FF recap week 11: Down goes Gronk


Week 11 showed us that no job is safe in the NFL, especially at QB. There were some great early games as three went into overtime, but the rest of the weekend (and Monday night didn’t live up to the hype). Here are some news from around the NFL, the injury front and recipes for Easy Turkey Gravy…Make ahead Mashed PotatoesSweet Potato CasseroleCranberry-Pineapple SauceGreen Bean CasseroleBrown Sugar Pumpkin Pie…and wash it down with a Wild Thanksgiving Cocktail. All of this to go along with your Perfect Roast Turkey This Thanksgiving.


FF week 11 News:

Coach Jim Harbaugh indicated following Monday night’s 32-7 win that he’s willing to stick with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback going forward. In his post-game press conference, Harbaugh had a prime opportunity to squash any notion of a quarterback controversy. He did the exact opposite. “We’ll see,” said Harbaugh. “I usually tend to go with the guy who has the hot hand. We got two quarterbacks who have a hot hand.”

Lions coach Jim Schwartz announced at Monday’s presser that Titus Young has been suspended for Week 12. Young was sent home from the Lions’ team facility Monday after causing a scene on the sideline in Sunday’s loss. Schwartz said Young’s behavior has been affecting the team, and that his status will be re-evaluated next week. “It’s your job to make the team happy, it’s not the team’s job to make you happy,” Schwartz said. Per beat writer Chris McCosky, Young is being disciplined for “whining, pouting, sulking” about not getting more passes thrown his way. It’s a disappointing, if predictable, turn of events for the second-year receiver, who has been dogged by questions about his character going back to Boise State.

Ravens Ed Reed has been suspended one game for “repeated violations of the rule prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.” Reed delivered a savage helmet-to-helmet blow to Emmanuel Sanders in Sunday’s win, earning a 15-yard penalty for the plainly illegal hit.

Speaking of hard hits… Jerricho Cotchery suffered an undisclosed injury in that same game as he was absolutely crushed on the sideline on a clean hit late in the game that would have given the STEELERS a 1st down and closer to an attempt at a game tying FG. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the they have scheduled a physical for free agent Plaxico Burress. Look for them to sign him today or tomorrow.


In the Injury Front:

Rob Gronkowski sustained a broken forearm, an injury that appears likely to cost him 4-6 weeks… LeSean McCoy left with concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit late in Sunday’s game. He will now have to get cleared to play next Monday night against Carolina. Backup Bryce Brown will take over if he cannot go…Julio Jones played through his ankle injury on Sunday, but was forced to leave in the second half. Unfortunately, this appeared to be more of an aggravation than a precautionary exit, as Jones was spotted saying “I’m done” on his way off the field…Harry Douglas would start if Jones is out for Week 12…Willis McGahee got off to a fast start, but tore his MCL and is out 6 weeks…With McGahee out, Denver went to a Ronnie Hillman-Lance Ball platoon….Dwayne Bowe left in the first half with a neck injury. With Jon Baldwin (concussion) already out on Sunday, Terrance Copper took Bowe’s spot, finishing with three catches for 33 yards….Felix Jones injured his knee in the first half but played through it…When asked if DeMarco Murray could play on Thursday, Jerry Jones offered these words of wisdom, “I don’t know.”Blaine Gabbert left Sunday’s game with an injured right elbow. Enter Chad Henne, who surprisingly lit up one of the league’s best defenses. Henne has earned another start in Week 12…After a rotten performance from Nick Foles on Sunday, ProFootballTalk reports that Michael Vick (concussion) could be back next week…The Steelers are reportedly “hopeful, though hardly optimistic” that Ben Roethlisberger (ribs, shoulder) can make it back for Week 13…Donnie Avery was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion…Steve Smith was able to return after a finger injury…Demaryius Thomas appeared to come up limping in the first half on the same right knee he injured last week, but was able to play through it…Danny Amendola left in the first half with a right foot injury, but was able to return in the second half…ESPN reports Byron Leftwich fractured two ribs in Sunday’s loss, and is unlikely to start in Week 12. CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports he’s also dealing with a shoulder injury. Leftwich was in obvious pain throughout Sunday’s loss, but third-stringer Charlie Batch never even took off his coat…Dennis Pitta sustained a concussion in the first quarter…Isaac Redman left with a head injury…Kevin Ogletree sustained a head injury in the fourth quarter…Darren Sproles (hand) was inactive for Sunday’s game…Texans CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) is iffy for a Thanksgiving matchup with Calvin Johnson and the Lions….Cowboys sources tell the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that DeMarco Murray (foot) and LT Tyron Smith (ankle) are not expected to play on Thanksgiving Day against the Redskins…Now we know!…Antonio Brown remains out with a high ankle sprain. Bring Back Plax! Just leave the guns at home.




