It’s now December and the memory of this year’s Thanksgiving already seems so far behind us as we focus on the upcoming holidays. Even so, I still wanted to take the time to share what I made for Thanksgiving. Maybe you can still use the ideas for your upcoming holiday celebrations. What did you make or eat for Thanksgiving?
Cream of Yellow Squash Soup
Some time ago, I had an abundance of yellow squash and needed a recipe to use it. I came across this soup from the Rookie Cookie blog, and it has become one of my all time favorite soups. It has rich complex flavors that are difficult to pinpoint. I of course tweaked it a little to make it to my liking, and you should too because some complained that it was too spicy hot for them. I used only 1/2 an onion, 1 jalapeno, enough vegetable stock to cover the squash (so, less than 5 cups), and half and half instead of heavy cream.
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I decided to try Quorn’s Turk’y Roast, and it was actually really good. Initially, it was a little startling to see that it came in tube form. It looked like cookie dough. I wish I would have read the directions the night before, because it turns out that you can defrost it to shorten the cooking time (I would assume that this also promotes more uniform cooking). After the cooking time was up, I still wasn’t sure if it was done because it hadn’t browned all over like the picture on the package. I took it out anyway, and it was fine. As I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of real turkey so I was happy to find that it didn’t actually taste like the real thing. It had a nice firm texture that wasn’t dry or chewy, and you could taste sage, which gave it a poultry flavor. It reheated nicely, too.
Onto the most important part of Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, mine were both misses! I attribute it to fatigue and a daylong dull headache. Fortunately, other family members saved the day with their delicious chile con queso, mashed potatoes, and dressings. My mom made a fruity dressing that was unusual at first bite, but really good by the second bite. It had walnuts, cranberries, and apples. I think she just followed the stuffing package directions, but used vegetable stock instead and added the fruits and walnuts. She wouldn’t say, because according to her, she made it up and didn’t like it.
Risotto w/Butternut Squash & Leeks
I was looking forward to this, because it’s been ages since I’ve made risotto and it sounds so fancy. In case you’re not familiar with risotto, it’s made with Arborio rice, which is an Italian short-grain rice. Arborio rice has a high starch content that gives risotto the creaminess that it’s known for.
Regrettably, I decided to use brown rice. I didn’t get enough Arborio rice from Sun Harvest’s bulk foods section (darn those bins!), so at the last minute, I stopped at Albertson’s. They had a short grain brown rice that was on sale and cheaper than Arborio rice. I had my reservations, but I couldn’t resist. It was cheaper, healthier, and the package said it was especially suitable for risotto. If you love brown rice, then you might really like this recipe. If not, just stick with Arborio. My tweakings might have thrown it off as well. I used vegetable stock, half and half instead of heavy cream, and omitted the sage.
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Crisp Haricots Vert w/Pine Nuts
This would have been good if I would have actually followed the directions and blanched the green beans. Instead, I steamed them and overcrowded them, so some were overcooked.
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Cranberry Orange Sauce
I never knew that I liked cranberry sauce until I made my own. There’s no excuse for not making fresh cranberry sauce. It’s super quick, easy, fun, and you control the sugar content. This cranberry sauce is also great on pancakes, biscuits, and other breads.
1 bag of cranberries
Juice of half an orange
Freshly grated orange zest (entire orange or about ½ tsp.)
½ – 1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, about 10-12 minutes. Stir orange juice and zest, then cool.
Finally, the leftovers
What’s Thanksgiving without the leftovers? I made a sandwich that was so delicious, I had it 3 days in a row!
1 whole wheat pita bread
Quorn Turk’y Roast slices, reheated
Spicy Brown Mustard
Cut the pita bread in half and press each half separately in a Panini press or toast in a toaster oven. Place slice of Swiss cheese on one side of the pita to melt, and spread mustard on the other half. Assemble by topping the mustard side with the turk’y, cranberry sauce, and other pita.
Sorry for the lack of photos and poor quality: