|Thanksgiving Dinner Plate|
Many of you are brave enough to fight the crowds, traffic, parking spaces, and ridiculously long lines today for Black Friday, but I am having a post-Turkey Relaxation Day. For starters, I slept in til 10:30am, took a scalding hot shower, and vegged on the couch watching wedding shows on TLC for a couple of hours. For lunch, I reheated my aunt's eggplant parmigiana appetizer from yesterday and layered it on top of french bread that I drizzled with olive oil, parmigiano cheese and fresh ground pepper. Oh, and had a glass of Cabernet!
Yesterday was a lot of hard work, but worth every minute of it because everything turned out to be delicious! We are so glad we decided to BBQ the turkey. It was low maintenance (no basting involved) and it kept our oven free for all of our sides. We stuffed our turkey with oranges, onions and apples which kept the bird nice and moist but super flavorful. We rubbed the outside with lots of poultry seasoning, lemon pepper and 21 solute spices so the skin was extra crispy. The gravy was better than ever this year because of the tang from the oranges that juiced to the bottom of the pan. Yum. Can't wait for leftovers!
The apple cider hung out in a crock pot all day that we filled with cinnamon sticks and orange slices pricked with cloves. We kept our appetizers to a minimum this year because we always over-stuff ourselves and are in pain after the big feast. So, besides the eggplant parm, we baked brie cheese with honey and pistachios and served it with granny smith apples and crackers. Thank you, Ina Garten, for that recipe. We have to make this every year now because it is such a hit.
Our sides consisted of the usual classics mashed potatoes, green casserole and cranberry/orange jello with crushed pineapples. But we added a couple of new dishes to the menu this year that we might have to do again and again... twice baked sweet potatoes stuffed with cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon/sugar butter. Sweet and creamy! And instead of heavy rolls this year, we found a great recipe for cheese straws from none other than... Ina Garten! They are so easy to make and everyone kept going back for more... so light and fluffy and the crispy Gruyère cheese and specks of tyme make it decadent and incredibly tasty.
The stuffing is always my favorite because we add so many things to it: granny smith apples, pecans, orange cranberries, onions, celery, chicken broth and spices. We let it get extra crunchy in the oven and top it off with gravy. Beyond good. We ended the night with a plethora of dessert: apple pie, pumpkin pie, frozen yogurt pumpkin pie and owl cookies.
These are the days that I don't want to ever end... laughing, eating, telling stories and playing games with the family = perfection in my book. The only thing missing from this Holiday was a bit more family that wasn't able to join us. But Christmas is right around the corner and almost all of us will be together for that one. Enjoy the rest of this long weekend, talk soon!