Tag: Thanksgiving

Sourdough Chorizo Cherry Stuffing

Sourdough Chorizo Cherry Stuffing

Sourdough chorizo cherry stuffing

It was Thanksgiving at my house yesterday. I made all the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast, and invited a few friends over to dive in. I decided to post this recipe out of everything that was made because (1) it’s not on my blog yet, and (2) my friends want to make it for there families this Thanksgiving. Sourdough Chorizo Cherry Stuffing…. It doesn’t get better than that.

Ingredients for Sourdough Chorizo Cherry Stuffing:

  • 8 – cups sourdough bread cubes (2 medium loaves cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 18 – oz. Mexican soy chorizo (plastic casing removed)
  • 5 – oz. can of black olives sliced
  • 1 – onion (chopped into small cubes)
  • 7 – stalks of green onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 – cup grated carrots
  • 1 – cup julienned sun dried tomatoes (boiled to plump/moisten)
  • 1 1/4 – cup dried cherries
  • 1/4  –  cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 16 – tablespoons butter or Vegan butter
  • 1 1/2  – tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 2 – cups vegetable broth
  • 1 – cup shredded parmesan or jack cheese cheese
  • 1 – cup salted shelled pistachios


  1.  Cut sourdough loaves into 1 inch cubes, place in a bowl, and allow to sit over night.
  2. Preheat oven to 373 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Place sourdough cubes on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Mixing cubes at the 10 minute mark will prevent them from burning on one side.
  4. In a large frying pan over a medium flame add in chorizo and cook for 5 minutes until soy chorizo is crumbly and cooked through. I break the chorizo up with a spatula and mix it the whole cooking time to make sure it is cooked properly. Set to the side.
  5. In a small pan filled with water bring to a boil and add sundried tomatoes. Boil for 6 to 8 minutes to plump and moisten. Remove from water and drain completely. Set to the side.
  6. In a giant bowl add in sourdough cubes, chorizo, black olives, onions, chopped green onions, shredded carrot, sundried tomatoes, dried cherries, fresh basil, pistachios and cheese. Mix with your hands until completely incorporated. Set to the side.
  7. In a frying pan over a medium flame melt butter, once butter melts add in garlic and let cook for 4 minutes.
  8. Add in the vegetable broth to the butter garlic mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Pour butter/garlic broth over stuffing mixture. Mix well to combine, careful because it is hot.
  10. Place entire mixture into an oven proof baking dish.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.
How To Brine, Marinate, And Bake A Turkey

How To Brine, Marinate, And Bake A Turkey


I’m a Thanksgiving cook. I live to get a bird in the oven and dress it up and carve it and serve it to my loved ones. I think about my Thanksgiving menu weeks in advance and always buy a turkey either frozen or fresh when I could find a good deal. I sometimes make one in advance…. because I just can’t wait. Plus I like to make other things out of turkey, so I like to have plenty leftover.

Walmart TurkeyThe other day I was at Walmart and couldn’t believe how good of a deal I found…. I thought is this a deal or a steal? I grabbed a 12 pound turkey and brought it home to thaw. A few days later I removed the neck bone and packet of giblets from the cavity, made a simple brine, and let my turkey soak up the salty water. After a 24 hour bath for the bird, I decided it was time for a marinade. I put together a simple combo of white wine and orange juice and let my turkey now sit in a tangy boozy orange marinade for a few hours. When I was ready to get started I pulled my bird from the liquid and pat it dry. Placed it in a roasting pan propped up by a sliced onion and some carrots. I shoved pieces of butter wrapped in fresh basil under the skin and then added teaspoons of minced garlic and chile pepper flakes. The turkey baked in a total of 3.5 hours and made for a spectacular dinner. I recommend never going over 12 pounds when baking a turkey. A smaller turkey stays more moist and if feeding a bigger amount of people, then bake two.  Here are a few of my best tips.

How to brine a turkey:

  • 2 – gallons cold water
  • 1 – cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 – cup sugar
  • 1 – 12 pound turkey


  1. Remove turkey neck bone and giblets. Rinse the turkey. Turkey-neck
  2. In a large pot add water, salt and sugar. Mix until salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
  3. Place the turkey in the brine and place in the fridge for 12 hours. Make sure entire turkey is covered in the brine.
  4. Remove from liquid and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels and get ready for marinade.

