Cuban Thanksgiving Turkey

You’ll Need:

1 (12-14 pound) turkey, fresh or thawed
Salt and fresh ground pepper
8 tablespoons unsalted butter

Marinade
1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup lime juice

Procedures : The day before, remove the giblets and any lumps of fat from the turkey cavities. Wash the turkey well and blot dry. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Loosen the turkey skin from the meat. To do so, start at the neck and tunnel your fingers, then whole hand, under the skin to separate the skin from the breast meat. Slide your hand down to loosen the skin over the thighs, drumsticks and back. Work carefully so as not to tear the skin.

Prepare the marinade. Mash the garlic and salt to a paste in a mortar with a pestle. Pound in the pepper, cumin, and oregano and last of all the lime juice or sour orange juice. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, puree the ingredients in a blender. Add 3 tablespoons marinade to the main cavity and 1 tablespoon to the neck cavity. Place the remaining marinade under the skin. Work over a roasting pan to catch any runoff from the marinade. Place the bird in a large plastic bag with any excess marinade. Marinate the turkey overnight in the refrigerator, turning several times.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Thinly slice the butter and place half of the slices under the skin. Melt remaining butter. Truss the turkey and place it, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the skin of the bird with some melted butter. Loosely drape a large piece of cheesecloth over the skin, then pour the remaining butter and marinade over the cheesecloth. Roast the bird for 2 hours. Baste with the juices and melted butter that collect in the pan. Lift the cheesecloth from time to time to keep it from sticking to the bird. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for 1 hour. Increase the heat to 400 degrees F and remove the cheesecloth from the turkey. Roast 15-20 minutes, basting frequently.

When cooked, the skin will be golden and the leg juices will run clear when pricked with a fork. The internal temperature should be 185 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and the drumstick should feel loose when wiggled.

Transfer the turkey to a platter or cutting board. Let stand for 15 minutes before carving. Strain the pan juices and serve in a gravy boat on the side

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Butterscotch Cream Cheese Dessert Bars

You’ll Need:

1 (10 ounce) package butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 ounces cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup chopped pecans

Procedures : Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butterscotch chips and butter over low heat. Remove from the heat. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and mix well. Reserve 2/3 cup mixture. Press the remainder firmly into the bottom of a buttered 13 x 9-inch ovenproof glass baking dish, making a uniform layer.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk, vanilla extract and egg and fold in the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan. Scatter the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, then chill.

Serve chilled

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Blueberry Crisp

You’ll Need:

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/3 cup cold butter
Half-and-half or light cream

Procedures : Place berries in 2-quart square baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle oat mixture over berries. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown and berries are tender. Serve warm with cream, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

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Baked Ham

You’ll Need:

1 cooked ham, half or whole
Ground cloves, to taste
1/2 cup brown sugar
Maraschino cherries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 apple
Pineapple rings

Procedures : Place cooked ham in pan. Rub in 1 tablespoon brown sugar and sprinkle with cloves. Pare and cut apple in eighths, place around and over ham. Sprinkle brown sugar over apples. Decorate with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. Cover and bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees F; baste frequently

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Banana Java Twinkie Supreme

You’ll Need:

12 Hostess Twinkies
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup coffee syrup
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bananas
1 can instant whipped cream
1 pre-made pie crust

Procedures : Mash Twinkies in bowl until desired consistency is reached. Peel bananas and puree in food processor. Add heavy cream and coffee syrup to bananas and mix in blender for an additional 30 seconds.

Spread approximately one-third of mashed Twinkies evenly on bottom of the pie crust. Pour one-third of banana mixture evenly over the layer of Twinkies; alternate layers until both mixtures have been used. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes; serve cold.

Before serving, add whipped cream generously to taste and sprinkle with nutmeg

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Day of the Dead Spicy Beef Tacos

You’ll Need:

# 10 taco shells
# 1 small lettuce
# 2 firm tomatoes
# 1lb.(450g) minced beef
# 1 tsp. plain flour
# 1 small green pepper
# one quarter pint of beef stock
# 1 medium onion
# 1-2 tsp chilli powder
# pinch of garlic powder
# 1 tbs. tomato puree
# pinch of salt
# sour cream for dressing

Procedures : # Skin and finely chop the onion then mix with the minced beef
# Gently fry the beef mixture until browned then stir in the flour and fry about a minute
# Stir in the stock, tomato puree and seasonings
# Dice and de-seed the green pepper then stir into the beef mixture
# Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
# Meanwhile wash and shred the lettuce and dice the tomato finely
# Divide the mince mixture between the taco shells, garnish with lettuce and tomato then top with a little sour cream and serv

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Princess Cake

You’ll Need:

3 egg yolks
1 egg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup potato flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 egg whites

Procedures : Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a deep round 8- or 9-inch springform pan.

In a small mixer bowl, mix 3 egg yolks with 1 whole egg. Add the 2/3 cup sugar. Beat at high speed of electric mixer until white and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often.

