Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkeys Welcome Here

Amendment to last post: Beth is now offering penguins, too! Yay! This just keeps getting better. 

I do not like turkey, Sam I am.

I do not like it Thanksgiving Day
I do not like it one day in May

I do not like it with a duck inside
I do not like it deep deep fried

I do not like it cooked any way
I do not like it in 4 days

I do not like turkey, Sam I am.

But I will eat the hell out of some green eggs and ham. Perhaps one day things will change. Maybe in 7 years, my affinity for the typically dried out, sleep-inducing bird will spin 180 degrees and I will begin hoarding frozen turkeys from Kroger in our deep freeze. But not today.

Today, I'm offering 3 recipes that have nothing to do with turkey but are fabulous autumn/winter recipes I discovered in my crockpot cookbook/doorstop/murder weapon of choice. They elevate the apple to an orgasmic level of deliciousness, leaving one to sympathize a bit more with poor ole hungry, horny Adam. And they all call for a crockpot, which gets used more than the central heat around here. Please let me know if you try one and what you think. And if you have one to share, please put it in the comments. I am in couples therapy with a spaghetti squash after a tofu dish disaster, but I'm open to loving other ignored winter vegetables.

"Baked" Acorn Squash (a really delicious side dish)

1 acorn squash (when cut in half, they will fit nicely in a 6 qt crock)
2/3 c cracker crumbs (I used Ritz, but I think graham crackers would be heavenly)
1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans (I ground them practically into dust in the food processor because I'm scared to death Blue is going to choke on a nut and I'm going to have to give baby Heimlich)
1/3 c butter, melted
4 Tb brown sugar (don't leave this out. Seriously.)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tb orange juice (the second time I made this, I didn't have orange so I used apple. To that, I say...meh...)

Ridiculously easy directions:
1. Cut stem end off of squash and then cut in half.
2. Remove seeds.
3. Combine remaining ingredients and spoon into squash halves. Place in slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until squash is tender.
(I usually leave it in for 8 because I forget about it and it is totally fine and totally delicious.)
Serve with entree or top with marshmallows and shovel it down your gullet while watching Polar Express.
 *I just realized there are no apples in this recipe. I'm about to make up for that.

2. Cran-Apple Chicken (pairs well with baked acorn squash and Castle)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used some pre-seasoned chicken but I'm sure plain would be lovely)
1 bag of fresh cranberries (or 1 cup of frozen but if you love yourself, get the fresh)
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and sliced (take the 30 seconds to peel it. Trust me.)
1 Tb brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider (Redd's or Woodchuck doesn't count)

Ridiculously easy directions:
1. Place chicken in slow cooker (mine was frozen rock hard and did great on low for 8 hours)
2. Sprinkle with cranberries and apples.
3. Mix brown sugar and apple juice. Pour over chicken and fruit.
4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice and pair it with some of that fancy pants bread from Panera.

And what is Thanksgiving dinner without dessert? I love the pumpkin/pecan/apple pie trinity just as much as the next girl, but this is easier and gooier. When in doubt, always go for gooier.

Apple Caramel Dessert (you're going to need some ice cream for this. Or maybe some not-yet-frosted cupcakes. But definitely not the angel food cake it calls for. Angel food cake is for nursing homes and marathoners. And this is Thanksgiving, dammit. Get the Ben & Jerry's.)

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges (I mixed it up with some red and some green because we swing to the tarty side, but go with what you love.)
1/2 cup apple juice (leftover from above recipe. Yay! Waste not, want not.)
7 oz caramel candy (I just used the whole bag...well...the whole bag after I had it in the house for about 2 days, so minus...maybe...15 pieces? Also, I used the caramel squares but I guess Werther's has come out with baking caramel now. And to that I say, "What took you so long?")
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp cardamom (and now I have a whole bottle of cardamom that expires next year. If anyone would like to offer up some recipes using that, I would be ever so grateful)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used almond butter because Neal has a self-diagnosed peanut allergy, but it turned out absolutely fine and delicious)
7 slices angel food cake (bleh. Clean up, aisle 5)
1 qt vanilla ice cream (now we're talkin'...)

Ridiculously easy directions:
1. Combine apple juice, caramel candies (after unwrapping them during episode of Scandal), vanilla, and spices. Place in slow cooker.
2. Drop peanut butter, 1 tsp at a time, into slow cooker. Stir.
3. Add apple wedges.
4. Cover. Cook on low 5 hours.
5. Stir well.
6. Cover. Then cook 1 more hour on low.
7. Serve 1/3 cup warm mixture over ice cream/gelato/Kroger brownie bites/top-less muffins...whatever.

I hope this reaches you before your Thanksgiving grocery-gettin trek to the supermarket, but if not, there's always next weekend!


  1. You don't like turkey??? And if it's dried out, it's overcooked. So yeah, that's not good. Happy turkey day anyway, lol!

  2. Thank you for the acorn squash recipe. Since we've been doing VB6 (vegan before 6) it's been hard to keep up the different choices of veggies. I've been wanting to experiment with new ones I've never tried (note to self: share the awesome butternut squash soup recipe we've made twice). So yeah, thank you.

    I for one can't get enough of turkey. I love it. I miss my mom's turkey BUT Mike's mother's turkey is amazingly close to my mothers, only she doesn't stuff the bird, and i get dressing instead of stuffing - which is just as delicious but am I right in saying that you just always want what your momma made as a kid? PS Mike's dad also smokes a turkey each year. The family always raves about it, and it's tasty but I don't' really LOVE smoked meat. So I always pat his mom on the back and say... "I love yours more!" its the truth and gets me mega points!!!

    I am going to be a Acorn Squash maven after this!! :) ox

  3. Sound wondefful, but do you really have three crockpots? That ia Girl-Scout-prepared. A very happy non-turkey day to you all! Webb


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