Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weekend Cooking: Pin It and Do It Fall Pins


Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is upon us, but there's still time to post a wrap-up of fall-themed pins completed for Trish's Holiday Pin It and Do It Challenge.

Although I first made Cider-Brined Maple Glazed Turkey as a pre-Thanksgiving experiment in October, it was my most successful pin of the season and deserves another mention here. At 25 pounds, our Thanksgiving turkey was twice the size of the 'test model' and I wasn't sure whether more brining solution would be necessary. I was also nervous about doubling the salt. Thanks to Wegmans and their #Turkey911 hashtag on twitter, Chef Mark assured me the same amount of brining solution would suffice for the larger bird. Our brined turkey was just as delicious on The Big Day. I'm now a huge fan of brining and will experiment with different flavors in the future.

Next came the question of leftovers. What should I do with the rest of the turkey? My mom came to the rescue with her famous Turkey Cranberry Wreath. She makes this every year on the day after Thanksgiving. I've added it to my Pinterest board and am using the pinned photo because I didn't remember to take a picture of my own.


There was still enough turkey left for a couple of Turkey Pot Pies. My husband loves pot pie and, although I've tried several recipes (including one using a slow cooker), I still haven't settled on a favorite. My pinned version from all-recipes used refrigerated pie crust, was quick, easy, and delicious, but next time I'll make my own crust. Again, the photo is from Pinterest. Our pie disappeared too quickly!


I also tried a couple of crafty pins for Thanksgiving decorating. They were simple projects, but I wasn't really happy with either result. The 'Looking Glass Pumpkins' were gorgeous in the pin photo. I couldn't find the mirror-like aerosol spray and used a shiny chrome instead. The result wasn't quite as attractive.


Finally, my pin for stenciled Thanksgiving votives was pretty much a bust. First, it was difficult to keep the stencils in place on the round jars and, second, the lettering was hard to see once the candles were inserted into the jars. I ended up using smaller candles and, although it looked fine from a distance, the lettering looked sloppy to this perfectionist's eye.


Ideas for Christmas:
- spray pears a shiny metallic gold and use as table decor
- winter votives (square, this time!) with the word Noel, or Joy, or Peace...


Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has a food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up over the weekend.

38 comments:

  1. Oooh. I like your mom's recipe!

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    1. Audrey - It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without my mom's turkey cranberry wreath!

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  2. Yum! Turkey pot pie sounds like a wonderful, cold-weather, cozy dish. And your Thanksgiving decorations look beautiful.
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate

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    1. Rebecca - Pot pies are one of my favorite comfort dishes, and this one was delicious!

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  3. You've given me lots of ideas here. Although it was a bust for you, I liked the idea of all the little candles in jars. Our big candles were a bust so I'm looking for something new. Your mom's Turkeuy-Cranberry Wreath is gorgeous. I'll have to check it out. Great post.

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    1. Margot - I think the votives would be perfect in square jars, so will definitely give it another try. The turkey cranberry is the best leftover dish ever!

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  4. Well *I'm* impressed with your crafts projects :) I love both your leftover ideas. The pinwheel looks particularly appealing.

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    1. Beth F - Thanks. I'm a very harsh critic when it comes to my own craft projects...

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  5. Lovely - looking forward to what you do for Christmas. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks, Carole. Hope you have a great week, too.

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  6. OK, I think I'm going to have to get in on this Pin It & Do It; all the cool kids are doing it. Your pot pie looks so comforting.

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    1. Diane - LOL! Pin It and Do It is a lot of fun - please join us!!

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  7. Mmmm...turkey cranberry wreath - that sounds and looks amazing. Wish I still had some leftovers!

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    1. Heather - This would be just as delicious with a rotisserie chicken!

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  8. Replies
    1. Diane - It's my favorite 'leftover' dish - ever!

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  9. I like your winter votives idea. That could be really pretty! Those looks like some great turkey recipes!

    Joy's Book Blog

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    1. Joy - I'll give the stenciled votives another try, but you can bet they'll be square next time!

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  10. Fun to see all the pins you tried. The turkey cranberry wreath is a great idea, and now I'm craving pot pie. I'm not very crafty, but it's interesting to see what others are up to. :)

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    1. Jama - I used to experiment with crafts a lot more when I was a Girl Scout leader for my daughters. Now I prefer to cook and read :-)

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  11. The turkey wreath looks yummy! I ended up making a sort of turkey cobbler, instead of pot pie with some of my leftovers. Looks like you did some great crafts to celebrate the holiday.

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    1. Janel - A turkey cobbler sounds very interesting. I'm tempted to make another turkey this month just so I can have more leftovers, lol!

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  12. The Turkey Cranberry Wreath looks delicious.

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    1. Linda - That wreath has become a holiday tradition for my family!

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  13. That is a beautiful pot pie! So creative. Love it.

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  14. Crafts scare me but I have signed up for the December Pin It and Do It since I am hosting Christmas this year and would like to have a few special dishes and decorations.

    I really like your stenciled votives - don't be so hard on yourself!

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    1. Booksnyc - Can't wait to see which pins you decide to try! I think my Christmas votives will be even better :-)

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  15. You got a lot of pins done - kudos!

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  16. You inspired me to brine our turkey and it was wonderful!! I decided to go for 3 pins on this challenge and that was one of them. Now I think I will have to do your mother's recipe too!!!

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    1. Staci - I'm so happy the brined turkey was a hit! You can't go wrong with that turkey cranberry wreath either.

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  17. Hi JoAnn!
    Guess what? I brined our Thanksgiving turkey, too! Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!! I was THRILLED with the results and quite frankly will never make a turkey any other way for the rest of my life! Yes, it was that good. I just prepared a 5lb. turkey breast because we are a small family of five. I found a very easy brining recipe that just used kosher salt and brown sugar dissolved in two gallons of water--it all fit perfectly in my largest stock pot. Six hours in the brine, rinse, roast for about 2 hours and voila! The world's most perfect turkey breast. Thank you so much! Can you tell I'm still giddy about it? ;)

    The Turkey Cranberry Wreath recipe is pure genius! I'm going to have to try that the next time I have turkey leftovers.

    Cheers!

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    1. Christine - Your comment makes me SO happy! I'm convinced that brining is the only way to cook a turkey. Will experiment with different flavors next - so easy and so delicious! It wouldn't be Thanksgiving for us without the turkey cranberry wreath on Friday either. One year we didn't have enough leftovers and cooked another turkey! Thanks so much for your comment.

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  18. I've tried a dish like your mother's and it was lovely. hmm, perhaps I'll have to bring home some turkey from my sister's later in the month.

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    1. Heather - That is definitely my family's favorite 'leftover turkey' recipe... it's simply delicious!

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  19. The turkey cranberry wreath sounds absolutely delicious!! I actually won't be cooking any turkey this year (yay!) but we occasionally will roast a breast and have tons of leftovers.

    I couldn't find any looking glass spray either so used the chrome spray as well. Of course my goodies are still in the garage "drying" two weeks later. Maybe I'll pull them out tonight... LOL!

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  20. Trish - The turkey cranberry wreath is definitely a keeper! Still trying to decide if I'll modify those pins for Christmas... I do like the idea of shiny gold pears though.

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