Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Work and Thanksgiving Part 4

Yay for a 3 day work week!! I just love the holidays! I really could of used some extra sleep this morning, and my back is killing me from being on my feet so much this weekend...but so worth it!

Let's start where I left off...the Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes! These were a hit! As I said before I used a Giada recipe combined with a different one I found on epicurious. I found the epicurious one first, but then loved the Giada recipe because I wanted to make mini cheesecakes...and I just love Giada's recipes in general. So I used Giada's for the crust, cheesecake, baking...basically everything but the topping. That's when I used the epicurious make the cranberry topping.

As you can see the edges aren't nice and smooth but it took a little work getting them out of the pan in one piece. My mom stopped by and I sent her home a few for her and my grandparents...they all LOVED them! Yay! I think I'm going to have to make these again..soon!

I had the very last one tonight...I think it was even better today :)

Unfortunately I think I "expanded" my stomach...I hate that term, but it seems to be true. I think I was more hungry today than!

I did have an incredible bowl of oats this morning though...mmmm...can't wait for a repeat tomorrow!

My Morning Mixture:
1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup milk
1/2 banana

Then added:
1/2 of a package of Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars...crushed
a little spread of Pumpkin Butter
1 Spoonful of White Chocolate PB
YUM!!! This was my first time adding the pumpkin butter...great idea!

I couldn't wait for lunch...I was salivating just thinking about it. Turkey Sandwich!

1 Arnold Sandwich Thin...these are perfect for this sandwich because I love stuffing on my sandwich so the thinner the bread holding it together the better!

My Stuffing
Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Sugar snap peas and sliced carrot (one of the GINORMOUS ones)

Obviously I couldn't NOT have dessert...a thin slice of pumpkin pie and small piece of my chocolate pecan pie...which we will dive into further in another post:)
A random coffee note... Usually I add skim milk and a tiny bit of cream to my coffee in the morning. However, this time of year I love to add...Eggnog!!! So good...yet so bad! Hahah, it's like liquid ice cream :) However it's fabulous in coffee!!

Hmmm I'm hesitant to post my dinner plate...only because I haven't gotten to many of the items shown...don't worry it was a very small plate, not a dinner plate.There were ZERO left over mashed potatoes! I guess it's better that long as there's stuffing I'm a happy camper.

My roommate and I LOVE to buy the Starbucks Advent calendars each year, but last year we saved them and she is re-filling 1 for her parents and we are re-filling the other for this year! Yay saving money! She came home with a plethora of Trader Joe's goodies, to fill the drawers.

The one on the left is filled with the drawers showing the numbers for each day...the one on the right is what it looks like after the 24 drawers have been taken out, flipped over, and put back in. Yay Christmas!

Now on to Thanksgiving Part 4: Cranberry Sauce and Stuffing

Growing up I always loved the cranberry sauce from a can! My grandmother would make homemade but there was always the jellied cylinder wobbling in a bowl in it's exact can shape, just waiting to be dug into. It was only a few years ago I tried the homemade stuff and fell in love. Now I did not up and abandon my jellied sauce from a can, but I love to now enjoy both! Plus making cranberry sauce is EASY! Just follow the recipe on the bag:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 bag cranberries!

My grandmother used OJ instead of water and its divine! I didn't have OJ, but I squeezed the juice from 1 orange and used water for the rest.
I also try to cut out a little sugar...but obviously not much.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer...about 8 min or so later...Sauce! Once it's cooled in the fridge it gets nice and thick and jelly-like.



Nothing fancy here, just a classic bread stuffing, but for some reason this stuff is like's SO SO SO SO delicious. In the years past I always seasoned to taste, but I actually kept track this year!

You'll Need:

1 Stick Butter
5 Stalks Celery
1 large Onion
white bread (I used a large Family Size Loaf of white, and a regular loaf of White Whole Wheat)
4 white potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 T salt (yeah it seems like a lot but it makes A LOT of stuffing)
14 grinds of the pepper mill (this was the only way I could measure it haha)
1T (heaping) plus 1.5t Poultry Seasoning
1.5 t Summer Savory (may take a few stores to find this one)

*The reason the amounts of, say, the Poultry seasoning is so odd is because I added the first tablespoon, tasted, added more, tasted...etc.
**I was originally worried about the salt because at first when tasting, it was on the salty side...but after it cooks it's perfect...well to me it was. I'd say you could reduce the salt a little it you wanted, maybe just 2 tsp.

First you can boil and mash the potatoes...these just add texture.

Chop the onion and celery into small pieces...Rip all the bread up into a LARGE bowl...this is about half of the bread, maybe less...In a large saute pan, melt the butter then add the celery and onion...WARNING: Your kitchen will begin to smell AMAZING at this stage :)

Cook on med/low do NOT want to brown the veggies. When the onions are translucent and soft, pour the whole mixture on top of the bread.Then add the mashed potato mixture, as well as your seasonings. This is wear I wash the hands up so that I can dive in. There's just no good way around needs to mixed with the hands. Be careful because the butter/veggie mixture is hot, but mix it, massage it, make sure all that seasoning is incorporated. No need to be gentle want it nice and combined!

As you can see the whole mixture has reduced in size, so if you think there's WAY too much bread, it's probably just right.

I use some for stuffing the bird, then the rest goes into a baker dish and into the oven at 350 for 20-30, no real time, you just want it hot and maybe a little crisp on top. I usually put it in after the turkey is done.

Well it's bed time again...where does the time go!


  1. those mini cheesecakes look simply perfect! i want one :) awesome thanksgiving recipes. you're so talented !

  2. I have never heard of potatoes in stuffing, but it definitely sounds really good! I love stuffing too! Thank you for sharing your recipes, I'm printing them off right now!

  3. omg i love those mini cheesecakes :) and advent calenders!! hehe, mom always used to do those for me

  4. awesome recipes :) and I love advent calendars!!

    your dinner looks perfect. i can't wait until Thursday.

  5. You need to do a TV thanksgiving special! So amazingly delicious...I also like that you're recycling your advent calendar, being green and saving green!! sorry that was cheesy :D

  6. Whoa! What a great post! I agree, the mini cheesecakes look delicious! I love your leftovers lunch! Its like a whole thanksgiving on an Arnold's thin! Believe it or not, I have never had an advent calendar! Love the refill idea!

  7. those cheesecakes are tooooo cute!

  8. Love Giada recipes :-)

    Bridget, you are THE most inspiring person for Thanksgiving preparation and menu planning - I'm awestruck!!

  9. Those little cheesecakes are so incredibly impressive looking@!

    Those TJ's orange and raspberry slices are my favorite! I do not buy them because if I do - they are gone in a day!

  10. Giada = fav! That stuffing looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe :)

  11. seriously - where should I start? The mini cheesecakes are adorable and look delicious. Your cranberry sauce and stuffing - yum. I adore your advent calendar - really want to get one!

  12. I love your Advent calendar!!! I need to get myself one soon!

  13. Wow, I'm impressed! Love your mini cheesecakes...Giada's awesome!

    Your advent chocolates look delicious! Nice work!

  14. All of your recipes are great. Thanks for sharing.

    I hate the expanded stomach syndrome! I think it reverses itself after a day or two.

    My sister made Giada's cheesecake last Christmas!

  15. Great Thanksgiving recap! I want to make those little cheesecakes!!!!