We drove from San Diego to San Jose on Thanksgiving day to avoid traffic and moved dinner to Friday. My mom had already bought a 14-lb turkey and defrosted it in the fridge 2 days before. I decided to keep the recipe simple and do a rosemary butter stuffed turkey seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. We went to three grocery stores to get rosemary but all of them ran out. I was getting a bit nervous that my recipe needed substitution for the rosemary. Fortunately our neighbor had a rosemary bush in his backyard and was kind enough to let us take as much as we needed. It was nice to get fresh rosemary! After four hours of basting, checking, and flipping, the turkey turned out very moist and delicious. I also made gravy using the neck, heart, and gizzard, fresh cranberry sauce, apple with bacon stuffing, mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans for side dishes. My brother in law added an excellent side dish of mac and cheese topped with bacon. Everyone gobbled up their food within 15 minutes. We ended the night with a pumpkin roll, vanilla ice cream, and dessert wine. It was a successful Thanksgiving dinner for 13 people and no leftover. I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as I did!
12-14 lb turkey (neck, heart, and gizzard reserved for gravy)
2 sticks salted butter
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves (save the sprigs)
2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 oranges (halved)
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator before roasting, clean, and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Combine the butter and rosemary in a food processor and process until smooth.
Use a butter knife, gently separate the skin from the meat. Stuff the mixed rosemary and butter evenly underneath the turkey’s skin. Fill the cavity with the orange halves and rosemary sprigs.
Combine the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Brush the entire turkey with the mixture.
Place turkey in a roasting pan, breast up, and roast for 4 hours. Baste every 45 minutes so the skin will not dry out. Flip the turkey at 1.5 hrs so it can cook evenly, and flip it again at 3 hrs. Roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh reads 170˚ F.
Transfer the turkey to a platter. Tent it very loosely with foil, and let it rest for at least 45 minutes before serving.
It was another beautiful day in sunny San Diego. Looking outside my window, I realized autumn is here and the leaves have changed to a range of red to yellow color. My favorite things in autumn are pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream from Baskin Robbins, apple cider, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with the family, and Black Friday. My husband loves pumpkin pie, and I saw him eyeing it at Costco today. It would be hard for two people to finish the Costco pumpkin pie. You would end up sharing half of the pie with your co-workers. One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake so I decided to make pumpkin cheesecake, a compromise between my husband and me. Although I purposely made this cheesecake for two people, you can always scale the ingredients to serve 8-12 people for Thanksgiving dinner or any other occasions. When serving the cheesecake, don’t forget to add a touch of whip cream.
1/3 cup (or 1/2 cup if you like a thicker crust) graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsps melted salted butter
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
8 oz pureed pumpkin
3 tbsps sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.
Press down flat into a 4-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, egg, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Make sure you you blend all the ingredients very well otherwise your cheesecake will turn out chunky. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust and bake for 1 hour. Notice how smooth the consistency is.
Remove from the oven and let sit it for 15 minutes. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.