I am in shock that next week is Thanksgiving.  Is anybody else?  November seems to be moving faster than October!  This time of the year is so busy with activities that sometimes I forget to stop and be thankful.  I love reading my friends' "thankful for" posts on Facebook...it is a great reminder for me to tell God thank you for ALL that he does in my life! I've been especially thankful this month because my little family of four is finally together again.  We moved into a rental house (actually, Raleigh did most of the moving but that is another story!) right before Halloween and it feels so good to have a "home" again.  To inaugurate our new house, I decided to make us a little fall feast on our first weekend.  Raleigh's co-worker, Lori, has shared some delicious recipes with me over the years and I tested out her herb-roasted turkey breast and roasted butternut squash along with some pumpkin brownies that I found on Pinterest.  These are great recipes if you are looking to do a small get-together with close friends or family next week.  Check them out:

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

This turkey was so good and juicy.  I kept adding wine so it wouldn't burn and we had plenty of turkey for two adults and two tiny tummies.  I think the key is cooking it low and slow.  Even if you don't use this recipe for Thanksgiving, you should try it for a date night!  My turkey was less than $10 so it was affordable and delicious!

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 large (4 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and 1 inch diced
  • 3 T good olive oil
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 t Kosher salt
  • 1 t fresh black pepper

 Preheat oven to 400°. Place the squash on a sheet pan (Lori lined hers with parchment to help with cleanup). Add olive oil, thyme, salt & pepper & toss. Roast for 30-40 minutes until tender- toss once during cooking to help brown evenly.

Feed us mommy!!!!

The thyme was perfect with the butternut squash.  I actually added some sweet potatoes in with the squash just to give it another vegetable and they tasted great too.  I will say that I had to cook this after my turkey due to the higher oven temperature.  Next time, I would probably cook this first and then warm it back up towards the end of the turkey cooking time.  If you had double ovens, you could do this at the same time as the turkey - so easy!

I served spinach salad with the turkey and squash.  We love this salad.  It is just spinach, bacon, boiled eggs, cranberries, and homemade cranberry-nut croutons with raspberry vinaigrette.  So good and simple.

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

When we went to Hope at Home, Raleigh tried some pumpkin brownies and loved them.  He let me taste a bite and I instantly knew that I wanted to try and re-create the brownies at home. I found this recipe from Becky Bakes on Pinterest and they were very dense and cake-like.  I loved the chocolate sauce on top!

Pretty much all of my food pins consist of chocolate

adapted from Martha Stewart

  •   8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. *Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. *Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
*Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture. *Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and all-spice. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set. *With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts. *Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
I still want to try more pumpkin brownie recipes to see if I can get a gooey-chocolate brownie but these were definitely yummy!  Great with some apple cider or a cold glass of milk :)
Our housewarming meal was the perfect way for us to start life in our new home.  I did accidentally set the smoke alarm off while cooking the bacon (I always burn it!) so I learned immediately to use my oven vent in this new house!  At least the fire department didn't have to come like our very first meal that I ever cooked (again, another story!). :)  I love cooking and part of the fun is trying new things.  Maybe you can try these recipes too!
Till next time, let your light shine!
Blessings, christen
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