Complete Thanksgiving Dinner….

In case you missed it the first time. 

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (Southern USA)


Roasted Turkey


1 (18 Pound) Whole Turkey

1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

2 Teaspoons Garlic Minced

Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste

2 Quarts Turkey Stock

Stuffing Bouquet:

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

1 Bunch Basil

3 Cloves of Garlic unpeeled

3 Tablespoons of Butter

1 Large Onion Quartered

Place all herbs and vegetables in a piece of cheese cloth and place in cavity of the turkey.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, garlic , and season with salt and pepper by making a slit in the skin of each leg, breast connection. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey. Baste the skin with olive oil salt and pepper
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 4 hours.
  4. Remove the foil and Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Roast for 15-20 minutes longer at the higher temperature, until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Best Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes


1 Whole Heads Garlic Roasted, Top Third Sliced Off And Discarded

Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

5 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cubed (Pealing Optional)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 (4 Ounce) Package Cream Cheese Softened

1 Cup Butter

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic heads in a baking dish and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven until garlic is soft and brown, about 45 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in 2 teaspoons sea salt. Cook potatoes in the salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salt, and black pepper to the bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil and let mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften butter and cream cheese, about 5 minutes.

Squeeze roasted garlic from the cloves into the potato mixture; mash potatoes until smooth, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Gravy


Remove Giblets And Neck From Turkey

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Pinch Ground White Pepper, Or To Taste

2 (1.2 Ounce) Packages Dry Turkey Gravy Mix

3 (14.5 Ounce) Cans Chicken Broth, Or More As Needed

2 Cups Turkey Drippings

1/4 Cup Quick-Mixing Flour (such As Wondra®)

1/2 Cup Half n Half ® (optional)


  1. Remove the wrapping, and place the giblets and turkey neck into a large saucepan with onion, celery, white pepper, and turkey gravy mix. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow the stock to simmer for 2 1/2 more hours. Stock should equal about 3 cups; add more chicken broth if necessary. Remove the giblets. Strain the stock into a saucepan; discard bones and spent vegetables.
  2. When the turkey is finished roasting, pour the drippings into a fat separator or bowl, and skim off the fat. In a bowl, whisk the quick-mixing flour with the pan drippings until smooth, then whisk the flour mixture into the stock. Bring the gravy mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Old Fashion Dressing


1 Cup Butter Or Margarine

2 Cups Chopped Onion

2 Cups Diced Celery

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley

12 Ounces Sliced Cremini Mushrooms

12 Cups Dry Bread Cubes

1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning

1 Teaspoon Dried Sage

1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Marjoram

1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

5 Cups Chicken Broth, Or As Needed

2 eggs, beaten


  1. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
  2. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs.
  3. Transfer mixture to a sprayed 9×13 roasting pan.
  4. Bake in a 375 Degree Oven until golden brown on top. About 30-40 Minutes.

Green Bean Casserole


2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Cup Onion, Diced

1 Cup Sour Cream

4 (14.5 Ounce) Cans French Style Green Beans, Drained

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (One reserved)

1 Cup Crumbled Buttery Round Crackers

4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread remaining shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.



1 Prepared Pastry Dough For 9-Inch Pie

2 Cups Pecan Halves

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup

3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Tablespoon Bourbon

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

3 Large Eggs, Whisked


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Roll pie dough in a 9 1/2-inch glass pie dish and crimp the edges. Cover dough in parchment paper and press paper down to line the dough; pour pie weights on top of the parchment paper and spread evenly over the bottom.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove parchment paper and pie weights to a bowl. Bake crust until lightly golden and set, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Stir brown sugar, butter, white sugar, corn syrup, flour, milk, bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle sugar mixture into eggs, whisking constantly.
  7. Spread pecans out in the bottom of the crust. Pour sugar mixture over nuts and gently stir with a spatula to coat all of the nuts.
  8. Bake pie in the preheated oven until crust is golden brown and pie is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely.

Diva Tasting: Beef Tips N Rice…

Beef Tips n Rice
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, Chopped
3 Pounds Cubed Beef Stew Meat
2 Cups Beef Broth
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 (.75 Ounce) Packet Dry Brown Gravy Mix
1 Cup Beef Broth
  1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Saute the onion until almost translucent.
  2. Add the stew meat and cook on high heat until meat is browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour 2 cups water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet. Stir in garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile combine the gravy mix with 1 cup water. Mix thoroughly and stir into the meat mixture. Bring to a boil stirring frequently until slightly thickened.  Serve over your favorite prepared white rice with roasted green beans and beverage.  

Diva Rambling: Friends….

What Real Friends Do…

We’ve had a rough patch this winter. The Crones in all parts of the country have been hit by the crud bugs like everyone else. Here are some friendly tips on how to help those in need weather with illness or a life issue.

Do not call and ask if you can help or do you need anything! Those statements are often rhetorical and meaningless. Some more appropriate offers might be…

I’ve got time this week; how can I help/support you?

Do you need me to pick up your children or take them anywhere?

I made a huge dinner today…When can I drop your off?

I’m picking up groceries in a few. Send me your list and I’ll get yours too.

I know you are going through a rough patch; tell me how your feeling and what I can do to help.

I know you love the spa; I have a mobile therapist coming to your house so you don’t have to drive.

I’m taking the kids for a playcation so you can have some time to yourself.

There are always Seniors in our lives….church, family, neighborhood etc. Visit one, take them a dinner or treat. See if they’d like to go for an uplifting ride to a park or favorite coffee shop. Get outside yourself an make your seasons better.

Know you audience before making this type of offering. However, more

Namaste The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Country Cornbread…

As you probably noticed we serve cornbread with everything with cornbread here in the South.  Most Southern ladies use their cast iron skillets to make it a real treat.  I use my 10 inch skillet almost always except for muffins. We often have it for dessert with country butter and maple syrup or honey.  Yup!!! Give it a try.

