Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2010 (My first post!)

This is so first post! I'm backtracking a little, to post some pictures from thanksgiving and Christmas 2010, etc. and will then catch up with the present.

This was the first thanksgiving dinner I've cooked in several years and had a blast. Everyone also brought a dish, so I wasn't even too tired by the time it was actually time to sit down and eat.

I started with the cranberry sauce - it was delicious! Fresh cranberries, orange zest and juice and a few other ingredients. I could have eaten the entire bowl! The flavors would have made a delicious cocktail as well.

getting the ingredients ready

oranges zested and ready for juicing

on the stove, cooking away

Next came dessert, my favorite part of the meal! I made 4 different desserts: an apple tart, a pumpkin pie, a pecan pie and - my favorite - a sweet potato pie with caramelized pecans on top. I'd never made a sweet potato pie before and it was so much better than the pumpkin pie (which I've only ever made from canned pumpkin). The sweet potato pie was made from fresh sweet potatoes and I think that made such a difference in giving it a much more intense flavor and thicker, richer texture (than the pumpkin pie). Maybe next year I'll try a pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin.

pie crust fitted into the pie plate

edges fluted and ready to bake

pie crust "blind baked"

ingredients for the sweet potato pie

the apple tarts (with store bought puff pastry, this was super quick and easy)

Here are a couple of pictures of the dinner table and dessert table. Makes me want to do it all over again!

thanksgiving dinner for nine

the dessert table

Recipes (I will usually alter a recipe in some small way - more or less of something, add vanilla or lemon zest, etc. but here are a few of the "base" recipes that I used):
cranberry sauce - I highly recommend this recipe.
apple tart - highly recommended! Using the Dufour puff pastry, as recommended in the recipe (I found it at Whole Foods), this was super easy, fast and delicious. And the presentation can't be beat. I made it once as directed and twice I've cut the dough in half - the long way - and made two long tarts. I like the presentation of the long tart better than one large tart.
sweet potato pie with caramelized pecans - I highly recommend this one as well. It is absolutely delicious! My only complaint is that I couldn't get the topping to caramelize perfectly so it looked a little grainy...but it still tasted delicious.
cream biscuits - I have a good hand for pie crusts and scones but for some reason these came out super flat, almost like I don't recommend this recipe even though I love Martha Stewart.

Bye for now...

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