Thursday, November 26, 2009

What am I thankful for? (besides my wonderful family and being given the chance to pursue my dream)   I am thankful for Anne Burrell.  Thanks to her, we had a BEAUTIFUL turkey (above) and the most delicious stuffing and gravy I have ever had.  For those of you who don't know her, she is the host of "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" on FN.. She also used to be a chef instructor at ICE.  My mom and I watched her Thanksgiving episode and decided to try out her recipes this Thanksgiving, including basting a turkey for the first time.  Boy was it worth it!  

Here's a pic of the stuffing, which was made with ciabatta bread, spicy italian sausage, apples, onion, celery, apple cider, stock, and lots of herbs:
Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, we tried a Paula Dean recipe (which is out of the ordinary because Paula really gets on my nerves and usually uses way too much butter in her recipes!)  but these mashed potatoes were fantastic!  It was a mixture of potatoes (we used yukon gold), parsnips, and rutabega mashed with cream cheese and butter.  We used an immersion blender to get it nice and creamy..mmm

Usually for our veggies, we just make plain corn and string beans.  Not this year!  My sister was in charge of the corn and spiced it up a bit by saute-ing it in olive oil and adding fresh basil and other seasonings.  We also made a maple roasted vegetable dish that I ripped out of some magazine (I think it was Gourmet mag?).  It had carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, cauliflour, and brussel sprouts.  We mixed it up with some of wegman's basting oil, salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of minced fresh ginger.  We also topped it off with some toasted pecans:

Other dishes included sweet potatoes, which my mom made and were soo good (they were baked with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon) and my mom's usual stuffing that we stuffed inside the bird.. As much as I loved the stuffing I made, I must say that hers was pretty awesome too... When we were cleaning up, she was literally spoon feeding me some more stuffing that was stuck inside the bird... mmmmm LOVE stuffing!

For the first cocktail of the day (before all the amazing wine was opened) we had some champagne that I topped off with pomegranite seeds:

Here's a pic of our beautiful Thanksgiving table:

We ate dinner around 4.  After cleaning up the massive mess in the kitchen, my mom and I finally got to enjoy some cask wine and relax!  Then my mom and I kicked some butt  playing "guesstures" against Uncle Mike, Kim, and my Grandparents.  We had some great laughs over our great charade skills!  In the meantime, my brother helped himself to another huge plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, and noodles (all he needs is an hour to rest before he can continue eating), and my sister and dad went into a turkey/wine coma in the family room.

Finally it was time for dessert and the Giants game!  First dessert: the beautiful, magazine-worthy apple pie:

And the sad, definitely non-magazine worthy pumpkin pie:

I messed up, but it still tasted good ..I swear ;)  

I didn't take a picture of the pudding pie, but I definitely should have because my mom made it really pretty by piping on fresh whipped cream and topping it with shaved chocolate. 

Now I am tired, full, and must sleep!  Hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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