A Pilgrim and a Closed Door

Here are two tantalizing turkey recipes for your left overs. Turkey leftovers are fondly referred to as turk around here. Was that sarcasm or socratic irony? Please limit your response to 50 words or less.

Pilgrim Sandwich
From The White Gull Inn
Serves 4

8 slices dark rye bread
4 T. mayonnaise
1 pound sliced or shaved cooked turkey breast

3/4 c. cranberry orange relish
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, sliced
8 lettuce leaves

Place slices or rye bread on work surface. Spread mayonnaise on 4 of the slices. Top with turkey, relish, cheese and lettuce. Cover with remaining 4 slices rye bread and cut in half to serve.

Closed Doorwich
Adapted from The White Gull Inn
Serves 4

8 slices dark rye bread
softened butter
12-16 oz. sliced turkey
1 recipe caramelized apples
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, more if desired
Smoked mayonnaise

Pre-heat skillet on medium low heat.

Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. Place one slice, buttered side down in pre-heated skillet. Top with turkey, warm caramelized apples and cheese. Top with remaining slice of rye bread, buttered side up. Cook until bread is hot and toasted. Turn over. Press down on sandwich with a spatula. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. If cheese doesn't melt, remove from heat and cover briefly until the cheese is melted. Remove from skillet and cut in half. Serve immediately with smoked mayonnaise for dipping.

Variation: Used smoked turkey and apple cider mayonnaise (see below)

Caramelized Apples
Serves 4

5 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter

Placed prepared apples in mixing bowl. Add sugar and gently mix. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat until bubbly. Add apples. It is best if they are in a single layer. Allow the sugar to melt and apples to brown. Gently check with a spatula. Once they have browned, turn them over with a spatula. Keep cooking them until the apples are browned and the sugar is caramelized. Total cooking time is about 30 min. Be careful not to burn the apples. Reduce heat if necessary. Serve immediately.

Smoked Mayonnaise
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 t. liquid smoke (start with 1/2 t. adjust to taste)

Blend until smooth. Can add 1 T. apple cider or apple juice or frozen apple juice concentrate.

Apple Cider Mayonnaise
1. c mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider (can use apple juice or frozen apple juice concentrate)

Blend until smooth.

Happy Thanksgiving

Butternut squash soup
Apple cider-brined turkey with savory gravy
American apple-cider pork
Home-style stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes
Green bean amandine
Skillet corn
Fresh frozen applesauce
Cranberry relish
Cranberry fool
Cranberry jelly
Crescent rolls
Honey butter
Cinnamon butter
Heritage pumpkin pie with sweetened whipped cream
French silk pie
Go Nuts pie
Mixed drinks: cranberry juice and orange juice or cranberry juice and white grape juice

Wrinkly Old Apples

I found some old apples in my basement refrigerator drawer. It's just what I need. More food storage spaces in obscure places. These were so wrinkly they were a little hard to peel. But I pushed on. Nobody can call me a quitter. No sir.

Caramelized Apples
A great side dish.
Serves 4

5 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter

Placed prepared apples in mixing bowl. Add sugar and gently mix. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat until bubbly. Add apples. It is best if they are in a single layer. Allow the sugar to melt and apples to brown. Gently check with a spatula. Once they have browned, turn them over with a spatula. Keep cooking them until the apples are browned and the sugar is caramelized. Total cooking time is about 30 min. Be careful not to burn the apples. Reduce heat if necessary. Serve immediately.

Caution: melted sugar is very HOT! That tip brought to you by my tongue. Did I ever mention that I was kick out of Girl Scouts and asked not to come back because I couldn't stop licking the cookie dough?

Moist and Delicious Turkey

I am a big proponent of brining turkey before roasting it. It always turns out moist and juicy, never dry. See the recipe I use here.

Here are some things to remember when brining any meat:

Kosher salt and table salt (without iodine) are the most common salts used in brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to be quite expensive.

A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are not equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup depending on the brand. If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same "saltiness" you would get from a cup of table salt.

The chart below shows how to substitute the two most popular brands of kosher salt for ordinary table salt.

1 cup Table Salt (without iodine) - Substitute with:
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt = 2 cups

Morton Kosher Salt = 1-1/2 cups

You can add flavor in all sorts of forms such as herbs and spices. Use brown sugar, honey or molasses in place of the sugar (some sweetness tends to offset a saltiness the brine might otherwise impart). You can use apple juice, cider, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, stock, or other liquids to replace some or all of the water.
Read more about it here.

Biting the Bullet

Facing the music. Taking the bull by the horns. Showing it who's boss. Grabbing the tiger by the tail. That seems dangerous. Hmmm. I guess dangerous fits. Using apples purchased in 1992, made into applesauce in 1993 and using in 2010 is a little dangerous. Especially when it looks like this.

Apple Fruit Leather

Lemon juice or other anti-browning agent (optional)

Preheat oven to lowest setting. The lowest setting for newer ovens is 170 degrees. Older ovens will go lower.

Lay parchment paper on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Make sure that it lies flat and won't fold back onto sauce. (You can use microwave safe plastic, however plastic and heat is not recommended anymore.) Spray with cooking spray or grease with butter or coconut oil.

If your applesauce doesn't have an anti-browning agent in it, add some. You will know if you made it and didn't add it. A little lemon juice works great. A couple of teaspoons per pan should be enough.

Pour applesauce onto greased parchment paper. Spread sauce evenly so it is a thin layer, about 1/8 inch thick. Sometimes shaking the pan or tapping it on the counter will help level it.

