DeeDee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries

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My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it.  This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.

Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast.  It was delicious.  It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches.  Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.

Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.

Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries

½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves

In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped.  Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.  At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices.  Top with lettuce.  Makes 4-6 servings.

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Collectibles of the Week – Covered Dishes


I  have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years.  Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some were inherited, some were purchased at antique malls, gift shops or thrift stores  – all are precious to me.  Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays.  Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years, so each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

I love all of the covered dishes I’m sharing this week.  The rooster and hen are on my kitchen window sill throughout the summer …



In September, I take down the chickens and put up the squirrel and acorn …


In November, naturally, the turkey has the prize spot …


The mini-dishes which are about 3 inches across the bottom are perched somewhere in the kitchen year around – a hen


…and a cobalt blue scottie


All of these dishes were birthday gifts throughout the years.  The rooster, turkey and squirrel go back to the 80s and 90s and are reproductions.  The large hen and the two small dishes are vintage, probably from the 1940s.


Remembering Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is so much about family traditions – like baking pies – two of the pie tins go back to the mid-1950s…

….getting out the 1952 wedding china….

…my oldest daughter embroidered the tablecloth in the 1960s…

….having the youngest kids check out the turkey.

This tradition began in the mid-1950s with my two pre-school children posing for the movie camera, gently poking the turkey with large forks to see if it was done.  It continued with another son and daughter in the 1960s and 1970s and now the youngest grandchildren are somewhat bewildered looking at the turkey.  Grandson is happily contemplating turkey breast, cranberry sauce and apple pie.  Granddaughter doesn’t eat anything.

We had a good Thanksgiving.

It’s Turkey Time in my November Kitchen

Turkeys are the main attraction in my November kitchen, accompanied by some pilgrims and other fall decorations.

The shelves on either side of the window over my sink hold some turkey items…l

The big rustic shelf holds a painting I did on enamelware and two vintage turkey candles.

The middle shelf has some small vintage pilgrim candles…

…and on the bottom shelf are a turkey tile and some more candles.

My doll table is decked out with a crocheted-edge tablecloth, silverware and plates, plus a miniature turkey and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

On the walls are a cross-stitch piece that my daughter-in-law did for me….

…a quilted turkey wall hanging I made several years ago…

…a pilgrim enamelware platter that I painted in 1996…

…and a patchwork wall hanging with my favorite Rockwell Thanksgiving picture.

It won’t be long until I’ll be buying the real turkey to stuff and roast for my family once again.


A 70s Turkey Mini-Quilt Table Topper

When I gave my youngest daughter a mini-quilt and rack for her anniversary in October, I knew I would be making some more mini-quilts for her.  I wanted to give her something with a Thanksgiving theme and remembered a pattern I had picked up in Ohio Amish country several years ago.  It’s a fused turkey design that I used to make a wall hanging.

Since my daughter is definitely a child of the 70s, I made up a mini-quilt for her with a very cool turkey, using all of the frantic 70s fabrics left over from other projects I’ve done for her.

I used wide black zigzag stitches to give it an even wilder and crazier 70s look.

Of course, she loved it and it’s in her family room along with a big stuffed orange and green owl and some other 70s stuff.

The pattern is by Becky and Me, #T-1044.  Address:  5811 Valley Ave. E, Fife WA 98424 – (253) 380-2284.

Sunday-After-Thanksgiving Meal

thanks08-004After eating our fill of turkey on Thanksgiving, on Friday and on Saturday, it doesn’t seem possible that anything with turkey would be appetizing on Sunday, but this dish made with extra-rich turkey gravy/broth is highly anticipated by my family on the post-Thanksgiving Sunday.   I found this recipe for Creamy Turkey Tetrazzini in a Philadelphia Brand Cookbook in 2004 and we have been enjoying it ever since. The secret is to use the best turkey broth/gravy you can salvage from the holiday meal.


  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 10 oz. good turkey broth/gravy
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped cooked turkey
  • 2 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Saute onions and celery in margarine over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add sliced mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked through.  Add broth and cream cheese, stirring over low heat until cheese is melted.  Add turkey and pimiento.  Taste before adding salt – it will depend on how your gravy/broth is seasoned.  Grate some black pepper over the top.  Pour into a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook 7 oz. of spaghetti or fettucine according to package directions.  Drain pasta.  Serve hot turkey mixture over pasta.

