Adventures of Mrs Pen

Musings from a Very Lucky Penny



More Thxgiving Stuff – Killa Sweet Potato Casserole


Sweet Potatoes are consumed at our dinner table almost every night. That is because they are the only vegetable my hubs will consent to eat. If you put something green on his plate, no sir, he will not eat it. So every night we have roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, or sweet potato hash browns (raise your hand if you’re hearing this in Bubba’s voice from Forrest Gump)… Anyways, my favorite of all our sweet potato escapades is sweet potato casserole. I got the recipe from my friend Bethany’s mom years ago and I know he won’t admit this, but I think it’s what made my husband fall in love with me. Its the perfect balance if sweet and buttery and crunchy (Yes that does sound healthy). I made it for our Pre-thxgiving practice feast a few days ago, and I am making it for both Thanksgiving dinners we’re attending this year. And if you ever have surgery or something and need me to make you dinner, I’m probably going to make you this. Wow I’m really starting to sound like a grandma, with her prize casserole. At any rate, this is how my prize casserole is made:


First, I get my sweet potatoes. I usually use about three medium size taters, but these ones were galactic size so I only used two. If they’re tiny, I use 4.

Then, I soften them up. This time I did this by boiling them for about 40 mins and then letting them cool to peel them. Sometimes I just poke a bunch of holes in them with a fork and then pop em in the microwave for 15 minutes, and then peel them once they’re cool. If I’m in a hurry, I peel them first and then boil them for about 30 min, then I don’t have to cool em down afterwards.

The skin pretty much falls off if you boil them first.


Then I put the sweet potaters in my mixer and blend them up real good like.


Then I add the following ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and a healthy amount of pumpkin pie spice and mix it up gooder.


Then I spread my whole mix into a pan.


I sprinkle brown sugar (about a quarter cup) and walnuts all over, then I sprinkle another 1/4 cup of melted margarine all over it.

Next I put the whole shebang in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until the brown sugar is bubbly and it’s done!


So that’s one of the dishes we will be serving on turkey day. Monday I’m planning to talk about two more important dishes that help us eat too much on T-day.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving day dish? More importantly, what is your favorite kind of pie??

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving I could die!


Turkey Roasting for the First Timer

This year I have so much to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for my husband, our baby, our friends, our church, our town, our police officer who just apologized for giving me a speeding ticket and said my baby was cute, and most of all I’m thankful for my husband again. I swear I love that man so much. Anyways, since we both have awesome families that really live it up on Thanksgiving and therefore get two feasts on T-day, I realized the only way I’ll ever learn how to cook a turkey is if I do it on a day that ain’t Thanksgiving. And that is how our First Annual Pre-Thx-Giving Practice Feast came to be.


Last night, a handful of our favorite people braved our cow-infested dirt roads to come eat and draw on our table with crayons and spread the Thanksgiving cheer with us.


We drank tea from mason jars. My hubs tried to give our fine mason jar collection away as party favors. I don’t know why he doesn’t like them.


The men-folk discussed rifle-building in the Man-Cave. I went behind enemy lines to get this picture.


Mostly we ate ourselves silly. I had so much fun that I weigh at least 5 lbs more today. And I have no regrets.

Annnyways, here is an account of my first turkey-makin experience.


To start out, I thawed my frozen bird out in a 5 gallon bucket of cold water the night before. You must be VERY careful thawing a turkey out because bacteria monsters thrive at room temperature so if the outside thaws out before the inside does, you will end up with a very unhappy turkey.


Next, I watched a hundred thousand of YouTube videos to learn about turkey roasting science. My favorite is Hilah Cooking’s video. I love Hilah; she taught me how to fry a chicken, how to sear a steak, how to grill a pork chop, and best of all she bears the uncanny resemblance to Pheobe from Friends. So this recipe closely resembles Hilah/Pheobe’s, with a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had on hand.


I put together the seasoning for inside the bird- red onions, parsley, salt, garlic, and butter. Hilah added apples, which I would have been delighted to do if the grocery store weren’t so dang far away.


Then I put together the basting sauce- chicken broth, garlic, paprika, butter, and orange juice. This odd combo of ingredients made for a sweet, tangy, juicy turkey. I used this scary looking contraption to inject the turkey with the juice, since basting really only flavors the skin. Notice, the turkey is not in sight yet. That is because once I started messing with that bad boy I didn’t touch anything else to take pictures. I prepped all this first, then prepared the operating table.


Once I got the turkey out, I took every precaution I could think of to prevent contamination. I didn’t want any sick people, man!

