Posts tagged Thanksgiving
Don’t Be Chicken On Turkey Day! Tips For a Stress-Free (and Delicious) Thanksgiving...

Holidays are rough.  So much to do, so little time and most of the time, the brunt of the cooking will inevitably fall on one person.  However, if you create a solid game plan and are wiling to begin a few days early, the day of will turn out great and most importantly, enjoyable for you.

I love that Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday.  That means, I have a crazy week but then three days after to recover physically and … mentally.  My Thanksgiving dinner begins the weekend before, yes, Saturday before Thanksgiving is when I get it all down on paper.  My holidays and big dinners all begin with food magazines for inspiration, Google and a trusty notebook with the last ten years of my menus. 

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From Nonna's Kitchen: Abuela Evelyn’s Pasteles

A true Puerto Rican girl - my friend Iris loves spending time with her mamma Evelyn.  She is very proud of her heritage and really enjoys eating the food of her youth.  I was really touched when Iris and Evelyn showed up to my house to teach me how to make their most cherished dish, Pasteles.

Pasteles are very important in Puerto Rican culture.  Served at the holidays with rice, beans and tostones, they are a labor of love.  The exterior (masa) is made from unripe, green bananas.  You have to grate each one on a box grater to get a fine pudding like consistency.   The abuelas never complain, but it is labor intensive!  The filling is a delicious blend of pork and traditional Puerto Rican spices and ingredients like pimentos and olives.  The achiote oil gives it a beautiful red hue and fills the entire kitchen with a very Latin aroma. 

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From Nonna's Kitchen: Mimi Jo's Crispy Potato Latkes

For Christmas, there are a host of foods I make as an Italian and also as a Catholic that represent and honor our traditions of celebration.  For Chanukah, Jewish people serve a number of dishes.  One very popular side dish is potato latkes.  My amazingly talented website designer, Jen was generous enough to offer up her mom JoAnn as a great resource.  JoAnn was a caterer for many years on Long Island.  A true entrepreneur, she started a baking business with her friend and grew a full scale catering company from her home kitchen. As JoAnn explained, Chanukah is a time to honor the oil that burned for eight days.  So, traditionally, Jewish people will serve foods cooked in oil.  Potato latkes are a small cake of potato and onion fried in oil and served with sour cream and apple sauce.  Since I have never met a potato I didn’t like, I knew I was in for a treat.

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Post Holiday Health Reboot: Quinoa Salad

Thanksgiving is over.  You’ve eaten way too much pie and really shouldn’t have reached for that third helping of mashed potatoes.  But, no reason to look back and fret.  Today is a new day and you have a little less than a month to Christmas to be a good boy or girl. 

Whipping up an easy detox meal is a cinch! Use the odds and ends hanging out in the fridge after the holiday and whip up a simple quinoa salad.  It acts as the perfect base for veggies, meat or even a fried egg for breakfast.

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How-To Tuesday: Post Thanksgiving Bagel Brunch

I have a severe weakness for bagels.  I don’t eat them often but when I do, it needs to be worth the carb/calorie overload they are criminally known for.  Making them at home gives you the bakery fresh taste and they are so good, you don’t even need to toast them.  I make my own spice blend and I also add some to the dough so even the dough has a nice garlic and onion flavor.  If you just like them plain, omit the spices.  If you’re a cinnamon raisin fan, add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the dough and a handful of raisins.  Yummy!

So, here’s my post Thanksgiving suggestion...get up early and make some homemade bagels.  You can feed all those hungry stragglers that ended up staying the night and sleeping in until noon.  Pull some leftover turkey from the fridge, mix up some spicy mayo and have the best bagel sandwich in the whole wide world.

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Sweet Tooth Friday: Time To Give Thanks (For This Pie!)

For dessert, our family tradition, is to make a number of different pies.  Everyone has his or her favorite so I like to make at least one per person.  So, you have YOUR pie to grab a few slices from and then you can share with your neighbor.

Each year, my husband always asks for the same pie.  Chocolate Pecan Pie. it’s the easiest pie you will ever make.  Pie crust, toss in the nuts, toss in the chocolate, toss in the egg mixture and bake for 50 minutes.  Easy Peasy!

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