Friday, November 23, 2007
We got up early (well, for us), and I started with the rolls. I had prepared the dough Wednesday night and kept it in the fridge. I took it out around 9:00 am to warm up a little, then I rolled it into the balls and got them into the muffin tins. They rose for about three hours.
They were then baked in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, and here they are in all their gorgeousness:
They were awesome. Simply delicious and nice and sweet. Tim had about three of them throughout the day and we each had a few at dinner. They were great and my very first attempt at bread. Thank God there was no kneading!
Appetizers were veggies and dip and meat, cheeses, and crackers. Here's the veggie "tray".
Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Well, I have to give credit to Glenna over at A Fridge Full of Food. I saw this on her blog originally, and showed it to Tim and we decided to give it a try. We went to Walmart and bought a little tin bucket for $.97. The bottom has a thick piece of the end of a loaf of French bread. It is covered with kale and then the skewers are held in by the bread. The skewers have grape tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and peppers. It was adorable.
I have a dip tray I bought at Cost Plus a few years ago and that was the centerpiece of the tray.
Two of the sections have Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressing, one has different types of crackers and the one you can barely see has sausage and two kinds of cheese. It was great fun and L and M really liked it.
Now to the main course - isn't that why we're all here?
The turkey was absolutely gorgeous - crispy, golden brown skin and perfectly cooked on the inside. Tim thought it was a bit dry, which it was, but the flavor was great.
The mashed potatoes are the best I've ever made. I used Yukon Gold potatoes and sprinkled the tops with crispy shallots. I've decided I'm in love with The Pioneer Woman and most of yesterday's recipes came from her, including the rolls, stuffing and potatoes. The crispy shallots on top of the potatoes were my idea. :)
Tim made the sweet potatoes, and we tried a recipe from Epicurious.com. Tim and L really liked them - M and I don't like them, so we're trusting that they were good.
M loved the stuffing. It was half cornbread and half white bread, and then just the classic onions and celery with chicken broth. Once everything was mixed together, I also threw in two beaten eggs to hold everything in and it turned out good. The original idea was The Pioneer Woman's, but I added the egg. Judging by her reactions, I'm thinking the potatoes were L's favorite. As for me, it was a tie between the mashed potatoes and the rolls. Tim's favorites were the rolls and the stuffing.
Dessert was the pumpkin pie I baked Tuesday night and apple crisp. I ended up having to make a new apple crisp. There was an "incident". I don't want to talk about it. I sent Tim and M to the store to get apples and L and I stayed behind and talked about them behind their backs. :) Anyway, the new apple crisp turned out great. The apples were nice and mushy (the way Tim likes them) and the top was crispy and sweet. L and Tim said the pumpkin pie was really good, too, although M and I didn't try it.
This holiday season, I'm thankful for my boyfriend who puts up with me and all my strange quirks and loves me anyway. I'm also thankful for good friends. I've known L for about 4 years when we worked together and M for almost three years. They're good friends, and when they lived in Phoenix, we used to get together every week for dinner. Now that they live in California, we don't see them enough, but it's still very nice when they come home. I'm also thankful for all of the leftovers in our fridge, which are going to make some great meals. I'm thankful to have such bounty when others have to go without.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tim did his sweet potatoes (we had to get new ones) and we'll keep them warm in the crockpot tomorrow. We're trying to do everything that needs the oven before the turkey goes in tomorrow afternoon. I prepped my veggies, meats and cheeses for the appetizers, pre-chopped the onion and celery for the stuffing, and made the bread dough for the rolls. Once again, it was the Pioneer Woman to the rescue! She posted her recipe for rolls this morning and I immediately emailed it to Tim and we agreed that it looked great.
Stay tuned - I'll try to remember to take pictures of everything tomorrow before we devour it. :)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
More to come...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tim and I spent eight hours grocery shopping yesterday. We went to about 6 different stores to get various things and then finished up the shopping tonight.
There will be four of us for Thanksgiving - myself and Tim and our very good friends, L and M. L and M will be eating another dinner earlier in the day, but they've promised they will come hungry.
So, here's what's on the menu:
Mulled apple cider
Meat/Cheese/Veggie/Cracker "tray" (It's a secret - I'll post a picture when it's done)
Turkey (Alton Brown's brined turkey recipe)
Sauteed Corn with Onions, Zucchini, Squash, and Bell Peppers
For dessert, we have apple crisp and pumpkin pie. The only things that won't be homemade will be the bread and the pumpkin pie crust. The rest will be made by Tim and myself. Tim is 100% in charge of the turkey. I've made or assisted a couple of other turkeys and they never turn out as good as when just Tim does it.
*Is it still called stuffing if you're not actually putting it in the bird? Is that when it's called dressing instead? I really have no idea, but we always called it stuffing when I was growing up, so that's what I call it.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I thought this was also a good time to introduce you to Mickey.
Mickey has been with me for about 30 years. He's a plastic dinner plate that I've had for as long as I can remember. When I was very, very young, I didn't eat a lot. (Boy, how times change!) Anyway, it was a struggle for my parents to get me to eat more than a few bites of food every meal, so I got Mickey. It became a challenge to "uncover" Mickey. Mickey was probably made long before dishwashers, but he still goes in. He gets used many, many times during the week. He's my favorite plate, and one of the very few things that will never be "downsized" in all of my moves from house to house or state to state.
Another night, we had a really yummy salad. This was made from romaine hearts, mushrooms, red peppers, and corn. I don't even remember what we had it with, but it was so pretty, I had to take a picture of it.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
November begins a time of craziness. My birthday is in a couple of weeks. Less than that, actually - on the 17th. I've never really enjoyed my birthday for a variety of reasons. I've never known for sure if that was actually my birthday so I don't know if I'm celebrating on the right day. The short version of the story is that I was born in Korea and about a month later, I was abandoned and then found. The orphanage gave me a name and a birthday and then 4 months later, I was adopted. The birthday they gave me is still the day I celebrate, but it's always felt a little off to me. I'd almost rather celebrate the day I was found or the day I was adopted, but it's habit to celebrate November 17, so that's what we do. It's a day that's always been just a little melancholy for me.
After my birthday we have Thanksgiving. It turns out L and M won't be here to have dinner with us, so it will just be the two of us. It would have been great seeing them, but they were having a tough time finding someone to watch their dogs on the holiday. I wish we had someone to spend the day with, though. It would be nice to have someone to cook for other than the two of us. I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but I don't love that it's just the two of us. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No gift-buying or huge pressure. Just food, family, and football. Given that Tim and I aren't much for sports fans and we have no family here, this year will just be food. Last Thanksgiving we went to Maine for Thanksgiving, which was nice. His mom prefers us to be there for Christmas, though, so she made sure that happened this year by buying us the tickets! :)
Anyway, L and M are having Thanksgiving with M's family on Friday and then a group of us are going out to celebrate L's birthday. She loves her birthday, unlike me. :) The first week of December is Tim's birthday, and right after that is Christmas. We'll be in Maine for Christmas, which I'm thrilled about. Maine is beautiful and relaxing, which I think it just what the doctor ordered.