Thanksgiving 2016 – To Do List by Date

I will probably post this after Thanksgiving just to see if I can make it all happen – likely it will not happen in this particular way. We shall see.  Sad that I do not have a lot of confidence in this schedule. Or maybe pretty much everyone else is just like me – we think about too much and then start paring back because we have to.

18 Nov Thursday –  Check Ingredients / Grocery List / To-Do List by Date (this list)

19 Nov Friday – Grocery shopping in the afternoon.
Cranberry Sauce
Mini Cheese Ball mixture, no pecans yet
Tassie Dough

dd_165120 Nov Saturday – Spinach Dip
Roast Sweet Potatoes

21 Nov Sunday – Rosemary Cashews
Bake Tassies – nope, skipped this, at least for Thanksgiving. Dough will keep in the fridge for a bit. 

22 Nov Monday – Assembly Sunday Sweet Potatoes with topping separate
Roast Shallots – nope, didn’t do it. Mayhap next year.

23 Nov Tuesday – Warm Potato Salad. Keep bacon to the side to top on turkey day.
Final Grocery Run

24 Nov Wednesday – Catch Up Day
Make No Roll Pie Dough
Bake Pecan Pie
Make 2 pans of cornbread. 9 x 9 inch pans.

25 Nov Thursday – Oven dry broken pieces of cornbread 250 degrees for an hour. Turn half way through.
Make Dressing. Woo hoo – I think this is the deal.
Bake Sweet Potatoes
Heat ham (for The Boy)



Pre – Thanksgiving – Sweet Potato Biscuits

I always seem to make too many sweet potatoes for my most requested Sunday Sweet DD_0184Potatoes  – I just never know how many potatoes makes how many cups. Or how many sweet potatoes make a pound or whatever. I suppose one day I will have to figure that out. Ugh – math. Oh, and in November / December sweet potatoes are really inexpensive. Like .49 cents per pound – hello, just buy lots. If I remember correctly, they are also a local crop for us. Cool.

Our dogs love mashed sweet potatoes. Yes, they do. The Big Dog was a huge fan. They also keep for a good while so you can surprise the pups with them through January and February. I always did almost anything to make the Big Dog happy.

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Duke – The Big Dog – Best GSD. Ever.

Another thing is to make sweet potato biscuits. Sublime things, that are stupidly simple.

I was living in Chapel Hill, NC the first time I had sweet potato biscuits and they were served just like this – with salty ham and horseradish cream. Heavenly. The caterer for my job (love you JW) was the one that introduced me to it. I cannot believe, being a kind-of* Southern girl, that I had never had them. My mom made biscuits often, although if you asked me to re-create them, I would not be able to, but she’d never made sweet potato biscuits of any kind, even though she was from NC. Not sure where the “lost in translation” bit happened. I will just be grateful I found these when I did.

 

 

Sweet Potato Biscuits

5 cups self-rising flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
2 Tbsp. salted European butter, melted – spend the little bit extra.

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato in a large measuring cup. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t over work this – I think it will affect the rise.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once (Do not twist cutter – this is way more important than you may think, but biscuits are a bit fussy about things like this – just don’t do it. The won’t rise well if you twist.). Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted  (salted) butter – do this.. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 dozen.

Source: Foster’s Market – Foster’s is on the 15-501 between Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. It is a fanciful place that does so many things well. I miss it greatly, but I loved going there. Sara Foster is gifted in a way not many people are and it was a great joy to be able to frequent the shop/restaurant/coffee shop/whatever. The Foster’s Market Cookbook is the ONLY signed cookbook I have. Ms. Foster is charming, engaging, and lovely.

Made a half recipe this time, but they were excellent.

Had been using Emeril’s recipe for sweet potato biscuits for years – a dozen or so, but I think the Foster’s Market version rose a bit better. I do like the use of ground pecans in Emeril’s recipe. Need to figure out how to combine the two. Both recipes are now in my Thanksgiving binder, so that means something

*You have to put the “kind-of” in front of Southern if you are raised in Jacksonville. Sigh. Even if your parents are really Southern.

Fall / Thanksgiving planning

I guess it is time to start thinking about the fall baking/cooking season and, dum dum dum … Thanksgiving. It seems that Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me. Because it does not get cold here, really, until after January. I’m still wearing opened toe sandals for heavens’ sake.  I can’t imagine doing Canadian Thanksgiving – October 12th. Too soon for us in the South, but not too soon for them, I suppose. Good on you!

And here are the things I am thinking about:

Down-sizing recipes – for a few of us that is what will happen. How do you scale down cornbread dressing? I have no idea. Depending on what family stays, what family and friends are coming into town, and what family goes to others out of town, it makes a difference in planning. But there are certain things that just must happen for Thanksgiving. Cranberry relish – yes!