Easy Turkey Gravy


Making gravy from your pan drippings is easy.  You can make it with the drippings or use low sodium chicken broth while your turkey is resting.  Don’t even think about using gravy from a jar.




1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups pan drippings




Drain the pan drippings for the roasted turkey through a fine strainer.

Let sit and then remove any fat from the top of the drippings.

Add in chicken broth or water to make 4 cups if necessary.

In a medium saucepan, melt margarine or butter.

Add in lots of black pepper.

Add in 1/2 cup flour plus 3 tablespoons; constantly whisk for about 3 minutes over low heat. Slowly add in the 4 cups turkey broth/drippings; whisk constantly over medium-low heat until bubbly and thickened (about 3 minutes).

Use right away or keep warm over lowest heat setting, whisk again before serving.





Mashed Potatoes


The greatest thing about this recipe for mashed potatoes is that you can make them ahead of time and cook them while the turkey is resting.




3 lbspotatoes (about 4 large)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine

2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter or 1 tablespoon margarine, melted

1/2 teaspoon paprika




Place potatoes in a saucepan; add water to cover and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.

Peel potatoes; place in a large mixing bowl, and mash with a potato masher.

Add 2 tablespoons butter, cream cheese, sour cream, milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Mix until all ingredients are blended.

Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Brush top of mixture with melted butter; sprinkle with paprika. Bake immediately, or cover and refrigerate*.

Bake at350F, uncovered for 30 minutes or until hot.

*= If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.






Sweet Potato Casserole


This is my take on a classic sweet potato casserole. To me, you must top them with marshmallows, but they are optional.





3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup mini marshmallows




Mix all of the casserole ingredients together until well blended.

Spread into a buttered casserole dish. Mix topping ingredients (except marshmallows) together and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. To top with marshmallows, place them on the casserole and bake for an addition 5-7 minutes or until marshmallows have melted.





Cranberry-Pineapple Sauce


This recipe makes close to 6 cups, plan ahead the sauce needs to chill for 24 hours before using.




1 (20 ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice

2 (12 ounce) packages cranberries (fresh or frozen, preferably fresh)

1 1/4 cups sugar (can use more)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cloves




Drain the pineapple thoroughly in a fine sieve set over a large measuring cup (push the pineapple against the sieve to drain out any extra juice).

Add enough water to the measuring cup (with the juice in it) to make 2 cups liquid.

Place the liquid in a saucepan. Add in cranberries and sugar.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil until most of the berries pop and the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes) remove from heat. Add in drained pineapple, walnuts, lemon juice and cloves; mix until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.





Green Bean Casserole


This is the classic green bean casserole you have had at many thanksgiving dinners throughout the years.  The recipe has not changed and can’t be easier.




1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained

1 1/3 cups French-fried onions (French’s)




Combine soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 qt baking dish; stir until blended.

Stir in beans and 2/3 cup fried onions.Bake at350°Ffor 30 minutes or until hot. Stir.

Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup fried onions.Bake 5 more minutes or until onions are golden.





Wild Thanksgiving Cocktail


Nothing says fall like Wild Turkey, apple brandy and cranberry juice. Why not make up a big batch of this cocktail and put it in a punch bowl.




1 ouncewild turkey

2 ouncesapple brandy

1 splash lime juice

3 ouncescranberry juice

2 mint leaves




Muddle mint leaves in bottom of glass. Shake everything else together and pour into glass. Serve chilled.





Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie



One 12‑inch circle of pastry

15-ounce can pumpkin puree

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp  allspice

1/2 tsp  cinnamon

1/2 tsp  ground ginger

1/2 tsp  salt


Preheat the oven to375°F.

Line an 8-inch pie plate with the rolled out pastry and trim it even with the edge of the pie plate. Combine puree with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended. Pour into the prepared pastry and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and the custard set. Let cool before serving.





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