Our Thanksgiving Meal

thanksgivingtableMaking Thanksgiving for two was a lot easier than I thought it would be! It took a lot of choreography and timing, but it all worked out just fine. Here’s what we ate. Clicking on the photos will take you to the recipes I used as inspiration. (Except for the cornbread stuffing and the cranberry sauce, which aren’t really recipes, just scribbles on scrap pieces of paper from past family Thanksgivings that you’d need a translator to understand.)

Roasted Turkey

Cornbread Stuffing

The method for cooking pieces of turkey instead of an entire bird is genius. It relieved most of the pressure I felt about the whole affair. I cooked two breasts and four legs, and Whole Foods even trussed everything for me. The post includes directions for making French bread stuffing, but I substituted my family recipe and it worked out great. Continue reading

Dry Erase Plate Planner

 

One thing I’m terrible at: meal planning. And I don’t mean making a list of things to eat in a week while making sure you use all the groceries; I’m great at that. Tonight I’m making chicken tikka masala, which means I’ll be using 1 cup of cream. Since you can’t buy 1 cup of cream at a time, at some point I’ll use what’s left to make Alton Brown’s overnight oats. Two delicious dishes, no wasted cream. Bam.

No, where I struggle is what I suppose you could more accurately call plate planning. I’ll find a new recipe that I want to try, try it, and serve it for dinner. Sometimes with rice. I’m not really good with picking a vegetable or a starch or a side of any kind. So, inspired by the example of Nutri-Plate and an article in Real Simple, I decided to make something to hang up in my kitchen that could help.

I was inspired by the dry-erase-behind-a-frame boards that have been making the rounds on Pinterest for months. The floral print is the front of a greeting card that I could never manage to send because I liked it so much, and the orange circle I cut out from the inside of the card. Easy!

Round Here: On the Table Edition

(All recipes can be found in My recipe box over on Pinterest.)

Tomato Confit

Tomatoes are easily my favorite item from the produce department. I like them in soup, on salads, pressed into paninis, and slathered over pasta. So when I saw a recipe for tomato confit on one of  the cooking blogs I frequent, Herbivoracious (soon to be a book!), I knew I had to try it.

Prepping twenty Roma tomatoes took me an hour, though I’m sure most people could do it faster. Then they were popped in the oven for there hours. (Actually, more like two hours and forty-five minutes. I couldn’t wait any longer.) Although they didn’t come out looking as good as the professional ones, they were bursting with flavor. I would imagine that had I used organic they would have been even better, but spending $15 felt like too big of a leap of faith for a new recipe.

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I’ve never fussed over anything in the kitchen the way I fussed over those tomatoes, and the result was fantastic. Paired with another recipe from the same blog, it made for one of the best dinners in recent memory. It proves that you can go meat-free and still be entirely satisfied. Plus the rest of the confit is in the fridge, waiting for some other delicious inspiration.

Find the recipe here and try it soon before it’s too hot to have your oven on for three hours!

4-H Banana Bread

Adapted from All Recipes.

Ian went on a fruit-buying binge at Sam’s club last week. He came home with pounds upon pounds of grapes, cherries, strawberries, clementines, oranges, mangos, pears, and bananas. We’ve done an impressive job of eating most of it, but when I was making dinner last night, I smelled the unmistakable odor of overripe bananas, and decided to do something with them before it was too late. I searched for a recipe I could make with only two bananas, and knew I struck gold when I found the one I started with. It’s an old 4-H recipe, which I modified with some traditional banana bread spices. The result was delicious, and came out of the oven just as Ian was getting up for work. A dab of butter and a glass of organic milk were all it took to make it into an amazing breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 5 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg, banana, milk, and vanilla, and mix well.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients and incorporate into banana mixture.
  3. Spread batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, until the top of the loaf browns and cracks open.