Thanksgiving 2016 Recipe Review

This morning, Joey was toasting up one of these leftover rolls for breakfast and I realized I hadn’t finished this post yet!  Also, would you readers be offended if I confessed that this post is more for me than for you, so that when next Thanksgiving rolls around (no pun intended), I remember what we liked, what we didn’t and any tweaks we made to any of the recipes we used?

I’m starting to think my mom will never be ready to bequeath hosting duties to me, but if she ever is, I think I’ll have the whole Thanksgiving timeline/prep/recipe juggling thing down to a T.

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Good Old American White Rolls

Word to the wise: do not cover these fluffy little rolls with a lid while they sleep in the fridge overnight because they will stick to said lid and end up all dumpling looking on top, hence the picture from last year.  Oh well, they don’t have to look perfect to taste perfect.  My mom approved and at one point, I looked up to see my sister ladling gravy over her last bite, so I’ll take that as a good sign🙂  I just pop these in the fridge after the first rise/roll-shaping then do the second rise/baking on Thursday morning.  Works like a charm.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Warning: this is sweet.  Like candy sweet.  I even cut back on the sugar (3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, but next time I might even cut it back to 1/4 cup) but it’s also really delicious!  We’ve been making some version of sweet potato casserole since 2010 but I think this is our favorite.  That pecan topping really seals the deal, if you ask me.

Skillet Green Bean Casserole 

I think we may have defeated the purpose by pouring this into a glass casserole dish, but the thought of lugging around that heavy fire-hot cast iron dish was not appealing.  I gotta give Joey complete credit for this (though I guess I did blanch the green beans) and I think it’s another keeper!  Easy to make, tastes amazing and involves cheese.  What more can you ask for?  We cut back on the amount of parsley in the topping because it was a little overwhelming and it turned out perfect.  Also, we ended up making a second batch after deciding it didn’t look like enough for seven people (& leftovers!).  This was an excellent decision.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Cider and Bacon 

I love all things Brussels but I don’t know if this necessarily blew me away.  But, if you wash and cut these ahead of time and DON’T accidentally make them with apple cider vinegar instead of apple cider, then these cook up fairly fast and require minimal hands on effort.  I always cook Brussels sprout recipes longer than instructed because I like em just a tad softer than crisp and this recipe was no exception.

Cauliflower and Leek Gratin

I made this on Friday for the Thanksgiving Potluck my brother and sister-in-law hosted and even though it was lukewarm (at best) by the time I got it there, I still think it went over well.  Or it did with my sister at least🙂

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Salted-Butter Apple Galette

Love a galette!  So much more forgiving than a pie, ya know?  I made the dough Sunday, finished the galette Tuesday then wrapped it real tight till Thursday.  I think it’s the combo of brown salted butter, vanilla bean flecks, pretty red apple slices (I used Honeycrisps), crystallized sugar on the crust and a good dollop of maple whipped cream that makes this so good.  For the record, I only got two rows to fit on mine instead of the four shown in the picture and I used dark brown sugar for the apples and cane sugar for the crust.  Recipe rules are meant to be broken sometimes.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Does your family stick to the classics every year or do they change it up?

Do you have a good recipe to share?  (Christmas is still coming!)

Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

Extended title for this post is “Thanksgiving Weekend 2016: A mixed bag, but mostly good.”  Because, uh yeah, it’s been a blurry roller-coaster type of deal for the past four and a half days.  And while I didn’t spend the entire time in the best of moods — I took a three day coffee break and I think my emotions are all over the place now that I’m back on the caffeine train — most of it was the custom food/family/fun explosion that makes Thanksgiving my absolute favorite time of the year.

Was that intro all over the place or what?  Oy with the poodles already!

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If Thanksgiving is my favorite day of year, then the three days leading up to it are my second favorite.  I get to tap into my plan -ahead, list-making, over-preparing talents and oh what a Type A high it is!  I looked forward to making this Salted Butter Apple Galette all day on Tuesday.  It turned out perfectly!  Pretty impressed with my apple slice feathering skills :)

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We managed to sneak out of work early on Wednesday, spent a couple of hours assembling/prepping dishes for the next day and made that one emergency trip to the grocery store, because something just HAS to go wrong when you’re cooking for Thanksgiving.  I totally made the Brussels sprouts with apple cider VINEGAR instead of actual apple cider and Joey had to pick up another two pounds so I could re-make them.  Yikes.

Crisis averted, we took ourselves to dinner at Uncle because after last year, I vowed to make ramen dinner our new Thanksgiving Eve tradition.  We people watched during the 45 minute wait, then sat in the exact same spot as last year!  What are the chances?

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THANKSGIVING ♥

Morning time perfection brought to you by a mug of coffee and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It feels so wrong to give up our Turkey Trot tradition, but it also so feels so relaxing and right.  Joey even had time to draw a little Christmas tree on our wall🙂

Afternoon perfection brought to you by Meal #1, which involved the best turkey, the David Blaine special (I could not roll my eyes hard enough…), a nap for Jory and the Cowboys game.  They won, I guess.

Meal #2 at my parents’ made complete by festive cocktails, my sister ladling gravy onto her roll, MOM’S STUFFING (!!!!!!!) and James Bond.  We found a whole slew of the films on Amazon and went with Spectre.  Oh and that apple galette… YUM!

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On Friday, I watched Joey’s first game of the alumni tournament before heading off to Loveland with my family to see my brother & co. at their new house!  Guess I was too busy scootering with my niece, holding my nephews cup of coffee for him while he rode his bike (start em young, right?), sipping beer with brother and admiring the penguin cake my sister-in-law made to take any pictures.  Fail!

But afterwards, Mom, Joey and I headed back to our house for GILMORE GIRLS!  I got us matching shirts to celebrate the arrival of the revival (I wanted to say that so bad!) and while we only made it through two episodes together (they were 30 minutes longer than we had originally thought), it was still so fun.  It only makes sense to watch a mother-daughter show with your mother🙂  Debating a full out post about the series, but we’ll see!

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Saturday started with pancakes (my turn!), progressed to the last episode of Gilmore Girls, followed by a run for me and outdoor Christmas decorations for Joey, who was just up on our roof when I got back from my run… normal, so normal.  Then we got ourselves together and headed over to the Denver Central Market!  It is BEAUTIFUL in there and I love all the restaurant/market stations, but I also think most people will use it to eat instead of taking advantage of the butcher, cheese shop and produce section.  I grabbed a tuna salad sandwich from Silva’s Fish Market and while the bread was Texas Toast-esque perfection, I kinda didn’t want to pay $12 to put the two halves together myself.

One major snafu later — paid $10 to park at the 16th Street Mall Pavilions only to discover the movie we wanted to see was sold out — we ended up in Arvada for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Okay, I ADORE being in the Harry Potter world but if you took away any prior HP knowledge and judged the movie on its own, it’s a lot less interesting.  I felt like the dialogue was so lacking.  Wait, was there even any dialogue?  Caught the winning end of the CU game afterwards though!

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Sunday started with breakfast tacos and ended with Thanksgiving leftovers pizza and that’s really all you need to know about that day.  Also, I’m guessing your attention is dwindling at this point.  Wishing you a quick recovery from this weekend hangover🙂