Turkey Tetrazzini

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This was a great use for the leftover turkey breast  from Thanksgiving and it was so good! I might have to roast another turkey to make this again soon 🙂 This recipe makes at least 8 to 10 servings, but it reheats really well. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Turkey Tetrazzini – adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 11 tablespoons (5½ ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups turkey stock (can substitute chicken stock/broth)
  • ¼ cup white wine (can substitute stock or broth)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup shredded), divided
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ cup), divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside. Fill a large pot with water and put it over high heat to boil.

2. In a large, 12-inch skillet with sides, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour is browned and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.

4. While the flour cooks, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook to al dente. While the noodles are cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Slowly whisk the milk, cream, turkey stock and wine into the butter/flour mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Drain the pasta when it is finished, then add the cooked pasta, mushrooms, turkey and peas to the sauce in the skillet, tossing everything together until it is evenly coated. Add half of the Gruyere and half of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

7. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. In a small bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, remaining Gruyere, remaining Parmesan and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until the bread crumbs and Parmesan are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tetrazzini.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Turkey Stock and Turkey Noodle Soup

**I’m a slacker and planned on posting this weeks ago! **

I usually intend to make stock with the turkey bones, but never get around to it…this year I was determined not to waste a bit of that free range bird 😉 After removing all of the meat, I double wrapped the bones in plastic wrap and stored it in my refrigerator – not the freezer this time! A couple of days later, I threw all the ingredients in my giant 12 quart pot and simmered the contents for about four hours. Once the stock was finished, I strained it and then prepared my veggies for the simple soup that I planned for dinner. I was so pleased with how the soup turned out that this will have to become a new tradition for my family…this and the turkey tetrazzini that I will share with you all later. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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**This recipe made a very large batch or rich and flavorful stock, and what is pictured is what was left over after making turkey noodle soup.

Basic Turkey Stock – inspired from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 10 quarts water
  • two onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery
  • 1 TBSP peppercorns
  • 2 TBSP kosher salt or more to taste
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
    *special equipment – 12 quart pot

Place all in a 12 quart stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 4 hours, skimming the foam off the top as necessary. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into large heatproof containers. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.

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Turkey Noodle Soup –

  • 2 quarts turkey stock (*more or less depending on how “soupy” you like it)
  • 2 cups roasted, and chopped turkey (*I used the dark meat*)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 – 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • kosher salt and pepper
Directions –
Heat a large soup pot to medium and add olive oil. Once the oil is warmed, add all your diced veggies to the pan. Saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the turkey stock and chopped turkey to the pot. Bring to boil, season to taste and add the egg noodles. Cook until the egg noodles are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste again, season if needed – enjoy the soup with a crusty loaf of bread…yum!

Apple Crumble Pie II

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Instead of my preffered pumpkin pie, I decided to make something that we could all enjoy since my husband doesn’t like pumpkin anything. This reminds me of when we were dating and we would often go to Marie Callender’s to have their Dutch apple pie.

Verdict: Yum! I used Fuji and Gala apples for this and the crust recipe below was flaky, buttery and crisp where it needed to be. I have another disk of pie dough in my fridge that I can’t wait to use for more of this pie. 🙂 Follow the link for a video tutorial if you’re a visual learner like me – I rarely read through directions cause I’m lazy like that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie – adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes

  • Prepared crust for single crust pie
  • 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (*I think I’ll use less next time*)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peeled and sliced apples with lemon juice.
  3. Mix together white sugar, cornstarch, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.
  4. Spread apple mixture evenly in unbaked pie shell.
  5. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), mix together 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and the butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over apples.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.

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**Flaky Pie Crust – adapted from Inspired Taste

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Directions –
1. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

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2. Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

3. Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

4. Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water and continue to press until dough comes together.

5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Quick Post: The kids love it and I thought the flavor was just okay; but once I tried a piece straight from the fridge it was so much better…weird, but I’m okay with that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars – adapted from Deliciously Yum

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour (250 grams)
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Frosting –
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions –
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a stand mixer, beat 4 eggs. Add oil, sugar, and pumpkin and mix together.
Next, mix in baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour. Make sure all ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain.
Pour into ungreased 11″ x 17″ jelly roll pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let the bars cool completely.

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Meanwhile, blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting evenly over the bars and put into fridge for 30 minutes.

