Today is our second Thanksgiving away from Canada. Last year we had only been living here for six weeks and we just had a quiet roasted chicken dinner. This year, we offered to host a dinner for some of our Canadian friends living here in the Bay Area, and it was a blast!! We had 11 people share their evening with us (including four very well-behaved guests under the age of 11) and we ourselves had a great time hosting.
I especially had fun cooking up a storm – my first time making a whole roasted turkey! Everything was delicious and I am posting the recipes I used so that I can find them again next year.
What am I thankful for? Well, I’m thankful every day of the year for my wonderful husband, family, and friends. I’m thankful for my mental and physical health. I’m thankful for my challenging, engaging, and crazy job, and being able to work with incredibly smart and cool people every day. I also feel very blessed that we’ve made fast friends here in amazing California with some incredibly genuine and wonderful people. And today in particular, I’m thankful for our fridge full of leftovers, and for the scientists at Pfizer who created this wonderful day-after headache-killing invention called Advil!!
Recipes from others:
- Turkey brine: http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/11/how-to-brine-a-turkey/ (I didn’t change a thing and it turned out wonderfully!)
- Turkey roasting instructions: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-a-turkey-the-simplest-easiest-method-160905 (I didn’t pour broth in the bottom of the roasting pan, but rather used 2 cups of broth to baste throughout the roasting time)
- Mashed Potatoes: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/delicious_creamy_mashed_potatoes/ (these were SO good – I did make a small change and used milk instead of half&half)
- Green Bean Casserole: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-bean-casserole-recipe/index.html (I tripled the number of green beans and doubled the mushrooms, and sprinkled the crispy onions on top of the cheese instead of incorporating into the casserole)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe/index.html (added a sour cream/sugar/vanilla topping to hide a crack, but that’s the only change I made)
- Apple Tart: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/11/simplest-apple-tart/ (DELICIOUS. Will absolutely make anytime I have extra apples or pears hanging around begging to be used up)
- Gravy from pan drippings: make a roux by melting some butter in a pan and adding flour until you have a smooth paste. Add the roux to the pan drippings (still in the roasting pan) and whisk over low heat until you reach the desired consistency. Add broth or water, and perhaps a little more roux, if the gravy is too salty. Add water or broth if the gravy is too thick.
- Mom’s Stuffing: secret family recipe which has been passed down through the generations and doesn’t live online.