November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Spread

This was a great Thanksgiving, with a lot of great things to be happy for, a combination of family and friends that felt really special, and a touch of pride in seeing different projects and recipes pulled together to create a great holiday for me at least.  Really, the Pinterest creations are ultimately selfish- I love the way it all looks and don't care too much if anyone else cares.  They make me happy and that's all I can control, though of course I hope my gusts enjoyed them, too.  :-)

Now if you've been following along for a little while, you've seen my rustic crafts.  I was making them to create a really pretty table setting for Thanksgiving, and it was great seeing them come together!  Everyone really liked the place card holders and ornaments.  My son especially liked playing with the place card holders, haha.

My husband, son, and I alternate our holidays between Maryland and Pittsburgh (where my in-laws live). For the last couple years, we've done a bit of a potluck for the holidays here in Maryland. It's a nice way for the vegetarians in our lives to fend for themselves without getting told they can just make a meal out of sides (poor vegetarians), doesn't put the strain of a huge meal all on one person, and it's a nice chance to try out some recipes without the fear that should they not be up to par, you've blow the whole shebang.  Phew! :)

I made an appetizer found on Pinterested: Neimann Marcus Dip.  I wish it had a more descriptive name, but Cheesy Bacon Onion Almond Dip doesn't quite have the elegance of the former name.  BUT, hmmm... rearrange those and call it B.A.C.O. dip, and you've got a winner!  omg I'm a genius.

Next up was my side dip contribution to dinner: cheesy corn casserole.  Thank the Thanksgiving Day Parade Gods  for Paula Deen and her stick of butter per recipe pre-diabetic cooking.  This was a delicious hit.

The final spread: look at the amazing deliciousness.  The vegetarian side of the table is in the foreground; green bean casserole, tofurkey, bread and butter, vegetarian stuffing, warm cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, a more different cold cranberry sauce, the turkey on a big honkin platter, my mom's stuffing from the turkey (drooool), corn casserole, and I know there are a couple gravies out there somewhere; one veggie approved and the other meatatarian.  My little brother recommended little toothpick flags identifying the different dishes, which of course I now must do at all future holiday meals.  Way to crank the hostess crafting to a new level, Robbie.

After we had properly stuffed ourselves, experienced various degrees of food coma on the couch, had some coffee and worked ourselves up for dessert, we had an amazing chocolate tart with vanilla bean ice cream.  I left it Pac-Man style without nuts for those of us who aren't huge pecan fans.  This was a very fancy recipe that required scouring the stores for mystical ingredients such as moscovado sugar (found at The Fresh Market) and flaky sea salt (found nowhere; substituted with regular sea salt).  Now the hard thing with fancy recipes, aside from the advanced cooking techniques and amount of time and labor involved, is properly substituting when you don't find their fancy ingredients.  In hindsight, I should have reduced the amount of coarse salt used because it isn't an equivalent flavor to the flaky variety (I'm thinking the coarse has a much stronger flavor).  While good, those of us who didn't use the ice cream to cut down on the salty richness couldn't eat more than a few forkfuls of the gourmet Pac-Man.  Oh well: MORE FOR ME, and a delicious lesson learned.  I was thankful for my love of vanilla bean ice cream to make the dessert edible.

So there you have it: our Thanksgiving Round Up for 2012.  It was a great one, had a wonderful time with my loved ones, and can't wait to see what Christmas brings this year!  To gear up for that, I'm hosting a Pinterest Party next weekend.  Stay tuned!

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