Daily Archives: November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving Preparation 2021…..

Hi Everyone,

Well, the count down is on and we are all getting ready for Thanksgiving 2021. I am so excited this year because my son is coming home for the holiday.

Last year, Bob and I slept through Thanksgiving with a high fever and no sense of taste and smell when we contracted Covid 19- not a good memory.

But this year, we are grateful that we are well and we can see our son and the full menu will be served. My menu this year is listed below…

We couldn’t decide on our favorites so I decided to make scaled-down versions of each item so there is more variety and not a week’s worth of leftovers. (Have to save room for the turkey soup with tortellini the next day for lunch).

Thanksgiving 2021 Menu

Antipasto

Assorted cured meats and cheeses served with a Prosecco Holiday Toast

1st course

Italian Wedding Soup (or to us – “Uncle Vinny Soup”)

2nd course

Sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter sauce

3rd course

Roasted Turkey

Sage Cornbread Stuffing

Cranberry/Orange Compote

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

Potato Roses

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Glazed Rainbow Carrots

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts in a Dijon Mustard / Bacon Dressing

Roasted Asparagus with Pumpkin Gouda Cheese

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Artichokes

4th course

Vertical Pear Salad with Mixed Greens, Cranberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese

Dessert Course

Apple Cake

Pumpkin Amaretto Pie

Apple Cider Donuts

Butterscotch Ice Cream

Warm roasted Chestnuts

I was cooking today in preparation, and I decided to share some recipes as I go along in case you wanted to add them to your menu.

Have a wonderful, safe, Happy Thanksgiving

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Vertical Pear Salad

THIS PHOTO WAS FROM THANKSGIVING 2018

This has to be the easiest salad to pull together and the best presentation….

In a large bowl add your choice of mixed greens (I love to use fresh baby spinach for this salad), cranberries or pomegranate seeds, pecans (optional), and goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon vinaigrette*.

* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice whisked together with 1/3 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper – ADD ON OPTIONS- 2 cloves of fresh crushed garlic or 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.

Slice a pear into 3 sections and add some salad to each layer and attach the sections together with a large bamboo toothpick (can be purchased at any large chain party store). Once the pear is secured altogether, add a little extra salad to the plate and drizzle the entire pear with honey. — Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

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Sage Cornbread Stuffing

8 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs (from a 1-lb white loaf with crust removed)

4 cups coarsely crumbled buttermilk corn bread
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 turkey liver or 3 chicken livers (2 to 3 oz total), trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup
turkey giblet stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Spread all breadcrumbs in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven until dry, about 15 minutes total. Cool crumbs in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in parsley, sage, salt, and pepper.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, and then add onions and liver and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with crumbs and toss well. Add eggs, stock, and cream and toss well.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 2 1/2- to 3-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.

Cooks’ note:
• Stuffing can be assembled (but not baked) 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Sour cream cornbread

1 cup All-purpose flour

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp baking soda                                                             

½ tsp salt

1-cup sour cream

¼ cup whole milk or Buttermilk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a bowl, mix 1-cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup yellow cornmeal. ¼ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp each baking soda and salt. Stir in 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup milk, 1 beaten egg, and 2 TBSP melted butter.

Pour into a greased, 8-in square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cut in 16 squares. Best served warm.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

16 Mushroom caps

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves peeled and minced

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

¾ cup grated cheese

½ cup breadcrumbs

Salt & pepper

(1/4-cup parsley –optional)

½ cup water or chicken stock

Wipe the mushrooms with a clean damp towel and remove the stems.  Cut off the root end of the stem, and coarsely chop the rest. Heat the 3 TBSP olive oil in a heavy saucepan and cook the onions with 1 TBSP butter, add the garlic and chopped mushrooms stems. Sauté until tender & just beginning to brown—5 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Add the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt & pepper and mix well. Place the mushroom caps flat in a baking dish already coated with cooking spray. Spoon the filling into each cap. Drizzle the tops with olive oil and fill the dish with ½ cup water.

Bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees or until mushrooms feels soft when pierced with a fork. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I hope you enjoy these recipes and have a wonderful holiday and make special memories you can hold dear to your heart for years to come.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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