Yesterday was a terrific day and a great meal (if I do say so myself.) :) It was great to spend the holiday with friends and despite the cooking frenzy, it was a very relaxing day for me. That's surprising, usually I completely stress out and freak out and am generally impossible to live with when we're having people over. I think just the fact that I wasn't at work caused me to really relax.
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.