Friday, November 20, 2009

If I Were Making Thanksgiving...

Oh man, this is getting depressing. Why you may wonder?
  1. I’m at work. It’s only 11:52.
  2. Guest Blogger Matt is out with an injury as well!!!
So that means two things:
  1. Everybody’s cross training!
  2. I have to think of something to blog about NOW.
  3. Snack time.
Something to blog about...something to blog about...ummmmmmm THANKSGIVING!
I’m not going home for Thanksgiving this year. Actually, this is Thanksgiving #5 that I’ve been away from home. (Things you should take into consideration when moving across the country...)
So on the one hand, I’m like – ugh – I hate thanksgiving!!! But that’s entirely untrue. I just hate having to figure out what to do when I’m not with my family. That being said, I have actually had a series of very nice Thanksgivings away from home. Each year I’ve been in a different location: Illinois (boyfriend’s fam), Massachusetts (roommate’s fam), Niger (that was interesting!), and Massachusetts again.
All of those were nice Thanksgings…but obviously nothing can compare with my own family.

Let’s talk about food, shall we? Plenty of people are planning feasts, and may need some words of wisdom. There’s so many recipes out there – how to choose? WELL, if I were to cook Thanksgiving dinner, here’s what I would make:
Turkey – of course…but I don’t have a recipe for you…just roast it, right? Turkey Stuffing on Foodista

I used to hate stuffing – the soggy bread thing bothered me. But in the past few years it’s grown on me and now I think it’s absolutely delicious! To me, a good stuffing has a lot of stuff in it. Just plain soggy bread is mushy and icky. But soggy bread with sausage, onions, and mushrooms? Now we’re talking! I'm not into adding sweet things to stuffing - apples? craisins? Both delicious foods, but I prefer them in desserts. Give me a savory stuffing! Also, can we talk about the fact that it's called stuffing, not dressing? Dressing goes on salad, stuffing goes in a turkey. Ok, thank you. 

Italian Sausage, Mushroom and Sage Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes:
Oh my god. Mashers are so good. They were my absolute favorite food ever for quite a while there, and every time I eat them I’m reminded why. If you want to spice them up a bit, add a clove of roasted garlic…it’s insanely easy to make: garlic bulb + drizzle of olive oil + tin foil + oven + 2 hours) = yummy-yummy to the max!!!
I found you this recipe that does not involve 3 sticks of butter - seriously??? Is that really necessary???
String Beans and Carmelized Onions:

Caramelized onions kill me! Like the garlic mashed potatoes, they are really easy and so delicious! Both are slow-cooked to bring out the sweetness. Also, you can make them in advance. And I advise you to double (or triple!) the recipe because a leftover thanksgiving sandwich with caramelized onions is divine. Actually, everything with caramelized onions is pretty freaking fantabulous!

And as for the string beans, just steam them – al dente. Mmmmmm, my favorite veggie.

Actually, I take that back. Brussels Sprouts may be my favorite veggie - sauteed or roasted. Again, I hated these suckers for quite a while. Why? Because the only way I had eaten them was steamed to a point of brown-ish mushiness. Ick. They tasted like dirt. But if you quickly sauté Brussels sprouts until they’re a little crispy on the outside and tenderly crunchy on the inside, you’re looking at an entirely different vegetable!

And rolls. Ah Thanksgiving rolls. My mom makes these from Bon Appetit (November 1995 Magazine) - they are kind of labor-intensive, but absolutely worth it. I cannot stress enough how totally worth it these rolls are! We BEG for these every year. Make them - your friends and family will LOVE you.
Here's a how-to video on these guys. 

As for dessert – you all know my thoughts on pumpkin. My #1 recipe in terms of ease-to-delicousness-to-traditional ratio is the Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie. Do it. You won’t be sorry!
I think I'm going to go for this Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake to bring to my hosts' house. I haven't tried it before, but it looks amazing!
Happy Thanksgiving!