Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cornbread Dressing

This dressing was an immediate hit at our family Thanksgiving dinner. It is going in our regular menu. I had never made dressing before, and I was surprised how easy it it to make! I doubled this recipe so that I could freeze a batch for Christmas!

1 pan of cooked cornbread - not too thick
3/4 - 1 loaf of bread
1-2 tablespoons of sage
1-2 tablespoons of poultry seasoning
1 small onion chopped
salt/pepper to taste
3-4 stalks of celery finely chopped
2-3 cans of chicken broth
3 bullion cubes dissolved with water

Lightly grease 9x13 pan. Let the bread sit out to get a bit dry so that it is easier to crumble. (I hear that some people toast their bread for the same reason.) Crumble cornbread and bread into small pieces. Place in large bowl with all other ingredients and mix until moistened. The consistency of the dressing will be somewhat soupy. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Take foil off the last 10 minutes so the top can brown.

Christmas is Coming.....

Christmas is just around the corner! We all have our "go to" recipes for special events and baked goods. If you are like me, you'd like to try some new recipes. Please share your family favorites with everyone here at Easy Meals for Mom by clicking on the link on the right "to submit a recipe."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brown Bag Turkey {AKA The Easiest Turkey You'll Ever Make!}

And no, it's not a pre-cooked turkey either. :)

A few years ago, I was given this recipe (hardly a recipe at all) and tried it. Much to my surprise, it was the best turkey I had ever had and was the easiest and quickest to prepare. So, if this is your first Thanksgiving making the turkey or if you've been doing it for years but are tired of basting and worried about a dried out turkey...this recipe is for YOU!

Brown Bag Turkey

1 stick butter, melted
12-24 lb turkey, defrosted completely
large clean brown paper bag (preferably one without ink or handles)
large roasting pan

Preheat oven to 375F. Coat entire inside of bag with melted butter using a pastry brush. Rinse off bird and take giblets out of cavity (Toss or use for later). Salt and pepper bird generously. Place bird inside bag (breast side up) and staple bag shut. Put bagged bird inside roasting pan. Cook in oven for 11-14 minutes per pound (roughly 3 hours). Do not let the bag touch the heating element in the oven. No need to baste or peek at bird. Check thickest part of bird with thermometer, should read 165F to be done. A lot of turkeys with the pop-up timer overcook the bird. Those timers pop up around 180-185F. 165F is the minimum internal temperature that all poultry should be cooked to.

This method will produce a juicy golden brown roasted turkey. The butter makes the skin crisp and keeps the bird moist while cooking. This differs from the plastic oven bags because those actually steam the bird while the paper bag roasts it. After turkey is done, remove from oven and let rest in bag 15 minutes (this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the bird and it won't dry out when you cut it). You can then use the drippings in the pan for gravy or check here (my blog) for a delicious Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is awesome and creates a stress-free Thanksgiving!

**Feel free to add any herbs or seasonings to this recipe. I haven't and it comes out great! I also have not stuffed the bird while using this recipe so I do not know what the results will be.**

I just love this time of year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Squash

We really enjoyed this recipe and used it as a main dish this week. I plan on serving it for Thanksgiving this year, it's that good! I did change it just a little bit from the original recipe...somewhat lighter version. We used one ~2 lb squash and it served 2 adults and 2 small children as the main dish, you could get more servings if offering as a side. Enjoy!

Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Squash (adapted from Kraft)
1 butternut squash (2 lb.)
1 cup water
1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/8 tsp.  paprika
6 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted

HEAT oven to 425ºF.

CUT squash lengthwise in half; scoop out seeds. Add water to 13x9-inch baking dish; place squash, cut-sides down, in dish. Cover. Bake 40 min. or until squash is tender when pierced with knife. Cool 10 min. Transfer squash to cutting board; drain liquid from dish.
SCOOP out squash into medium bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Add cheese, sour cream, chives and paprika to squash flesh; mix well. Spoon into shells. Mix cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over squash. Return to baking dish.

BAKE 22 to 24 min. or until heated through.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One Pot Chili

This recipe is so easy! I usually make my chili with McCormick's seasoning packet (one packet, 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of kidney beans). But I saw this on Southern Plate, and it looked easy and good. And that it was, easy and good. It adds rice, which I've never done before. It makes a good filler. The best thing about this dish? It's in the name, one pot!

One Skillet Chili Bake
from Southern Plate

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 can red kidney beans
1 can Ro-Tel (or one small can diced tomatoes and small can chopped green chilies)
1/2 Cup uncooked rice (I recommend instant, my slow cook rice wasn't completely cooked. I also used brown.)
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Cup water, if needed (I needed the whole cup.)

In large skillet, brown beef or turkey and drain well. Add beans, Ro-Tel, Rice, Chili Powder, and water. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until rice is done. Uncover and top with cheddar cheese. Continue cooking until cheese melts. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or french bread.