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Thanksgiving comes in parts?!


The stuff tonight was just for my gf and I; tomorrow I’ll be preparing cheddar-herb beer bread, a pecan-crumble-topped sweet potato casserole, the infamous Mac n Cheese, and some green beans almondine to bring to Friendsgiving with some local pals :)

@ChristienMurawski I definitely had the soup problem a lot. I tend to bake until the edges of the top are yellowing a little from being overdone to avoid it now. Oh, and bake it uber far in advance and refrigerate it thoroughly (5+ hours) to ensure it finishes setting.


I definitely agree with this approach. I intend to start the process after I put the boys (my son and my dad, the latter visiting from Virginia) to bed this evening. Especially since I have three other pies to bake as well as the other stuff tomorrow. Cornish Game Hens for the meat eaters. Various other dishes for everyone and the vegetarian.

I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to do the butternut squash, the acorn squash, and the yam I bought today (yes I know, sounds like a walk-into-a-bar joke), but I’ll figure it out I suppose. Then the usual stuff. One thing that helps is that I can do the stuffing in the slow-cooker, freeing up the oven for the ton of other things that need roasting/baking.

I love this time of year.



Perhaps try a variant of this?

Seriously my favorite winter recipe…so long as someone else is willing to chop the fucking butternut squash…those things are beasts!


Soup? Just roast the squash, sautée up some onions, make about 6-8 cups of broth (I use chicken stock, but if you have a vegetarian alternative, use that), add 1 8oz cream cheese pad. Add cooked squash to broth and cream cheese mixture, mix until smooth.

Add onions to mixture. Add rosemary, oregano, paprika, basil, tarragon*, and lightly salt. Then add in ~1/2 cup brown sugar**.

Simmer until flavors are mixed, then serve.

I also usually brown some chicken with the onions and dice that up to add, but since you have vegetarians I omitted that.

*optional, but it adds a nice dimension
**add slowly and to taste. So start by adding no more than 1/4 cup and see where you are at.


Yep. Same thing. Kind of funny, since you preheat for an hour, and the naan Cooks in 2 minutes.

Yeah, it’s literally just a huge slab of steel. It’s indestructible.

Side benefit is that it helps regulate the oven temperature. Opening the door doesn’t matter as much, since the steel is always in there holding heat, even if you aren’t using it.


Okay. So far so good. It has set up nicely after cooling in the oven for an hour. Then into the fridge.

Fingers crossed.



That’s looking really good. I’ve never had the soupy cheesecake problem but every cheesecake I’ve ever made has had cracks.


Looks like you nailed it. Happy eating.


Thanksgiving Pt 2: The Friendsgiving

The hosts covered the appetizers completely, preparing little apple-gruyere-prosciutto canapes; cream-cheese-and-walnut stuffed dates, and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. It was awesome.

Visible here is the hostess’s mushroom risotto, the host’s from-scratch yeast rolls, my infamous 7-cheese bacon mac n cheese, and the other couples’ small sweet potato casserole.

On this end, we’ve got my green beans almondine (almonds on the side so they stay crisp), my sweet potato casserole topped with pecan streusel (the other couple forgot I was handling that, hence the duplicate), and some roasted brussels sprouts the other couple made with bacon, pecans, and cranberries. Also butter and gravy.

Full plate featuring just about everything but the gravy (I don’t care for it) and the green beans (ran outta room). Including half of a beer-brined cornish hen, courtesty of the host, and a slice on my cheddar-dill beer bread peeking out of the back.

The hostess really outdid herself with the pie, which isn’t SUPER pretty to look at but is the best pie I’ve ever had. It’s a brown-bottom butterscotch-cashew cream pie, with layers of (from the bottom up) cashew-and-graham-cracker crust, chocolate (with whipping cream), butterscotch cream, and vanilla meringue at the very top.

Additionally, the other couple made something they called a pumpkin butter cake, which was excellent.

There was also some sort of vodka-and-cranberry based punch and a lot of beer, but I mostly survived off the diet coke I brought cuz I’m lame.