How to marinade turkey:

  • 1.5 – liters pinot grigio or other white cooking wine
  • 2.78 – quarts orange juice (with pulp)


  1. Place turkey in a large pot.
  2. Pour wine and orange juice over the top of the turkey. _MG_0263
  3. If a little bit of the turkey is still poking out of the top you can either soak some cheese cloth with the marinade and place it on top. Or you can rotate the position of the turkey half way through the marinade time. marinade-turkey
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for as little as 2 hours and up to 8 hours. The longer you leave the turkey in the marinade the stronger the flavor. Do not exceed the 8 hour mark or the marinade will make the texture of the meat mushy.
  5. Remove from marinade and pat dry.

How to bake and dress a turkey:

  • 1 – onion (chopped into 4 parts)
  • 2 – carrots (peeled and tops removed)
  • 2 – sticks of butter
  • 1/2 – cup fresh basil
  • 2 – tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 – teaspoon chile pepper flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
  • bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • roasting pan


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. In a roasting pan place onion and carrots in to keep the turkey elevated. _MG_0293_MG_0298
  3. Pull the skin on the top of the turkey away from the meat by sliding your hand under the skin to create a pocket. _MG_0301
  4. Wrap fresh basil around butter cubes and shove under the skin. _MG_0304
  5. Then in a small bowl combine minced garlic and chile pepper. Mix to combine. Add under the skin and massage in with your hand. _MG_0313
  6. Add bay leaves into the center of the turkey along with any left over butter, garlic or onions.
  7. Then with a pastry brush add a little olive oil to the entire outside of the bird for a crisp appearance. _MG_0323
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes uncovered per pound. I baked my 12 pound bird for 3.5 hours. _MG_0046
  9. Remove from oven and cover it/ tent it with aluminum foil and allow to sit for 30 minutes before carving.
  10. Remove foil and carve.
  11. Enjoy!



Cranberry Hibiscus Sauce

Cranberry Hibiscus Sauce


Make way for the cranberry sauce… I never understood why anyone would serve cranberry sauce out of a can. That weird gelatinous tube with the indents from the can still imprinted in it’s side. No wonder I refused to eat it as a young girl. It wasn’t till my teenage years that I witnessed a friend of mine make it fresh. I was not only facsinated with the process, but couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it was to make. People add cinnamon and all sorts of other things to the versitale cranberry sauce, I decided to add tangy hibiscus to the tart cranberry for an exquisite side to my turkey this Holiday season. Enjoy!

Ingredients for cranberry hibiscus sauce:

  • 1/2 – cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 1/2 – cups water
  • 2 – cups sugar
  • 24 – ounces fresh cranberries


  1. In a pot over a medium flame add in hibiscus flowers and water. _MG_0633 _MG_0645
  2. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. _MG_0657
  3. Remove flowers from water. _MG_0660
  4. Pour sugar into the hibiscus water, and mix until sugar is completely dissolved. _MG_0670
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, creating a hibiscus syrup.
  6. Add in cranberries. cranberry spill
  7. Mix cranberries to coat in hibiscus syrup.
  8. After about 5 to 10 minutes you will hear the cranberries start to pop. At this point take a potato masher and smash the mixture down, until all cranberries have popped. _MG_0689
  9. Place mixture in a bowl, and place in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or until mixture firms. _MG_0717
  10. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Coconut Mini Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Dessert: Pumpkin Coconut Mini Cupcakes

 This coming Saturday my community is holding a pre-Thanksgiving celebration for families in need.  I will be in charge of teaching the children how to bake and decorate cupcakes.  This is the recipe I came up with along with the finishing decorating look that screams the colors of fall.  Note to reader: These cupcakes are friggin’ delish and a perfect alternative to pumpkin pie for your T-giving dinner!

