I really hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving, and continues to enjoy company of family this weekend. I loved spending the day/morning in the kitchen, but after our meal was eaten, our walk was walked and the horses were taken care of…I was more than happy to sit down!
We never have big holiday celebrations. I am perfectly okay with that…I’m not much of a “big gathering” person. It feels weird to say my family isn’t very bonded because it makes us seem like shut-outs…but I our family is very small and spread out across the states. I can’t remember ever having a Christmas or a Thanksgiving with more than 6 people!
That said, we didn’t go overboard cooking, either. There was just enough food to still be “special,” but not enough to feel like it was wasteful. We were only missing a green bean casserole! Which I don’t actually like, nor does anyone else…hence why it was missing. There was asparagus on the menu, but it was bad and we just figured we’d have enough food without it. Which was certainly true…but I would have loved a broccoli casserole, too
Anyways. I left you guys with some mysterious rolls and cakes…
…but what were they?
Firstly, Monet’s Sweet Potato Rolls. My knots are nowhere near as gorgeous as hers – but these were a mega hit. I made them just as is, taking the vegan option and using a flax egg and oil. The dough came together perfectly, and were easy and fun to make, too.
But this is Thanksgiving. Who stops at one carb?! I was completely torn between recipes for rolls – and so bright and early yesterday morning, started working on Monet’s Herbed Monkey Bread.
This dough was so nice to work with, too – so soft, smooth and elastic. Dare I compare food to a baby’s bottom? It’s a guess – I’ve never changed diapers to know.
Of course, these could have turned out horrible and it’d have been okay – I’d already sauteed garlic in basil oil, and that does me in every time.
These, too, were raved about. Just their aroma brings a smile to my face! I wanted to serve them with a garlic butter, but my mom immediately said “nah, they’re garlicky enough.” Sometimes I forget that I could easily add two cloves to something I’m making for one serving and not even blink an eye.
The only change to the recipe was using unbleached bread flour for the all purpose, and basil oil for the olive oil (which is just olive oil infused with basil) and for the oil coating, used the basil oil, two cloves of garlic and a tablespoon of dried italian seasoning. Wondrous. Who doesn’t love pulling off a hunk of monkey bread?!
Next on the list was frosting my mysterious cake – which was Angela’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with Buttercream Icing.
I had the pumpkin chiffon cake planned, but when I read the recipe closer, it called for 9 eggs. I thought it meant a total of 5 (4 eggs + 5 egg whites) but when I read closer realized that was a lot of eggs. I told my mom why I wasn’t making it and she exclaims
“That’s a lot of eggs! That’s expensive, don’t make that.”
I love moms because they tell us not to do something after we’ve already said we aren’t.
I made as is (cutting back a hair on the sugar) and was shocked at how much batter I got. It said 8 servings, but I’m pretty sure this could feed at least 16.
I also halved the buttercream. It looked really thick and none of us are “frosting-y” people. You know those cakes that you buy at the store, all frosted? Yeah, my mom ad I would always scrape it off as soon as it hit our plate.
My thoughts on it:
- buttercream was still really sweet – but I can’t complain because the family likes it and it’s easy enough to scrape off
- it tastes just like my gingerbread muffins…which is odd because this one is a looot more decadent.
And thennnnn….stuffing!! Er, dressing, whatever. I feel weird calling it dressing, but it wasn’t stuffed in anything so dressing it is. I’d rather call it…bread casserole or something.
Either way, it’s something I’ll be making again whether it’s Thanksgiving or not!
The recipe, however, was a combination of a couple ideas. I promised myself I would strictly follow recipes for Thanksgiving…but c’mon…who was I kidding? That’s not very “me.”
Maybe I’ll share the recipe, even though everyone is probably stuffed from all the stuffing they’ve had It is my favorite part!! This cornbread dressing was probably the best I’ve ever had, too. My mom also made some of her “traditional” stuffing, to stuff the actual bird with.
I went very simply with the butternut. And it may have been one of my favorites. This mixed with the cranberry sauce? Ahmgaw. I may or may not have cleared off the table faster than I should have because I wanted to make sure I had some for lunch today. And finished what wasn’t left for snack. And it was a big squash.
I just tossed it with a bit of olive oil, salt, and a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar.
My other favorite part (because I clearly can’t pick a favorite part)? Cranberry sauce! I sort of winged this, too. I used hot apple cider to boil/simmer it in instead of water, and spiced it with ground clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I sweetened it with maple syrup and cane sugar as well as the jucie of one clementine and its’ zest.
And no, those are not raspberry seeds – I did not add raspberries. I did, however, add chia seeds. Don’t look at me like that…I needed something to thicken it! It wasn’t thickening quite like I wanted it to. Chia seeds did the trick and no one was ay the wiser, though after I did it I was sure I was going to get “what are these whitish things in the cranberry sauce?!?!” questions. I also left it nice and tart. Which means…perfect leftovers –
…for pancakes this morning! So yum. I don’t know why I don’t just always make up a batch of cranberry sauce with my cranberries – but I think I’ll start now!
Yesterday, though, I had a little bit of everything except for Turkey and my mom’s stuffing. This was my first Thanksgiving birdless…and honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it. I try not to view anything as “off-limits,” though – so I came to an agreement with myself that if I wanted Turkey, I’d eat Turkey. But I really didn’t want any. It just wasn’t appealing to me, after being meat-free for so long. Dairy and other animal products are becoming the same way as I use less and less of those, too.
And I just realized that I kept capitalizing turkey, which is a little weird. Guess I had that much respect for the big guy?
Another thing I noticed? I’m really becoming in-tune with my body. While usually Thanksgiving is a day to stuff yourself silly, ignoring all “full” signals…I was able to eat just enough. Happily content, but not feeling deprived. It was so nice to be able to go for a walk with family after and not feel so weighed down
What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?