Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Day of Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Being with family, enjoying good food, and just relaxing make it a special day.  Each year my husband and I do something different for Thanksgiving.  Last year, we were alone having a very small meal in our own home.  Some years we are with my husband's family having Thanksgiving with his immediate family.  This year it is our turn to be with my family which includes my mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  In this case, I will be bringing some of the items, but most of the food will be prepared by others since we live out of town.  Items on the menu include turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potato casserole, beans, greens, biscuits, and dessert.  

My contributions for the day will be dessert, cranberry sauce, and Brussels Sprouts.  

I will be making Toffee Pecan Pie which is really superior to regular pecan pie recipes.  The filling is thicker, less jelly-like, and it is chock-full of nuts.  The toffee adds to the pie's deeper flavor giving it a brown-butter like quality.  I will be using the ratio of flour to fat that I do for the All Butter Pie Crust, but I will most likely be adding a little home rendered lard to the crust for extra flakiness and because I happen to have it on hand. 



The Brussels Sprouts will be shredded and cooked with a little bacon.  They are fantastic and can turn anyone adamantly opposed to Brussels Sprouts into a lover of the cute little cruciferous veg. 



The Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Pecans is really more of a conserve than sauce.  It is chunky, loaded for bursting fruits, and crunchy with nuts.  It is my favorite cranberry sauce and the one I have to make every year.  Leftovers are delicious over desserts, ice cream, or on sandwiches.  Imagine melty fontina cheese on sourdough bread with a little cranberry sauce in between the layers.  Yum!



I will also be trying a new recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine for a Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart.  Based on reviews and what I will have on hand, I will be making a few changes to the original recipe.  Since my pie crust recipe makes two crusts (and since many reviewers for the tart did not like the cornmeal crust in the original recipe), I will be using the second all butter crust for the tart instead.  Many reviewers also thought the bourbon flavor was too strong so I will be omitting it from the tart when I make it.  Everything else will remain the same, and we'll see how it goes.  I will make the candied pepitas the day before along with the crust to make assembly a little quicker.  



In the meantime, I will be trying to consume less caloric options so that I can actually enjoy the big day.  I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday with friends, family, good food, and plenty to be thankful for.  

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