This week's column is dedicated to all the cooks who are planning to cook on Thanksgiving Day — you are top-notch!

 

Apricot glazed Turkey Breast

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

dash of salt

bone-in turkey breast (5 pounds)

Combine preserves, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place turkey breast on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan. Bake uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, basting every 30 minutes with the apricot mixture, (cover loosely with foil if the turkey browns to fast.) Cover and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

 

Finnish Cauliflower

2 cups cubed day-old rye bread

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

3 cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup flat or nonalcoholic beer

1 teaspoon  ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place the bread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp. In a large skillet, saute cauliflower in butter with the caraway seeds until tender. Remove from the heat, stir in bread and cheese. Put into a greased 11-by-7-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, beer, mustard, coriander and pepper. Pour over bread mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.

 

Special occasion Salad

1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach

1 package (5 ounces) fresh arugula or additional baby spinach

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, arugula, cherries, and almonds. Combine the oil, balsamic vinegar, salted pepper, drizzle over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

 

Chocolate Banana Bundles

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 medium ripe bananas, halved lengthwise

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

vanilla ice cream, optional

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until blended. Add bananas, stir to coat. Remove from heat, set aside. Unfold puff pastry. Cut into 4 rectangles. Place a halved banana in the center of each square. Overlap two opposite corners of pastry over banana, pinch tightly to seal. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with the chocolate. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

 

Our thought for the week: " Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion. Peace begins with a smile." — Mother Teresa