Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite holidays. For Christmas, my family always did different things, such as travel, volunteer at soup kitchens, etc... but for Thanksgiving, my parents, sister and I would always be at home watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in our pajamas while my mom started on the Turkey and my dad started on his famous stuffing.

While we spend the actual day of Thanksgiving with family, we have started a Thanksgiving Potluck for friends to attend as well. My girls LOVE any excuse to get together for some cocktails and food, so what better excuse than a holiday?!
As you can imagine, I cooked and baked a LOT of stuff over the past few weeks, so I'm just going to post a few highlights as well as pictures!
Thanksgiving Potluck!
Because there were about 20 people at the potluck, we made a turkey and a beef tenderloin for the main dishes. The turkey roasted in the oven for a couple of hours and came out a delicious golden brown.

For the beef tenderloin (modeled below by my adorable Curtman), I let it come to room temperature. I made a paste of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and rubbed it all over the tenderloin. I let it marinate for about an hour. Then I wrapped it in bacon and put it on the grill. Bacon is great on everything, but I wanted to wrap it around the tenderloin so that it would stay tender with all of the bacon fat. Because there were about a million things in the oven, we cooked it on the grill. After pulling it off the grill, I let it rest for about 15 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
(Doesn't Curt look cute with an oven mitt?)
My dad made his famous dressing for the occasion. I have no idea how he makes it or what he puts in it (I do know that he does soak the raisins in red wine to give them a little kick). It's really yummy though!

(Here's the gravy and dad's dressing)
I also made a corn casserole, creamed spinach, and a macaroni and cheese. For the corn casserole, I used a recipe from my friend Rebecca!
(Angela's Sweet Potato Casserole and my Macaroni and Cheese)

The macaroni and cheese didn't really have a recipe. I just cooked the pasta and put it in a baking dish. In a saucepan, I melted different cheeses together... I don't remember what type I used... but I think cheddar, muenster, and pepperjack were included in the mix. I added some heavy cream to the mixture to make it creamy and thick. Then I just poured the cheese mixture over the noodles and mixed it all together. I topped it with a few handfuls of breadcrumbs and baked until the top was a nice golden brown.

(Here we have some garlic mashed potatoes -compliments of Billy-,
homemade cornbread -thanks Brook!- and my corn casserole)
Last year, Angela made this AMAZING sweet potato casserole, so I begged her to make it again. So... here it is with the macaroni and cheese.
Kylie was so hopeful that someone would drop food... she has such a cute face that I'm sure someone caved and dropped a bit of food. Last year, she managed to make away with a whole turkey leg because it was close to the table's edge. This year, I had to watch her very carefully!

(Here she is pouting because I made her leave the dining room)
Of course, we had tons of yummy desserts (rice krispy treats, cookies- thanks Caroline, apple pies- thanks to Kimba, etc...) but I forgot to take pictures of them (turkey coma). We also had some really good appetizers... Billy made guacamole and Julia made some really good shrimp and crab dip. Next time, I'll have to remember to take more pictures!
Thanksgiving Day
Since we were kinda turkeyed out from the Thanksgiving potluck, my mom decided to make prime rib instead. Can you say "Delicious!!!" ?
(Here's the prime rib! Soooo yummy!)
Since my sister's in Africa, having a huge feast for just my parents, Curt, and me didn't make sense. We ended up going to a family friend's house to celebrate with her and her family. She made a turkey and some mashed potatoes and a few other side dishes. We brought the prime rib, creamed spinach (I like it so much the first time that I decided to make it again), a lobster dip appetizer -served on cucumber rounds to save on calories, and a meringue cake.

(Here's the lobster spread on cucumber rounds!)
The creamed spinach was really easy! Here's my recipe!

* 5 Tbls. butter
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. black pepper
* 1 dash ground nutmeg
* 1 cup half and half cream (I used fat free to save on calories)
* 4 oz. cream cheese (again, I used fat free)
* 1 small onion - minced
* 3 cloves garlic - minced
* (2) 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach - thawed
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbls. butter, then stir in flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Slowly, whisk in the half and half, then stir in cream cheese. Increase heat to medium and whisk mixture constantly until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions and garlic in remaining butter until they are soft and cooked through.

Stir in the spinach and water, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
Stir spinach mixture into creamy mixture; return to medium heat; heat, stirring often, until warmed throughout.
Remove from heat; fold in Parmesan. I had extra Parmesan, so I topped the whole thing with the rest of the cheese.

It was delicious!

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