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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving ~ The Menu

I can't believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  And I have yet to prep or bake anything!  Actually, now that I am sitting down and thinking about it, did my husband transfer the turkey to the refrigerator from the freezer earlier this week? (we have a fridge in the garage that I don't regularly look in) Hang on, now I've got to go check... He did, but it is frozen solid!! Now what?  Okay, I will deal with this in a minute.  I have had major epigastric and back pain since Sunday, which worsens when I eat, so I am guessing gallbladder.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday, which won't get here soon enough.  For now, very bland diet and a lot of praying that it goes away.  My plan for today is not to eat at all so that I feel like at least baking my pies.  The husband can do the rest.  Wish us luck!

This year our menu is pretty basic.  #1. I'm not feeling great.  #2. It's just us.  Since we just moved to Wyoming we don't even want to think about driving the long distance to KY and don't really feel like forking out several grand for all six of us to fly, so we are staying put, but desperately missing our friends and family.

So, on to the menu:
Turkey. The husband is in charge of this and that poor bird is going to be insanely buttered and injected.  Poor guy...but I'm sure he will taste amazing!
Dressing.  I am using a new recipe this year from Paula Dean.  We shall see!
Green Bean Casserole.  A classic.  The one I learned to make at a young age thanks to my Aunt Sheila.
Mac and Cheese w/a cracker topping.  A must in our house.  Note to self: Get the recipe from my mother-in-law.
Whipped sweet potatoes with a toasted marshmallow topping.  Yum!
Homemade cranberry sauce.  Not out of a can this year folks.  I'm making the real deal!
Homemade yeast rolls.  My husband's cousin Amy just gave me the recipe this week.  They look amazing and I can't wait to try these!

Now, on to the desserts!
Pumpkin Pie ~ I am using a recipe from King Arthur Flour.
photo courtesy of

Apple Upside-Down Cake ~ Recipe also from King Arthur Flour.
photo courtesy of

Crisp Coconut and Chocolate Pie ~ Recipe from Martha Stewart's Collection.
photo courtesy of

I hope all of you, friends, family and loyal readers, have a Ridiculously Delicious Thanksgiving.  May God Bless each and every one of you!

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ The McKnight Family


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crock Pot Potato Soup

I love the fact that on the weekends I can chop up a few ingredients and throw them into a pot that will cook my dinner for me, allowing me to have a day to clean, play or even nap (yeah, right!).  The Crock-Pot, what a fabulous invention!  ....and this soup, well it was DELICIOUS!

What you need for this fabulous soup:
6 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart chicken broth
1/4 cup of butter, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
bread bowls (optional)
*1 cup heavy whipping cream
*1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

*wait to add these ingredients AFTER soup has finished cooking

Optional Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives

Making it:
1.  Wash, peel and cut up your potatoes and onion and put in your crock pot.
2.  Mince your garlic and add to the pot.
3.  Add broth, butter, salt and pepper to pot.
4.  Stir.
5.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
6.  After mixture has finished cooking, mash potatoes with potato masher.  (Soup will be lumpy)
7.  Add whipping cream and cheddar cheese and stir until blended.
8.  Place in bread bowl, if desired, and top with your favorite toppings!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

With winter in full force here in Wyoming, what better pie to warm up with than a good old fashion homemade Chicken Pot Pie!  My family was thrilled when they realized I had this bubbly dish of yumminess baking in the oven.  Definitely some good comfort food for these cold winter days!

What you need:
2 pie crusts (I use Pillsbury refrigerated crusts, two come in a pkg)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 small to medium Russet potatoes
2 carrots
1/2 can peas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 stalk of celery
1/4 cups of milk
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:
1.  Preheat oven to 425.
2.  Prepare crusts according to directions.
2.  Put chicken in a pot of boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.  In the mean time, peel your carrots and potatoes (I leave the skin on my potatoes) and cut up, along with the stalk of celery and add to the boiling chicken.  Boil for another 5-7 minutes until veggies are slightly tender.
3.  Remove the boiling pot from heat and drain.  Remove the chicken and cut up into pieces.
4.  Mix together the chicken, carrots, potatoes, celery, peas, chicken soup, milk, salt and pepper.
5.  After mixture is combined, place in the prepared pie plate.  Place second pie crust on top and pinch edges together.
6.  Cut slits in the top of the crust.
7.  Cook for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and mixture is bubbly.

*You may want to cover your crust edges the last 15-20 minutes of baking to avoid burnt edges!
Mixture combined and placed in pie plate with bottom crust

Add top crust, pinch edges together and cut slits in top crust

 Bake, Slice and Dig In!
just a little glimpse of our town today after a whole bunch of this white stuff got dumped on us during the night!  A little winter wonderland in Wyoming this weekend!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Butter

Yes, it is AMAZING! This was my first attempt at making Apple Butter and I just felt so domesticated once I had finished it, not to mention my house smelled absolutely fantastic for the entire day!  The recipe I used was adapted from Crystal, at Money Saving Mom and not only did she share an amazing recipe, but also free printable labels for your containers.  So, don't forget to jump over there when your done and print those off!

The most time consuming part of this process was peeling and coring the apples.  Luckily my husband jumped in to core and cut the apples as I was peeling them, so this greatly sped up the process.  So, if you have an extra set of hands around, grab them and have them join in on the fun!  Plus, my philosophy is, if the recipe flops, and you had a helper, you can always put the blame on them!! Just kidding!  ;)

So here we go!

The ingredients:
  • 6 pounds of large Red Delicious Apples, however any type will work.
  • 3 Tablespoons vanilla extract.  
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon 
Making it:
Peel, core, and slice apples in fourths. Put them in the crockpot with the vanilla and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir every few hours. Once apples are very, very tender, mash with a potato masher and stir in sugar and spices. Cook on low for another 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
Cool and pour into jars or an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.