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Coconut Mini Cupcakes:

3 – cups of sugar

4 – eggs

1 – 15 ounce can Libby’s Pumpkin Puree

1 – cup vegetable oil

2/3 – cup water

3 1/2 – cups all purpose flour

1 – teaspoon salt

2 – teaspoons baking soda

1 – teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 – teaspoons ground ginger

1 – cup shredded sweetened coconut

Ingredients for Cream Cheese frosting:

8 – ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

1 – cup butter (room temperature)

1 – teaspoon vanilla extract

2 – cups confections sugar (powdered sugar)


1/2 -cup dried cranberries

1/2 – cup pumpkin seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Line mini cupcake sheet with cupcake baking cups. Set to the side.

In a mixer combine sugar, eggs, Libby’s pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and water. Mix until well combined about 2 to 3 minutes.


Meanwhile in a medium bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger together. Once all dry ingredients are combined add in coconut and mix well.

Now add flour/coconut mixture to the pumpkin mixture a little at a time with the mixer set to medium low. Make sure to mix well.


Fill each mini cupcake baking cup with 1 tablespoon of mixture. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Once cupcakes cool…. make the cream cheese frosting.

In a mixer combine cream cheese and butter, and mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add vanilla and mix till combined. Last add in confectioners sugar a little at a time till completely combined.  Spread cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake and decorate with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds for a festive holiday look.  ENJOY!

Makes 72 mini cupcakes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Dessert – Candied Yam Korean Pear Squares.

Thanksgiving Dessert – Candied Yam Korean Pear Squares.

 I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with Korean Pears  before , but it can be quite a task if you’re doing anything other than eating them fresh.  I had it in my mind that I wanted to create a pear tart using asian pears for Thanksgiving, but the truth is Korean Pears don’t change much in texture if you bake them.  After experimenting in my kitchen lab with a few Korean Pears I came up with a final dessert that made my Momma swoon.  She said “Your little candied yam korean pear squares taste like a treat someone would offer you at a friend of a friend’s house during the holidays.  You would gladly take a square gobble it down, think it was unlike anything you ever tasted yet embodied all the sweet flavors of late Autum.  Then you’d sit there looking at your plate…. dreading you didn’t eat it slower. Wishing you could ask for another piece, but your manners get the best of you so you don’t.”  She said this as she served herself another slice in the comfort of her daughter’s home.

All photographs taken by: Mando Lopez

Ingredients for candied yam Korean pear squares:

2 – Melissa’s produce- Korean pears (peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)

2 – sticks of cinnamon

2 – cloves

1 – cup brown sugar

1 – tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 – cups water

3 – cups yams or sweet potato ( peeled and cut)

1 – stick of butter (melted) plus 2 tablespoons (room temperature)

2 – tablespoons orange juice

10 – graham crackers (each cracker has the ability to become two squares-20 squares total)

1 3/4 – cups whole pecans

1/2 – teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 – teaspoon ground ginger

1 – cup mini marshmallows

Let’s start with the Korean pears.

In a saucepan over a medium flame add 1 stick of cinnamon, cloves, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

In the meantime peel and cut your Korean pears.


Remove cinnamon stick and cloves from boiling brown sugar mixture, then add cut pears and boil for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pears can easily be pierced with a fork.  Remove from flame, and set to the side.  Reserve brown sugar liquid for a later use.

Lets’s move on to the yams.  Peel and cut yams or sweet potatoes.

In a large sauce pan filled with water halfway over a medium flame add a cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Then add yams and boil for 15 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through. Drain.

Place drained yams in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher. Then mix in 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter, orange juice, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar liquid that pears poached in, 1/4 cup brown sugar. Set to the side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

Let’s make a crust. In a food processor, add graham crackers, pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and ground ginger. Pulse until crumbs are formed.


Remove 1/2 cup of crumb mixture for a later use and set to side. Then add melted butter to the remaining crumb mixture and pulse to combine.

Spray an edge brownie pan or a metal 8×8 pan with a non-stick spray, then fill with crust mixture. Using your fingertips press down to form crust to the bottom of pan.


Place crust in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Then remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Next evenly spread in the layer of mashed yams.


Remove all Korean pear pieces from any remaining liquid and  place on top of mashed yams.

Place back in the oven for 25 minutes.  Then remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of reserved crust crumbs.

 Then top with marshmallows.

Place back in oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Then turn off the oven and put under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until marshmallows turn golden brown. Remove from broiler and serve warm or cold.

Happy Thanksgiving!