Thursday, November 15, 2012

Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

One of my favorite past-times as a kid was to make "dream meal" lists. My mom gave us each art journals which we were only allowed to use at designated times (which kept them from being scribble pads and made  us excited to use them, as well as keeping us occupied when she may have needed to get something done - brilliant) and I would divide the page into categories - breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert - and write out all my favorite things in lopsided rows. European pancakes (also called Danish pancakes) and pickles were probably always on that list somewhere. I requested lasagna every year for my birthday for quite a while, and I think I went through a white sauce enchilada phase too. Anyway, I'm here in my 20s, still essentially making lists of food to drool over. Except now I've developed a love of cooking and eating that I didn't have as a kid, so my wallet is skinnier and my tummy rounder. I feel like the alternate title to this post should be "for the love of real butter", because butter is one of my true loves and something I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.

Here is last year's fanciful Thanksgiving menu. My mom ended up making the Hearts of Palm & Avocado Salad for some event, which was a crowd pleaser. I thought I had included this Apple Cider Cream Pie that I made last year, but apparently not. That was also a crowd pleaser, apparently, but I left the gathering I made it for before trying it! I just remember it was a total pain in the butt to make. Here are a few Thanksgivingy options that stuck out to me this year. I'll have to report back next year on whether I actually make any of them.

This first list, without pictures, was inspired by the vintage episode of Iron Chef America in which the secret ingredient was "Thanksgiving staples" - it was Michael Symon's debut episode!
  1. Cornbread and Oyster Stuffing.
  2. Cream of Pumpkin Soup, topped with crispy Bacon, Shitake Mushrooms & Chives.
  3. Fried Chicken (this just sounds delicious paired with sweeter stuff like cranberry sauces - nothing fancy, but mighty yummy)
Here are some from Foodgawker & Pinterest that look amazing.
  1. Blackberry Hot Toddy.
  2. Holiday Tabbouli.
  3. Southwest Thanksgiving Panini and Chowder (Tortilla Chip-Crusted Turkey Cranberry Panini with Spicy Corn Tortilla Chowder).
  4. Sparkly Spiked Cran-Raspberry Granita.

I'm just getting back into the swing of cooking after a 3+ week hiatus due to the birth of Ishmael (starting about a week before his birth, I suddenly had no desire to cook whatsoever). Today I made Gouda and Black Forest Ham Grilled Sandwiches and Cantaloupe Smoothies. I need to go on a huge grocery run tomorrow and some planned meals are Indian Butter Chicken and the Cider Apple Chicken from last year's Thanksgiving list that I never made.

What are your yummy plans for this season? 

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