When I think about Thanksgiving, I picture the gathering of friends with armfuls of trays and dishes, surrounding a hot oven. An entire holiday centered around savory and sweet recipes to fill our stomachs–is there much more you could wish for in a holiday? I think not!
Instead of the traditional menu of roasted turkey and gravy, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie, I’m going to shake things up a bit and throw some extra thanks in the giving! Here is my 2017 Thanksgiving menu along with two of my favorite Gobble Day recipes.
New 2017 Menu:
Steamed then Sautéed Haricot Verts with Cipollini Onions and Gruyere Cheese
We all love a little green bean casserole with our Thanksgiving dinner so I’ve come up with version 2.0! My new recipe: steamed then sautéed haricot verts, garnished with a creamy homemade mushroom sauce with gruyere cheese and topped with caramelized cipollini onions. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
Makes four servings
Sweet Potato Pots de Crème
Pots de Crème is a French dessert traditionally made with chocolate that dates back to the 17th century. I figured, since sweet potato casserole is a timeless and traditional favorite served with Thanksgiving dinner, why not transform it into a spiced creamy dessert. After a little testing, here is my recipe, it’s even topped off with a delicious marshmallow merengue!
Step 1: Sweet Potato Custard
Makes six individual ramekins
Step 2: Homemade Marshmallow Spread
If you choose not to take the time to make your own marshmallow spread, you can use Fluff found in your local grocery store, BUT it’s worth making from scratch (to increase the “yum” factor).
Remove the pots de crème from the refrigerator, top with the marshmallow spread then brown using a torch or pacing under a broiler. Yum!
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one kitchen utensil, what would it be? For me, it would be my cast iron skillet – no question.
My cast iron skillet was the first pan I bought when I got married in 1971, because I knew that it would be with me no matter what happens! After more than 45 years of use, I am convinced that you would have to go out of your way to ruin cast iron. As long as you don’t use soap to clean it and dry it immediately after cleaning, a cast iron pan will be with you forever.
After cleaning, I dry my pan on a stove-top burner, re-season it with a little canola oil, and let it cool before I store it away.
It is no secret that cast iron pans make the juiciest crispy skinned chicken and the best sear on a rib eye steak! But aside from cuts of meat, they are also perfect for making a delightful, puffy pancake called a Dutch Baby. This is a great treat that rises just like Yorkshire pudding. Puffy and showy, it’s visually enticing as well as delicious with a custardy flavor.
Cast Iron Pan Recipe – Dutch Baby Pancake
Note that ingredients must be at room temperature since they are going into a VERY hot pan.
Preheat oven to 425°.
For the batter, whisk eggs, cream, flour, vanilla, salt, and ½ tsp. cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth – set aside.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a 10” cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and sprinkle with brown sugar and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Cook, tossing often, until apple is coated and softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Wipe out skillet and heat in oven until very hot, about 20 minutes. Carefully add remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter to the hot skillet, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Add cooked apple to center of skillet; pour batter over. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden brown around the edges and the center is set but still custardy, between 12 and 15 minutes.
Serve drizzled with apple cider syrup (below) and/or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
Apple Cider Syrup
Bring cider, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to a boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and boil gently, whisking occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Beach to Beacon is over and what a good run it was! We moved to Fort Williams for all the events and it worked out well. The new tent was amazing an we got all 500 people through the buffet lines in approximately 20 minutes!
When I think of Memorial Day, I think of the beginning of summer. When I think of Labor Day, I think of the end of summer—the last opportunity to have a party centered around the grill.
Here are a few fun facts about Labor Day that I found:
Now, I have never been traditional—I even wear white after Labor Day. So, for my holiday get-together, I am going with an all-grill event featuring Grilled Chicken and Grilled Salmon. Here is my menu:
Grilled Watermelon Cubes with Grilled General Tso’s Pork Belly
Grilled Spicy Jump Shrimp with Shoshito Peppers
Hot Shot Grilled Salmon (recipe follows)
Greek Tzatziki Grilled Chicken Thighs (recipe follows)
Grilled Potato Salad with Nancy’s Sherry Honey Vinaigrette
Grilled Peaches with Gino and French Vanilla Ice Cream (recipe follows)
*Gino is a Swedish dessert consisting of chopped fresh fruit and melted chocolate.
Hot Shot Grilled Salmon
Greek Tzatziki Grilled Chicken Thighs
Grilled Peach with Gino and French Vanilla Ice Cream
Newly engaged? Congratulations! After showing your ring to everyone that you can, reality sets in and you wonder, “What is next?” My guess is you already know how you want to look and what kind of dress you want to wear because you have been dreaming of this since you were a little girl.
Next, you and your fiancé need to decide on a few things before you tackle the “list”. This is the list before the list–like picking out wedding bands, etc….
Consider these items:
The Age of Pinterest has introduced many trends in the fashion, crafting, design, and food worlds. I feel as if each month has a trendy food or ingredient that everyone is using. One that I have loved is the noodle alternative, “zoodles”! Turning zucchini (or another vegetable) into a faux-pasta not only adds numerous nutritional benefits, but it also helps turn traditional meals into gluten-free versions. Plus, they are always delicious!
When making zoodles, most recipes tell you to use a special tool called a “spiralizer” which easily turns zucchini, sweet potato, or squash into perfectly sized noodles for any dish. However, I’ve found that a simple vegetable peeler also does the trick. Simply use the peeler to create thin ribbons by running it down the length of the vegetable. You can then julienne the ribbons into narrow strips that resemble fettucine noodles.
Here are two recipes I love that incorporate zoodles. Enjoy!
First, with summer in full swing, I thought you might like a super simple gluten-free pasta salad to-go! Perfect for a day at the beach or just lunch at your desk. One thing I love about the recipe is how easily you can tweak it to add in proteins you prefer. You’ll see my recipe calls for edamame, but I have swapped this out for chickpeas or chicken before, depending on what I had on hand.
Zucchini Spiral Salad
Makes 2 Mason Jars
Avocado and Spinach Dressing
Second, if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to a favorite take-out dinner, try my Shrimp Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles!
Nancy’s Pad Thai
Makes two servings