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Monday, December 1, 2014

Adventures in the Kitchen: The First Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok, so not THE first Thanksgiving dinner, but certainly our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mike and I took on the foodie's favorite holiday of Thanks and here's how it went:

As Mike is an Italian, every holiday has to incorporate pasta in one form or another, so that was his job in the morning; making a lasagna. As I am slowly learning how to be Italian (absolutely no Italian blood whatsoever), I observed from a close distance. He was nice enough to let me grab pictures of the lasagna process and result, which was quite delicious I must say! What I did not get to snag was the recipe; he throws things in fast and doesn't measure, so I will have to pay closer attention next time.

After the lovely lunch was cleaned up, it was my turn to take over the kitchen! Thanksgiving dinners do not just prep themselves!

Our Thanksgiving menu:

The meal begins!
Turkey Breast (As there is only two of us, there was no point in cooking a huge whole turkey)
Stuffing (family recipe, my first attempt at it)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls (I wanted to make them from scratch, however there was already too much to do and the recipes I kept finding involved the dough rising twice and it was just too much for that day)

The turkey was pretty easy as it was just a breast; clean it up, butter the outside real good (I know that is not what the package says, but I have always seen my mother do it this way and I had always liked her turkeys), toss it in a floured bag and into the oven. For the size we had and since I thawed it out, cooking time was 2 hours.

Stuffing and sweet potatoes were immediately started next. I knew the sweet potatoes would take a while to cook and the stuffing is quite a process. For the stuffing, we use:

  • white bread with no crusts
  • onions and celery, chopped fine the day before, but not put in a food processor as this makes them soggy and harder to work with
  • chicken broth
  • butter
  • poultry seasoning
Butter, Sausage, Onions and Celery cooking up
Bread is added before the chicken broth to moisten
Ready to go into the oven!
Finished product
And for an extra ingredient this time around, I added some ground smoked sausage for Mike. He would have wanted Italian sausage, but it was quite hard to find. I thought the smoked worked just as well though. 

Once the stuffing was taken care of, I mashed the sweet potatoes and threw them in the oven as well with some brown sugar on top. 

The rest of the food was pretty easy; the veggies just needed to be heated up and the mashed potatoes were pretty basic once the potatoes softened. 

What do you think of my spread?

My thoughts: The turkey was just a tad drier than I would have liked, but came out well for my first time. The stuffing was AWESOME!!! I was so excited with how flavorful that was and how the sausage worked in the mix. The mashed potatoes were pretty good and the sweet potatoes came out well, though I really want to find some kind of topping to put on them next time. 
Not a typical Thanksgiving dessert, but how could you
say no to a deep dish chocolate chip cookie with ice cream?

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Anything you tried new this year? Any suggestions for me? Please leave me comments below!

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your holiday season will be filled with Adventure!

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