Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving FEAST (Year 4, Year 2 on the Blog)

Thanksgiving 2010
Where did I leave off about Thanksgiving?  Oh yes, I teased you and told you about my menu.  And told you that I had some great successes as well as some failures.  Hey, I'm not perfect and even Iron Chefs have bad days.  So what happened? 

Well, I was smooth sailing on Wednesday.  I got my Cheesecake in the oven and I sat down to read blogs on my computer.  Then the house got all smokey and the fire alarm went off.  Basically I should have put my cake pan on a baking sheet.  Instead some type of liquid leaked to the bottom of my oven and smoke filled the house.  I took the cheesecake out, turned off the oven, googled "homemade oven cleaners" and tried to clean the inside of the oven so I could cook the cheesecake. This is as clean as we got it:
 While we were cleaning the oven, I decided to try to fit the cheesecake in the toaster/convention oven to cook for the remaining 20 minutes.  I thought this was a good idea at the time...
Anyway, pretty quickly, little burnt marks formed on the top of the cake so I took it out and was able to cook it for the rest of the time in the oven.  One problem solved.

Thursday morning I slept in.  We woke up and Dave took the turkey out of the brine, smothered it in herb butter and oil and covered it with foil then put it in the oven.

Pretty quickly the oven started smoking again and the fire alarm went off.  We got a call from the local fire department and I informed them this would probably happen a few more times today.  Seriously, the last time the fire department called, they asked "Is it the oven again?"
We left the doors in our house open and Natalia and I continued cooking. I put on my favorite apron (sugar plum- my favorite name) and got rocking.
We baked my sugar pumpkins, finished my risotto, cooked the potatoes, roasted the brussel sprouts. Cooked the mini baked bries, reheated the cranberry meatballs.
**If you are interested in any of the recipes, I am linking a page with all the recipes at the bottom**

Goat Cheese and Marscapone Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

Mini Baked Bries with Fig Jam
Mini Cranberry Meatballs

Side Dishes
Next, time to finish the sides. We took the pancetta, I had cooked the day before and added it back in a hot skillet to brown a little more.  Then we took half of it out for our salad.  On a different skillet, we roasted the pecans.  Then added the roasted brussels to the pancetta and most of the pancetta fat.  At the last second we added dried cranberries and salt and pepper.
Check out this beauty:
Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Pecans and Cranberries

Next up, the Cranberry Sauce:
Made with 2 packages of Fresh Ocean Spray Cranberries, 1 Cup of Sugar, 1 Cup of Water.  Once the berries pop open, we added 1 peeled and diced granny smith apple, half an oranges fresh juice, orange zest and lime zest.
Cranberry-Apple Sauce with Citrus Zest

Then, we finished the risotto and added it to the sugar pumpkins with chives on top.
Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage and Cranberry Risotto in Pumpkin Bowls

We finished roasting the potatoes. This is 6 Medium Red Potoates, Diced into small pieces, mixed with rosemary, thyme, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

And then we finished the stuffing.  I basically just added Pepperidge Farm Bread Cubes AND Chunks of Baguette with the ingredients I prepped on Wednesday.  Then added tons of chicken broth.
Sausage, Cranberry and Apple Stuffing
In the midst of this, Dave checked on the Turkey...

Then I finished the Butternut Squash, Kale and Cheddar Bread Pudding. I love this dish.  It's Molly Wizenbergs and I made it last year as well.  It's fabulous!
Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding
Then we took the Turkey out of the oven and let it rest...

And then cut it up (well hubby took care of that...)

The other failure in the kitchen was the gravy.  We took our pan drippings and tried to make tasty gravy.  Unfortunately, because the oven was so hot and smoky, the pan drippings were practically black and even though we tried to thicken up the sauce, we were unsuccessful.  The one good thing is no one really minded.  I guess Gravy isn't a necessity for my family. 

Then my mom plated the first dish.  1 ladle of leek soup, 1 ladle of red pepper soup. It's clearly a work of art.
First course: Leek and Red Pepper Soup!

The fam:

Then time to serve yourself!

And my beautiful, extremly full plate:
Oh and here's the leftovers... no joke. It seriously looks untouched! Let's just say everyone went home with lots of food!
And to finish the evening... desserts! Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie prepared by my Mother-in-law. Brownies and Magic Bars prepared by my mom.  And the almost disastrous cheesecake prepared by yours truly.  (See the freckles???)
I added the finishing touch to cover up the freckles: Pecan Maple Cream Sauce!
And voila!
After eating all this food, it was time to burn some calories on the Wii. I seriously haven't played in almost a year!
Good times had by all!

And here are the recipes- check it out!


  1. I am seriously impressed. With a 2 year old I was only able to eek out a salad and the green bean casserole. I can't wait until she is old enough to really be able to help instead of trying to help and actually making a gigantic mess (but I must admit it is still really cute at the same time).

  2. Amazing spread! Your cheesecake sounds like my gingerbread. I hate trying to clean out the oven... especially when it's still hot from a mid-baking catastrophe!

  3. Cute apron!!!!

    Looks like you guys had a fantastic feast!

  4. You are quite the chef!! I wish I was skilled enough to pull off making such a big, delicious meal like that for my family...maybe someday!
    I love the sound of sausage and cranberries in stuffing - yummm.

  5. D-Lish-Us....wow!!!!

    The brussell sprouts look awesome and after my sister-in-law made them with pistachio nuts I am a big fan of the BS....

  6. Everything looks amazing! What a spread! I love that the fire department called you. Hysterical!

  7. Omg Lizzy, you are such a great chef. I cannot believe you pulled that lovely meal together. My family is coming here for Christmas. Can you come too and do the cooking? :)

  8. That is seriously major. Amazing job! One question - who did all the dishes??

  9. Looks like a great Thanksgiving! Love the 2 soups in 1 bowl, your mom did well:) The bread pudding looks amazing too!

  10. Omg I'm SO impressed!! That is a fully loaded and BEAUTIFUL plate! Makes me want to do Thanksgiving all over again!! The goat cheese dates look heavenly :)


  11. So good......but finished the leftovers by Saturday afternoon. So the lesson to be learned from this is bring more tupperware.

  12. Wow! This looks like quite the feast. This was dangerous to read before lunchtime - I want to eat everything you wrote about!

  13. Oh snap! This spread looks outrageous.
    First of all; I would have eaten all your gorgeous appetizers and been too full for your gorgeous dinner! And I seriously laughed out loud up here ion 36 when I read the comment about the fire department. And love that the risotto made an appearance All looks amazing!

  14. WHOA MAMA you rocked it! I say you charge $30 a plate next year! I'd pay $40 alone to take one of those pumpkins home!