Friday, November 23, 2007

Healthy Holidays!

Like millions of women around the country, I spent hours in the kitchen yesterday. (Unlike billions of women around the world, I only do that a few times a year. Hubby is the cook in our home, and God bless him!)

I roasted a turkey, mashed potatoes, cooked cranberries and...drum roll please...made stuffing from scratch with herb bread I made myself (in the bread machine) and for the first time EVER I made good gravy. Yummm. Oh, and I made a low-sugar gingerbread. Recipes, you ask? But of course.

To my regular 1/2 wheat 1/2 white (King Arthur Bread Flour) bread recipe, I added:

1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small handful of rosemary from my garden
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

I let the bread get stale for a couple of days, cut it into cubes, then added:
more sage (maybe a teaspoon?)
more thyme (ditto)
more onion powder (maybe 1/2 teaspoon?)

I sauteed a couple of onions and celery stalks in 2 sticks of butter (yep, 2 whole sticks--for me it's just not Thanksgiving without butter--however, you could add less butter and more broth), and added that to all the dry stuff. Then I added about 2-3 cups of turkey/chicken broth (I always cook the turkey giblets mixed with some chicken broth on top of the stove for extra broth).

We always stuff our bird (or "stuffing delivery system" as we call it) and cook it to an internal temp of at least 180-190 degrees, and every year I worry we're going to die of turkey poisoning, but so far, so good. This year I was even brave enough not to cook it until it was dry as dust. (Oh--we also always get a Red Bird turkey and brine it overnight, which helps greatly with the dry thing.)

1 bag of cranberries
about 2/3-3/4 cup of crystalized fructose (fruit sugar)
1/2 cup grape juice
1/2 cup water
Lower sugar, still kind of tart, but quite good!

1/4-1/3 cup canola oil
1 container of baby food prunes (maybe 1/4 cup?)
1 egg
1/2 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Beat the wet ingredients together for about a minute. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into a pan and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. My gingerbread was kind of flat, so I'll try adding more baking powder next time; the wheat flour and molasses are pretty heavy ingredients, so more leavening might be a good idea.

Served with whipped cream made with heavy whipping cream and 2 packets of Splenda. Even Hubby liked it!!

I wish I could give you a recipe for the gravy, but I just kept adding stuff (flour, butter, turkey drippings, chicken broth, milk, salt & pepper) until it worked. The trick was that this year I had some great pan drippings, so the gravy tasted like turkey and not like weak chicken broth.

And for lunch today? Turkey-lettuce wraps with mayo (again mayo is more of must for me than bread, especially because I will be having more stuffing for dinner tonight).


Ello said...

Oh I am so going to try that gingerbread recipe! I adore gingerbread! That dinner sounded fantastic! Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And now that I have eaten more than a reasonable person should be allowed to eat in a 24 hour period, let the dieting begin!!

Barrie said...

Thank you for the recipes. And I thought I made stuffing from scratch because I tore the bread up. It never occurred to me to actually bake the bread first! I might try that next year. (I have a bread machine too.)

iyan and egusi soup: said...

thanks for sharing these recipes carleen. looks like you had a delicious thanksgiving!

Sherry said...

that all sounded sinfully..good for you!!!
The gingerbread sounds delicious..I'm with gingerbread!!!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Here's the gravy trick--follow the recipe on a box of Argo cornstarch. But always double it or triple it. Gravy is my favorite part of the whole meal. Everything else on the plate is just the means to get gravy into my mouth.

Sassy Sistah said...

Oh, it all sounds delicious, Carleen! I'm going to try that gingerbread too - I love gingerbread and haven't made any for a long time! I'm so glad you had a good Thanksgiving!

Mel said...

Sound delicious.

"every year I worry we're going to die of turkey poisoning, but so far, so good. "

Lol. I think that's why I avoid cooking it that way. I'd hate to kill my family off.

Carleen Brice said...

Ello, no dieting until after New Year's! (Though I did go off sugar last year on Dec. 15th)

Barrie, Hey, if you tore up bread, that's from scratch! It was Hubby's idea to bake the herb bread.

I&ES, We had a lovely Thanksgiving. Sounds like you did too. I'm glad!

Sherry, Who knew gingerbread was so popular?! Let me know what you think of the recipe.

Ah, Judy, you are now my Gravy Guru!

Sassy, Thanks and same to you!

Mel, Thanks for stopping by. Stuffing the bird makes for damn good dressing, but every year I worry.

Sustenance Scout said...

You all crack me up. I agree with Judy though I cheated on the gravy this year due to a lack of pan drippings. Next time I'll find a way with you in mind, Judy!

Great recipes, Carleen! My Christmas treat besides egg nog (and I've just discovered Silk egg nogg; lactose-free and 0g fat!!) is gingerbread cookies and peppermint tea. Yumola. K.

Earth Angel said...

Sounds delicious. We're on the same page with the stuffing. :-> Every year I have to remind myself, if its seems like you're putting in too much butter, it's probably just right. I used two whole sticks of butter in my celery and onions too. I didn't want to be accused of trying to make it "healthy" and ending up with it gummy again. Some things just can't be made lowfat. I've never made stuffing from just-made bread. And fresh from the garden herbs too! You go!