Roasted Turkey Recipe

Normally, I am all about the quick and easy when it comes to making meals. Crockpot and casseroles, that’s how I survive. But, Thanksgiving is that one special meal I look forward to each year. I actually enjoy getting up at 5:30a, lighting my pumpkin-nutmeg candle and cooking all morning!

Several years ago, I found a great and simple recipe by Kraft ( for a roasted turkey. If you are making a turkey for the first time or looking for a new recipe, here you go!

1 frozen whole turkey (10-16 lbs), thawed (I only use Butterball)
1 lb pork sausage
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 pkg (6 oz each) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Turkey

**Note — We don’t eat this stuffing. I make mine this way because it gives the turkey a great flavor.

Step 1:  Thaw your turkey! I just moved mine to the refrigerator. Typically, it takes one day for every 4 lbs.

Step 2:  On Thursday morning, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove all bags of yuck (this is the worst part), rinse turkey and pat dry.

Step 3:  Brown sausage. Drain, but place 1/2 cup of the drippings in large bowl. Stir in hot water. Add stuffing mix and cooked sausage. Stir well.

Step 4:  With turkey breast side down, fill neck cavity lightly. Don’t overstuff, it will expand when roasting.

Step 5:  Fold wing tips around turkey back to hold neck skin in place. This is always so difficult for me! I’ve watched video clips at 6a just trying to figure it out. If you can’t get the wing tips secure, don’t worry!!

Step 6:  Turn turkey breast side up, fill body cavity lightly (again, it will expand). Return legs to tucked position or tie securely with string. Place in large roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray. Brush skin with oil.

Step 7:  Roast turkey immediately after stuffing. Roast approximately 3.5-4.5 hours, until the internal temperature of the thigh is at least 180 degrees, breast is 170 degrees and stuffing is 165 degrees. Make sure to cover loosely with aluminum foil about 2/3’s of the way through.

Step 8:  My favorite part, make it look pretty! Garnish with parsley and slices of orange, lemon or apple.

I typically wake up at 5:30a, the turkey is ready to roast by around 7a and I cover with foil around 9 or 9:30a (wait until it is golden brown).

Butterball ( has an awesome website with video tutorials, “Turkey Talk-Line”, chat line and easy conversion charts.

I hope your Thanksgiving meal is awesome. More importantly, though, may you be blessed with family, friends and fun!

{Thanksgiving 2010}

Baked Apple Cinnamon Dessert

Sounds like the perfect fall dish, right? The seasonal aroma was wonderful this morning when I baked it for my Bible study group. If the temperature in San Antonio could just get out of the 90’s, it would really be time to celebrate!

I received this recipe from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) mentor — another great thing about MOPS, you find awesome mentors who have mothering wisdom and lots of great recipes 🙂 You can find more of Karen’s recipes at

1 Granny Smith apple
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 stick butter
6 oz Mountain Dew
1 can crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel, core and cut apple into eight slices. Roll each slice in sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Roll one crescent roll around each apple slice. Place in dish and pour remaining sugar and cinnamon on top. Pour melted butter over top, then 6 ozs Mountain Dew.

Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can serve for breakfast or with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Just a note, for our family of four … we always have leftovers. If you’re making for a larger group, of course you can double the recipe.

Happy Fall, Y’all!

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t believe I have a second grader. As I was leaving the classroom this morning, something happened for the first time … she didn’t want to kiss me in front of the other students. Sigh.

{1st Day of 2nd Grade}

I thought by now, I would have it down. But, it doesn’t get easier. I miss her. Carter and I are both counting down the minutes for pick-up, I’m so anxious to hear every detail about her day!

We have a little tradition for the first day of school. Nothing big or life-changing, but we started with preschool and it has stuck. We make homemade chocolate chip cookies and serve them on a special plate, which she only uses on the first day of school.

She wouldn’t kiss me this morning, but she did ask if there would be homemade chocolate chip cookies on her plate 🙂

I never had a great chocolate chip cookie recipe, until I met my husband. My mother-in-law introduced me to her very own prize-winning homemade recipe. Here it is:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

6 Tablespoons granulated sugar

6 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hot water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 – 6oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (or you can also use Hershey’s milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Blend butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add well-beaten egg. Sift flour, soda and salt in separate bowl. Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture. Add hot water and vanilla. Add chocolate chips. Drop by 1/2 teaspoons on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool slighty, then remove cookies and put on rack to cool. When cool, store in container with tight lid.*

*A great tip from my mom — Put a piece of bread in the bottom of the air-tight container. It will keep your cookies extra soft.

So, after we enjoy our cookies, she has requested grilled tilapia for dinner. She is keeping me busy today!

Do you have any traditions for the first day of school?