Saturday, November 30, 2013

(Gibson) Orange Cup Sweet Potatoes

Growing up we had our sweet potatoes served in orange cups for Thanksgiving.  I thought this was totally normal until I went to college.  A lot things my family did for holiday traditions I thought were normal until leaving the nest.  Our wooden shoes at Christmas time is another one, but that's not what this blog is about today.  I've had a couple of questions about the orange cups I posted in my previous post.  Below is the recipe.  I don't have any step by step photos as my mom made them the day before Thanksgiving and I was working. #newjobproblems.  I did get 3 photos on Thursday so they will be included.  Here is what you will need:

3 large sweet potatoes (5 or 6 smallish ones, or 4 mediums)
4T butter
1/2 C drained crushed pineapple (we use a whole 10oz small can)
2t grated orange peel (about one whole orange)
2t rum or rum flavor....or not at all
2T brown sugar

Wash, grease and bake sweet potatoes one hour.
Peel and mash with butter.
Add pineapple, orange zest, rum and brown sugar.
Cut oranges in half and scoop out the insides.  We like to save the orange "inner" for breakfast the next day.

Put the mixture into the orange halves that have been scooped out.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and reheat for about 20 mins.  

They work great for individual serving and they have their own little cup so they don't touch other food.  For those that can't stand to have their food touching.  The baking in the orange up adds a nice citrus flavor and is different than your normal pan of sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble Gobble! Happy Thanksgiving! Let's Eat!

I am exhausted. Wow! It takes a lot of work to host Thanksgiving dinner.  My small kitchen doesn't help the situation of course.  I was sweating at one point and told my mom that I didn't want to hear about her gravy anymore. ::blink blink:: I might have overreacted a little bit, but I was pulling the turkey out of the oven and had other thoughts on my mind.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me start from the beginning.  I have never used my china so that was the first thought on my mind! Yippee!!  Buuuuuut....I didn't have the full set.  Sounds like an excuse to buy them!

My set is now complete.  First thing this morning when I came downstairs I set the table.  I wanted to do it last night, but I know Ashe would have a field day with that around 3am.  China and crystal? Yes, yes I will walk all over it and knock it over.  Thank you!  Here is my pre-dinner set up.

I picked up some flowers on my way home from work on Wednesday.  I thought they added a nice fall touch.  It was then time to get the cooking going.  Here is my turkey.  I didn't name it or anything, but it was a good little fellow.   

 This year I decided to do the Kidd Kraddick brown bag turkey recipe.  It is super easy and the turkey tasted awesome!  It wasn't dry or anything.  And the outside was nice and golden brown.  First you want to play with your turkey, like I did above.  Get to know it!  Have a little dance in the kitchen.  You will then want to clean out the inside.  Take out the neck and the little package of liver & gizzards.

Stuff it will carrots, onions, celery, and garlic.  Just stuff it on in there.  You aren't going to eat the stuff, just add flavor to it while cooking.  Then comes the messy fun part.  Put it in the roaster and smoother it with olive oil.  Just lather it on up!  As I was doing this I told my turkey that I was getting it ready for a trip to Florida.  That it needed to get some oil on it so it could bake up nice and golden brown.  I think it made the turkey feel better about it's future. 

Place it in a brown paper grocery sack.  If you need to, like myself, I used two.  One on each end of the roaster.  Then put it in the oven!  Hopefully your oven isn't has ugly as mine. Didn't realize how dirty it was till I saw this picture.  Oh' well!  We cook a lot.  

Cook it at 375 degrees for 15mins per pound.  In our case we cooked ours for 3 hours and 20 mins.  You can't look at it or anything so you just have to trust that it's doing it's thang.  ::snap hand::  The rest is the classic Thanksgiving yummies.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Orange's cut to be used for orange cup sweet potatoes! (you remove the orange guts and stuff with sweet pots)
Father-in-law peeling the potatoes for mashed potatoes!
TaDa - Orange Cup Sweet Potatoes

Turkey was ready!  Here are the action shots as me cutting open the brown bag to reveal the wonderful turkey.

It was beautiful!  I was so happy.  It was time to eat so we all got around the table and dug in.  

The Gibson/Sherrell clan
My plate, allllll carbs with some turkey. the dishes.  They are still sitting in the sink.  I'm about to run load number 2 in the dishwasher.  This is going to be a 3-4 cycle job to get all of this done.  Not even to mention the non dishwasher safe items I will have to hand wash.  

Finally, I leave you with a picture of Ashe.  He was such a good kitty during the whole lunch.  He didn't get any food which made me sad, but I couldn't really throw him food when we were in the middle of a nice Thanksgiving lunch!  Preston, his brother, and I were sitting at the table that had nothing but glasses left scattered about.  I looked over and saw this cute little head pop up with the sweetest look of, "I'm thankful for you."  It wasn't long after this picture that Ashe was giving some turkey.  

Happy Thanksgiving Friends and Family

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New England Clam Chowder. Is that the red? or the white?

The weather in Dallas right now is perfect for soup.  My phone says it's 37 degrees outside and drizzling.  Perrrrrrfect.  On my way home from work last night I stopped at the store and picked up ingredients to make my first try at clam chowder.  We both like clam chowder, but have never made it at home.  I looked up the recipe and it is really simple!   You will need the following ingredients.

4 slices of bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups diced onion
4 cups of cubed potatoes
3 cups of half & half
10oz of minced clams
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup of water

I stood in front of the bacon for longer than I should have at the store.  We have eaten turkey bacon for such a long time I had a hard time buying real bacon.  But I couldn't imagine the soup being good with turkey bacon.  It wouldn't cook the same!  So I picked up the smallest packet I could find.  I only needed 4 slices!  This soup is so easy friends.  Here are my instructions:

dice the bacon
cook it until crisp
add the onions (don't remove the fat/grease) cook about 5 mins
Add the potatoes and water.  You need to bring them to a boil for about 15 mins or until potatoes are tender with a fork.  The amount of water in the recipe wasn't enough in my opinion so I added more.  Enough water to cover the top.
Reduce heat and pour in the half and half.  Season with salt and pepper. (stir)
Ewww. Clams.
::sigh:: Drain the clams and add to the soup.  Save the water from the clams and pour in half.  
DO NOT BRING TO BOIL.  Heat on low until warmed throughout.  
 And there you have it!  Clam Chowder.  I served my with some mini baguettes and that was it.  It was hot and got us warm and cozy while watching Friday night TV.  I can't wait to cook up more soups this winter.  Thanks to my wonderful soup cookbook from my friend Natalie, I won't have to look far.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Picture Book

As a child, reading books before you can read really is just looking at the pictures.  The pictures alone tell the story.  My last blog post told a story with no pictures.  This blog tells a story with pictures!  My past weekend.

If you want to order your own AWESOME is her FB page