Friday, May 4, 2012

Holiday Food in May

Yes, you read that right. This last Christmas, for the first time, we had a Holiday dinner at our home. I made the turkey, dressing, yams, and gravy! All by my lonesome. It was a big deal, especially for this lady who had only been cooking for less than a year. To my shock (& everyone else's) everything came out wonderful. So a few days ago, randomly, Johnny & I decided it would be fun to have friends over on Thursday night & have all the wonderful food that we usually only get once a year. We are in a fun season of life that I am able to stay at home with Noah & have fun cooking up new recipes for us & friends to test out. 

Unfortunately we are in the month of May & not December so it is pretty toasty outside so to avoid getting the house hot with a Turkey roasting in the oven all day, I decided to use the crock pot. Pinterest led me to this turkey recipe on Kaylns Kitchen. I followed her recipe exactly with the exception of adding more carrots & celery just because the veggies are always so yummy cooked like this. To be honest I was kinda nervous about cooking a turkey in the crock pot because I had never done it before. Luckily, it was so easy and way less hectic than trying to finish up cooking dinner with a toddler clinging to me. I will definitely be using this method of cooking a turkey again but with different seasonings. I've decided I'm not a huge sage fan, but the turkey was very moist and yummy.

Now for the stuffing. I used Paula Deen's Dressing Recipe that I used for Christmas because this is by far the BEST dressing I have ever had. 

Paula Deen's Chicken/Turkey Dressing
1 large loaf fresh white bread 
1 small celerey top diced
one large yellow onion
2 large eggs
1 large pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup of chicken stock

Prep Work: (to make life easier I did all the prep work the night before)
Grab a cutting board to cut your loaf of bread into cubes & then put it all back into the bag for the next day. You don't have to cut it up instead you could just tare it but I like the way it looks better plus it saves you time the next day. Dice up your onions & celery to put into containers and back into the fridge for the next day.

Ready to Cook: Oven at 350
Melt both sticks of butter in a very large pot over low/medium heat. Once melted throw your onions in along with the pepper & salt. Cook your onions until they appear translucent. Here are mine... 

Next add the celery and cook the mixture until tender. 
Once your celery is tender take your bag of chopped up bread and dump it into the mixture. Using a large spoon be sure to coat all of the bread with the buttery mixture. It takes a few minutes but make sure it is coated very well. Then turn off the heat and allow the stuffing to cool completely for about 20-25 minutes. 
Crack the 2 eggs in a bowl & give them just a few twist with a fork then dump the eggs over the stuffing. Use your clean hands to work the eggs over the stuffing mixture. Make sure that the mixture is nice and wet. If you need to, add an extra egg into the mix but most likely 2 will be enough.
Now, dump the entire stuffing mixture into your baking dish, be sure to pack it in tightly. Use a knife to cut four lines through the stuffing mixture. Take about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of chicken stock and pour into the lines of the stuffing mixture. Now, pop your dish in the oven for about 25 minutes. Get Ready to Enjoy the best stuffing you have ever had! 

I have one more recipe to share, but I'll save that for another day. Before I go, let me show you what my child was up to while I was cooking & what my kitchen looked like after cooking....

Thankful Johnny helped clean this all up before friends got to the house. Also, I meant to take a few pictures of us enjoy this yummy food, but I totally forgot. Hope you try these recipes!


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