THANKSGIVING 2012 Edition

This was one of the best Thanksgivings yet! Turkey Trot 5k, casual waffles, family dinner (including some old home videos…let’s make fun of Kaitlin as a baby), what could be better?

Started the day with our local Turkey Trot or “Run for the Hungry” as it is actually called.  Meghan and I were planning to have an easy warm up, light run, and easy cool down.  Yeah, that didn’t really happen.  We have too much of a competitive edge to run easy during a race, so even though I was sick, we ended up running a PR! 22:40 for a 5k.  Not too shabby 😉

Breakfast time!

Now onto a very, very long post about what we consumed.  I’m serious, it’s quite a doozy, but lots of food love below! Hope you enjoyed your Turkey Day!

HORS D’OUEVRES

Cheese and cracker platter above & cheesy artichoke dip below


My chef in crime 🙂 What a great face.

SAUCY SIDES

This lovely recipe was torn from some random magazine at the gym last week and I thought I would put it to use. I have a habit of tearing fun recipes and tips out of magazines when I see them.  The likelihood that they actually are implemented in my diet or lifestyle is rare, but I’m trying 🙂  Fun fact, cranberries will help protect your body against radical damage, so eat away!

Lemon Cranberry Sauce
(~10 servings)
Ingredients:
1 lemon
2.5 cups cranberries (fresh/frozen)
1/3 cup Agave
2 Tbsp sugar
¾ cup water

Directions:
1. Grate all of the yellow color off of the lemon, but stop when the level starts to turn white.
2. In a saucepan, combine the lemon gratings, cranberries, sugar, agave, and ¾ cup water and bring to a boil.
3. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have burst (~10 minutes).
4. Transfer to a airtight container until ready for use.

VEGGIE TIME

I decided we would have Brussels sprouts.  End of story.  Since there was no room in our one-oven kitchen for the little guys (Turkey was taking up way too much room), we decided

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts w/ Lemon
(~4 servings) Not many ate…more for me  🙂
Ingredients:
12 oz Brussels sprouts (halved lengthwise/quarter if large)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:
1. In a skillet, combine sprouts and ½ cup water; season with salt/pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Cover and stir occasionally until most of the water has evaporated and sprouts are crisp-tender. (~5-8 minutes – add more water if skillet becomes dry before sprouts are done)
3. Increase heat to medium-high; add oil to skillet. Continue to cook, uncovered, until sprouts are golden brown on underside (~5-7 minutes).
4. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice; season with salt/pepper and serve warm.

CARBO-LOADING

Stuffing compliments of Bristol Farms.  One version with pecans and dried cranberries (sausage optional) and another normal stuffing version.  My favorite way to consume stuffing is to dowse it in gravy and cranberry sauce.

Not sure when these rolls actually came into play but I’m pretty sure my grandma has been baking them since we were born.  They are so famous (in our family) that my cousins actually asked for an entire batch for Christmas.

Nancy’s Famous Rolls
(~8 dozen)
Ingredients:
1 packet compressed yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
½ cup warm water
2 cups milk
1 cup butter (it asks for shortening but butter does the trick)
½ cup sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
6-7 cups flour
½ lb hot melted butter

Directions:
1. Combine the crumbled yeast w/ 1 Tbsp sugar and ½ cup warm water. Set aside and let it rise.
2. Heat the milk just to boiling; add the butter and let it cool a little.
3. Beat the eggs, ½ cup sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add cooled milk mixture.  Add yeast and mix.  Add enough flour to handle easily and bledn with hands.
4. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for ~2 hours. (It will be about doubled in size)
5. Using about ½ of the dough at a time, pat out on a floured surface to be about ¼ inch thick.  Cut into rounds with a circular object (cookie cutter or cup).
6. Brush each round with melted butter and fold in half.
7. Place the dough in 13×9.5 inch pans to rise for ~10 minutes.
8. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until browned.
*These are best served warm but can be frozen for a couple months.

Recently there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about sweet potato casserole.  Now, I have never had this sweet concoction, partially because my family has never really bought into the whole casserole idea.  People were debating about whether adding marshmallows or marshmallow fluff to the top of an already sweet root vegetable was necessary.  What do you think?  I experimented with my own sweet potato recipe yesterday, one found off of good ‘ol Martha Stewart’s website.  I think it turned out pretty swell, and was a nice change of pace to regular mashed potatoes. Now another recipe I would adore to try is cauliflower-mashed potatoes.  But, I wasn’t sure how many people would be up for experimenting yesterday, so I’ll leave that to another occasion.

Maple-Whipped Sweet Potatoes
(~8 servings)
Ingredients:
4 lbs sweet potatoes (~7 medium)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
coarse salt/ground pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Use a fork to puncture holes in all of the sweet potatotes so they do not explode inside the oven. Set them on a sheet of foil and bake until tender (~1 hour).  The foil is used in my case, just to avoid extra clean up.  Often when sweet potatoes are baked, their sweet juices will start to drip onto the lower grates.  Not fun to clean up, that’s for sure.
3. Remove from the oven and let them cool a few minutes.  When ready, scoop out the flesh (toss out the skins) and transfer to a food processor.  I was able to pull the skins off pretty easily, but this was because they were still warm.  (You might be able to do this with a blender or hand mixer if need be)
4. Add butter and syrup and process until smooth.
5. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  If you are preparing in advance, place in a airtight container and place in the fridge.  Otherwise, serve warm.

TURKEY TIME

SUPER SWEETS

Pie was provided by the one and only Nancy Knight but it would be fun to experiment with a new recipe.  For some reason I seem to eat so much more when I am at home, oh well.  I toyed around with the idea of cheesecake, but didn’t want to have an entire cake leftover. After all, we only had 8 people to dinner, probably 2 of which would eat cheesecake.  That being said, I looked up recipes for mini pumpkin cheesecakes and improvised off of this one.

Mini Pumpkin Pies
(~12 servings)
Ingredients:
20 gingersnap cookies
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 package (8 oz) Neufchâtel cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp Greek nonfat yogurt
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
whipped cream (if desired)
caramel sauce (if desired)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with liners. (If you have a mini cheesecake pan, spray with cooking spray)
2. Drop the gingersnap cookies into a food processor and pulse until finely ground (~1 cup).  Add melted butter and pulse until mixed. Press crumb mixture into each little cup to form crust.  Bake ~8 minutes.
3. Beat cream cheese and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.   Beat in pumpkin, yogurt and salt.
4. Add egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until well blended.
5. Divide mixture evenly into crust-lined cups.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until set.  Cool completely in pan (~30 minutes)
7. Refrigerate ~2 hours or overnight.
8. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and a little drizzle of caramel.

What’s great about a number of these recipes, is that you can prepare them a couple days in advanced and don’t have to worry as much about spending all day in the kitchen.  Really, I think the only time we were in the kitchen was to heat up the spread and take care of our turkey.  Awesome job mom!

What was your favorite part of Thanksgiving?

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10 thoughts on “THANKSGIVING 2012 Edition

  1. Looks like a wonderful day! Filled with good food and friends and family! Congrats on the 5k time- not bad at all! My favorite part of thanksgiving was the 5 mile hike with my family. Needed to swear a bit before we feasted 🙂

    • It really was! 5k wasn’t too bad. I honestly don’t remember any of my times, but it’s a PR for this race. 🙂 Glad you got to hike. I adore hiking too and it helps to work out a little before eating, right?

  2. Pingback: WIAW #20 – Junk in ‘Da Trunk | California Endless Summer

  3. Pingback: Why Not Celebrate with Pie | California Endless Summer

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