Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanks and Giving

"Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants."
(Kevin James)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Like last year, today I'm posting my family's Turkey Day menu as I wear stretchy sweatpants. Unlike last year, yesterday was my first Thanksgiving with my husband -- and we're happy that my brother-in-law Daniel joined us as well -- and the first with my almost 3-month-old niece Ellie.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Deviled Eggs
Brie, Gouda, and Manchego Cheeses with Grapes, Quince Paste, and Fig Spread
Olive Oil Torta, Crackers, Marcona Almonds, Caramelized Walnuts, and Olives

Roasted Turkey
Kim Classic Stuffing
Turkey Gravy
Sweet-and-Spicy Cranberry Sauce

 Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter
Roasted Asparagus
Butternut Squash and Creamed-Spinach Gratin 
Candied Yams with Marshmallows
Macaroni and Cheese
Smooth Mashed Potatoes
Buttermilk Biscuits

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

2012 Beaujolais Nouveau
South African Sauvignon Blanc
Sparkling Cider

Deviled Eggs

To snack on before the big meal, my sister and I made a Gourmet Deviled Eggs recipe from Epicurious that we topped with a generous sprinkling of paprika and sliced cornichons. It's ridiculous -- and a little dangerous -- how many deviled eggs I can repeatedly pop into my mouth!

Brie, Gouda, and Manchego Cheeses with Grapes, Quince Paste, and Fig Spread;
Olive Oil Torta, Crackers, Marcona Almonds, Caramelized Walnuts, and Olives
We also had a cheese plate of St. Andre Triple Creme Brie, Gouda Parrano, and Manchego cheeses with red grapes and membrillo, a Spanish quince paste; a plate containing fig spread, Ines Rosales olive oil tortas and Marcona almonds like last Christmas, caramelized walnuts, and various crackers; and a plate of different kinds of olives.

My Father's Dishes

Last year, I was in charge of the whole dinner. This year, my sister and I planned the menu and spent most of the day in the kitchen, and my father more than did his share: he started early to cook the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and candied yams with marshmallows -- all classic Thanksgiving dishes we grew up making and eating in my house -- and didn't exactly pause for photo ops, but these are pictured on my plate at the beginning of this post, and some in last year's post since his stuffing and gravy are simple classics. We had to demand that he make more stuffing since at first he had only made enough to stuff the turkey... Who does that? Stuffing-loving girls will cry foul!

Sweet-and-Spicy Cranberry Sauce

I veered from my go-to-since-2010 Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish with pomegranate and shallot in order to try a new Sweet-and-Spicy version with lime, cayenne, and clove from the November 2012 issue of Everyday Food. I made this the night before to save some time. My sister and I preferred the flavors of my tried-and-true cranberry sauce, but it's fun to try new recipes.

Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter, Roasted Asparagus, and Butternut Squash and Creamed-Spinach Gratin

For veggies, we made cauliflower, asparagus, butternut squash, and spinach. The recipe for Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter came from Bon Appétit via Epicurious, and my sister has made it before. The asparagus was simply roasted with olive oil.

My sister's sister-in-law has made the Butternut Squash and Creamed-Spinach Gratin, a Gourmet recipe, before, but I think she must have added more heavy cream, cheese, or butter than the recipe called for, because our definitely looked less "creamed" and tasted more healthy than we had expected -- nothing wrong with that, but note for next time.

Macaroni and Cheese, Smooth Mashed Potatoes, and Buttermilk Biscuits

My sister bought a tray of mac and cheese from Whole Foods to heat up, and as if we didn't have enough, for some extra starchiness, she and my father tag-teamed to make the creamy mashed potatoes (pictured on plate in first photo) -- even though he prefers the boxed kind -- and I made the Buttermilk Biscuits, another Bon Appétit via Epicurious recipe I first tried recently when Sam and I had friends over for dinner.

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

For dessert, I made Ina Garten's Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream, moist and pumpkin-y with a creamy mascarpone and crystallized ginger filling. After successfully baking a flourless chocolate Bûche de Noël for our Christmas dinner last year, I felt up to the challenge. My nephew Peter kept poking around the kitchen, asking to help, so I let him put some of the ingredients together and help mix the batter. Those are rosemary sprigs stuck into the roulade to look like trees (my sister's husband's idea).

Anyone brave the consumer crowds? It's been a while since I've gone out shopping on Black Friday. I'm enjoying some rest and relaxation today, watching some TV, catching up on my journal, making new meals with leftovers, and planning to put up and decorate our Christmas tree!


  1. ahhhh! it all looks soooo yummy!!

    1. Thanks! We're basically done with our leftovers, after 4 days of eating Thanksgiving dinner, haha.


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