It's the busiest and most overwhelming cooking day -- well don't fret, The 99 Cent Chef wants to take the stress out and make it a bit easier for you. It's all here, my holiday recipes, along with a cupboard full of money-saving tips for you during this Thanksgiving season.Read on and click on any highlighted recipe name to gobble up my original blog post for the recipe, illustrated with yummy photos, fun videos, and tasty text.
Below is everything you need to serve a sumptuous and cost-saving dinner table feast. And make sure you bookmark this page because Christmas is right around the corner -- yikes!
First up, get all your goodies this week when every local market and chain grocery stores have the deepest cuts in produce prices. If you live in Los Angeles, the Grinchiest Chef would recommend getting fruits and veggies at any Superior Grocers -- just click here to see the great deals to be had, it's incredible.
They cater to Latin clientele, but everyone is welcome. If you have an ethnic market nearby, do give them a visit -- you'll be surprised what you may find on sale.
In the recent past, Superior Grocers have sold russet, yams, and sweet potatoes at 1 pound for 79 cents, squash for 99 cents per pound, and yellow onions at 2 pounds for 99 cents - oh boy!
Well, I know that won't fly, but one year in my bachelor days I had one. My wacky review of this frozen fiasco poultry dinner is a click away here.
But seriously, I posted my version of a Turkey with Stuffing recipe, and click here to read all about it. My blog post also features my Mother-in-law's decadent Sausage Stuffing. I shot a video below for you, and it's done in my movie technique of stop-motion animation to boot.
Check with a thermometer for a reading of about 155 degrees. I usually just slice into a thick part of the Turkey Breast and make sure there are no pink juices. And when done, remove from oven and let stand for about 5 minutes so juices settle back in the meat. Click here to see my recipe video, photos, and tasty text.
The same goes for Turkey Legs. They may cook a little quicker though, so start checking for doneness after an hour and a half. For a change of pace, I just made a tasty recipe called Mexican Cola Turkey Carnitas. I just cover and braise a couple of Turkey Legs for about 2 to 3 hours in Mexican Cola with herbs. You can see how I make this sweet recipe in the video below.
To get the step-by-step directions for this most deliciously unique savory and sweet stuffing recipe click here. It's easy and quick to make, all you need (to borrow) is a cupcake pan. Stuffing Cupcakes are portable for an office party or a potluck dinner. If you are like me, stuffing, next to the roasted turkey, is the main event for my ravenous taste buds.
Make your own Homemade Cranberry Sauce by simmering two cups of fresh cranberries in a simple sweet syrup. My original recipe uses fresh strawberries but can use almost any fresh fruit, including cranberries.
Everyone knows how to make Mashed Potatoes, right? Well if you are a newbie to pulverizing tubers, I got your back! And you gotta have gravy to go with Mashed Potatoes. My Turkey with Dressing link has a Homemade Gravy recipe, too.
Saag Paneer, which is just like creamed spinach, but with cheese and the added spice punch of ground cumin. My version is made with easy-to-get (and lower fat) cottage cheese instead of Indian Paneer (cheese) and Ghee (butter). Once you and your family try my cheesy and creamy Saag Paneer, you won't go back to Creamed Spinach. And the recipe is a click away, here.
If you are looking for traditional sides I have the old-school French Fried Onions and Green Bean Casserole, which is right out of the 1960s-themed Mad Men TV series. Yeah, all you need is a can opener for the green beans and Campbell's Mushroom Soup. This is a classic recipe where Betty Crocker has it right -- creamy, crunchy and so satisfying. Click here to see the Cheap$kate Chef's version.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts are edible Christmas ornaments that you can add to the oven during the last 30 minutes of your roasting turkey. Just drizzle them with oil and dust with salt and pepper. It couldn't be simpler to do and here is my stop-motion animated video to prove it.
Of course, I have some more sides for you, just click on any of the following names: Green Beans with Almonds, Whiskey Yams with Brown Sugar Pumpkin Seeds, Squash, Tomatoes and Onions, Brussels Sprouts in Sour Cream, Roasted Potatoes with Carrots, Honey Orange Glazed Carrots, Collard Greens with Molasses, Asparagus and Red Potato Salad, Pear and Spinach Salad with Creamy Dressing, Fresh Fruit Salad.
And don't forget the appetizers like Warm Artichoke Dip, Black Olive Tapenade with Crostinis, Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cream Cheese, and Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Salami.
And if that isn't enough -- it's dessert time! After you push yourself away from the table and waddle to the couch to catch a holiday game on the TV, be sure to grab a handful of my late wife's Cranberry Orange and Coconut Cookies (click on the name for the recipe.)
But you can't do better than desserts made by Mom. They know what makes a family happy and mine has been generous enough to show me how she does it. Here are a couple of videos I made of her homemade Pumpkin and Mini Pecan Pies.
Now is the time to hit up your local grocery for cans of pumpkin or, if you are cheap like me, less expensive cans of sweet potato. You can use either, as the taste is almost identically delicious (that is, when canned yams are in a sweet syrup.)
I hope you all have a great holiday. Keep checking back here for more budget recipes and loads of new food videos.