Basic Buttery Brioche

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I have made this loaf every year for the past three Thanksgivings – it is amazing and an absolute must. This year I am using Kerry Gold butter – quality counts because the first year I made this bread, I used cheap stuff and it didn’t taste right. Be warned: you’ll need to start making this loaf at least  3 days before you bake it off! The starter needs at least 12 hours, the dough rests for another two – but again, it’s so worth the wait! The brioche is rich, but airy; and bakes up into shiny, gorgeous mahogany loaf. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Basic Brioche – The Bread Bible

Dough Starter –

  • 2 TBSP room temperature water
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg

*Make the starter one to two days ahead. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap.

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Flour Mixture –

  • 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 TBSP room temperature butter

1. Combine first four ingredients and pour on top of the starter, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2. Using a standing mixer, add eggs and mix on low speed for about a minute until evenly moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled rubber scraper, then continue beating for five minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It wont pull away from the bowl completely.

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3. Add the butter one TBSP at a time until all incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. Lightly oil top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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4. Chill – refrigerate for one hour, then gently deflate with rubber spatula, then return it to the refrigerator for another hour.
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5. Deflate/Chill – turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Press or roll into a rectangle, flour as needed. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off excess flour. Rotate 90 degrees so the closed side faces left. Make a second business turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap loosely but securely with plastic wrap and place in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate of at least six hours and up to two days.

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6.  Shape/Rise – remove from fridge and gently press down to deflate. Roll/press into a 7 1/2″ by 5″ wide rectangle. Roll down from top in three turns, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Place seam side down in a prepared 8×4 inch loaf pan pressing down firmly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack on the lowest position of the oven and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on the rack.

8. Glaze/Slash/Bake – glaze the top of the loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and a splash of cream or milk. Slash the top of the loaf 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep lengthwise down the loaf, making sure to leave 1″ at each end. Set on hot stone and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.

9. Cool – un-mold loaf to cool on a wire rack at least two hours before cutting.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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Just some random thoughts about these pumpkin cinnamon rolls:

I searched and searched for what seemed to be the perfect pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe. It wasn’t easy, but I’m hoping that these are good!

This dough was a pain in the butt to work with because it’s so soft, but I kept my self from adding too much flour.

I made some minor tweaks to this recipe, mostly just the amounts of spices in the filling.

Next time I will add a little more spice into the dough.

I used two 10″ cake pans for this batch and one is patiently waiting in the freezer now.

The pumpkin flavor was very subtle, so even those who don’t like pumpkin might enjoy these.

I thought the flavor was great, not too sweet, nice texture, color, smell.

My kids loved them and my friend and I polished off half of these ourselves 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – adapted from The Busty Baker via Inspired by Charm

For the Dough:

  • 1 package yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg
  • 4 to 5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling (*I needed at least 1/2 cup more*)

Filling:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

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Maple Cream Cheese Frosting –

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 TBSP maple syrup (more to taste)
  • 2 TBSP milk (more if you want a thinner frosting)
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water, about 5 minutes; set aside.
2. While yeast is dissolving, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edges and milk is warm to the touch; set aside to cool slightly.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine milk, granulated sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, salt, spices, and egg. Whisk together until well combined. Fit mixer with dough hook attachment. With mixer on low, add 2 cups of flour, mixing until combined. Add yeast mixture, mixing until incorporated. Add 2 remaining cups of flour and mix until combined. Raise mixer speed to medium and knead 5 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but is still slightly sticky to the touch. Add additional flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, if necessary to reach right consistency.
4. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat with the cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
5. While dough is rising, make filling: In a small bowl, mix together granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined; set aside. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
6. When dough has doubled in size, pull edges away from the sides of the bowl to deflate. (Or go ahead and punch it down. You know you want to.) Divide dough in half; setting half aside, covered in plastic wrap to keep from drying out. On a floured work surface, roll the other half of the dough out into a 12X8 inch rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons of butter over the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle half of the filling mixture evenly over the butter.
7. Starting with the 12-inch side, roll dough up, pinching the edge to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut roll into six 2 inch pieces. Place pieces, cut side down into prepared baking pan, leaving about ¾-inch of room in between each piece. Repeat with remaining half of dough.* Allow dough to rise in pan in a warm place until doubled in size once more, about 45 minutes more.
8. Preheat oven to 350F. Once the rolls have doubled in size, bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before icing.

Thanksgiving Day Recipe Round-Up

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Fall is my absolute favorite season because of the cooler weather, but mostly it’s because of the food! Thanksgiving dinner is hands-down the most time-consuming meal I make all year; but I love it! It’s a little depressing when I think of all the planning, shopping, prep-work, cooking, baking – not to mention the dish washing involved; and everyone is finished eating in about 20 minutes. Thankfully, there are the leftovers which can be the best part of the ordeal 🙂 I decided to round-up some of our favorites to help those of you who need inspiration and ideas.

