Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had extremely full bellies and were surrounded by the people you love.
We had a great Turkey day. Sort of on a whim we decided to go skiing in the morning so we hit up Vail again (third time this week!). It was actually pretty nice, not too crowded. I felt good about skiing before stuffing my face with food! At least we were a little active yesterday..
The Thanksgiving feast turned out pretty good! My least favorite dish, which also happened to be the healthiest, was the green beans. I’m not sure I loved the balsamic vinegar that was included in the recipe, but it wasn’t bad. My favorite dish would probably have to be the sweet potato casserole. Mostly because it was covered in marshmallows. 🙂
Here’s our feast in pictures:
First up, frog eye salad! As I mentioned before, my husband loves this stuff. He had two bowls after dinner last night and had it for breakfast this morning. That’s a good thing because we got a long way to go!
You have to start frog eye the day before so it can sit in the fridge overnight. First up, I made the “sauce” the goes over the pasta.
This pasta is called Acini de Pepe; it’s really tiny. I’ve never actually seen it in anything else, maybe soups? Sometimes it’s hard to find. Last year when we were living in Dallas, we never found it. I looked everywhere. Here, there is 1 grocery store, and they happen to carry it. Weird. The hardest part about frog eye salad is draining the water from the pasta. It’s so small you can’t use a standard strainer or it’ll come out the holes so I used the lid of a pan and covered most of it while trying to drain the water. We lost a few but I think we’ll live.
Just mix the sauce and pasta together then refrigerate overnight. The next day all you have to do is add the remaining ingredients!
Next: pumpkin pie! I love me some pumpkin pie. I actually thought about having some for breakfast this morning but I stayed away! I had cornbread instead :).
I usually don’t love ginger, but I thought fresh ginger would taste great in a pumpkin pie. I didn’t use quite as much as the recipe called for and actually it turned out perfect! The ginger wasn’t too overbearing, it was nice and subtle.
Almost everything was homemade…almost. The pie crust and gravy were not. The thought of rolling out a pie crust and stirring gravy for however long sounded terrible so thank God for grocery stores!
Our oven is slightly lopsided so the pie was fatter on one side…oh well. Still tasted good!
I just realized I bought shaved coconut to toast and put on top of the pie. Ya, I forgot about that. I whipped cream that baby instead.
Dish #3: cranberry sauce! I don’t mind canned cranberry sauce at all. In fact, I think it’s delicious but I thought I’d try homemade just because…why not? It’s Thanksgiving. Also, the recipes for cranberry sauce can be as simple as you’d like. I chose simple: sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
Isn’t it funny how we don’t use cranberries for anything else? You might bake them in a bread or something, but no one eats them raw. I guess we use them in cranberry juice so they’re not totally neglected the rest of the year.
All you do for this simple recipe is combine the sugar and OJ in a pan and bring it to a boil, then add your cranberries. The cranberries will pop after a little so just let them boil for about 10 minutes, then refrigerate. If you like your cranberry sauce a little thicker, cook longer.
I love cranberry sauce. I should really incorporate it into my diet year round. Think I might.
Okay, now on to the big guns of Thanksgiving: turkey, sweet potato casserole, and green beans (and cornbread..not really a big gun).
The recipe I used was really simple for the turkey: some mayonnaise, butter (seriously, how could this not be good?), fresh sage, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
So this sauce is pretty important…I’ll explain what I did with it in a moment..
We stuffed the turkey with chopped onion, carrots, and lemon.
This turkey prep didn’t come without injuries. I basically sliced the tip of my middle finger off with a peeler. It actually really hurt.
I started to prep the turkey but my finger was a little gross so my husband had to take over.
Ignore my high sweatpants. The upper half is still in ski gear and the lower half in pajamas. I would wear sweatpants every day if it was acceptable.
My husband manhandling the turkey.
After getting the extras out of the turkey, he loosened up the skin covering the breast meat. Then took some of the sauce and rubbed it in between the skin and meat. After that was slathered on, he covered the rest of the turkey with the remaining sauce. He also stuffed the inside with the carrot and onion mixture.
I wasn’t so sure about the mayonnaise thing at first, but I read that it adds great flavor to the turkey. My husband actually doesn’t like mayo (I know, I took a risk), but he really liked the turkey.
I popped the turkey in the oven heated to 350 degrees for about 2 1/2 hours (thermometer read 160 degrees).
I’m always scared it’s going to turn out dry but it was actually pretty juicy. Cooking turkey is so intimidating so I’m glad it turned out okay! I always think of Christmas Vacation, when they cut into the turkey and its completely dry on the inside.
Ah that movie really gets me in the holiday spirit.
Anyway, on to the sweet potato casserole!
This was actually really easy. The hardest part was boiling the sweet potatoes only because it took some time. Once they were boiled to the point where they were soft enough to mash, I mashed them up and added brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Then loaded marshmallows on top!
I could eat all the marshmallows off the top and be satisfied. I think my husband would get a little irritated though.
Yum! This wasn’t too sweet. I’ve had sweet potato casseroles that were basically dessert dishes, I mean, they were amazing but just a little too sweet. This wasn’t overboard on the sweetness (as you stare at a thick layer of marshmallows on top).
I got the green bean recipe from Cooking Light magazine. It’s basically green beans, pearl onions, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and butter.
I just realized I didn’t take any pictures of the cornbread. Oh well, it was basic cornbread.
Finally dinner was served!
It’s amazing how much time is put into this meal and how little time it takes to get full. I swear I had like, 5 bites and was full. But the food turned out great! Hopefully one of these days we can have the whole family over for Thanksgiving. That would be quite an undertaking but I think I might be ready.
We’re actually warming up leftovers as we speak :).
How was your turkey day?