Friday, February 26, 2016

Spontaneous Mid-Winter Thanksgiving

with Missy Tippens

I bought this wonderful marinated turkey breast tenderloin at Aldi back at Christmas. Then I found out my son and fiancee would be home on Christmas Day and realized it wouldn't be enough to feed my family. So I decided to buy a whole turkey breast and popped the tenderloin into the freezer.

Flash forward to last week when I needed a quick meal. Thankfully, I had put the meat in the fridge to thaw.

I just needed to decide what to serve with it. I decided since I would be baking the turkey, I would throw a couple of sweet potatoes in with it.

Scrub and dry the potatoes. Then spray a cookie sheet with baking spray and put the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes before the turkey (I think I had it set to 325 degrees).

Then once the potatoes have their extra 15 minutes, put the turkey tenderloins in the oven in a shallow baking pan. Bake 50-60 minutes. I did the full 60 minutes because I'm weird about poultry.

Meanwhile, I decided to make a green bean casserole. A mini one for just my husband and me. :)

Since we now have an empty nest, I like to buy steam-in-the-bag frozen veggies. They're the perfect size for two.

I cooked a small bag of green beans according to package directions, but shortened the cook time by about 2 minutes.

I emptied the cooked beans into a small casserole dish. I had a large can of cream of mushroom soup, so I spooned about 1/4 to 1/3 of the can of soup into the cooked beans. Then I stirred in a splash of milk.

I covered the dish and microwaved it for about 3 minutes. Then I topped with a fried onions.

Once the turkey and potatoes were finished, I pulled them out of the oven and broiled the green bean casserole (uncovered) until golden and bubbly (about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn while broiling!).

The turkey was very tender. The casserole turned out yummy! And I topped the baked sweet potato with butter and brown sugar. Lots of brown sugar. :) My excuse it that it's Splenda Brown. Ha!

It turned out to be a wonderful, easy, quick meal! And next week, I'll share what I made out of the leftovers. :)


  1. Missy, that casserole was the only way I ever knew my mother to make green beans! No microwaves back then though.

    We have similar individual packs of microwave veggies. Cuts down on the waste when there are fewer people around to eat, but I confess my favorite part is watching them when they start spinning crazily in the microwave after the steam builds up. It's an adventure to see - are they going to burst?

    Okay, so I'm easily amused. :)

    Glad you had such an easy and delicious dinner.

    1. LOL, Cate!! I'm pretty easily amused, too. :) I'll be sure to watch next time. hahaha

  2. OH, this looks so tasty. We almost never have turkey unless it's the whole bird and it's cooked at someone else's house. I've only cooked a turkey once and it was an ordeal. These turkey loins are just perfect.

    My kids had that green bean casserole for the first time this Christmas when we were at a friend's house for dinner... and I had to laughed because they acted like it was the BEST FOOD THEY'D EVER HAD. I'd just never made it because relatives always brought that dish when I was little and I thought it was weird.

    But now we make it 3-4 times a month. :) Funny how your kids can give you a new appreciation for certain dishes!

    1. Mary/Virginia, my husband was kind of like your kids. He was surprised how much he liked it. :) I've only made it occasionally for Thanksgiving, but now I think I'll do it more often like you!

      I know exactly why it's so good. The fried onions. Oh my goodness, I love them. I always have them on hand for salads. And every now and then, I slip in the pantry and have a handful while I'm cooking. Just to give me energy to make it through cooking. HA!

    2. Haha! When I bought that first can of fried onions, my five year old asked what they were. I told him they were dried worms and ate one, saying, "Mmmmm, delicious!!"
      He said, "Oh, can I have one?"
      We still laugh about that. I don't care how much someone is enjoying it, if it's a dried worm, I'm NOT eating it.

    3. Shows how much he trusts your judgement. :)

  3. Looks yummy! I am the opposite of Virginia/Mary Jane. I cooked two turkeys a year for 30 years. I am turkeyed out. A breast / tenderloin seems perfect.

    We need to buy you a meat thermometer. Eliminates the paranoia and keep you from undercooking and overcooking your poultry.

    1. Tina, it's so much easier than doing a whole bird.

      You know, I do have a thermometer but never think to use it. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I usually cook about one big turkey/month here. Maybe every six weeks is more like it. I have a freezer with just turkeys and bagels. How weird are we?

    But I can cook a turkey and it's the Sunday meal, and then sandwiches, turkey/gravy and biscuits or rice, and then turkey soup. I love dishes that we can "mange" for days because once the kids get picked up, I'd rather write or edit than cook. And if there's a turkey in the fridge, Dave can do the leftover meals.

    My boys used to call me to talk them through doing turkey and roast beef dinners for their running teams at Penn. This was pre-cell phone texting and they'd call to check things, ask advice, and create these great dinners!

    But Missy, I do love those little turkey packs like that if it's just me and Dave... the turkey tenderloin, the pork tenderloin.... How amazingly blessed are we????

    And I never use a meat thermometer, although I think there's like an electric one that came with my new last year oven...

    I wonder where I put it?????


    1. Ruthy, I'm amazed that you have turkey so often! I guess I've always thought of it as a holiday food. Strange idea, when you think about it! LOL I need to serve it more often.

  5. Super easy comfort food! What a great supper idea. :)

    I haven't seen those small bags of steamable veggies - I'll have to look for them on my next shopping trip. We're down to two or three people for meals more often than we used to be, and this size would come in handy!

    And a thermometer? My husband buys me a new one for Christmas every few years. I use an instant read one for everything from burgers to bread. After so many years of being married to a food service professional, I've learned to cook by temperature rather than time!

    1. Jan, I hadn't thought of an instant read thermometer. The one I have is the kind you stick in the meat before you bake it and leave it in. I'll have to go fancy and get a new fangled one. :)