Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to buy the most expensive brand to have a wonderful roasted turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you've never done it before, try buying the cheaper store brand turkey for the holidays this year to save a bundle of money. And, then, use my recipe to make it taste fabulous.
1 large turkey, thawed
1 celery stalk, washed, cut in half
1 medium onion, peeled,cut in half
1 orange, unpeeled, cut in half
1 tablespoon flour
Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag (each box contains two bags; save one for the next holiday)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove wrapper from turkey and remove inside package of giblets (set aside for giblet gravy, if desired). Rinse turkey, inside and out, then pat dry with paper towel. Place cut up veggies and orange into the cleaned out turkey cavity (these are not for eating, just for flavoring). Open cooking bag and add flour, then hold bag closed and shake flour to coat the inside of bag evenly.
Lay bag gently in roasting pan, that's at least 2 inches high, and gently place turkey inside bag (sometimes I have my husband help me with this step). Close bag with nylon tie and cut six 1/2-inch slits in top. Place turkey in oven and bake as directed on Reynolds box, depending on weight. Generally, it takes about half of the usual roasting time. No matter what brand of turkey you use, this cooking method will produce a moist, tender and absolutely delicious turkey for your holiday meal.
I have been cooking our holiday turkeys this way for many years and have saved a lot of money; they always turn out delicious. I hope your family will enjoy my recipe.
For our Southern family, no holiday would be complete without some form of sweet potato dish, whether it be candied yams, sweet potatoes with pecans or marshmallows roasted on top or our family's now favorite recipe, my mom's Sweet Potato Casserole.
Having just lost my mom last year to cancer, this Thanksgiving will be a special time of remembrance for us as we always spent this holiday with her. Saving money is not just about being able to pay the bills -- it enables you to spend more time with the ones you love and that will always be worth far more than any amount of money.
My mom gave us this recipe a few years ago and it's so delicious we haven't made any of our other sweet potato recipes since. Even if you forget to add the pecans and brown sugar (or choose not to), it's still quite wonderful. Just be careful not to overcook the marshmallows; they should be slightly brown on top, not completely brown. Boy, would I love to share my mom's recipe with television personality Paula Deen. I know she would love it.
1/4 cup evaporated milk
2 20-ounce cans of yams, drained
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mini-marshmallows (about 2 cups)
Beat yams with mixer until smooth, add butter and mix well. Add granulated sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Pour yam mixture into large ungreased baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and chopped pecans. Swirl pecan mixture into casserole and top with marshmallows. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until marshmallow begin to turn golden brown.
Michelle Jones is also the founder of the free grocery tip site GrocerySavingsTips.com, where you can print free grocery coupons and get hundreds of free grocery saving tips. She is also the publishing editor of the monthly e-zine Living a Better Life, the free money-saving tips and family-budgeting publication available at BetterBudgeting.com.