Monday~ Slow Cooker Day
Whole Chicken and Vegetables in the Slow Cooker
Mashed Potatoes

Recipe: Whole Chicken And Vegetables In The Slow Cooker
1 whole chicken, to fit your slow cooker (4-5 lbs)
1 TBS salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

4 whole garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered

1 onion, peeled and cut into slivers
4 carrots, peeled, and quartered
2 celery ribs, cut into thirds

Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry.

In a small bowl mix spices. Rub chicken with spices. Add 4 garlic cloves and quartered onion to the cavity of the chicken.

Put onions, carrots and celery on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add chicken. No need to add water, the chicken will make it's own juice.

Cook for 8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Day 2
Cabbage Soup
Beer Bread

Recipe: Cabbage Soup
My grandmother made this soup on top of the stove. It has an old world, cooked-all-day flavor and goodness. Now I have tweaked her recipe to make it in the slow cooker. Adjust this recipe to fit your slow cooker. I have a great big one, so all of this will fit.
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 LARGE head cabbage ( or 1 medium and 1 small). chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3-4 bone-in pork chops ( Oh, I'm such a carnivore... 4 please!)
1 can tomato soup
3 TBS butter
1/4 cup flour

In a large skillet add oil and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Put onions in slow cooker. 

Brown pork chops in the skillet on both sides. Add the pork chops to the slow cooker.
Add chopped cabbage and just cover with water. Add tomato soup and stir to incorporate. Cook on low for 6 hours. Do not overcook. Cabbage should be soft but not mushy.

Take out pork chops. Pull apart meat and discard bones.

Heat butter in a skillet and add flour. Cook for about 4 minutes, until flour is slightly golden. Add 2 cups of soup liquid to skillet and whisk to incorporate without lumps. Add slurry to soup. Add meat. Cook on high for 1/2 hour or more, until soup is slightly thickened.

Recipe: Beer Bread
This is a StoneGable favorite!!!!! Easy and so delicious. Click HERE and find Beer Bread at the bottom of the post.

Salmon Pinwheels
Fettuccine With Creamy Spinach Sauce
Baby Field Greens With Dried Cherries, Spiced Pecans and Bleu in a Cherry Vinaigrette

Recipe: Fettuccine With Creamy Spinach Sauce
6 oz. fettuccine ( I use a high protein, low carb version)
1 TBS. canola oil
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 cups washed baby spinach, chopped
1 cup canned, crushed tomatoes
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, stirred
pinch of nutmeg

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil on a large skillet. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add spinach and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is just wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add fettuccine, ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup reserved liquid. Cook, tossing fettuccine until heated through and fettuccine is coated. Add a dash of nutmeg and stir in. Add enough pasta cooking liquid to make a creamy sauce if it is too thick.

Recipe: Mixed Greens, Dried Cherries, Spiced Pecans, Bleu With Cherry Vinaigrette
1 large bag of baby mixed greens
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup spiced pecans, recipe follows
1/3 cup bleu cheese
Cherry Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Dress with cherry vinaigrette.

Recipe: Spiced Pecans
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/8- 1/4 tsp  cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Add sugar to a skillet on low heat and carefully melt sugar. Add cayenne and salt. Mix. Add pecan and coat with sugar mixture. Turn out onto a parchment line baking sheet. When pecans have cooled break apart and keep in an airtight container.

Recipe: Cherry Viniagrette
I had this wonderful dressing at a dinner I was speaking at last week and it was love at first bite. I am a cherry-a-holic!

1/2 cup canola oil
3 TBS red wine vinegar
3 TBS cherry preserves
2 TBS orange juice
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in a blender and process. Wonderful (sung in a high pitched opera voice)!

Beer Braised Kielbasa With Onions
Baked Beans
Ceaser Salad

Recipe: Beer Braised Kielbasa With Onions
1 TBS canola oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 lb. kielbasa, I'm using turkey kielbasa
1 bottle beer

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and sprinkle with sugar. Stir. Cook until lightly browned and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Push onions to the middle and place the kielbasa in the pan around the onions. Brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

Pour in the beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until kielbasa is heated through, about 10 minutes. Transfer kielbasa and onions to a platter and keep warm.

Increase heat and boil the sauce until it is reduced and syrupy. Serve sauce on the side.

Roast Beef
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans Sauteed in Garlic Oil

Spiral Ham
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli

Note: I am making a big spiral ham. Easy and so delicious.We will have a geat meal and the large amount of leftovers will be used for sandwiches for my guest who are tired of turkey leftovers.

Then I'll take the soup bone and freeze it until I make bean soup for Christmas weekend!

Sunday: Soup Day
Mushroom Bisque
Garlic Bread

Recipe: Mushroom Bisque
This is my sister-in-law's recipe. We had it recently on a visit. It is delicious!!!!! She served it at a lovely dinner party. I had to restrain myself from licking the bowl!

I am doubling this recipe and keeping it for the Thanksgiving weekend. All of my family will be wild over this great soup! I'll just heat it up, serve it with great bread (I'll probably make beer bread) and we will have a wonderful lunch.

2 TBS olive oil
12 oz. various varieties mushrooms, chopped
2.5 quarts chicken stock
1.5 oz. chicken bullion cubes
1.5 oz.  beef bullion cubes
20 oz. whole milk
7 oz. roux (equal parts butter and flour)
20 oz. heavy cream (I'm using no fat half and half)
salt and pepper
6 oz. sauteed mushroom caps, chopped

Heat the oil oil in a dutch oven and add mushroom. Saute aprox. 6 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Do not let them brown.
Add stock, bullion cubes and milk.
Bring to a boil and add the warm roux. Whisk it in so it dissolves. No lumps!
Add cream, salt and pepper.
Let simmer for a half hour. Do not boil.
Saute the diced mushroom caps and add to the soup.

Thanksgiving Countdown

You should be well on your way, doing a little everyday, to a less stressed Thanksgiving!

Over the next couple of days make a list of all the things left to do, except the cooking. Don't forget things like getting or making extra ice, having enough chairs, buying extra paper products like toilet paper and tissues, buying sterno if you have warmers and checking the quantity of glasses and mugs you have.

Continue putting the things you will need for your Thanksgiving table in dish pans. I will set my table early, probably next Sunday or Monday and I'll just reach for my dish pans and have everything together! Easy!

Make a list of all Thanksgiving food and what you will serve it in. Will you have a buffet or sit down dinner? Don't forget condiment dishes, butter dishes, salt and pepper shakers, and all the serving utinsils that go along with them.

I serve a Thanksgivng buffet, so everyone can have their favorites on their plates. I use stainless steal warmers for the turkey and stuffing. I have large covered casserole dishes with stands and tea light that the green bean casserole and sweet potaoes will be made in and then kept warm. And my slow cookers are put into service, filled with mashed potatoes and gravy.

This is a great time to clean out your coat closet! Mine certainly gets quite cluttered. Take out everything that does not belong in there and throw away, give away and put away. Clean the floor, shelves and the door. Put a soft smelling airfreshner on the shelf and make sure you have plenty of hangers. I have baskets on my shelf for hats, mittens and gloves. Also put a small plastic trash can on the floor for umbrellas.

Won't it feel so good to donate all of those forgotten items to Goodwill or a shelter.. and be able to hang everyone's coat IN YOUR CLEAN CLOSET!