Today is the day when a majority of the us overcook and overeat; yep I'm in the majority. :)
I start cooking the day before by:
- brine the Turkey at least 24 hours (let it sit in Kosher Salt and water),
- making the chocolate caramel pecan cheesecake,
- preparing the stuffing (so all I have to do is pop it in the oven with the rolls),
- making Amma's fruit salad sauce (Amma is Icelandish for grandma - this is my great grandmother's recipe),
- make the ham, olive roll-ups (hmmmm ham, olive roll-ups),
The morning of Thanksgiving, it's time to prep the Turkey and start baking it to perfection. Then around 3:30 we start the hardcore stuff, people better stay out of the kitchen cause I'm moving fast to get everything ready at the same time to ensure that it's served up warm and yummy. Green beans, potatoes, fruit salad, rolls, dressing all within an hour and a half so dinner can be on the table by 5.
How long does it take everyone to eat it?.... 20 minutes; 2 days of prep and cooking demolished in 20 minutes or less...but my Cheesecake I get to dine from for days...:)
I hope you try and enjoy one of my favorite all-time desserts (I make it for Christmas Day too - best breakfast food ever :) ): Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cheesecake. I've had this recipe since college written on a recipe card, so I have no idea where this recipe came from...and over the years I've made my own tweaks.
Prep time: 45 Minutes
Cook time: 50 Minutes
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
- 2 Cups Vanilla Wafer Crumbs
- 6 Tbs Parkay Butter, melted
- 2 Tbs Sugar
- 2 Tbs Chopped Pecans, toasted
- 1 14oz Bag of Kraft Caramels
- 1 5oz Can Evaporated Milk
- 1 Cup Chopped Pecans, toasted
- 2 8oz Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted
- 1 pt Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, melted butter, 2 tbs toasted pecans, 2 tbs sugar and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
- In 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, melt caramels with Evaporated Milk over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
- Pour over cooked crust.
- Top with toasted pecans.
- Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla at medium speed until well blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Blend in chocolate.
- Pour/dollop and spread over pecans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Loosen cake from the rim of the pan: cool completely before removing rim of pan.
- Chill, then slice.
- After the Cheesecake is sliced, beat Whipping Cream and add 1/4 Sugar while beating until stiff.
- Pipe onto Cheesecake and top with additional finely chopped pecans, if desired.
NOTE: To get smooth cuts in the cheesecake; run the knife under hot water, wipe the knife clean, slice, and repeat.