Happy Thanksgiving!

"How? What are we if not world champion eaters?"

"It’s too much food."

"It’s not too much food. This is what we’ve been training for our whole lives. This is our destiny. This is our finest hour."

"Or final hour."

"No, no. Get inspired and tomorrow I guarantee you, we will be standing on the Olympic platform receiving our gold medals for eating. We are not Michelle Kwan-ing this."

 If you knew where this quote is from, then you're my best friend.

The table
Special K Loaf, baking
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Last Thanksgiving related post, I swear.  Our Thanksgiving was great, it included 11 dishes for the husband and I, and then skyping with the family later that night.  I can't believe how long it takes to prepare a Thanksgiving meal!  I went to bed at 2 am last night (because I got the genius idea to pre-bake the pumpkin pie crust), and woke up on Thanksgiving day at 7am.  That is not something I do often, or ever.  But even though I gave up sleep for the sake of Thanksgiving, I had a great time preparing the ingredients and especially(!) finding a live stream of the Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Sure the parade sucks, but it's fun to have on in the background.  As for the food, the husband prepared the Special K Loaf, and the Apple, Leek, & Butternut Squash Gratin, and the vegetables.  It was nice having a helper otherwise we wouldn't have made our deadline for lunch.

The meal turned out great!  No terrible disasters, just things to work on for next year.  For example, I'm not a huge fan of generic pie crust, I don't really care.  However, I had a cheesecake in Portland from Kenny & Zuke's and it was by far one of my most favorite things in Portland.  What made this cheesecake particularly interesting was the shortbread crust!  It's much more mellow than typical pie crust.  I decided I would make a pumpkin pie with shortbread crust!  While the end product was delicious, I added too much shortbread and didn't crimp the edges high enough, oh well, still good!  I made the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and while the idea sounded appealing, for the pumpkin being silky smooth, the amount of effort one has to put into the pie doesn't seem worth it.  I think next year I'll just do the regular Libby's pumpkin pie recipe, with maybe a little maple syrup added in. 
Eric thought that since he decided against Tofurkey, that he could eat Weasley instead.  So there she is, getting seasoned.

Pretty metallic glasses my mom bought me
Improvising the gravy (not a great idea, and kind of lumpy)
The husband getting funky with the leeks

Parmesaning the gratin
Apple, Leek, Butternut Squash Gratin

Steamed green things and garlic, dill, sour cream mashed potatoes
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (better than they look)
Cranberry, Apple, & Orange Relish
My very first roast chicken: Honey-Brined Roast Chicken
Putting my Thanksgiving headband on
Showing off my outfit and the colorful tights
Headband details
The husband drinking sparkling apple cider

Maple Pots de Creme (which I decided to brulee with brown sugar
Pumpkin Pie with Shortbread Crust! (very thick crust, woops)
The meal aftermath
Dessert aftermath, toooo much fooood
 After all of this lunching, and then napping, the husband had to go to class, so that's when I decided to work on the Apple Pie Pockets.  It was pretty difficult getting the meal out on the table by 1pm, even harder when there's 3 desserts.  I knew we couldn't even touch all 3 desserts, so I decided to save the Pockets until after Eric got home from his class, for a late night snack, which worked out perfectly.  His class is usually 4 hours long, which gave me 2 hours to let the pie dough cool, which apparently, was necessary.  He even came home early, and it worked out perfectly, as I had a batch just out of the oven.
Apple Pie Pockets (using Tartine's Flaky Tart Dough)

All in all it was a perfect Thanksgiving, minus the large family, but I did get to skype with them later that night, which was a lot of fun and crazy times.  I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday as well!  I'm putting up some recipes in case anyone is interested!
Me, prior to the food fest, my face is a lot fatter now
Weasley was pretty pissed off that she didn't enjoy the meal herself, so she ate her own fur.