This is the part where me and the turkey got friendly. To make a long story short, his name was Melvin, but you can call him SpaceRocketMan for short. This part includes zero pictures because I wasn’t touching anything besides the bird. This is what we did:

1. I rinsed and dried SpaceRocketMan off.
2. I sprinkled him with salt and pepper
3. I rubbed the cavity with half the parsley/garlic/onion mix
4. I put the rest of that mix in a bowl of more butter, and rubbed it all up under his skin. Mmmm this part was disgusting.
5. I used the syringe looking thing to inject my basting sauce all throughout SpaceRocketMan, especially in the thickest spots.
6. I put him in my roaster and poured the rest of the basting sauce all over him.
7. Right before he went in the oven, I loosely filled him with stuffing. It’s important to stuff the bird immediately before putting it in the oven to prevent contamination. Also, the stuffing was awesome! The recipe is to be shared tomorrow.
8. I stuck the thermometer in the thickest part and then put him in the oven at 375 degrees.


After one hour, I opened the oven and basted the turkey, and then put it back in. I continued doing this every 30 minutes for a total of 3 hours. Every time I took it out, I rotated it when I put it back in, to help it cook evenly. I knew it was done when the thermometer read 180 degrees.

When it was done, I pulled it out, covered it with tin foil, and let it “rest” for 30 minutes. And then it was ready!


And then we ate the heck out of that bird!


These two beautiful ladies washed all my dishes afterwards. They are welcome in my house any day, day or night.

And that was all there was to it! I would LOVE to know any hints you might have for turkey making. Thanks for reading this whole long thing and you are cordially invited to the ranch for dinner!


A Healthy Meal for Those of Us Who Think Salad is for the Birds

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

My dear friend Channa came for a visit last week. Now I normally have a penchant for feeding people, especially when they take time out of their day to come the way the heck out to my house. However, in this case, making food for Channa was going to be a challenge. That is because she has been following the paleo diet philosophy. That means she doesn’t eat no bread, no dairy, no sugar, no nothing the God blessed mankind with so that we would enjoy life. The diet has done her well and she looks awesome, but this was particularly difficult to me because bread, dairy, and sugar are my favorite food groups. So instead of making her lunch, I asked her to teach me how to make a paleo meal. This ended up being a win-win situation because I got an awesome lunch made for me and I learned how to make a meal so delish and guilt-free that I’ve already made it 3 times since then. (yes, when I say “win-win” I mean that I won twice, not that Channa won once and I won once.) Anyways, what she made was Spicy Cilantro Turkey Burgers and Garlic Roasted Broccoli with Lemon. It’s SO good. I’m excited to share it with y’all now!

Spicy Cilantro Turkey Burgers

First, we chopped up a quarter cup of red onions, a plump jalapeƱo, a cup of cilantro, and two cloves of garlic. I have a Pamper Chef chopper, so this took like 2 seconds, but if you’re looking for a shortcut, I think this could be lightly blended in a blender or food processor.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Then we added all our choppings to a bowl with 1 pound of lean ground turkey, squeezed a lime all over it and squished it up with our hands. When I say we, I mean Channa did that.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Then we (and I mean just Channa again) formed the meat into patties. We (excluding me) poured some olive oil into a skillet. Once the oil was hot, we put our little patties in the skillet and cooked them about 3 minutes on each side, or until brown all the way through.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli
Yep, this is a picture of me and Channa both equally cooking the hamburger patties.

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Broccoli

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Meanwhile we made the broccoli. Now let me tell you, I’ve never been one to get excited over vegetables but this broccoli is to DIE for. Seriously its the best broccoli I ever had. I think my husband would even like it if he would give broccoli a chance.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli with Lemon

First, we preheated the oven at 400. Then a chopped up a bushel of broccoli (It’s called a bushel, right?) and 3 cloves a garlic. Now I recently made dinner for 9 people, and to save time I just bought a bag of fresh broccoli florets from Dole and then I could save some time and skip chopping and cleaning the broccoli (if you choose to clean the broccoli you have to dry it thoroughly or it will get soggy in the oven).

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

We spread the broccoli and garlic out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled a little salt and pepper on it, and coated it with a little olive oil. And it went in the oven for 20 minutes.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

When it was done, we squeezed the juice of one lemon and the zest of one lemon peel on it. (I have a confession- when I’ve made this since then, I couldn’t be bothered to do the lemon zest, just the juice. Channa will be disappointed in me for my lack of fanciness.)

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

Once the burgers and broccoli were done, Channa plated them with a few slices of avocado and we thoroughly enjoyed out healthy meal.

Cilantro Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

I did convince her to lay her paleo convictions aside for a bowl of homemade pumpkin ice cream afterwards. I don’t think she regretted it.

This is my lil cutie checking the situation out.

I feel skinnier already!

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