Turkey Tuesday Roundup 2014

Turkey Tuesday Roundup 2014



Well it is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I want to give my annual quick tips. Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for any cook. Accepting or asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It can the one thing that keeps you sane during this sometimes stressful holiday. Below I have listed a few tips and shortcuts that can help ease your stress and make your thanksgiving a tad bit more joyous.  Be as prepared as possible.  I have created a sample menu and timing that you can use to make Thanksgiving as easy as possible.  Also, there are plenty of tips from what turkey to choose all the way to how to cook a frozen turkey.  Its all in there.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love a good salad.  When I make salads at home, I usually just buy my salad dressings.  But we had a salad dressing mixer bottle lying around and I figured I should at least try it.  So I decided to make a balsamic vinaigrette.  After a few iterations, I discovered an amazing salad dressing that was fresh, light and super easy to make.  Who knew?  I had no idea that a fresh salad dressing only took a couple of minutes to make.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, garlic and olive oil to a shaker bottle, salad dressing mixer or mason jar.

Mix or shake the ingredients

Shake or spin until the dressing is emulsified.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serve over your favorite salad mix.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
A super simple and delicious salad dressing.
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, garlic and olive oil to a shaker bottle, salad dressing mixer or mason jar. Shake or spin until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Serve over your favorite salad mix.


Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Every four to five weeks I get on a health kick and try to make healthier foods.  It usually lasts about 2-3 posts, but I am going to try to make it this time.    Ok, I will probably fail, but at least this chicken salad recipe is awesome!  The marinated chicken is awesome and could definitely be a main dish without the salad.  The marinade is out of this world, it is a mix of honey, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar.  So delicious!

Asian Chicken SaladMakes two large salads

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil leaves, hand shredded
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Chicken Marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the marinade ingredients together.

The Marinade

Then place the chicken breasts in a zip top bag and then pour the marinade over them.  Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Grill the chicken breasts

Preheat your grill to medium/high heat.  Place the chicken directly over the heat source and cook till the juices run clear.  I find that with large chicken breasts it is easiest to grill them over direct heat for 5-6 minutes on each side.  Then to transfer them to an indirect portion of the grill and let them finish cooking for another 15-20 minutes.  That way they get the great grill marks without burning.

When fully cooked remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

While the chicken is resting make the salad dressing and assemble the salads.

The dressing

For the dressing, place the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  You can season with salt to taste. Depending on your soy sauce, you may not need any salt.

Layer the salad

To assemble the salads, in a large bowl mix together the lettuce, cabbage, snow peas, red pepper, carrot, and Thai basil.

Place the individual portions in each bowl.  Then top with the sesame seeds and slivered almonds.

Asian Chicken Salad

Thinly slice the chicken and place on top of the salad.  Finally top with the dressing and serve.

The salad was delicious.  Even Dana loved it.  She is my hardest critic and she was raving about it all night.

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie

When I used to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Pasty (pronounced “Past – eee”) was king. It is a meat filled hand pie that was usually topped with gravy or ketchup. The pie was all meat and potatoes and lacked the gravy or liquid inside of a pot pie. I though this would be the perfect meal for all of my Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving (Pasty) Hand Pie – makes 2 hand pies

  • 2 pie crust – (Easy Pie Crust)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1 cup leftover turkey
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • 1 cup leftover vegetable – (corn, green bean casserole, etc..)
  • 4 tbs butter melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the potatoes and place them into a large pan.  Bring to a boil and partially cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.  We want the potatoes to be softened, but still hold together. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water and rinse with cold water.   When cool to the touch, dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.

Dice up the ingredients

Roll the dough out into 14 inch rounds.

Place 1/2 of the potatoes, turkey, stuffing and vegetable into the center of the pie dough.

Place the ingredients on the pie crust

Fold the pie dough over the filling and form a half-moon shaped hand pie.  Place on a greased cookie sheet or a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Cut a few vent holes in the top of the pies and then brush the tops with the melted butter.

Brush with Butter

Bake in the oven for 18-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Cook till golden brown

Let cool for a minute and then plate.  Cover with warm gravy and serve.

Plated and ready to eat

These pies were delicious and amazing.  The diced potatoes added a nice texture to the pies.  Then topping them with gravy was amazing.  You need to try these with your leftovers.

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing

Is it dressing or stuffing. While the ingredients can be the same, the difference is in how it is cooked. If it is stuffed and cooked inside of the bird, well then it is stuffing. If it assembled and baked outside of the bird in a casserole dish, then it is dressing. However, the two words are used interchangeably based on locale and region. In this case I am making dressing. It utilizes roasted chestnuts and cornbread. It is super tasty and I hope you try it this year.

Roasted Chestnut and Corn Bread Dressing – (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

  • 8 cups cubed day-old corn bread
  • 2 cups cubed day-old white bread
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chestnuts
  • 1 stalk rosemary, chopped
  • 4-6 sage leaves, chopped
  • handful of thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth/stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasting the Chestnuts

The first step is to roast the chestnuts.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next wipe down the chestnuts and then place them flat side down on a cutting board.  Then using a paring knife score a small x onto each chestnut.  This will help the steam release and give you a peeling point once the chestnuts cool.

Score the chestnuts

Place the chestnuts in a rimmed cookie sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes.  When fully cooked, the shells will be burst open and the chestnut will be golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Chestnuts burst open

Once cool you can peel the shell and the inner skin of the chestnut away.  Then dice the chestnuts into bite size pieces and set aside.  I cut mine into quarters and they were a little big for everyone in the dressing.  I would recommend cutting the chestnuts into 8 pieces.

Making the Dressing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the cubed cornbread and white bread out on a baking sheet.  Then bake for 20 minutes until the bread is dry and golden brown.  Then set aside for later use.

Place a saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Then add the chopped celery and onion to the pan.  Saute for 5-8 minutes or until the onions and celery are soft and translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the onions, celery, toasted bread, chestnuts, herbs and stock into a bowl and combine.  Then season with salt and pepper and transfer to a greased casserole pan.


Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the cover and then bake for another 35-40 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Roasted Chestnut and Cornbread Stuffing

Serve hot with your favorite meal.

Serve with your favorite meal