Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

The holidays are here! My husband and I always have a busy Thanksgiving. I'm dedicating this post to my Mother who made the best Thanksgiving dinner my husband and I have had. It was incredible!! I'll be thinking about it for weeks and craving it for weeks. I convinced my Mom last year to brine her turkey and it turned out amazing. This year she did the same but added a few more ingredients to the brine..oh how it helped! It was the most beautiful turkey I have ever seen! She also decided to make homemade green bean casserole this year from Annie's Eats. I must say I didn't think I was going to like it, but it was incredible! Mmm, mmm, mmm. We started the evening out with butternut squash and carrot soup. Also didn't think I would like this, but I did. It was sweet, with a hint of spice.  I also love my step dad's gravy, he makes it from the pan drippings which I think is the way to go! They left the skin on the mashed potatoes and they were the best potatoes and gravy :) I hope you're getting the point that everything was amazing. My mom also decided to make some sweet potato and marshmallow biscuits from smitten kitchen. They were good, but most of the marshmallows oozed out. She's going to attempt them a different way next time and I'm happy because I'd like to keep having them! The carrots were very delicious too, I just now realized I didn't bring any home in my leftovers container. Bummer! She braised the carrots and they were so good. I'll have to cook with her one year so I can one day make the same memories for my kids and family. She is becoming quite the chef! Love you Mom! You can visit my Mom's blog here
For dessert I made world peace cookies, they were a huge hit! Also made some pumpkin fudge brownies, very rich, but also tasty!

Jennifer's Butternut squash and Carrot soup
3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (4 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced leek or chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup light cream


1. In a large covered saucepan cook squash, carrot, and leek in hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.
2. Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining squash mixture. Return all of mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg; bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half; heat through. If desired, garnish each serving with croutons.
Makes 6 servings (6 cups)
Nutrition Facts
Calories 82, Protein(gm) 3, Carbohydrate(gm) 12, Fat total(gm) 3, Cholesterol(mg) 9, Saturated fat(gm) 2, Monosaturated fat(gm) 1, Dietary Fiber(gm) 2.

 Isn't it beautiful? And you can't forget the homemade croutons. I love the china too!

The Best Green Bean Casserole (from scratch)
Yield: 6-8 servings
For the casserole:
1¼ lbs. green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp. minced shallots
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the topping:
Canola oil, for frying
2-3 shallots, sliced thinly
Flour, for dredging
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.  Add the green beans to a large sauté pan and cover with a few inches of water.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook until fork tender, about 4-6 minutes.  Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water.  Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release most of their liquid, about 5 minutes.  Add the shallots to the pan and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.  Stir in the flour and cook briefly, about 1 minute.  Stir in the half-and-half, broth, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes more.  Stir in the drained green beans, season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.  (At this point, the casserole can be covered and refrigerated.)  Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and bubbling (30 minutes if it has been refrigerated).
To make the topping, add some canola oil to a small saucepan to about 1-2 inches deep.  Heat the oil to 350˚ F.  While the oil is heating, dredge the sliced shallots in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Add to the pan with the hot oil and fry until the shallots are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Sprinkle the fried shallots over the warm casserole.  Serve immediately.
Source: barely adapted from Williams Sonoma

 Just look at how amazing this looks. I wish I had a plate of it right now!

My Mom even made the table pretty, as she always does. The plates have to match, the silverware, the glasses. Everything needs to match. Some people think it's crazy, I know I used to, but now I get it. :)

 Love the burlap, which she reused from my wedding. I love the pumpkins and candles too!
And how can you not love the cute burlap chalkboards? Which are also reused from my wedding. :)

Mom cooing in the kitchen! Braised carrots are in the works and she's frying up some shallots for the green bean casserole!

Zoe (my adorable niece!) enjoying some butternut soup, she loved it!

 Mmm, world peace cookies! Hands down the best cookies you'll ever get your hands on. Sweet and salty. Everyone loves them. Except for my husband of course, who doesn't like salty/sweet very much. Oh, well more for me!!

 Okay, so I know these don't look very pretty but they're pretty amazing! :)
 The best pumpkin pie, and it's not from a can!!!

1 comment:

Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Aw shucks, Bridget. Thanks for all the wonderful compliments. It was a fun day, even if it was exhausting! Glad you enjoyed it all. I don't remember the world peace cookies. Did they get all eaten before you came over?

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