatoes (drain before you mash), cooked and mashed (save
l/4 cup of juice from sweet potatoes and add) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/4
cup milk 1 T. vanilla pinch of salt 1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup flaked coconut 1 cup chopped
pecans or walnuts (I usually use walnuts) 1/3 cup butter, melted
Combine all above ingredients until smooth. Pour into 2 qt. casserole
dish. Mix all topping ingredients and spread over sweet potato mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
And it's just not Thanksgiving without - you guessed it - green bean casserole! I thought I would aim for a "more fresh" flavor with the green beans this year, and went with the optional usage of frozen green beans over canned, per the recipe on the Campbell's can of Cream of Mushroom. I recommend against doing this UNLESS you add in "steam those green beans before adding them to the recipe!!!!" It just said to use frozen or canned green beans - and I didn't bother cooking the green beans before adding them, figuring they'd cook in the oven. Well, they didn't cook enough. Laura heard the crunch when I bit into one as a taste-testing after they'd baked an hour, and we both panicked. Luckily a 10-minute jaunt in the microwave helped things out a bit - and then they went back in the oven with their fried onion topping. (MMM!)
BTW - am I the only one who likes to ensure it's not a batch of POISONED French's fried onions, by taste testing a whole bunch of them before you even start making the recipe!? Hey, I'm willing to make the sacrifice - and I can't help that it tastes soooo darn good! ;-)
Btw - what's better than green bean casserole?
Green bean casserole with CRISPY COOKED BACON stirred into it!!! MMMMMM! (Hey, I thought I'd try something new!)
Check back later for pics from the feast!