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Spatchcock Turkey, Grandma Helen's Scalloped Oysters and Holiday Pumpkin Bars

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Spatchcock Turkey

Ingredients:

1 Turkey

Preferred seasonings

- Remove all insides, neckbone, etc. from turkey and save for gravy/stock or discard.

- Pat turkey dry with paper towels.

- Turn turkey breast side down. Using sharp kitchen or poultry shears, cut the turkey along one side of the backbone, then cut the other side, removing backbone completely. The backbone can be saved for gravy/stock or discarded.

- Spread out turkey and using a sharp knife, cut about 1/4 inch into the center of the breast bone. Gently apply pressure to both sides of the turkey until the breast bone pops and turkey lays flat.

- Season your spatchcock with your favorite turkey seasonings and cook it using your preferred method of baking, smoking or even frying (if your fryer is big enough!)

- When done, pull your spatchcock, cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow juices to settle.

*Note: Spatchcocking reduces cooking time and allows your bird to cook more evenly. To check doneness, put a small slit in the thigh joint. If the juice is clear, your bird is done. Or using a meat thermometer, pull the turkey when the internal temperature is between 150-160 degrees.

Grandma Helen's Scalloped Oysters

Ingredients:

2 8 oz. cans of oysters (can substitute with fresh shucked oysters)

2 sleeves of crumbled saltine crackers (approx. 2 cups)

1 stick of butter or margerine

1 cup heavy cream (can substitute milk)

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp hot sauce

Half a lemon

Dash of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Drain oysters from juice. Save the juice.

- Combine cream, Worcestershire sauce, oyster juice, hot sauce, juice from lemon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

- Use butter or cooking spray to coat a caserole dish. Then cover bottom of dish with a thin layer of the crumbled crackers.

- Cover crackers with a layer of oysters, then another layer of crackers, topped with a few pats of butter. Then pour some of the cream mixture over it. Repeat the layers until you use up all the oysters (number of layers will depend on the size/depth of your dish.

- Top last layer off with a thin layer of crackers and a few pats of butter.

- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

- Serve as a side dish to your holiday meal, as a substitute for dressing or as a standalone meal.

Holiday Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree

2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. of cream cheese (softened)

1/3 cup of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 cups of powdered sugar

- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a cake pan using butter or cooking spray.

- Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Spread in pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until it sets in the middle and pulls away from sides of pan.

- For cream cheese frosting - Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until mixture is smooth.

- Allow cake to sit and cool for 1 to 2 hours. Spread cream cheese frosting evenly over the top and refrigerate.

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