Very delicious and fairly easy new addition to the Thanksgiving table
The husband's an incredible baker, these are delicious!
The recipe doesn't say it, but I suggest you mash the sweet potatoes once they're baked, fluff them, then add topping and bake again.
(I used sweet potato instead of yams)
Optionally, once the pots are cold, you can sprinkle brown sugar and brulee, for good times.
(I forgot to roast garlic, so I added sour cream, garlic powder, and dill, which isn't this recipe at all, but I've made this before, and highly recommend it)
(I used this recipe but changed the sugar to honey, and made other adjustments.  I basically tried to turn it into the Honey-Brined Turkey my mom makes in California.  Also, I followed Julia Child's method of Roast Chicken, 425 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 1-2 hours)

(I used the recipe from Baked: New Frontiers In Baking cookbook, and the pie recipe from Tartine's Flaky Tart Dough)

Special K Loaf

6 eggs
5 cups Special K Cereal
32 oz. Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup ground pecans
1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 can diced soyameat chicken style with juices (basically any weird vegemeat)

Combine all ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serves 10-12 (we cut this in half)

Cranberry-Orange Apple Relish

3/4 lb. fresh cranberries (1 bag)
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1 orange
1/2 c. sugar
1 medium apple, cored and seeded
1 medium pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1" pieces
1/2-1 tsp. grated orange zest

Place cranberries in saucepan with orange juice and sugar
Boil and reduce heat to medium, cook for 10 minutes
In food processor, process orange, then separately, apple & pear
Add pears, apples, and 1/2 of orange zest to the pot - cook 1 minute
Allow to cool, add remaining zest
Refrigerate overnight
Tartine's Flaky Tart Dough

two 9-inch or 10-inch tart or pie shells
1tsp Salt
2/3c. Water, very cold
3c. + 2tbsp All-purpose flour
1c + 5tbsp Unsalted butter, very cold

Instructions:In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep very cold until ready to use.

To make the dough in the food processor, put the flour in the work bowl. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas. Add the water-and-salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

To make the dough by hand, put the flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas. Drizzle in the water-and-salt mixture and stir and toss with a fork until the dough begins to come together in a shaggy mass. Gently mix until the dough comes together into a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1-inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or for up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375F

Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thick and place into pie dish. Blind bake the shell for 25mins until the surface looks light brown. Remove the shell from oven and remove the weights, return pie shell to oven and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Let the shell cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Tartine's Shortbread
 Yields one 6-by-10-inch pan, about sixty 2-by-1/2-inch bars
1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup superfine or granulated sugar for topping 

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 6-by-10-inch glass baking dish.
Place the butter in a mixing bowl. The butter must be very soft-the consistency of mayonnaise or whipped cream. Add the salt to the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk so that it dissolves completely before you add the rest of the ingredients. Sift the flour and cornstarch together into a bowl. Add the granulated sugar to the butter and mix just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until a smooth dough forms.
Pat the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. The dough should be no more than 2/3 inch deep. Bake until the top and bottom are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. The middle of the shortbread should remain light. Let cool on a wire rack until warm to the touch.
Sprinkle the shortbread with the superfine or granulated sugar. Tilt the dish so that the sugar fully and evenly coats the surface and then tip out the excess sugar. With a very thin, sharp knife, cut the shortbread into rectangular fingers about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long. If the cookies have become cold they will not slice well, so they must still be warm to the touch at this point. Chill thoroughly before removing from the baking dish.
The first cookie is difficult to remove, but the rest should come out easily with the aid of a small, thin offset spatula. The cookies will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.


  1. My word, this meal looks delicious! You're so cute! And that is a good GG episode.

  2. gilmore girls!! love it.
    & me oh my look at that feast! how fabulous. i am very impressed. & look at you in your adorable thanksgiving outfit! what a wonderful day your family enjoyed.
    oh & my favorite food is cottage cheese loaf (that's my family's version of the special k loaf) sooo yummy.

  3. It is the gilmore girls, I'm sure!
    Emma x


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