Then again, after two full days of cooking (preparing roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, two servings of green beans almondine, spicy roasted brussels sprouts with bacon,scalloped corn, 7-cheese bacon mac n cheese, cheddar-dill beer bread, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, and maple-bourbon whipped cream) and eating, if I’d had a drop of booze to drink, I think I’d have just passed out right there :)


I didn’t do anything special for Thanksgiving since my family are all in other states and my friends have family gatherings to get to (I was invited to one but I’d feel weird about it). I did cook a little something for myself, though, Thanksgiving-unrelated:
Rice Bowl with Chorizo and Pineapple

from How to Cook Everything Fast
It’s pretty much what it sounds like, to be honest. In one pot, you cook some (short grain) rice. In a skillet, you cook a pound of fresh chorizo, a couple red onions (chopped, of course), and in the last few minutes, a cup or so of chopped pineapple (as much as I would have liked to do fresh, pineapples are big and spiky and a lot of work and fruit to deal with, so I just decanted a can and when it turned out I had bought slices instead of chunk, chopped those). Then in theory you would spoon the rice into bowls and top with the chorizo mix and shaved queso fresco plus chopped cilantro. In practice, I wasn’t serving four people and would rather have it all mixed together so I have a guarantee of yum in every bite, so I stirred the rice into the skillet and topped with the cheese and cilantro before serving.

The base recipe calls for Italian sausage, fennel and parmesan, plus I think parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. I bet that’s awesome also, but chorizo is what I had in my freezer. Queso fresco did end up taking a little more doing but my local coop had some.


I did my sweet potato pies this year, again, nothing fancy since I didn’t host.


All set to start the bolognese.

Beef, pork, and white wine loaf plopped in the pot with the mirepoix sauteed in the pestata (garlic and pancetta paste). Let it brown a bit then stirred it up and cooked stirring frequently until the liquid evaporated completely (about 70 min).

Added red wine, reduced again, then added vegetable broth. Added broth and stirred about every 45 min for 4 hours. When the liquid was just above the meat I called it done and stirred all the fat back in. I have removed the fat before, but it lost a lot of taste and threw off the texture.

Finished in the pan with orecchiette which I prefer over the traditional pappardelle.

And, viola! No fancy plates to was this year!

First course - butternut squash soup with beet and blue cheese salad in endive.

For dessert my wife made a fantastic chocolate souffle!


You know how I know that you are making kick ass sauce?

Cento, baby. Only the best.


Amen, brother!


Hells to the yeah.

Jamie Oliver also claims that if you want the best canned tomatoes (aside from just going straight for Cento’s San Marzanos), always get whole plum tomatoes, as they are the highest grade ones that get canned. Diced/pureed stuff gets the lower-tier veg.


Yeah, plum tomatoes have the highest meat to seed ratio. I use them for everything.


Did not know that. I have bought the other Cento varieties before. Curse my laziness!


I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, any Cento is better than anything else. I use Cento puree as well and have nothing but good things to say about it.

Ya know, I love talking shop here with my cooking peeps. Kudos to all who post here. Hugs and etc. :)


For the longest time, I think I didn’t quite understand the purpose of cranberry sauce in Thanksgiving dinner. I think it might be from eating too many overly sweetened canned cranberry sauces as a child. So, for the longest time I didn’t really understand why there was a weird cranberry jelly dessert on the dinner plate (a weird dessert that I’ve always loved, just didn’t quite understand).

Then, a couple years ago, I realized why some people call it cranberry dressing: it’s because it’s a dressing for the turkey. It’s not supposed to sit on the other side of the plate, to be eaten in a big pile. It’s a tart counterpoint to the heavy turkey meat (esp. dark meat), like mint jelly with lamb or an orange or pomegranate glazed duck.

I guess, like the music lesson in Ratatouille, as a kid I didn’t really understand that different things go together in different ways to make “chords” of flavors.

Anyways. I get it a lot more, now. Just a random Thanksgiving dinner thought.