Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Menu in Review

I know what you are going to say, another Thanksgiving post?!?  That is soooooo last week!

OK, I agree - it's time to set up the Christmas tree, or put up the Hanukkah decorations, but many of our Thanksgiving-esque recipes can still make another appearance on the winter holiday table! There is so much more than turkey to the holiday. Plus, I really like pie, and take almost any opportunity to promote it!

We had a large menu this year, and honestly this was the first Thanksgiving dinner that I was completely pleased with. The entire meal worked, and each dish turned out tasty - I wouldn't change a thing...this listing of recipes is a winner!

Awesome Appetizers

-  Insanely Delicious Spinach Artichoke Dip with crackers & crudites. Ooey gooey cheesy dip filled with tasty artichoke hearts, garlic, and spinach. Affectionately known as 'crack dip' in my house!

-     Savory Stuffed Mushrooms with Marscarpone Cheese & Panko. Delicious bite sized savory treats that are lighter than the traditional meat filled versions.

The Bird

-     a gorgeous brined organic turkey, using Williams-Sonoma Apple Spices Brine Mix. The two day brining process brings out the best in the turkey. I stuff my bird with fresh herbs, apples, and onions (discard before serving). Our turkey always comes out moist, flavorful, and never dry. We also use the Alton Brown method to roast the turkey (sorry, spatchcock fans!). It's really easy, and I highly recommend it!

The Serious Side Dishes

-     Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel. If I had to choose one sweet potato dish to eat the rest of my life, this would be it! Fluffy mashed sweet potatoes are flavored with vanilla & melted butter, then topped with a brown sugar pecan crunchy crumble.

-     Leek and Cornbread Stuffing via Tyler Florence. Easy, savory, and delicious. A perfect compliment to the turkey.

-     Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic & Balsamic Vinegar.

-     Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup. A huge favorite at the table! I think I may even have converted some previous jellied cranberry sauce fans to the whole berry version! Cranberries are simmered in a mix of real maple syrup, orange, and cinnamon.

-     Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes made with Warmed Chicken Broth. Super easy and amazingly good.

-     Mixed Green Salad.

-     Pan Dripping Gravy with Port, adapted from Bon Appetit. Very good, although I halved the amount of flour and made the gravy more of a jus. Very tasty with port wine.


-     Classic Apple Pie in a Butter Crust. I can not say enough about this pie! The blend of juicy apples, lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, baked in a butter crust was the best dessert on the table!

-     Lemon Tart in a Butter Crust. Classic lemon curd chilled in a precooked butter crust. Simple, but heavenly! (Note: I think I made it even better with my updated graham cracker crust included in the link above! Yum!).

-     Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Penzey's Pumpkin Bread in layer cake form! Delish!

-     Classic Pumpkin Pie


-  Pear Vodka Martini.  A very popular post and even more popular drink! Juicy pear nectar is shaken with pear vodka and a splash of lemon juice.

-     Sipp Mack Riesling

-     Chateauneuf du Pape (we never got around to this, because the pear martini was so good!) 

Local Apple Cider

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