Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Preparing For Thanksgiving...

Happy day before Thanksgiving! I worked most of the day today continuing my Thanksgiving dinner preparation. I made a double batch of my Cream of Mushroom Soup today and put my Green Bean Casserole together. I make it much the same way I used to (you know the kind that uses the red and white cans of soup). My cream of mushroom soup is excellent and unbelievably good. I made it even thicker and creamier today by adding in a few ounces of cream cheese and about 1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese while it was simmering. It is so very easy to make. For my green bean casserole, in addition to 2 pounds of cooked French green beans, I added almost all of the Cream of Mushroom Soup except for about 1 cup that I reserved to use to make gravy with. I also added about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to my green bean casserole. 

I debated how to handle the "French fried onion" part of that casserole. Last year I added caramelized (soft) cooked onions to mine and had planned to do that again this year and maybe make some of my Oven Fried Onion Rings to put on top for crunch. I scrapped that idea and decided to go a different direction with the onions. I thinly sliced a large sweet onion and separated into rings. I lightly drizzled them with olive oil and tossed around just to very lightly coat. I seasoned them well with sea salt and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet to roast at 375 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes and kept checking on them and tossing them occasionally. I will admit, I burned my first batch because I didn't watch them closely enough. The 2nd batch turned out AMAZING! As they began to brown, I turned the oven down to 275 degrees for another 10 minutes or so and then turned the oven off and allowed them to continue drying out and crisping in the oven. They are golden and crisp as the canned kind only these don't have any breading on them. Nothing but onions, salt and a bit of oil and their flavor is amazing. I stirred some into the casserole and have reserved a bunch to scatter on top about 5 minutes before the green casserole finishes baking (just like you do with the store bought version). 

I also made my Sweet Potato Casserole without using sugar this time. I added some Swerve, eggs, cream, butter and cinnamon and whipped it until velvety smooth. I'll top it with toasted pecans near the end of baking tomorrow. I'll make mashed red skin potatoes for the rest of the family and creamy mashed cauliflower for me. I'll finish putting together my squash casserole tomorrow. It's pre-prepped and can be put together quickly now. I purchased a carton of turkey bone broth to use to make the gravy with after reducing a bit and seasoning it and will add my cream of mushroom soup to give it richness and body. I'll make the stuffing/dressing tomorrow since I've already got the croutons made for it. I'm tired tonight but will get a few more odds and ends done before calling it a day. My turkey breast goes into the crock pot before I go to bed this evening to cook overnight and I'll put the whole turkey in the oven tomorrow morning. I love Thanksgiving and will be glad when I can finally sit down and enjoy it all tomorrow. I snapped a few photos of today's accomplishments below. Enjoy!

These onions are cracker-crisp and oven roasting brought out their natural sweetness
The beginnings of gravy
Pffffft...who said that grain-free stuffing/dressing couldn't include BREAD?
Awaiting buttery sweetened cinnamon toasted pecan topping to be added tomorrow!


CyberSis said...


Thanks so much for figuring out the ONIONS ... wow, can't wait to try that one! Also the organic bone stock! Awesome ... will have to keep an eye peeled for that.

You have prepared a fabulous and festive dinner. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. You'll really be able to relax and enjoy yourself because of all the *hard work* you put into your feast ahead of time. Bon appetit! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

I am looking forward to enjoying tomorrow. The bulk of the prep work is behind me now. I'm going to switch my crock pot over to low now (it's 2:00 am) and get to sleep. I put the turkey breast in at 12:30 a.m. to cook all night. I'll put the whole turkey in the oven tomorrow (technically today).

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with lots of good food. :-)

LeighZ said...

Just wanted to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. I am truly thankful for your recipes and this website. I have used many of your recipes and suggestions this past year and my family has loved everything. How wonderful it is to have such a resource so easily accessible and at no cost. Many thanks from our house to yours!

M.Caker said...

Hi Gourmet Girl. I experimented today too. I've made your mushroom soup before and loved it so today I made a double batch and used it in the string bean casserole. Then I wanted to recreate the onions if I could so I dredged the onions in garbanzo bean flower and cooked them in some coconut oil. They came out fantastic. I also made your cranberry sauce. What bread recipe did you use for your stuffing, it looks great. Thanks for helping to make my Thanksgiving so great. Hope you had a great day

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much M Caker. So happy you had a nice Thanksgiving. I used my "stuffing bread recipe" to make the stuffing. Here's the link to the recipe.

Hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi LeighZ,

Thanks so much. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying my recipes. I appreciate you letting me know. You are so very welcome. :-)