Weekend Links – and a Free eBook

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, or Christmas, for that matter, I have to point you in the direction of the ultimate resource for getting yourself organized and inspired for the holiday feast.

I’m honored to be one of 15 bloggers contributing to a free eBook published by Life…Your Way and Mandi Ehman! Prepare to be amazed; this collection of recipes is most impressive and I’m delighted to have my Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Dinner Rolls included in the book.

You can download the Thanksgiving eBook for yourself (free!) HERE, along with many free printables including a Menu Planner, Recipe List, Shopping List, Baking Planner, Calendar, and Decor Inventory.

There was plenty of great reading around the web this week, including posts from my latest favorite real food blog, My Humble Kitchen. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting Diana and perusing her delicious archives, then take a few minutes on your Sunday afternoon to do so!

Here are a few more links to bookmark for the week ahead:

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Holiday 2010 Gift Guide: My Top Ten Stocking Stuffers for the Kitchen

Being the planner and organizer that I am, I’m thinking about Christmas presents already! Most of my family lives either internationally or across Canada, and so I like to get their boxes out by early December. That way I know gifts will arrive on time, plus then I can focus on other important tasks – like baking gingerbread with the boys and getting my season’s greetings in the mail.

So, in the name of organization, I’m bringing you a holiday gift guide for the kitchen in three parts – big items, stocking stuffers and cookbooks – to help you can get some ideas and recommended resources for the cooks and bakers on your list (or your wish list).

Last Friday we looked at my Top Ten ‘Big Ticket’ Kitchen Items, now I want to give you the top ten smaller tools I reach for every day while cooking and baking. They are absolutely essential for all that I do in the kitchen and making the task of preparing three meals a day much simpler.
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Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Campfire

Thank you to Tim & Angela for capturing this favorite family pastime of ours…





ALL photos by Tim Chin

Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese

Today I’m in three places at once. Besides talking turkey around here, I’m also having a little Q & A time with the lovely Kelsey, a.k.a, The Naptime Chef in her famous ‘Tales from the Trenches’ series.

Head here to catch the full interview.

I’m also sharing a recipe for Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese over at The Family Kitchen on Babble. It’s one of our favorite meatless main dishes, and seasonal, too!

This recipe is surprisingly healthy for mac & cheese, as it incorporates nearly an entire squash and uses whole-wheat egg-white pasta for a substantial and low-cholesterol meal. I love this dish because it feels like a hearty main dish even though it is meatless.

Hit the jump for the recipe and be sure to check out my interview on The Family Kitchen, which includes tips for cooking this dish ahead of time, and including children in the whole process.

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The Best Way to Roast a Turkey (the simple way)

Whether you’re planning on roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day, you can always use a few helpful tips to make it the best it can be. Since roasting a gargantuan bird is not on the usual M-F menu plan, it can cause even the most experienced cook to hesitate before proceeding. Fortunately, I think I can help you relax and boost your confidence in preparing your event’s main attraction.

My Crash-Course on Turkey

You may be wondering what a relatively young lady such as myself could have to add to everything that has already been said about turkey, and you would be right to wonder. After all, how many Thanksgivings have I been cooking? Not nearly as many as some experts out there…right?

But here’s the thing: I’ve been to Turkey Boot Camp.

When I was nineteen, I had the privilege (?) misfortune (?)  – honestly, it was a mix of both –  of working a summer at a remote fly-in fishing resort on the Pacific Ocean. Another fellow and I were the chefs for the camp, cranking out three square meals for over forty people, seven days a week, eleven weeks straight. Every three days, a couple of float planes would fly in carrying a new group of clients – and a frozen turkey. Along with the requisite pancake breakfast, shrimp bisque lunch, and other culinary highlights, we were obliged to prepare a well-rounded turkey dinner for each group of guests.

Two groups per week, eleven weeks of work. Yes, that’s right, in the span of one summer, we cooked twenty-two turkeys!

If that doesn’t make me qualified to talk turkey, then I don’t know what does!

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