Sift together flour, 1/4 cup potato flour and baking powder. Stir into creamed mixture. Mix well. Wash beaters.

In another bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into flour mixture. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly near center. Cool on rack. Remove cake from pan when it has cooled 10 minutes. Continue to cool on rack.

Cream Filling
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatine
2 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons potato flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped

Soften gelatine in cold water. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons potato flour in top of double boiler. Stir in a little heavy cream until sugar and flour dissolve. Stir in 2 egg yolks, then remaining cream, until blended. Cook over simmering water until smooth and thick, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. stir in gelatine and vanilla extract until gelatine dissolves. Stir occasionally until completely cool, but not set, about one hour at room temperature. Fold into whipped cream.

Topping
1 (9 ounce) roll almond paste (marzipan)
Few drops green food coloring
Confectioners’ sugar

Place almond paste in a food processor with a steel knife. Add enough green food coloring to tint paste pale green. Process until a smooth ball forms. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper into a circle large enough to cover the top and sides of cake.

To assemble cake
Divide cake into 2 layers. Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. Roll almond paste topping loosely onto rolling pin, then drape over cake. Smooth down over sides and trim around base of cake. Use scraps of paste to re-roll and cut out small decorative shapes such as hearts and leaves. If desired, use small amounts of additional almond paste tinted pink for special cut-out shapes. Sprinkle cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate until serving time.

Serves 12

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Holloween Cat Poop Cookies

You’ll Need:

1/2 c Honey
2/3 c Butter, margarine, or lard
1 Egg
1 ts Vanilla extract -OR- peppermint extract
2 c Whole wheat flour
1/3 c Cocoa powder
Grape-nuts(tm) cereal

Gingerbread

1/4 c Honey
1/4 c Molasses
2/3 c Butter or margarine, or lard
1 Egg
2 1/3 c Whole wheat flour
Ginger, cinnamon, cloves – to taste (maybe 1/2 tsp each)
Grape-nuts(tm) cereal

Procedures : Mix-ins

Coconut; (tapeworms) – Chocolate chips – Butterscotch chips – Peanut butter chips – Spaghetti or ramen noodles – cooked – (roundworms) – Corn – Peanuts – dinner mints (“puffy pastel things”; * -find at Chinese restaurants) NOTE: “puffy pastel things are to look like the cat ate styrofoam packing pellets-

To make: microwave the honey till it bubbles (about 1 minute). Add the butter, (I’ve been told using lard makes for a more realistic texture and softer cookie) and the molasses, if any. Add the egg, mix well, then mix in all the other stuff. Add mix-ins of your choice to some or all of the batter.

Chill 1 hour in the freezer or several hours in the fridge. Roll dough logs of random length and the diameter of cat poops. Roll logs in grape- nuts and bake at 350?F till done (maybe 10 to 15 minutes but with my flaky oven you never know).

Serve in a disposable cat litter box on a bed of grapenuts, with a cat litter scoop. I hear you get lovely effects by decorating the box and scoop with melted chocolate or pudding. I imagine brown sugar might work as a substitute for the new clumping litters, but I havent tried it. This recipe worked especially well at the halloween party where the table was already decorated with plastic flies.

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Strawberry Pineapple Cream Pie

You’ll Need:

Pastry for single-crust pie
1 (3- or 3 1/8-ounce) box regular vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (8 1/4 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 cups fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Red food coloring (optional)
Unsweetened whipped cream

Procedures : Prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate. Trim pasty to 1/2 inch beyond edge. Flute edge; prick pastry. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden. cool on rack.

For filling, in saucepan cook pudding mix according to package directions except use the 1 1/4 cups milk. Thoroughly drain pineapple, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Fold drained pineapple and vanilla extract into cooked pudding. Cover surface with clear plastic wrap or wax paper. Cool to room temperature; do not stir.

Whip the 1/2 cup whipping cream till soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture. Turn the pineapple mixture into baked pastry shell.

In saucepan crush 1/2 cup of the strawberries; stir in reserved pineapple liquid. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Press hot mixture through sieve; discard pulp. Combine sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in sieved strawberry mixture. Return mixture to saucepan; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Tint the strawberry mixture with a little red food coloring if desired.

Slice remaining strawberries in half lengthwise. Arrange sliced berries over cream filling; spoon strawberry mixture over. Cover; chill several hours.

To serve, garnish pie with unsweetened whipped cream

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Portuguese Custard Tarts

You’ll Need:

3/8 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz package ready-made puff pastry
flour for rolling

Procedures : Place the sugar in a pan with 5 tbsp of water and gently bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Dissolve the cornstarch in a little of the milk. Whisk the remaining milk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and cornstarch mixture into the sugar syrup. Gently bring to a boil, stirring until smooth and thickened. Cover the custard and allow to cool.

Open out the sheet of pastry and roll out a little more to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut the pastry into 4 inch circles and use them to line a small bun pan. Refrigerate until the custard is cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spoon the cooled custard into the tart cases and bake for 20 minutes until the tarts are golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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