Talk Turkey To Me

Holiday Turkey

I have a confession to make. I have never, ever baked a turkey all by myself.

Want to know something else? I have always been deathly afraid of baking a turkey all by myself for fear that it wouldn’t turn out.

So silly.

Luckily, not everyone shared in my death by turkey fears and we’ve always had turkey for the Holidays. It just sort of magically appeared each year. Holidays with my mom typically meant my grandmother was tasked with turkey duty while Holidays with my dad could mean ordering a fried turkey or having Piccadilly do all the work (not joking- I’ve had Piccadilly many a Thanksgiving).As newlyweds, one year Brian took on role of turkey task master and you’d think that if he could’ve conquered the ole’ turkey, I would’ve built some confidence.

how to make a holiday turkey

But no.

Not until this year, 4 years of marriage later, did I try my hand a baking a turkey. And you guys, it wasn’t hard at all!

I have no idea why I was terrified or why I thought turkey baking was a day long process. I’m pretty sure somewhere along the way someone complained about it and therefore establishing the ridiculous fears I had over turkey time. But I stand before you today as queen of the turkey!

Ok, ok. We don’t have to take it that far. We’ll just say that I tackled the turkey and I did not die. And….the turkey was quite edible. Delicious even.

Could’ve been a little juicier but I think I know to inject more the next time.

I thought it would be fun to share a little behind the scenes of a glamour turkey.

how to bake a holiday turkey

When we shot the Holiday cover for the Baton Rouge Junior League magazine, our turkey looked like this: But friends, it doesn’t just pop out of the oven looking like that.

In fact, it comes out of the oven looking like this:

OXO turkey before

In an ugly foil container.

And I don’t know about your turkey transporting skills, but for me and my amateurish turkey ways, the removal of the turkey from the foil onto the serving platter was enough to give me heart palpitations. The turkey is hot (duh- it just baked for 2 ½ hours). It’s juicy (duh- you injected it with about a cup of butter marinade). But most problematic- the darn thing is heavy!

Enter OXO’s Turkey Lifter.

OXO Turkey Lifter

Do you hear angels singing? You should.

oxo turkey lifter

With its durable handle knob thing and fork like pokers, this baby is going to relieve you of your turkey transferring fears. The turkey will still be hot, juicy and heavy but it’s going to keep you from having to physically grab that turkey, or worse, attempt using a flimsy spatula like I would’ve tried to do. It’s like an extra hand- a really sturdy silicone coated one at that. OXO is sort of known for developing tools (I call them my gadgets) to make your life easier and the Turkey Lifter is no exception. For people, like myself, with unrational fears of moving a turkey from its beloved baking pan, the lifter is a no brainer. I’m also a fan of the little built in stand on the all new baster. No touching the counter and dripping everywhere when you lie it down.

And I know what you’re thinking. Yeah, yeah, good for you, you have a box full of “gadgets” to make your turkey lovely and I’ve got none.

OXO gift basket

And you’d be wrong!

I’m delighted to share that my friends at OXO want you to have their turkey tools just as much as I want you to have some new turkey tools! Free turkey tools!

Gobble Gobble, tell me more!!!

Simply enter below and the OXO team will choose not one, but two random people to send turkey treats right to your doorstep.

Move over Easter Bunny…..the Thanksgiving Gobble squad is ready for Operation Turkey Takedown.

Do you see what has happened here? I’ve baked one turkey and now I’m tossing out turkey lingo like I know what I’m talking about.

Next Monday, I’ll share the Spicy Apple Turkey recipe along with a Bourbon Gravy that’ll change your life.

Have a great weekend!

Holiday Turkey

Table scape photos: Kaela Rodehorst

This is a sponsored post on behalf of OXO. All opinions are my own. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet Potato Souffle

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

As a child, I grew up requesting my mama’s “sweet potato boats”. Basically a twice baked sweet potato, served in the skin. She would top with toasted marshmallows and a cinnamon sugar streusal. It’s still my favorite to this day.

Making them on my own sure does make me feel grown up! I ditched the “boats” and went with individual dishes from Sur la table. {Dear Santa, Sur la table is my favorite}.

One day, I’ll have that mom of mine guest post and share her recipe with you.

Hope you’ve had a wonderful day!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

Pumpkin 4

Today, I’m over at Mixing Mavens whipping up something yummy for Thanksgiving.

And of course, I’m sharing it here as well!

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Ingredients

1 package (18.25 ounces) spice cake mix

1 egg

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter; stir until mixture is well blended (it will still be a dry consistency).

Press into the bottom of a 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1 inch jellyroll pan.

In another large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, 2 eggs, and salt; beat until smooth.

Then do this:

Once poured over the crust, sprinkle-sprinkle-sprinkle the pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Cut into 1 1/2-inch bars and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Add a dollop of cool whip, and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar because, well, just because!

ENJOY!!

2 days until Thanksgiving………you ready??

 

 

Thankful

Thankful 3

It’s the first day of November, and the reminder that Thanksgiving is near.

And being thankful.

Originally, I thought I’d do a post a day throughout the entire month of November with something for which I was thankful. But when I sat down to think of all the things I was thankful for, I found myself being a mixture of profound and silly.

Thankful for Fall weather because I can wear my comfortable knee boots with dresses.

Really, Aimee? That’s what you’re thankful for? The short answer is yes, the “but wait, there’s more” answer is of course more elaborate.

Today, I’m focusing on the four things I am most thankful for.

I am thankful for my faith.

image via

I have had the priviledge of growing up in a Catholic school (before transferring to a public, country school- story for another post), then graduating from a private Christian college.  I know the value of a strong faith foundation and relationship with the Lord,  and seek to create a marriage built on those same principles.

I am thankful for having married my soul mate.

image via

Sometimes I wish I had figured things out and gotten this show on the road sooner. Life…..love….marriage…..all that good stuff. But the bottom line is that I’m thankful to have had a second opportunity to get it right.  If you had told me 7 years ago when I first dated Brian I’d marry him one day- I would’ve laughed at you. But now, here we are and I couldn’t be more thankful for sharing my life with him.

I am thankful for my family.

image via

I used to spend more time than I would like to admit comparing and wishing for a family other than my own. I think it’s easier to believe that some families have it all together, and that things are as perfect as their perfectly manicured lawns. What I’ve learned with age however, is that every family has faults, skeletons, and things that they’d probably want to trade….with you.

I am thankful for opportunity.

image  via

Part of the focus of this blog is me letting go of the life I thought I was supposed to live, and learning to live the life I am meant to live. It’s the realization that a closed door often means an opened window. And that opened window allows you to breathe in the fresh air you didn’t know you were destined to breathe.  It’s a work in progress for me, because I’m the type of person that dwells on “remember when….” but each day I’m learning, and each day I am thankful to become one step closer to figuring it all out.

So there you have it. My ode to this first day of November and the top 4 things I am most thankful for. There are so many, many other things I am thankful for and I’ll talk about them later in the month (friendships, health, my Lucy) but I needed to narrow it down, and I needed to be real with what’s important.

And here’s an image I spotted on Pinterest that I’m thinking of working into my Fall decor.

I think it would be fun to compare each day what the husband and I are both thankful for. I can see all those little tags decoupaged onto wood and gracing my mantle afterwards.

Hhhmmm…..I think you might see a “Thankful Tree” soon.

Happy November, what are you most thankful for?