Place in oven. Remove when applesauce is dry to the touch. It will be somewhat sticky but not wet. This will be about 8-15 hours. It could take longer depending on your oven. Drying it overnight works great.Remove fruit leather from oven and let cool. Peel from parchment paper and roll up. Wrap in plastic and store in a cool dry place.

If you are drying during the day and need to use your oven, simply take out the fruit leather put it on your counter while you use your oven. Let your oven cool down before placing the leather back in the oven.

For a yummy treat, spread cream cream cheese on a piece of fruit leather and roll up.

Could it get any worse?

Oh yes it could. I am talking about my starchy chewy field corn of a sweet corn. How can it get possible get worse? Well it could sit in the refrigerator and dry out. I made corn chowder and had to run it through the blender to rid the soup of giant dry chewy kernels. Even then there were still bits of kernel left. I had enough corn to try out two different recipes.

"Let's see, where are those ears of corn?"

"There over at the house laying on the ground. Even the squirrels won't eat them."

Chef Jack's Corn Chowder
From Paula Deen
Serves 8-10

3 cup chicken stock
2 cup half-and-half
3 cup white corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned; set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the corn and chicken stock in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the boiling stock with the corn (a little at a time) into the skillet with the roux, whisking briskly so it doesn’t lump. Return the skillet to the heat and bring to a boil. The mixture should become very thick. In a small saucepan, gently heat the half-and-half; stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, cut the remaining stick of butter into large chunks. Add it to enrich the soup, stirring until the butter melts.

Cheddar Corn Chowder

From The Barefoot Contessa
10-12 servings

8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

If you reduce the amount of onion, reduce the amount of butter as well.

Runny Peanut Butter

I thought I would try my luck and buy cheaper natural peanut butter. I tried everything to be able to use it. Stirring it over and over, flipping it over and over, but it was always a runny mess. Refrigerating it turned it too hard. It was great for this recipe.

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken
From Tasty Kitchen
Step-by-step instructions by Three Many Cooks
Serves 3

1 pound chicken, in chunks
¼ cups soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic (approximately 1 large clove)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (heaping tablespoon even better)
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sriracha, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Mix ingredients and marinate chicken for 2-3 hours.
Cook chicken in the sauce over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until chicken is done. Reduce heat to medium-low and add precooked veggies if desired. Serve topped with sesame seeds.
To thicken sauce if needed: reduce heat to medium-low and add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water).
Substitutions: replace chicken with tofu; replace peanut butter with tahini or another nut butter; if using regular peanut butter (i.e. Skippy) instead of natural peanut butter, reduce honey by 1 tablespoon.

Carrots from the Garden

Glazed Carrots
From Betty Crocker
Serves 8


pounds carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (12 to 14 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt

    Heat 1 inch water to boiling in 3-quart saucepan. Add carrots and, if desired, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered 12 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
    While carrots are cooking, heat brown sugar, butter, orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Be careful not to overcook or the mixture will taste scorched. Remove from heat.
    Drain carrots. Stir carrots into brown sugar mixture. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and gently, until carrots are glazed and hot.
      Special Touch
      Want this dish to look really special? Cut the carrots into diagonal slices or julienne strips. Be sure to decrease the cooking time because the carrots will have more surface area and cook more quickly.

      Add another flavor dimension to this veggie side dish by stirring in 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root with the orange peel.

      Nutrition Information:
      1 Serving (1 Serving)
      Calories 160,
      (Calories from Fat 55 ),
      Total Fat 6 g
      (Saturated Fat 4 g,
      Cholesterol 15 mg;
      Sodium 380 mg;
      Total Carbohydrate 28 g
      (Dietary Fiber 3 g,
      Protein 1 g;

      Did I Say That?

      I guess I did say just a few days ago I didn't like it when things like graham crackers are put in ice cream. I didn't see the point. There is definitely a point to this addition. I used my doughnut disaster dough turned graham crackers.

      Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
      From Cusinart
      Serves 14 (1/2 c. serving size)


      1-1/2 cups whole milk
      1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
      2 tablespoons molasses or dark corn syrup (or maple syrup)
      1-3/4 cups pumpkin purée (1 can solid pack pumpkin)
      1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
      1 teaspoon ginger
      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
      2-1/2 cups heavy cream
      1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      1 cup crumbled ginger snaps, vanilla butter cookies, or graham cracker

      Caramel sauce (optional)

      In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk, brown sugar, and molasses until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
      Add heavy cream and vanilla.

      The following instructions are for a Cusinart ice cream freezer. If using another freezer, follow the manufacturers instructions.
      Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the crumbled cookies during the last 5 minutes of mixing. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.
      Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
      Top with caramel sauce if desired.

      Nutritional Information Per Serving

      Calories 310 (52% from fat) • carb. 35g • pro. 3g • fat 18g • sat. fat 11g • chol. 62mg • sod. 134mg • calc. 100mg • fiber 1g

      Old Broccoli

      Who doesn't have it from time to time? Turn it into this yummy soup.

      Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

      From CDKitchen.com
      Serves 4

      1 tablespoon butter, melted
      1/2 medium onion, chopped
      1/4 cup melted butter
      1/4 cup flour
      2 cups half-and-half
      2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
      1/2 pound fresh broccoli
      1 cup carrots, julienned or diced
      salt and pepper to taste
      1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
      Hot sauce (optional)
      Dijon mustard (optional)
      8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

      Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

      Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard for more flavor if desired. The soup should be thickened by now.

      Pour in batches into blender and puree. (optional)
      Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.