Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I had fun cooking for Thanksgiving with my mom. It took days (literally) and was gobbled up in about 30 minutes (literally) but everything came out pretty great. Here is a little photo tour through our menu... unfortunately I didn't get pictures of everything, but I'll try to describe it all.


Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts: I thought these would be gross - I hate water chestnuts. But between the bacon fat and the globs of honey, they softened up a lot and were really flavorful. There is no real recipe for this - just wrap water chestnuts with bacon, pop in a toothpick, and pile on the honey.

In addition to this, we also had brie with dried cranberries, walnuts, and thyme. I think some more stuff was out, but nothing too fancy.


Winter Green Salad with Sugared Walnuts, Crispy Pears and Pomegranate Vinaigrette: This is from Clean Food. The dressing was a huge success... it was made from pomegranate juice, a little balsamic vinegar, zesty honey mustard... delicious. I didn't use the sugared walnuts recipe from Clean Food because I had to make them for the stuffing anyway (see below), and that recipe was much easier. The tough part here was getting the pomegranate arils out of the fruit. Also check out my sweet Vera Bradley apron!

Main Course

Ham and Turkey: No pictures of the turkey, but here is the ham being slathered in brown sugar. There was some other stuff involved, but I don't know what. All I have to say is... yummm!

Sage, Walnut, and Dried Fig Stuffing: This is a 101 Cookbooks recipe, which I was so excited to make. As I mentioned earlier, I made the sugared walnuts (egg whites, sugar and salt) and used them also in the salad. I was so excited to have vegetarian stuffing with no meat in it! And although it was pretty dry (Mom even added extra liquid) it still tasted good. I would add more liquid next time though.

Wild Rice with Apples: This recipe is from Cooking Light - if not October 2009, another fall issue for this year. I was so excited to make this. It takes a long time though, and so I had to get dressed while I was waiting to bring it to a boil. I asked my mom to turn it down to a simmer after it boiled. A looong time later, I realized that she had turned it all the way up instead. Oops! There was no liquid left but it was completely uncooked. I managed to salvage it by adding a ton of extra liquid and cooking it much longer. Fortunately it turned out really good. It was a really interesting side dish and fit well with the holiday - the sauteed Pink Lady apples were so good.

We also had the typical sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.


Best-Ever Apple Pie: This is from a cookbook of my mom's - I forget the title, but it is actually quite interesting. I read it while I was supposed to be helping with the cooking. This woman traveled to farms all over the country to collect recipes. A lot of them are kind of disgusting (using ingredients like lard, etc.) but some are really cool. There are also sidebars about stuff like avocado farming, for example. Haley did most of this by herself - I helped a little though.

Tofu Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust: Another Clean Food recipe, but not as much of a hit. There was some flavor here that just wasn't really great, but it was OK. The gingersnap crust was very good though.

Mini Sweet Potato Tarts: Mom made these after she overcooked the sweet potato. I ended up taking over and scooping the stuff into all of the cups and putting on the sweet pecan mixture. I didn't try one of these (I don't like sweet potatoes, I will have to try them again someday) but they looked pretty good.


  1. It's so funny how I am always screwing up recipes.
    Never leave me alone in the kitchen!

  2. Thanks to Nancy for introducing us to bacon-wrapped water chestnuts!