Hi All!! If you are like me, you’ve got cooking on your mine for tomorrow. I wanted to chime in to hopefully give a few Thanksgiving tips that may make the cooking go smoother. I’m not a chef by any means. As a matter of fact, I tried to get a professional chef who is also a blogger to give some tips and tricks, but she hasn’t responded yet. When she does, I will be sure to let her send some of her “know how” our way.
Since is just me, here are a few things that I think make the kitchen a little less stressful.
Onions- I found that if I cut the onions near a lit pilot on the stove, that the gases released from the onion are attracted to the lit pilot and not my eyes, so… no tears.
Deviled Eggs- try adding about a little cream cheese (try a flavored one, I like the one with bacon in it.) to your recipe, it will thicken your egg mixture so that the consistency isn’t runny.
Meatballs- I got this trick from my husband. If you do barbecue sauce, add a little grape jelly to the barbecue sauce. Sounds gross, I know… you can’t taste the jelly and it gives your sauce a nice something special.
Gravy- Got Lumps? Try this, instead of adding the flour or cornstarch directly to the pan that you are making the gravy in. Add about a teaspoon of flour to about a 1/4 cup of water or broth. Whip the mixture in the cup until the mixture is smooth and looks like milk. Put the flour mixture in the pan with your butter and drippings that you are making the gravy with and stir, add your seasoning and broth a little at a time until you get the consistency you are looking for. Keep stirring. The mixture will thicken.
Apple- Some people use a little apple in their stuffing. For the apple that you are not using, sprinkle kosher salt on the part that was sliced, then put the apple in a sandwich bag. It will slow down the oxidation.
Banana Pudding- I like Paula Deen’s, Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding recipe. http://www.pauladeen.com/not-yo-mamas-banana-pudding I use Nilla Wafers with it. A few times, I left out the bananas because I don’t like when the bananas turn brown, the next day. Guess what, the pudding is so good that no one even misses the bananas… Shh don’t tell, they won’t know!
Quick Dessert- If you need a super quick dessert, especially for a brunch. A slightly warmed croissant and Nutella… OMG!!! If you want it pretty, then warm and drizzle the Nutella on the croissant, but if you are by yourself… take a big ole’ spoonful of Nutella and put it on the croissant. (It’ll make you feel good on the inside 🙂 You can thank me later!)
Smoky Flavor- You can use, a few shakes of Liquid Smoke (I use the one by Colgin, one bottle last a long time) in your vegetables to replace the ham bone. I know that was probably blasphemy to someone… but… It really works. Just make sure you use your other seasonings with it. The veggies won’t be greasy and you still get the smoky flavor.
Ice Tea- Spice up your ice tea by pouring an entire small can of pineapples in its juice (not in syrup) in an “average” size pitcher with the tea. Depending on how sweet you like your tea, you may not need any sugar but of course after you stir your tea, sweeten to taste. Pineapples are good for your digestion, so you can feel good about drinking it. Occasionally, I also add a little ginger slices or powdered ginger.
Let the salad bar be your friend. It already has sliced veggies, and it’s usually cheaper. It may save you a lot of time.
Are your kid’s fingerprints all over your stainless steel appliances? Try wiping them down with Windex. For me, Windex works better than the stuff that came with the appliances.
E L A S T I C W A I S T P A N T S! (No explanation needed)
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. If you think of any time saving tips and tricks feel free to chime in. Lord knows we can all use a little help. Remember the thermometer temp in the turkey should be between 160-165 for doneness. If the turkey is too dry, then add some broth or it’s drippings over it with a baster. If it’s too salty then baste it with about a half a cup of water and put foil over it. My first turkey was too salty, the water trick works!
Please take time to look at the people who share the table with you and thank God for them. If you are spending the day by yourself, look outside and be thankful for the roof over your head and the ability to get on a phone and tell someone that you love them and that you were thinking about them. If you don’t have anyone, then send me an email, Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll send one back to you.
We all can think of things that we don’t have, but Thanksgiving is a time to pause, and be thankful for what we do have. One of the things that I’m thankful for this year is YOU, because you are taking the time to read my blog- Thank You!
Please try to slow your mind down and enjoy the moments, especially if you have little ones.