Why not biscuits for Thanksgiving? Hello, we are in the south – yep. Drop biscuits are my favorite. Sour Cream drop biscuits instead of my usual Parker House rolls.

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Sweet Potato Biscuits with ham and horseradish cream

I think I need a new filling for my sweet potato biscuits. I love them the way they are, (with ham and horseradish cream} but I think I must come up with something new. But I do think horseradish will be involved. It is a stupidly great combination.

Something with corn – I’m thinking a corn soufflé which could be really cool.

Some kind of apple dessert – slab pie, maybe? Or this apple cake “Tatin” thing?  Did that this month, and … so amazing. You can read about here.

A Fall Salad – with apples, pecans, some spinach and, in my perfect world, mandarin oranges. Yep.

Do hate all the pumpkin crap,,, Guess that is, mostly, because everyone goes all pumpkin crazy beginning in August. It is just way over kill. And the taste is largely meh. But apparently I’m in the minority on this one. I just don’t get it.

Apricot and Cheddar Chicken Melt

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Chicken, Ham, Apricot, Cheddar sandwich

I totally had a fit about this sandwich for, well, at least a year.  And it’s been at least two years since I made it and now it’s in the rotation again. I don’t want to over do it, but it’s pretty simple if you plan ahead (marinating) and it’s amazing.

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, chopped (optional in my opinion but I like them)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 ozs)
1 baguette, split horizontally, then cut in a half
1/4 cup apricot preserves
4 ozs thinly sliced tavern ham
4 ozs sharp white cheddar, grated (1 cup)

Between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound the chicken slightly until it is more even. It does not need to be super thin, just a little more even. Makes for easier (quicker) marinade and more even cooking. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a resealable plastic bag, add vinegar, mustard, garlic, and chicken. Let marinade several hours or over night in the refrigerator.

Heat broiler on low and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and place on the baking sheet, broil without turning until opaque throughout. Transfer chicken to work surface and discard foil. Reline the baking sheet with new foil.

Place baguette on baking sheet, cut side up (duh). Spread each piece with apricot preserves, layer with chicken, ham and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

Source: Martha Stewart with my modifications.

Sweet Potato Biscuits – Foster’s Market

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Foster’s Market Sweet Potato Biscuits with tavern ham and horseradish cream

I always seem to make too many sweet potatoes for my most requested Sunday Sweet Potatoes dish for Thanksgiving. So there are two things you do with excess sweet potatoes. Oh, and in November / December they are really inexpensive.

1 – feed dogs mashed sweet potatoes – they totally love it. And then they start to expect it – spoiled puppies. But I love them – probably way too much.

2 – make sweet potato biscuits. A sublime thing, that is stupidly, simple.

I was living in Chapel Hill, NC the first time I had sweet potato biscuits and they were served just like this – with salty ham and horseradish cream. Heavenly.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 5 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut butter cubes and shortening into flour mixture with pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Cover and chill 10 minutes.

Whisk together buttermilk and sweet potato. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, reshaping scraps once. (Do not twist cutter.) Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 dozen.

Foster’s Market

Made a half recipe this time, but they were excellent.

Had been using Emeril’s recipe for sweet potato biscuits, but I think the Foster’s Market version rose a bit better. I do like the use of ground pecans in Emeril’s recipe. Need to figure out how to combine the two.

Ham & Swiss Sliders

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Ham & Swiss Sliders

08 July 2002 – Lawn Party Sandwiches – Southern on Occasion – The Junior League of Cobb – Marietta, Inc., p. 71. My first version of this apparently, ubiquitous recipe, and it is special for me. This is my variation after many different iterations.

This (Southern on Occasion) is the first cookbook The Man of the House bought for me. We saw it at Kevin’s Guns and Sporting Goods. I really liked it.  But my, then boyfriend, said later that  he purchased it for his sister-in-law for Christmas. I understood that because he’s good at gifts, but wasn’t exactly pleased since it was the only copy.

Imagined how surprised I was to find it really was for me. He did this way before he was the Man of the House, but it seems fitting that I made something from it for our pre-wedding celebration at the Highland Lake Inn. It was a Monday evening since we were doing everything different  – we were married on a Tuesday – the second best day of my life – The Boy has to take just a bit of precedence. But that Monday with just a small group of family and friends was, well, really just so wonderful.

This is my new version of the same basic idea – I mean, how can you go wrong with ham and melty cheese?

1 package Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
1/3 pound sliced ham (recommended: Boar’s Head Tavern ham)
1/3 pound sliced baby Swiss
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 Tbs grated onion

Cut the rolls in half horizontally and keep bottom in one piece, as best as possible. In a small bowl mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and grated onion. Spread evenly on bottom half of rolls.

Top with the sliced ham and then sliced cheese. Wrap in foil. At this point you can bake or refrigerate. I think it is best to refrigerate overnight. It makes party day a bit easier to do it a day ahead.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and rolls are slightly toasty.