Just in time for Thanksgiving - I'm sharing a scrumptious sugar free dessert recipe for all of you who might still be racking your brains for foods that you can serve to your Thanksgiving guests who are on a reduced sugar diet. I very rarely post Sugar Free recipes - mostly because no one in my immediate family follows a reduced sugar diet and I don't make them very often. So when I get a request for a special Thanksgiving Day sugar free banana pudding - I get excited.
Modifying the traditional banana pudding recipe into a sugar free masterpiece is relatively easy. I replaced the wafer cookies with a nutty crust, swapped the regular pudding for sugar free pudding and substituted Stevia for white sugar in the whipped cream. No problem. Right?
Sugar Free Banana Pudding Squares
2 cups pecans
4 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons Stevia sweetener
1 large box sugar free vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 Tablespoons stevia sweetener
3 Tablespoons pecan chips
Spread remaining whipped cream on top and sprinkle with pecan chips.
I realize that this recipe is a little bit different from the traditional banana pudding recipes that you grew up eating but I promise you - it's worth a try. I would be willing to bet that ALL of your Thanksgiving guests will love this dessert - not JUST the ones on a sugar free diet.
I felt like I was channelling my mom last week when I made this Turkey Barley Soup recipe. My mom is the MASTER of using every ingredient to it's fullest. She doesn't waste ANYTHING in the kitchen. We actually tease her quite a bit about her extreme resourcefulness but the truth is - she can squeeze more meals out of one bag of groceries than anyone I know.
I think we would all be better off if we took a lesson from mom and reduced the amount of waste coming out of our kitchens. Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, consider making a batch of homemade turkey stock instead of just tossing that turkey carsass into the garbage after dinner. I know that it takes more time to make stock from scratch but it's easy to make, it tastes better and in my opinion - it's better for you than store bought turkey stock. Not to mention the fact that it's cheaper than buying it in the grocery store and it's reusing something that I would otherwise toss into the trash.
I love that this Turkey Barley Soup is truly homemade - none of the ingredients came from a box or a can. I used the leftover turkey and carcass from the Apple Cider Turkey that I made last week to make this yummy soup. I also love the barley but if you're not a fan - swap it out for noodles or rice.
carcass from 12-14 pound turkey
10 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups turkey stock
3/4 cup pearled barley
1 bay leaf
2 celery rib, cut into 1/4" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cups shredded turkey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
To make turkey stock, place turkey carcass in dutch oven. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 4-5 hours. Pour stock through strainer to remove bones.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Inevitably, at some point this winter, we will all end up with a cold or a cough - or both - and this soup is going to be my go-to meal. I still believe that homemade turkey soup is the best medicine. My mom gave it to me when I was a kid and I still feed it to my family when they're feeling under the weather.
Thanks mom for sharing your love of cooking and for the endless bowls of homemade soup. Love you.
Thanksgiving is next week but fear not friends - I've got all of your Thanksgiving recipe needs covered. Browse through my recipe index for roll recipes, cranberry sauce recipes, vegetable recipes, sweet potato recipes and desserts.
And if you're in search of a great turkey recipe for the big day - you NEED to check out this apple cider brined turkey recipe with roasted apples and carrots recipe. This was one of the best turkeys that I've ever baked - it was moist and juicy, delicious and tender.
Follow my simple step by step pictorial instructions to recreate this beautiful bird for your Thanksgiving table. Just remember that you have to get your turkey in the brine on Wednesday if you want to cook it on Thanksgiving day. If you're planning to cook a frozen turkey make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to allow your turkey to defrost so that it thaws completely before it soaks in the brine overnight.
Cider Glazed Turkey with Roasted Apples
6 cups apple cider
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 Tablespoons peppercorns
8 cloves garlic, smashed
4 bay leaves
2 small onions, quartered
6 cups water
12 pound turkey
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 small onions, quartered
4 small apples, quartered
4 small carrots, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup apple jelly
Serve with roasted apples and vegetables.
I used a Lil' Butterball turkey for this recipe. It was about 7 1/2 pounds and it was a perfect size. This turkey served 3 for dinner and the rest I carved up and added to a batch of soup the following day.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving to all of you. And just remember that at the end of the day - it really doesn't matter how your turkey turns out. There are far more important things to worry about than turkeys so relax and enjoy the day. Love you all.
Maybe it's because of the fact that I was driving around using the air conditioner earlier this week but the 40 degree reading on the thermostat this morning felt EXTRA cold.
I really don't mind the cold weather - fuzzy scarves, cozy sweaters, hot chocolate, big bowls of soup - all things that I like to enjoy when the temperatures drop. Last we warmed up over giant bowls of Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. It definitely hit the spot on a cold November evening.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
5 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
4 cups spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup wild rice, cooked
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup flour
Ladle into bowls and top with bacon.
Starting with a rotisserie chicken really makes this soup come together quickly. I was a little skeptical of adding the spinach but even the green-phobic eater in the house ate it up. This really was a tasty soup and thank goodness we have plenty leftover to reheat for lunch today. Stay warm friends.
I've always said that I have THE best blog followers EVER! Seriously, you guys are awesome and you always come through for me when I need your help. I'm looking for advice from all my Insta Pot readers today.
In case you haven't heard of the Insta Pot, it's the newest kitchen gadget on the market. A programmable pressure cooker that cooks food super fast.
I want to hear from all of you Insta Pot owners. Should I add one to my Christmas list? Do they really cook frozen meats in record time while maintaining moist, fresh flavor? I've got to be honest, I'm a bit skeptical because I really don't need another kitchen appliance or have any idea where I would store one but I want your honest feedback. Do you have one? Do you love it? What are your favorite Insta Pot recipes? How often do you use it?
For now, I'll be cooking my salmon the old fashioned way. This Honey Garlic Salmon is amazing and it's defiantly a recipe that I recommend that you try soon.
Crispy Honey Garlic Salmon
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
2 - 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 x 3 oz each salmon fillets
1 - 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 green onion, finely chopped
Heat oil in skillet. Place fish, flesh side down in pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Remove lid. Cook 1 minute longer and flip fish. Continue to cook until cooked through.
Garnish salmon with green onions.
Since I'm in the process of putting my Christmas list together. What other kitchen tools or gadgets are your favorites? What are the things that you absolutely cannot live without? If you share your suggestions in the comment section we can all get started on our Christmas lists.
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