I can’t believe the holidays are right on our doorstep. This is my favorite time of year. Food, family, friends, pumpkin spice, I love everything about this time of year! We've had lots of activity here in The Oaks over the past month. I would like to welcome our newest residents, The Harris Family to The Bella Sorrento! The Sunrise Riviera is also now sold and its new owner will be moving in soon. It’s not too late to pick out your new home and move in just in time to set up the Christmas tree! How about a kitchen designed for a six-foot-wide professional refrigerator? I know I would LOVE to have that to use to defrost the turkey this year! You can get it in The Oaks! Home theater for the big game? We’ve got it. Spacious open floor plans for entertaining? Got that too!
I’m not sure about your family, but in my family, we always like to do potluck style meals. Everyone pitches in and brings a different dish so no single person is left with the task of doing it all! A few years ago I was brave enough to volunteer to make the turkey. I have since been assigned this task every year! Maybe it was the brine I used or maybe it is just that no one else wants to do it, but they all said it was the best turkey they’d ever had! I will assume it was just that good!
Below are a few of my favorite family recipes for the holidays. Please feel free to enjoy and share with me some of your favorite family recipes. Give me a call today to see what we have ready for immediate move in or let’s talk about what we can custom build and have ready for you next Spring!
WHITNEY’S FAVORITE HOLIDAY RECIPES
AUNT DONNA'S CRANBERRY SALAD
2 c. sugar
2 c. water
1 package fresh cranberries
1 package strawberry jello
2 c marshmellows
2 c granny smith apples
2 c celery
1 c pecans
Cook sugar, water adn cranberries together until berries are done (teh berries will begin to plump up and split open). Dissolve Jello into hot mixture. Stir marshmellows into hot mixture to melt. Let cool completely. Chop apples, celery and pecans; add to cranberry mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Stir and pour into serving bowl.
NANA'S SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
8 baked sweet potatoes
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 c water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and mash sweet potatotes. Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c melted butter
1 c light brown sugar
Mix together topping ingredients and pour over sweet potatoes. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown .
WHITNEY'S ROASTED TURKEY WITH APPLE CIDER BRINE
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup kosher salt
• 1 bottle of apple cider or apple juice
Fill a large stock pot with 8 cups of water. Add the sugar and salt and allow the mixture to come to a full boil. Turn off heat and add apple cider. Allow mixture to cool. Place turkey in a food grade plastic bag (I use one of the large oven roasting turkey bags). Pour brine mixture over turkey. Add more water to fully cover turkey in brine liquid. Seal bag with a twist tie and place in a large roasting pan in the refrigerator to defrost. Marinate at least 24 hours or until fully defrosted. Turn turkey over half way through to make sure all parts of the turkey are fully marinated.
Turkey and Herb Butter:
• 1 whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
• 1 stick of softened butter
• Fresh or dried rosemary
• Salt and pepper
• 1 lemon
• 1 orange
• 1 onion
• 4 celery stalks
• 1 head of garlic
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove turkey from bag and discard brine. Rinse turkey under cool running water to remove excess salt. Rise inside cavity of turkey also. If too much salt is left your turkey drippings will be way too salty to use for gravy. Pat dry.
3. To prepare herb butter, stir together softened butter, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Feel free to add any other seasonings that you like. Set aside
4. Roughly chop lemon, orange, onion and celery. Cut end off head of garlic. Stuff all ingredients inside turkey. This is very flexible. You can add more or less of anything.
5. Rub herb butter all over the turkey including under the skin. Place turkey on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Cover pan with foil.
6. Roast turkey in pre-heated oven according to package directions or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove foil and roast uncovered until skin is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour longer. An instant read thermometer should read at least 165 degrees at thickest part of breast.
7. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Allow turkey to rest at least 15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute. If you carve too soon all the wonderful juices will run out.
8. Enjoy!! The pan drippings make a wonderful gravy!
***Another tip for a juicy turkey is to begin roasting breast side down and flip half way through. Occasionally I do this but flipping a hot turkey can be tricky. I use several large tongs and some extra help to get this done!
Here are are a few photos from our family's recent Thanksgiving celebrations!