Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving: Before & After

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Black Friday, the day after one of the biggest foodie days of the year.  I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted!  I honestly have no idea how so many of you summon the energy to take advantage of late night/early morning shopping deals after cooking all day yesterday.  I still feel like all I want to do is take a good long snooze.

This year we stayed home for Thanksgiving, having a small celebrating with just our immediate family.  It was the first time we've had Thanksgiving on our own since we first got married, and it was honestly really nice.  Of course we missed family and that big crazy gathering, but with a 17-month-old coming down with a cold and my husband having to work today, it was a relief not to have to travel.

I have serious issues whittling down a Thanksgiving feast to feed only 2 1/2 of us, so we have an abundance of leftovers!  I am trying a few new post-Thanksgiving recipes this week that I'll share later, but here are a few I've tried in previous years if you want to give them a shot:

Turkey Fajitas & Scallion Pancakes with Crispy Turkey and Cranberry Hoisin Sauce

I have come to love some standby recipes on Thanksgiving, especially when it comes to turkey and stuffing.  Once I started making Alton Brown's Good Eats brined turkey, I never looked back!  If you've never tried brining and are intrigued, this is a great recipe to use.  I literally changed nothing because it is complete perfection.

Good Eats Roast Turkey

I spent a year or two fine-tuning my stuffing recipes and always end up making 2 different kinds.  My husband loves the oyster bacon version and I can't imagine Thanksgiving without the classic sausage, apple & sage version.  Hence our fridge full of stuffing!  I also have a solid gravy recipe I always use and it turns out really well, so check it out below.

Tastymess Stuffings

Classic Turkey Gravy

I tried 2 new recipes this year, a brussels sprouts dish and a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.  They were both delicious and have a real shot at becoming Thanksgiving must-haves!  I also prepared our mashed potatoes differently this year, thanks to Pinterest.  I cooked them in the crockpot!  They turned out perfectly and saved me a ton of time, sweat and stovetop space.

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Harvest Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Easiest Mashed Potatoes

And just in case you haven't had enough carbs, check out these fantastic rolls I baked up this year.  It was a lot of fun to put together and I used shredded cheddar cheese, smoked paprika and garlic powder as my seasonings.  Can't wait to try it again next year!

Savory Monkey Bread 

Hope your Thanksgivings were fantastic, full of family and great food.  Share your favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers and I'll post them on the blog next weekend!

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