Pre-cooked Thanksgiving turkey? Tricks to make it look and taste home made!

No time to cook? No problem! Even if you buy a preroasted bird, you can still serve your guests a "homemade" Thanksgiving feast by doctoring up the turkey and the trimmings.

(Nearly) Homemade turkey

Glaze a preroasted bird with olive oil and melted butter before reheating in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes. Arrange on a beautiful platter and garnish with tiny ears of dried Indian corn, nuts in their shells, clusters of grapes, miniature Lady Apples or Seckle pears.

Spiced-up (store-bought) stuffing

To prepare, stir dried cranberries or chopped apricots plus chopped walnuts or pecans into a bag of premade stuffing mix.

Or saute some chopped onions and garlic in butter and stir that in. Or add a pound of cooked, crumbled bulk pork sausage and half a cup of chopped dried apples to a bag of premade stuffing mix.

You can also use seasoned croutons in place of stuffing mix.

(Practically) Homemade rolls

Sprinkle crescent rolls (buy in dairy section of supermarket) with grated cheese or dried herbs before baking.

(Gussied-up) Gravy

Doctor up canned gravy by adding a chopped, sautéed onion and some chopped, sautéed mushrooms. Add extra freshly grated pepper to taste. Or for every 2 cups of gravy, add 2 tablespoons of dry sherry, madeira or Cognac. Or for every 4 cups of gravy, add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme, sage, rosemary or tarragon.

Cranberry sauce (with some help)

For "homemade" cranberry sauce, combine a can of whole cranberry sauce, a small can of crushed pineapple and a small can of drained mandarin oranges. Add a handful of chopped walnuts and refrigerate till serving time.

(Partly) Homemade Sweet potato pie

Mash a can of sweet potatoes, add a little melted butter, cinnamon and orange juice, and spoon into a shallow baking dish. Bake till hot, then put on a layer of mini-marshmallows and bake until they are melted and gooey.

(Pumped up) Pumpkin Pie

Instead of pie, stir together equal parts of soft vanilla ice cream and canned pumpkin. Season with cinnamon and nutmeg and pour into a pie plate. Top with graham cracker crumbs and freeze.

By Lena Sullivan 11/23/2010 09:41:00

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