sweet potatos

This is a recipe that I used for Thanksgiving (2011), by adapting four or five other recipes and all the typical ingredients ~ so that I could make them in the crock pot (since I had a turkey in my tiny oven already!). Making this was so easy, and I didn't really have to think about it at all. Its pretty sweet, and more of a desert-side -- but yummy!!

5-6 sweet potatoes, skinned & sliced thin
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tb vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tb orange juice

Melt the butter - and pour it over the sliced sweet potatoes. Combine all the dry ingredients, and then toss with the buttered potatoes. Combine well, and then pour into your crock pot. You can add the OJ & vanilla on top and simmer on high until done. Enjoy!

turkey brine

I haven't roasted a turkey every single year, but this has been my favorite way to season a turkey so far. It was an easy preparation, but you need to have space in your refrigerator to keep the turkey overnight. We turned it into a fun math project too, since Asia calculated & measured the 2 gallons herself (32 cups!) and all the other ingredients too. She basically made the brine herself! Here's the ingredients we used:

2 gallons of water
2 cups apple juice
2 cups salt (kosher is best)
2 cups brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 bay leaves
3 Tb peppercorns
1 Tb rosemary
2 whole peel of oranges, chopped

Bring everything to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Cover and let return to room temp. I also put the brine in the fridge to cool completely before covering the turkey. You can soak the entire turkey in your pot, or in a plastic bag. Let it sit in the brine for 8-24 hours. Its amazing. Before you roast your turkey, you can wash the turkey well, and discard all the brine.

I got this amazing recipe from Pioneer Woman...and its incredible!

spinach pear salad

spinach greens
red onion, sliced extra thin
pear, thin slices
pomegranate seeds

vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tb honey
3 Tb apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

make separate plates/bowls to serve, only 1 tsp of dressing needed!