Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving :)

This was the first Thanksgiving I didn't have to cook for 14+ people.  There were only three of us so I was CRAZY excited to experiment with the menu.  I wanted to use traditional flavors in some jazzed up ways.  I don't know about you, but my family eats the saaaaame thing every year and heaven forbid somebody try something new.  I'm talking jellied cranberry sauce in the shape of the can.  Yeah.

So as you know I subscribe to Rachael Ray's magazine and her Thanksgiving issue was sublime.  I took all of these recipes from her magazine; they are not my originals :)  You can find them in all their glory on her site.

Mustard-marinated Turkey (I only used a breast)
Cran-Raspberry Sauce
Bacon Gravy
Fruited Brioche Stuffing
Acorn Squash Souffle
Root Vegetable Gratin
Sage and Rosemary Breadsticks (not Rachael's recipe; my own.)
Jack Daniels Pecan Pie

Delish.  Everything except my breadsticks turned out amazing.  I'm still not sure how I managed to screw up breadsticks out of a can, but there you have it.  The turkey was moist and flavorful, the gravy was velvety, the stuffing was comforting, the souffle was luscious, and the gratin was, well, cheesy.  I'm lazy so I'm only going to talk about a few of them.

Cran-Raspberry Sauce.

Meet the only cranberry sauce you'll ever make again.  The easiest, tastiest accompaniment.  Ever.

2 cans whole-berry cranberry sauce
10 oz frozen raspberries.

Stick 'em in the microwave and mix 'em up.  Just heat them until the raspberries are defrosted and the canned stuff is incorporated.  Serve chilled.  Like whoa.  I can't believe I don't have a picture of it.

Fruited Brioche Stuffing

Brioche is a sweet bread, one I could not find, so I used Hawaiian Bread.  Cut it up into squares and toast in the oven, but watch it like a hawk so it doesn't burn.  Mine was a little ... over-caramelized.  Toast some walnuts at the same time.  Then Sautee 3 chopped shallots in some butter, and add 2 chopped pears.  Cook until softened.  Stir in 1 cup each of dried apricots, cherries, and figs.  Combine the fruit mixture with the bread and the walnuts in a large bowl.  Stir in 2 cups chicken broth, a beaten egg, some thyme, salt, and pepper.  Transfer to a greased baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  If you want to serve it immediately, remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  If you need to make it ahead of time, you can do the 15-minute stretch right before serving. 

This was delicious.  I don't think I've ever enjoyed stuffing before this.

The other items were equally awesome but as I said, I'm lazy and pressed for time....the little ones will be waking up soon. 

I think the biggest difference this year was that I did it ALL by myself.  My husband chopped some veggies, but I really wanted to do it all myself because, when you have 14 people over, it's usually more of a potluck deal.  I gotta say I was pretty proud of myself for getting everything on the table, HOT, at a reasonable hour.  It was still two hours later than I thought it would be....but that's why you plan to eat at noon :)

Happy Holidays.

Tomorrow I promise a crafting post <3

1 comment:

  1. As the third person there who enjoyed this wonderful meal, let me congratulate you on the terrific menu, the lovely presentation and how delightful it was to be part of this holiday with you and your family. I loved it all; thank you for letting me be there! What was also cool about this? You had those lovely croissant / fontina baked yummies the next day to serve with that divine cranberry sauce! I'm so glad you are blogging again - your topics are great, relevant and I just love your writing voice. And, for the record, your children are happy children and a joy to be with; I thoroughly enjoyed our time together last week.