Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had an amazing dinner surrounded by friends and family like I did.  Thanksgiving (after Passover) is obviously one of my favorite holidays.  This year I cooked dinner for my parents and several co-workers that couldn’t make it home for the holiday.

This was a monumental year because I decided to stray from my traditional stuffed turkey breast and go all in with a 16 lb bird!  I purchased a free range fresh turkey from Misty Knoll Farms via Formaggio Kitchen and changed my turkey recipe about 5 times before I finally settled on my original recipe for roasted turkey by Ina Garten.  Ina has never steered me wrong so far so I figured her recipe would be a safe bet…especially with a stick of herb butter smeared under the skin followed by more brushed over the whole bird.  After 3 1/2 hours, my turkey was a perfect golden brown with crispy skin and tender, juicy turkey meat.

My carving skills may need some work though…

Read below for more Thanksgiving dishes and recipes (some of which you may recognize from last year or other blog posts).

The night started with some light appetizers: deviled eggs and fig and blue cheese savouries

Obviously no Thanksgiving would be complete without biscuits, especially these sage biscuits from Joanne Chang.  I topped mine with honey butter (instead of parsley butter) and served with more warm honey butter on the side (just add a Tbs or so of honey and a pinch of salt to a stick of room temperature butter and mix until combined).

I needed a cold dish for the brussel sprouts since I was tight on oven space so I turned to my favorite farm salad from Sweet Cheeks.

The meal was rounded off with stuffing, sweet corn pudding, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a spicy carrot salad.

And finally…

Dessert!!!  I possibly went a little overboard with 3 desserts: mini apple crisp pies, black bottom peanut butter mousse pie, and pumpkin cheesecake squares (not pictured).

I hope everyone had a great holiday!  Look for my next blog post on a creative way to use some Thanksgiving leftovers!

(Very Very Very) Belated Thanksgiving Post

When I started my internship, my residency program decided for the first time (in likely 200 years) to institute a holiday schedule and give each of us several days off over either Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years.  What this means, of course, is that we have to work extra over the other holidays but we take what we can get!  This year I was lucky enough to have Thanksgiving off.  I obviously love this holiday because it’s all about the food (and giving thanks I suppose).  After a 2 year hiatus from cooking Thanksgiving dinner due to work (thanks Mom for cooking instead!), I was excited to get back into the kitchen to host Thanksgiving dinner!  This year I hosted my parents and my second family- aka fellow residents who were not lucky enough to get Thanksgiving off to spend time with their own families.  Below are some of the highlights (links to recipes inlcuded)!

Pictured above: Dried apricot and date stuffed turkey breast, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and shallots, mashed sweet potatoes with pecans and crispy shallots.

The dried apricot and date stuffed turkey breasts is a tried and true recipe that I have made every Thanksgiving for the past several years.  It is perfect for a smaller Thanksgiving and also avoids the problem of dried out turkey breast.  Plus, who can say no to bacon?

Dessert of course was the highlight of the meal and no Thanksgiving dinner can be complete without some sort of pumpkin dessert.  The above bourbon-caramel pumpkin tart graced the cover of my November Fine Cooking magazine and I had to try it.  It starts with a cornmeal shortbread crust (which I almost ruined) and is filled with a pumpkin custard filling and bourbon caramel before finally being topped by roasted candied pumpkin seeds (pepitas).  A fun twist on a Thanksgiving classic!

The above black-bottom peanut butter mousse pie was the favorite dish of the night.   The recipe is simple but it is hard to go wrong with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate!  I did modify the recipe a bit after reading reviewers’ comments.  I only used 3/4 of the chocolate ganache for the bottom and reserved the rest to pipe on top at the end (and then topped with roasted peanuts).  Many reviewers suggested substituting the peanut butter chips with peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar which I followed for an excellent creamy peanut butter result.  I have a feeling that my friends will be requesting this pie often!