Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look Out, Martha Stewart!

Well, I'm going to be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family as well as my sister and her girls. It's been a LONG time since I cooked the whole meal since we usually go to my other sister's house and celebrate with her family and in laws. This year, I wanted to stay home and she (or should I say my brother-in-law, since he does most of the cooking) didn't want to cook a big meal, so it worked out well for all of us. I called my other sister to let her know what the Thanksgiving dress code would be. Music Man, the boys and I worked out that we thought that it should be semi-formal, which around here means flannel pants instead of sweat pants. Maestro added that he wanted fleece tops on all and Music Man wanted slippers. So, you see how we will be dressed at our fancy Thanksgiving table, right? Flannel pants, fleece tops and slippers on our cold tile floors. When I called my sis, she said "now, that's my kind of Thanksgiving!". Yep, we're going for comfort this year, ya'll!

It's been a while since I cooked a turkey, like a whole turkey. So, I started to do a little research online for turkey thawing times. The ones I ran across said that 4 days should be plenty to thaw it in the bottom of the refridgerator. Ummm, yeah, right. I went in there this morning and when I knocked on the large lump in the bag, I just about broke a knuckle. Three days into the thawing and the thing is still frozen solid. So, I pulled it out and put it on the counter (just like all the good cookbooks say NOT to do), and it's gonna sit there today until I get some softness to that lump. Can't wait to see what's gonna happen tomorrow when I've gotta get the thing in the oven at 4:00 am, sure hope it's gonna be thawed by then! Since we keep our heat at about 62 degrees anyways, I think there's not that much difference between that and the fridge, right? It's going to be an adventure for me, anyways.

I thought I might share my mashed potato recipe with you. I actually got this published in a cookbook last year, one of the Gooseberry Patch compilation dealies. I submit, they test and print, then I get a free copy of the cookbook. I'm honored to have had two of my recipes make the cut, so that's nice. I got two free cookbooks, both autumn inspired, so that makes me pretty happy. I was a little miffed to have them change the title of my recipe from "Warm and Cozy Mashed Potatoes" to "The Creamiest Mashed Potatoes". I never would have called them that, it sounds too boastful for my taste, and doesn't Warm and Cozy sound comforting? Well, what can you do, right? So, here it is, hope you enjoy them, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Warm and Cozy Mashed Potatoes

5-6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

3 oz pkg creamed cheese, thinly sliced and then softened

3-4 T. butter, room temp.

4-5 T. half-and-half or milk

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 T fresh chives, sniped or 2 T dried chives

Garnish: additional butter

Cover potatoes with water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Boil potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes once they begin to boil. Drain; mash with either a hand masher or electric mixer on medium speed. Add cream cheese, butter and half-and-half or milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well until butter and cream cheese are melted. Fold in chives; top with a dollop or two of butter. Serves 6.

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