Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giving Thanks...Again

I was fortunate to have two Thanksgiving celebrations this year. The first with my boyfriend and the second with my girlfriends up in Idyllwild, CA. We made most of our food in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, but cooked the main event (the turkey of course) up in our little cabin oven. I scoured books and recipe sites for ideas and did a little improvisation as well. Here was our menu:

Turkey - courtesy of Nature Mart. Seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and basted in chicken broth. Topped with a couple slices of maple bacon. Complete with gravy made from the turkey fat/drippings and a little bit of flour, salt and pepper.

3 Types of stuffing - Alison and Stefanie made their favorites from home, while I’ll tried a fantastic recipe from the New York Times. While I tried to stay true to the recipe, I vegetarianized it, subbing vegetable broth for chicken broth and holding the bacon. I also didn’t want to splurge on Chanterelle mushrooms, so I got baby bellas instead.

Parmesan and Thyme Mashed Potatoes - Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine magazine. Stefanie did an excellent job on these.

Waldorf Salad - A tradition for Alison and a great reminder of home for me. Apples, grapes, walnuts and mayonnaise…not sure what else but it was delicious!

Green Bean Casserole— Instead of a casserole it was more of a sauteed dish with crispy onions on top. I sauteed the green beans in half a can of Campbells mushroom soup and topped the green beans with the fried onions.
Pumpkin Bread — One loaf to last us the entire weekend. Not sure if it was this recipe, but it was delicious. Mmmmmm….

Cornbread Rolls — Via 101 Cookbooks. I messed up and forgot to by corn at the grocery so these came out a little dry. Nothing a little butter couldn’t fix though.
Roasted Carrots & Peppers — Also via 101 Cookbooks. Turn the oven to 450, cover the vegetables in olive oil (and a little salt and pepper) and that’s it.

Cranberry Sauce — A Thanksgiving staple. No risks taken here, we went with the can.

And for dessert…

Banana Pumpkin Mousse Tart - This was Stefanie’s creation so I’m not entirely sure of the origin, but I have a feeling it is from the Barefoot Contessa (Stefanie’s favorite).

Pecan Pie - My Thanksgiving favorite. Via AllRecipes.com.

Apple Pie - I improvised with this one. Got a store-bought pie crust and combined 6 Granny Smith apples (peeled and quartered) with juice of half a lemon, lemon zest, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little flour. I topped the filling with some butter before adding the top layer of crust. Baked at 350 for at least 40 minutes.

All in all, it was an excellent Thanksgiving with some of my closest friends who made me feel as grateful as ever.

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