Yield:  4-6 servings. 


For dessert today, I made my version of Tiramisu, developed about 15 years ago when we had enjoyed the dessert at a restaurant but I had no idea of how it went together.  We all like my version which uses low-fat versions of some ingredients and 1/2 cup of Kahluha.


  • One package Italian lady fingers (about 12 lady fingers – I use Alessi Biscotti Savoiardi)
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 15 oz. light ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups light Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua (to pour over lady fingers)
  • One small block of Ghiaradelli chocolate (I like milk chocolate)

In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip whipped topping.

Place half of the lady fingers in layer in bottom of 9×9″ pan.  Pour half of the Kahlua (1/4 cup) over the lady fingers.

Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture over the top of the lady fingers.  Repeat with the remaining lady fingers, 1/4 cup of Kahlua and remainder of cheese mixture.

Grate the Ghiradelli chocolate over the top of the dish.  Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Yield:  8 servings 


We all agreed that it was a good meal and a little bit different even if the entree did include turkey!

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving


About this time of year – a week or so before Thanksgiving, I start getting ready for the big day.  At this point, it’s mostly paper work.  I only feed 6 people but I need enough food to cover a big Thanksgiving dinner at noon, leftovers for supper and a huge bag of food to send home and eat over the weekend.  This requires organization, so this week I do my lists:  Menu, groceries needed, groceries on hand, shopping list, to do list, cooking schedule.  I do all of the cooking myself – my choice – and do as much as possible beforehand.  My family likes pie so I make a lot of them – one apple, three pumpkin and sometimes one by popular request (in past years these have been pecan, blueberry peach, grape, cherry).  Two crust pies can be made in advance and put in the freezer.  The trick is to take them out the night before and in the morning, do a quick bake to crisp them up.  I also make the pie crust for the pumpkin pies ahead of time but like these pies baked fresh on Thanksgiving day. 


My schedule calls for picking up the turkey on Tuesday so I can have Wednesday free for advance cooking.  On Wednesday, I make a Polish Sausage Stuffing, bake sweet potatoes (less marshmallows), steam cauliflower, and get fruit pies and yeast rolls made the previous week from the freezer.


Thanksgiving Day starts with having the turkey stuffed with regular dressing in the oven by 5 AM.  With more space in the refrigerator, I put the cranberry sauce inside to chill, then fill the pumpkin pies and take the turkey out long enough for them to bake.  At the same time, I crisp the fruit pies, then put the turkey back in the oven and sit down for breakfast – usually pretty light on Thanksgiving.  I prepare the relish tray, put other items in the refrigerator to chill and peel, cook and mash potatoes.  These can be kept warm in a crock pot for up to 2 hours.  Then I set the table and get the turkey out of the oven to rest.  I use this time to heat the sweet potatoes and Polish stuffing.  In the final minutes, I fry the breaded cauliflower that my daughter always requests, put the rolls in the oven and get the turkey onto a platter.  By noon, it’s time for everyone to come to the table.


Every year, I make up a souvenir menu for each person, usually using a photo from the year before.  My menu photo last year was of my youngest daughter and her children doing the traditional testing to see if the turkey is done.


I always call this my yearly cooking marathon.  I’ve had marathons in past years when I had fruits and vegetables to process quickly from a large garden and a lot of baking to do in preparation for a fair, but this is my only marathon now and I enjoy it.


Thanksgiving Wall Hangings


Several years ago, my daughter gave me a great redwork piece showing Grandma and kids preparing Thanksgiving dinner.  I had just started quilting and designed a bottom piece to make a wall hanging. 


Above the Thanksgiving scene, I hang a punch needle pumpkin that my daughter made. 


She also does rug hooking and made a turkey for the front door ….


….and one with three pumpkins for fall decorating.


I look forward to getting out all these pretty things each November to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Country Turkey Wall Hanging


I bought this pattern while I was in Holmes County (Ohio) Amish Country earlier this year.  I thought it would make a nice wall hanging in my cheerful yellow kitchen.  The pattern is by Becky & Me and the basic pattern measures 16×16, a nice size for a pillow or a wall hanging. 

I used the fusible method of applique and decorative stitching to complete the project.  It has a nice country look for the Thanksgiving season.