Grandma’s Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Gravy


So much goes into preparing the Thanksgiving meal, especially when turkey is on the menu.  I always love shortcuts and tips on things you can do the day before to help ease the pressure on the big day.  Grandma Peggy’s Do-ahead Gravy is one of them.  You can prepare this up to three days in advance and then just add the final ingredient, the  pan drippings from the turkey, right before you are ready to serve.

Grandma Peggy’s Do- Ahead Gravy

Yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients:

6 T. flour
6 T. butter
4 cups chicken broth or stock
salt and pepper
Turkey pan drippings (added 15-30 minutes before ready to serve)

Instructions:

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook over medium high heat until flour is incorporated and white bubbles begin to form on the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually add broth, whisking constantly. Stir until gravy is thickened and mixture boils. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool and refrigerate for up to three days.

To serve:

On Thanksgiving day, heat the gravy. When turkey is done, pour off drippings into a jar or fat separator. Skim or spoon off all the fat and stir the drippings into the gravy.

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Thanksgiving Planning

How much per person?

These are approximate amounts. For young children, cut amounts in half.

Turkey ½-3/4 pound of meat*
Stuffing: ½ cup to ¾ cup
Gravy: 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces)
Cranberry Sauce ¼ -1/2 cup (2-4 ounces)
Potatoes ½-3/4 cup
Vegetables ½-3/4 cup
Pie/Dessert 1 ½ pieces

Per Person                                                        for Eight People     for Ten People    for 12 People

Turkey ½-3/4 pound of meat*                       10-16 lb. bird        12-16 lb. bird        18-20 lb. bird

Stuffing: ½ cup to ¾ cup                                        4-6 cups            5-7 cups               6-9 cups

Gravy: 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces)                                       20 oz                     25 oz                    30 oz

Cranberry Sauce ¼ -1/2 cup (2-4 ounces)         2-4 cups               2 1/2-5 cups          3-6 cups

Potatoes ½-3/4 cup                                                      4-6 cups           5- 8 cups                 6-9 cups

Vegetables ½-3/4 cup                                                   4-6 cups          5-8 cups                 6-9 cups

Pie/Dessert 1 piece                                                         1 pie                   2 pies                        2 pies

* keep in mind that the smaller the bird, the smaller meat-to-bone ratio so you might want to get up to 2 lbs./person for smaller gatherings.  The larger the bird, the more you will have for leftovers.

Advice thanks to the Butterball hotline 800-288-8372

Valentine Twist

 Want a unique way to tell your crush that you care?  Try this simple recipe.

Pretzels for My Valentine

Yield: 8-16 pretzels (depending on size)

Ingredients:

1 package of dry yeast
1 cup warm water (as hot as you can)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 egg
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Plus…

1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon coarse salt (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

 

Directions:

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Gingerbread Hula Dancers

IMG_1086Gingerbread Hula Dancers

My daughter Dani decorates these whimsical cookies around the holidays and they always make me smile.  The dough is easy to make thanks to Trader Joe’s.  We make the dough with their  Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix.   Here is the easy recipe…

Cookie Ingredients

1 box Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix
1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water

Frosting Ingredients

3 egg whites
1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.)
1 tsp. cream of tarter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375degrees. Combine the mix, butter, egg in a medium sized bowl.  Form into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Roll out the dough on  a floured board about 1/8 inch thick  Cut into desired shapes.

IMG_7678 at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  Cool 2-3 minute and transfer to a wire rack.  Yields 4-5 dozen small gingerbread cookies (Less if you use large cookie cutters)
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Just before you are ready to decorate the cookies, mix up the frosting ingredients using a high speed mixer until it peaks.  Place in a decorator bag with the smallest tip you can find.  This frosting is great for gingerbread house decorating too!  The recipe makes more than enough.

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Red White and Blue Salad

spinach saladWith summer around the corner, I look forward to colorful and delicious salads full of fresh berries. This is one of my favorites. It is not only full of flavor, but also nutritious and pretty too.

Serves: 8

Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, Almonds and Feta

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh spinach
6 ounces fresh blueberries
3 ounces fresh raspberries
16 ounces fresh strawberries
1/4 -1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 – 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
your favorite raspberry, mango or champagne vinaigrette (or try my vinaigrette recipe* below)

Wash all fresh produce and slice the strawberries.  Dump all ingredients in a bowl.  Add dressing to your liking and toss lightly.  Yum Yum!

 

Favorite Raspberry Vinaigrette*

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Red White and Blue Kabobs

Red white and blue kabobs
These are an easy, patriotic addition to your Memorial Day, Veterans Day or Fourth Of July BBQ table

Gingered Carrots with Mint

gingered carrots with mintI recently learned of the many benefits of eating carrots.  Here are some great reasons to include more of these crunchy superfoods in your diet:

FIVE Benefits of eating carrots:

1.  Improves vision
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and that translates to “good for the eyes”.

2.  Slows down aging 

That same beta-carotene found in carrots also acts as an antioxidant to cell damage so it helps slow down the aging of cells.

3.  Promotes healthier skin 
Carrots are also rich in Vitamin A that protects the skin from sun damage, prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, and uneven skin tone.

4. Helps prevent cancer
Carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.

5.  Prevents heart disease and stroke

Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.  Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. In addition, a Harvard University study showed that people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.

Conclusion: Eat more carrots!  Here’s a delicious way to enjoy them.

Carrots, seasoned with sweet and spicy crystalized ginger, glazed in butter and honey, are a beautiful accompaniment to roasted chicken or even lamb. Use a fragrant honey, such as orange blossom, thyme or tarragon. If you cannot find baby carrots, peel and cut slender full-size carrots into 2-inch lengths.

gingered carrotsIngredients:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped crystalized ginger
  • 1 lb. small, thin carrots, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

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