Country Cornbread
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk OR Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups Cornmeal White Corn Meal
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk or sour cream with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Diva Musing: When I Am Gone…

We all have these days when we think no one else in the world can relate to what we are going through. One of my blogs I follow had this to say today. While I am older and more honed in the river of life I can still feel his pain. Here is a day to offer good vibes to someone in need.

When I am Gone

It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

I’m some eleven months through my 29th year on this Earth.

I feel fine. I workout every day. I drink plenty of water. I try to get my eight hours of sleep. I try to eat healthy. I take some supplements, multivitamins and stuff. But I am feeling a bit older than I did when I first started this blog. I feel tired after less hours of writing than I used to.

It’s not being dead, but getting closer to death that scares us, right?

I am also a bit heartbroken, as artists are supposed to be from time to time.

It’s been years since I found my ideal reader. That’s my definition of a soulmate, and the closest thing to falling in love with another human being. Someone who understands my words, who wants to read them, who underlines them in the books I give her. Someone who encourages me to reply less to e-mails, and to write more fiction. Someone who reminds me I was, am, and always will be a writer.

I have lost that person. Maybe irredeemably. I don’t know. It feels like that. Like the kind of goodbyes that never feel like goodbyes until you are sitting all by yourself at your desk and you try to write and no words come out. And you want to tell them that, and you can’t.

It’s not distance that breaks people’s hearts. No. She lives rather close. Distance is not the issue. Misunderstanding is. When you try to tell someone how they make you feel, and all they hear are words.

Something like that.

This means that I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Right now, I feel like there’s a part of me missing. A few days ago, it was even worse. It felt like dying and being forced to keep on living.

And, yes, I recover fast from heartbreaks. I have had quite a few experiences. Soulmates never die, but they leave, find some other soulmate, or just turn out to be someone different than who I thought them to be.

All this made me think of death. In the sense of running out of time.

Do you ever feel like that? Like running out of time? Do you ever fear when that moment will come? The bitter end? Its unpredictability?

I guess I am just tired, and I want to write my feelings down. Quite selfish of me. But I am… tired. Trying to live a life you’re proud of is the most exhausting thing one can do. Trying to be good, to be competent, to love, to…

In moments of heartbreak we wonder if we’ll ever get the ending we want. If we’ll ever be happy. Loved. Fulfilled. If we’ll ever find someone who genuinely appreciates our presence, who loathes our absence, who supports our dreams, who is willing to fight for us day in and day out.

Someone to miss us when we’re gone.

Whenever you lose someone you feel you could spend a lifetime with, it feels like… it feels like death, actually. It feels like the life you live is this strange terror. Part comedy, part tragedy. One eye laughs, the other cries.

I reckon that this line of thinking is not in tune with the realities of the world, but artists like to dream a lot. We’re idealists.

In an ideal world I’d have my ideal reader, and we’d have fun editing stories, and I’d tell her all my ideas, and I could decide on which one to work by the way her face would light up. Something like that.

Like I said, I am not feeling like myself.

For this, I apologize.


Diva Tasting: OMG English Trifle …

OMG English Trifle
1 (9 Inch) Sponge Cake, or Angel Food Cake Cut In Cubes
1 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
8 Ounces Fresh Raspberries
2 Small Boxes Jello Instant French Vanilla Pudding
1 Tub Extra Creamy Whipped Topping
2 Ounces Chopped Almonds, Walnuts or Pecans
  1. Spread a little jam on each piece of cake and place in the bottom of a large glass bowl. Sprinkle raspberries over cake.
  2. Make 2 packages of Jello Pudding to Package Directions
  3. Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast, in a 300 degree oven or toaster oven, stirring frequently, until golden, 2 to 10 minutes.
  4. Spread pudding over cake in bowl. Top with whipped cream and nuts. Chill 2 hours before serving.


1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
3 Drops Sesame Oil, Or To Taste
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper (Optional)
1/4 Cup Diced Onion
1 Finely Chopped Green Onion (white And Light Green Parts)
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Pound Cooked And Crumbled Ground Beef
1/3 Cup Diced Fresh Tomato
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
2 Cups Cooked Jasmine Rice
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
4 Wedges Lime (optional)
1 Egg, Beaten
  1. Warm vegetable oil and sesame oil in a wok or large skillet. Add bell pepper, onion, and green onion; cook for 2 minutes. Add ground beef, sprinkle garlic powder over mixture, and cook for 1 minute longer.
  2. Stir in diced tomato, fish sauce, and soy sauce; saute for 2 minutes. Add rice, mix until combined, and cook until heated through, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze lime wedged over top.
  3. Pour beaten egg into a separate, small pan and let cook for 30 seconds. Lift the edges of the omelet so that any uncooked egg runs under the cooked edges and comes into contact with the hot skillet. Shake and tilt the skillet to move the uncooked egg. Repeat until the top is set, about 4 minutes.
  4. Divide rice into two portions and serve 1/2 of the omelet over each serving.

Diva Tasting : English Sausage Rolls…

English Sausage Rolls


1 (16 Ounce) Package Pork Sausage meat

1 (17.25 Ounce) Package Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets, Thawed

1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard

1 Beaten Egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  2. Unfold the puff pastry sheets, and cut along the fold lines of each sheet to form 6 equal squares for a total of 12 squares. Brush each square with mustard. Divide sausage into 12 pieces, and roll into small logs. Place one log on each square. Roll dough around the sausage, and seal with a bit of beaten egg. Place rolls onto an ungreased baking sheet, and brush the tops with the rest of the egg.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the rolls are puffed and golden. I usually watch after 10 minutes or so to make sure they don’t burn. These freeze (unbaked) very well.