I actually made some good progress this week, knocking off a Stuffed Turkey....Happy Thanksgiving Canadians...and two fantasy theme dishes. I'm still working everyday, but hubbie took most of the week off and thanks to turkey leftovers the week wasn't as hectic. I'm working on our mayor's re-election campaign, so this routine will come to an end after election day in 10 days. Then I'd better start job-searching again, but I'm really missing my "home-time", but at least now I seem to really take advantage of any time I have at home, no more wasted hours.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a recipe for ham and mushroom stuffing and I set it aside for our thanksgiving meal.
Ham and mushroom stuffing:
12oz/375g smoked ham
1lb/500g white mushrooms
1 1/3 cups minced celery
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch ground clove
1 turkey liver, minced
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh thyme
6 cups cubed bread (1/2 inch/1cm)
1/2 cup chicken stock
In a food processor, mince ham and set aside.
Finely chop half the mushrooms and slice the rest. Set aside.
In a skillet, melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat and add celery, shallots, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Fry until celery is softened. Add finely chopped mushrooms, liver and sherry, cooking until mushrooms are wilted and mixture is moist, but no liquid remains. Mix with ham.
In the skillet, melt remaining 2 tbsp butter and fry sliced mushrooms over high heat until lightly browned. Add to ham mixture, with parsley and thyme. Mix well. Fold in bread. Beat egg with stock and mix into stuffing.
Stuff turkey with stuffing and place remainder in a covered casserole dish. Cook extra stuffing in oven with turkey during last 45 minutes.
I basted my turkey with a mix of melted butter and sherry during the cooking and made a gravy using the remaining pan juices, flour and my homemade chicken stock. Once again, excuse the messy looking turkey photo, my husband turned the turkey over and tried to start carving before I'd taken the pretty picture.
VAMPIRE STAKED STEAK
I didn't want to serve a steak with plain old ketchup, which would give the right "blood" look. So I opted to make my own ketchup. Its very tasty, much better than store bought stuff and doesn't have the artificial ingredients listed in some ketchup varieties.
I found the recipe on the blog Once Upon a Plate, I've made a number of her recipes now and just love the beautiful images.
My ketchup was sweetened with honey, but she lists various other options. I also used the whey from the natural yogurt, which is funny, because I usually use that very same technique, but discard the whey liquid and use the thickened yogurt for desserts or I love to use the thickened plain yogurt for breakfast with a little maple syrup mixed in.
Since I started this challenge, I've always had this one at the back of my mind and imagined a pizza sized cookie with icing decorations. So that's what I did!!!
I was making a batch of plain sugar cookies (recipe to follow) and used an upturned bowl to cut out the large cookie. It took considerably longer than normal to bake, I think it was in there for about 25 minutes, but it worked pretty well, I also made it a little thicker as I didn't want the bigger cookie breaking apart.
I made up a batch of royal icing, using meringue powder, icing sugar and water and spread that on the cooled cookie. When the icing had hardened, I painted the green swirly bits and the red outline with food colouring and used various coloured icings to make the border and "stars". I also thought it needed a little sparkle, some "pixie dust" and sprinkled some decorating sugar in places. I think it came out pretty well compared to the game version (above), although my sons desperately wanted to add dinosaur sprinkles.
I made a big batch of the cookie dough, cut out the cookies and froze them between layers over parchment paper on a tray in my freezer. When I want to make cookies again, I just lift a parchment layer and bake from frozen, it works brilliantly and the kids get to have cookies to decorate in no time. Also check out their efforts below the mystical pizza, we have such fun decorating cookies and I just LOVE cleaning up sprinkles for a few days, its amazing how far they travel.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
With an electric beater, beat butter, and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and beat till well blended.
Divide dough as needed and roll out on a floured board (flour hands & rolling pin too) to about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick. Cut out cookie shapes and repeat until all dough is used. Bake on a parchment lined baking tray at 300 F for 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before icing and decorating.
Cafe World Cookbook Additions
The limited time items are still here so I'll them to my list now, they are In-Flight Meal and Red Burrito. I'm not unlocking the catering order items so they will not be added to my list now.
Up Next: Mmm, I haven't planned my next week's meals yet, so we'll just wait and see.
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