The Best Perfect Pumpkin Pie Ever

No, I’m not bragging.  : )

Unbaked pie crust
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Set the pie plate aside. In a large bowl, whisk all the other ingredients together, pour into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40-45 more minutes or until a knife inserted about one inch from the crust comes out clean. Set on a rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.

Divorce Court Turkey

Why the odd name?  My better half informed me I may change or update any recipe for anything except this one for our Thanksgiving Meal. If I prepare a turkey for other times I can experiment to my heart’s desire, but as hubby requests, “Please don’t mess with perfection.” And so it is.

1 whole turkey (12-16 pounds) rinsed, innards removed & patted dry
1 package Goya Sazon (or 1 Tbsp. McCormick’s Seasoned Salt)
Dusting – about 2 tsp.of Goya Adobo (or any other brand of adobo)
Dusting – aout 2 tsp. – poultry seasoning
Lots of minced garlic (actually, about 2 really big heaping table spoons)
Dusting of fresh black pepper
Two 14 oz. cans turkey or chicken broth – you may not need both

Begin your prep the night before: use innards for whatever you wish, I don’t add them to my stuffing but that’s a personal preference. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and with a very sharp knife, make slits/gashes all over then sprinkle on everything up to the broth. With your hands (I use gloves) rub everything in and around the turkey. Cover loosely with foil and place in fridge overnight.

Next day, thirty minutes before you will be placing bird in the oven, preheat oven to 325 degrees, place oven rack on lowest possible position. Pour1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven, covered, and cook for at least one hour before you begin checking it and basting it all over. Also check the drippings in the pan; if getting low, add water one cup at a time; adding more broth will only make it your gravy salty. You’ll need to check & baste every thirty minutes or so. Trust me on this, if you don’t baste that bird all over on a continuous schedule then you will have a very dry dinner.

Cooking time is approximately 30 minutes per pound, but please check a turkey timetable for exact times. Once completely cooked, you can leave it on the counter for 30-45 minutes while it settles, then you can put the stuffing and whatevers into the oven for heating up.

Enjoy your day!

Sweet Kugel

Sweet noodle Kugel is such a versatile dish – you can eat it with a meal or afterward with coffee or tea. The bonus is it’s good warm or cold.

1/2 pound (half a bag) broad egg noodles
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter
1/2 pound cottage cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 and take out a 1-quart, lightly greased casserole dish.

Cook the noodles according to the package.  Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Drain, but don’t rinse the noodles and place back into the pot. Combine the rest of the ingredients up to the graham cracker crumbs, then fold in the egg whites. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top. Place in oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Company Breakfast (a.k.a. Holiday Casserole)

Great on weekend mornings and holidays. This makes a good-sized casserole, so halve it if needed. Your guests may possibly stay longer after tasting.

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
12 slices white or egg-type bread
1/2 lb. pre-cooked deli type ham – diced
1 lb. bacon
1-1/2 lb. Swiss cheese – grated
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large glass baking dish.

Pull the bread apart and lay on bottom of the dish. Fry the bacon, drain, crumble, and place on top of bread. Distribute the ham over the bacon.

Saute the veggies in the melted butter until golden and distribute over the meat. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the veggies.

In a large bowl, whisk/beat the eggs, milk and nutmeg; slowly and evenly pour over top of casserole, press down gently but firmly with the back of a large spoon to make sure everything is moistened. Cover and refrigerate this for at least 30 minutes to set – you can even refrigerate overnight but this is really not necessary.

Bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

The Best Apple Pie

This will also become your best apple pie recipe. Just wait till you taste it!

2 unbaked pie crusts
About 6 med-large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chunked
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch (1/8 tsp.) kosher salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch or flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch (1/8 tsp.) nutmeg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, diced
1 Tbsp. milk or half-n-half
1 Tbsp. sugar

Place one of the pie crusts in your pie plate and set aside. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the apples, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla – toss to combine and place into the pie crust, dot the 2 Tbsp. butter on top. Place your other crust on top, seal and flute the edges, then make some slits in the top for venting purposes. Brush the milk over the crust top and sprinkle the sugar all over the top.

Place the pie on the a sheet pan for spillage, and bake for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes more, or until golden brown and bubbling through the vents. Cool for about a half an hour before serving.

Lemony-Garlic Chicken

Delicious fresh from the oven and just as delicious served cold.

8-12 pieces chicken, bone-in, skin on (whatever pieces you want)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, separated, peeled & sliced
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lemons, sliced very thinly
2 Tbsp. coarse salt

Into a bowl large enough to hold all the chicken pieces, place the rinsed and patted dry chicken. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk/mix together all the other ingredients up to the salt then pour over the chicken and carefully mix and incorporate all around the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge for four hours or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and take the bowl out of the fridge. Get 1 or 2 rimmed sheet pans ready with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Drain the chicken and place the pieces on the sheet pans and sprinkle each pan of chicken with 1 Tbsp. of the salt. Let sit for 30 minutes while oven preheats.

Cook for about 45 minutes or until done, alternating pans half way during cooking time. Serve fresh from the oven or cool, refrigerate and serve cold.

My Thanksgiving Meal – 2010

Here is our 2010 Thanksgiving Meal.  We don’t watch sports on this day, instead we hang, chat, nibble, watch the Macy’s Parade, and I begin to play holiday music.  Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and blessed be!

Divorce Court Turkey 


Mashed potatoes

All American Bread Stuffing

Corn and broccoli

Spanish Rice & Beans

Cranberry Sauce – (or use the canned)

Creamy Carrot Puree

Chocolate Cream Pie

Apple Pie


What would the cold weather season be without some delicious gingerbread? Whenever I smell this baking it takes me back to school days when I’d kick through the fallen leaves walking home from the bus stop.

1 cup water
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 large or extra large eggs at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 7 x 11 or 9 x 9 baking pan. Take the eggs and butter out of the fridge and set on the counter for 20-30 minutes while your oven preheats.

Boil the cup of water then stir in the baking soda, set aside. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk all the dry ingredients together – up to the butter. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the molasses and beat well, then add the eggs one at a time beating well after each. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat low, and while beating low add the hot water very slowly and continue beating on medium for about 10 – 15 more seconds. With a spatula mix up everything from the bottom of the bowl, blend it together well with just a few turns and spread into the pan.

Place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack.

Party Sausages

These should be called “The Disappearing Party Sausage” because that’s just what will happen once you bring these out!

2 lbs. fully cooked mini smoked sausages (Perhaps Hillshire Farms)
1 8oz. bottle French or Catalina dressing
1 8oz. bottle Russian or Thousand Island dressing
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausages – this will take about 15 minutes; drain and set sausages aside in a bowl or something.

In same skillet, place all other ingredients and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves – this will take about 2 minutes. Add the sausages back to pan, cover, and keep heat on low (not simmer or boil) and cook for 1 hour.

Cheese Sauce

A contribution from my sister Sandy who uses this as a sauce for broccoli and cauliflower all through the Autumn & Winter months. It’s almost difficult to eat broccoli without it; it’s unthinkable at Thanksgiving!

2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
3 cups milk
2+ cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, melt the butter then add the flour stirring constantly for at least 1 full minute. Add salt & pepper to taste (this is approximately 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper). While still stirring, slowly add the milk and keep stirring until the sauce thickens – may take a couple of minutes. Then add the cheese – we just grab 2 heaping handfuls of the shredded cheddar and add it to the pot. Keep stirring & heating until thick. Pour into something like a gravy boat. Serve.