The Holidays: Round 1

20121129-223901.jpgThanksgiving. It might be my favorite of the holiday season. Maybe because it’s the first. It ushers in all things pumpkin, cinnamon and spice. It makes way for Christmas lights and cocktails punched with bourbon(yes, I can have a cocktail again!!). Thanksgiving somehow seems the most Martha Stewart-y of all the holiday season to me. And there isn’t all the pressure of gifts and running back and forth to numerous places trying to cram it all in. Ah Thanksgiving I love you.

In our house however, we try to remember that what were actually celebrating with this holiday is something atrocious. We prefer to simply celebrate family, turkey and each others company.

This year we decided to make everyone come to us. After all we have a baby. It’s our way of prepping our families for the reality of coming to our house for all holidays eventually. You see you get to do that once you have kids, so get ready family!

I made a turkey. A damn fine one if I do say so myself. A perfect turkey first starts with a good bird. None of that butterball crap. A good turkey is very simple. You just need a good meat thermometer, butter and spices. I don’t know why people panic about making Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t put forth anymore effort then I do any night I make a meal. You just have to time it out right, and be aware that a bird takes time to cook.

20121129-223956.jpgI also made these absolutely delicious apple pie cheesecakes. This was my second time making them. I could eat these things daily. They’re soooooo good.

20121129-224713.jpgAnd then there were leftovers. Oh leftovers how I love you. My favorite part of leftovers is turning them into something new. My fathers cranberry sauce made its way into my weekend breakfast in the form of french toast. It was a phenomenal use of cranberry sauce which I highly recommend. Putting it in a cocktail is always another good use.

This year I hosted my first Thanksgiving. It was easy and laid back. The sweet baby even got her naps in on time.

20121129-225445.jpgAnd this year, she is what I’m thankful for. Every single day.

Perfect Roast Turkey

This isn’t so much a recipe as a method. The ingredients are like a revolving cast of characters, meant to be adjusted as you see fit.

Ingredients

1 fresh turkey
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried sage and thyme
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Stock(turkey, chicken or vegetable)
Salt and pepper

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees. Remove turkey from fridge 2 hours prior to cooking. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. If needed remove any parts remaining in body cavity. Loosen skin. Mix butter, herbs, zest and salt and pepper. Spread half if butter mixture underneath the skin and remaining half on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place turkey on roasting rack in pan. Cook 13 minutes per pound, until temperature registers 165 on a meat thermometer. Remove turkey from oven every 30 minutes and baste with pan juices, adding more stock as needed. Rotate pan position in the oven with each basting to ensure turkey browns evenly. If you choose to stuff your turkey, ensure stuffing also reaches 165 degrees.

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