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Old 11-15-2009, 03:58 PM   #1
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Tips for the Holiday Cooking

With all the holiday cooking coming up, thought of starting this topic while cooking dinner today. Share your ideas
Here is a couple:
You all know trying to keep mashed potatoes warm while everything else is finishing is sometimes impossiable so you wait till the last minute. If you do your potatoes and then set them on top of a pan of simmering water (like a double boiler)they will stay warm I cover mine with foil.

buy some chicken broth and some turkey wings and cook them up early to make your gravy ahead of time. Then save your drippings and can add to your gravy for the leftovers, when you have more time and less stress to make the gravy from your turkey.

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Old 11-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #2
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Why go out and buy Pumpkin Pie Spice that you will probably only use during the holidays and then throw away, you can make your own out of everyday spices:

Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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While the boiling pot is a great idea, I never have enough burner space, so I make mashed potatoes a couple of hours before, wrap the pot in newspaper and then in a couple of big towels or blanket. You'd be surprised how well newspaper keeps the heat .
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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The crock pot is a good place to keep potatoes warm.

I also do the double boiler trick, a heat proof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.

Lots of people will be baking this time of year. If you run out of brown sugar, you can make your own.

For light brown sugar, use 1 tbsp molasses to 1 cup of white sugar

For Dark Brown use 2 tbsp molasses per cup of white sugar.

I never bother to buy dark brown sugar, if I have a recipe that calls for dark brown, I just use light brown and add a tablespoon of molasses to the recipe. I don't need both sugars hanging around.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the pumkin spice mix i seen to always be without that.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
...I never bother to buy dark brown sugar, if I have a recipe that calls for dark brown, I just use light brown and add a tablespoon of molasses to the recipe. I don't need both sugars hanging around.

But then you have to have light brown sugar and molasses hanging around.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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The best tip I can offer is not to forget to defrost the turkey and if you do defrost it in the sink with cool water around it not hot or you will cook it I learned all this the hard way a few years ago

Also I found some really great tips like how to properly carve the turkey and some new recipes for old classics here: Holiday Videos I cant wait to serve the cranberry and pomegranate sauce this year
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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But then you have to have light brown sugar and molasses hanging around.
Yes, but I have many more uses for the molasses!
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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The make ahead gravy tip is fantastic. I made my yesterday using turkey drumsticks and it is delicious. Used the recipe that was in the Nov. Southern Living magazine. Check gravy off my list. Betsy.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:37 AM   #10
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A Quick question on this? How much time does it really take to get this recipe prepared? The steps seem to be simple, but i just hope to get them right so that I can enjoy eating as much as I enjoyed reading the same.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:12 AM   #11
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Don't get complicated with your menu unless it's an assigned group effort. Too many things to worry about all at once will often send a person's nerves over the edge.

A major protein (turkey, ham, chicken, etc.) with two sides (salads count as a side), one bread and one dessert is plenty and quite satisfying. Holidays are for "everyone" to enjoy, NOT "everyone except the cook!"
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:55 AM   #12
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Are you referring to the gravy recipe? It took a long time. Seems like all afternoon. That is why I did it on Tues. Betsy.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:25 PM   #13
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I have another one after thanksgiving this year. It was just my hubbie and me
Had a simple menu and worked out great. Less to cook as i did ahead things and after dinner so simple. So nice

So my hint is KEEP IT SIMPLE
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #14
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I ave another one after thanksgiving this year. It was just my hubbie and me
Had a simple menu and worked out great. Less to cook as i did ahead things and after dinner so simple. So nice

So my hint is KEEP IT SIMPLE
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:28 PM   #15
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sorry about the double post keyboard stuck and ???? what happened.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:11 PM   #16
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Christmas cooking/baking

You can start your baking now & freeze the cookies. Then, just pull out treats whenever you entertain throughout the holidays.

Make dishes that can be mixed ahead; don't leave it all until Christmas Eve or Day. If you entertain both times; make one of the meals super easy like; soups or crock pot type meal.

Two recipes that can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the fridge.

Mashed Potato Casserole
8 large baking potatoes (about 4 1/2 - 5 lbs.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 T. butter

1. Peel potatoes; boil until tender. Drain and mash with electric mixer.
2. Beat in cream cheese, sour cream, garlic salt and pepper.
3. Turn into a buttered casserole; dollop with 4 T. butter.
4. Bake at 400 degrees covered for 50 - 60 minutes.

You can make this ahead & chill in fridge for up to 3 days.

Sweet Potato Puff
**This recipe 2 1/2 times fills a 9 x 13 inch pan, so the numbers in ( ) are for the bigger recipe.

3 cups cooked & mashed sweet potatoes (7 1/2)
1/2 cup milk (1 1/4)
1/2 cup sugar -- I don't use as much sugar as the recipe calls for. You will have to adjust to your tastes. (1 1/4)
1 tsp. salt, scant (2 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 stick butter (1 1/4)
2 eggs (5)
1 tsp. vanilla (2 1/2 tsp.)

Mix the above ingredients and put in a buttered casserole dish.

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar (1 1/4)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (1 1/4)
1/4 cup flour (3/4)
1/3 stick butter (1 stick)

Mix and place on top of potato mixture.

Bake at 45 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
This can be made a day ahead.
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