Monday, November 23, 2009

THANKSGIVING WEEK IS HERE! Time to get chopping!

The big week is here! If you are still finalizing the menu, here are some recipes that can simplify things for you. Feel free to share your favorite variations with me! I would love to hear them.

If you have any Thanksgiving questions big or small, p
lease ask me below and I will try to answer them asap.

White Balsamic -Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Tomatoes, & Pine Nuts

4-5 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved the long way
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar ( or regular balsamic)
2 T honey
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
lots of black pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved the long way
2/3 cup pine nuts
(opt. 1/2 cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with onion, balsamic, honey, oil, salt, and pepper. When mixed, evenly distribute in a single layer on 2 large cookies sheets. Roast for about an hour, tossing once or twice during roasting.

After an hour or so, when veggies are caramelized and tender, add grape tomatoes.
Roast 30 minutes.

Add pine nuts over the top and put back in the oven just until pinenuts are toasted. Serve!

If you make this ahead of time, toast the pine nuts separately and top the warmed dish with them just before serving.

Add cranberries and/or pomegranate seeds just before serving if you are using them.

Classic Stuffing

adapted from

Here is the perfect classic stuffing recipe (Of course, it is. Thank you, Martha.) I love it because the basic formula is here and there is lots of room for variation.

For vegetarian stuffing, sub the chicken broth for vegetable broth and wine. You can add nuts, fruit, olives, oysters, sausage, etc. Enjoy!

Makes 12 cups

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 onions(2 lbs), peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
16 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch dice
10 large fresh sage leaves
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or canned low-sodium broth
skimmed of fat)
2 stale loaves white bread (about 36 slices), crust on, cut
into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (about 2 bunches) fresh, coarsely chopped flat-leaf

2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
2 cups dried cherries (optional)


1. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onions and celery, and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add sage, stir to combine, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock, and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, until liquid has reduced by half.

2. Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients, including the remaining stock; mix to combine.

3. Stuff into turkey's cavity and/or pack into a baking dish and cover. Bake while turkey roasts. Watch it closely, if you are baking it in a separate pan.

Roasted Spiced Butternut Squash

3 lb butternut squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel butternut squash and scoop out the seeds and seed goo with a spoon. Cut into approximately 1"-1.5" chunks. Toss with remaining ingredients.

Roast for 45 minutes. Let cool and store in the fridge until ready to heat.

Sara’s Cranberry Chutney

12 oz bag cranberries
1 apple, chopped
1 orange, chopped and seeded (skin on)
½ c walnuts
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
A little nutmeg
½ c OJ, freshly squeezed
½ c raisins or currants (I like to mix currants and golden raisins)
1/2 cup maple syrup
Dash of agave nectar, to taste

Bourbon (about 1/4-1/3 cup)--a big splash
2 Tbsp butter (optional--this is my addition)

Simmer all ingredients together except for the bourbon and 1/2 cup of the cranberries on medium-low heat about ½ an hour till cranberries start to pop. Stir frequently.
Add a big splash of bourbon and reserved cranberries and cook just a few minutes more, just until some of the alcohol cooks off.

You can add 2 tablespoons of butter at this point--this is my addition and not part of the original recipe. It's good either way. Let cool and serve right away or chill until the big meal.

Remove from refrigerator and let sit about an hour before serving--serve room temperature.

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