A couple of tips for you novices out there – don’t be intimidated! 🙂 Plan at least a week in advance, especially if you plan on brining your turkey – I highly recommend it! You will never have a more moist, perfectly seasoned bird than when you’ve taken the time to brine. It’s not difficult, but you will need some extra space in your refrigerator and if you don’t have a huge, lidded container you can use heavy-duty brining bags, (I have used these). Also, invest in a digital probe thermometer, because who wants to go through all that trouble only to end up with overcooked (or under-cooked) turkey? Thanks for reading!

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Breakfast

*Update* Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Bread

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Waffles

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

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Appetizer/Sides

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Vanilla Almonds

Brioche and Sausage Dressing

Loaded Potato Soup

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes

Garlic Green Beans

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Breads

Honey Yeast Rolls

Basic Buttery Brioche

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Dinner Rolls

Parker House Rolls

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns

Honey Cornbread Muffins

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Mains

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey

Honey Ham 

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Desserts

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie

Apple Crisp I

Apple Crisp II

Vegan Apple Crisp

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For the Leftovers

*Update* Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Sandwiches

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Ham and Potato Soup

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich and Baked Fries

If you need a recipe for leftover turkey, look no further! This is was such a tasty sandwich, and these baked fries are a new favorite! They were crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. My family didn’t even notice or care that they weren’t fried. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Roast Turkey, Avocado and Bacon – adapted from Food Network

  • Roasted, sliced turkey breast
  • Bacon, cooked and drained
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Fontina cheese, sliced

Directions – 

1. To assemble the sandwich: spread a thin layer of the remaining butter on 1 piece of the bread. Place 1 slice of the cheese and several slices of the turkey breast on unbuttered side of the bread. Peel and slice the avocado, and season with salt and pepper. Add avocado slices, crispy bacon slices, tomato and another slice of fontina cheese to the top of that. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Slather the remaining piece of bread with the butter and place on unbuttered side out, on top of the bacon.

2. Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt, swirling the pan around to coat. Put the sandwich in the pan and weigh it down with a heavy pot or can (or wrap an ordinary brick in aluminum foil and set it on top to compress the sandwich.) Toast for 1 minute, turn the sandwich over before the bread begins to burn. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

fries

Baked Oven Fries – adapted from Annie’s Eats 

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 5 TBSP vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 TBSP of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil. Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels and pat dry. Wipe out the empty bowl and return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining oil. Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes and becoming golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a spatula and tongs, flip each potato keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5-15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

3. When the fires are finished baking, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Honey Yeast Rolls

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These were a perfect addition to our TG table! They are substantial enough to handle all the leftover ham and turkey sandwiches and tasty enough on their own. The dough is easy to work with and makes a dozen medium-sized rolls. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Honey Yeast Rolls – adapted from Cooking with the Big Dogs
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups bread flour (508 grams)
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons honey
Directions –
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, stir together the yeast and warm water – let sit for three to five minutes. Add the honey, oil, salt and egg to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add three cups of flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Switch to the dough hook and with the mixer on low, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.
2. Continue kneading on low-speed for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sometimes, depending on the time of year (during the winter, especially), the dough is a bit drier, and I add in water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should feel soft (not sticky) and pliable when you are finished kneading it.
3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it is doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

honey4. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work space and knead about 30 seconds. Cover and let the dough rest for another 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide it into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball and place into a greased 9×13 inch dish, spacing evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together melted butter and honey and brush the mixture over top of the unbaked rolls. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through. Let cool slightly before serving.

I Can Hardly Wait!


After two years of making this huge spread for TG, I have learned (the hard way) what to do in advance to make this as stress free as possible. Today I started the brine for our turkey! It’s a simple step that really makes all the difference in your finished bird. I never craved turkey until I made this recipe, but this always comes out juicy and flavorful. Every year I have made it, I have used the 10 gallon Ziploc bag, and my 12 quart stock pot to contain the beast! It’s a nerve-racking workout to place this safely and cleanly into the fridge 🙂

Over the weekend, I prepared my brioche dough for the brioche and sausage dressing and the herb butter is sitting pretty in the freezer ( I used a stick and a half of butter instead of three). Tomorrow my plan is to bake off the brioche and roast several bulbs of garlic. Wednesday I will prepare the dressing, make the dinner rolls and take the turkey out of the brine. Thanksgiving day, I will prepare this ham in the crock pot, roast the turkey, make the roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and bake off the dressing. It’s lists like this that makes me wish for two ovens!  Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!