I hate to pull the old my-life-has-been crazy-so-I-haven’t-been-posting excuse, but hey, it’s true! First I was busy cooking for Thanksgiving, then I got sick, then I got insanely busy with end of the semester stuff at work, and running underneath all of that, I have been stressing about and working on a piece of my dissertation that is due tomorrow. But tomorrow is my last day at work before a nice long winter break, and my paper is for the most part finished. So I finally have a chance to get back online. I haven’t been reading my RSS feeds, checking my non-work email, or logging on to Twitter or Facebook for weeks. Internet, it is nice to be back.
My first order of business is to post about my huge Thanksgiving feast, and provide some recipes as requested. I know Thanksgiving was practically a month ago, but this might be interesting for anyone looking for new recipes, or planning a vegetarian holiday celebration. Sadly, I didn’t get any photos, though.
I had two entrees. Macaroni and Cheese with Buttery Crumbs, which is the first homemade macaroni and cheese recipe I ever tried, and I have never needed to look for another. I make it with rotini instead of elbows, because I think it makes it a little more substantial. And I also made the Roasted Veggie Quiche I already posted to this here site. I think I finally got the hang of the right veggie to egg mixture proportion. I also used a new pastry recipe, the flaky all-butter something or other from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “Pie and Pastry Bible.” I also used her cream cheese pastry recipe for my pies. I think I am starting to get the hang of making pastry, as well. I still need some more practice, though.
I wanted to have all of the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. We had Herb and Onion Stuffing, made with leftover Pain á l’Ancienne and Pane Siciliano, and my staple Imagine No-Chicken Broth. There was Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Pepper Cream Gravy, which was technically a Cooking Light recipe, except I totally unlightened it by using half-and-half and a lot more butter. What can I say, it was a for a holiday. I also made Green Beans with Walnuts and Shallot Crisps. I had a problem with this recipe in that the shallot crisps did not crisp. At all. So I gave in and bought the French’s French Fried Onions, which was a mistake because then I ate the whole rest of the can later on as a snack. Do you know that the first ingredient listed on those French Fried Onions is oil? Yes, that was probably a mistake. We had Deborah Madison’s Corn Pudding, which was delicious, and much different than I expected, since the only other corn pudding I have ever had was sweet and this was not in the least bit. I also made two kinds of rolls: Soft White Dinner Rolls and Stuffing Buns, with whole wheat and sage. The white rolls were the clear winner there.
Two of the desserts were unfortunately from books and not from websites, so I can’t link to them. I made the Apple Crumb pie from “The Pie and Pastry Bible,” and I used the Cream Cheese pie crust from that book for that crust, and for the crust to the Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie. The other book recipe was for the Chocolate Silk pie, with a graham cracker crust. This one came from a book entitled, simply, “Pie.” I think I will be looking to that book for some more recipes to practice my pastry on. The Chocolate Silk pie was very, very dangerous. The final dessert was the Food and Wine Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake, which kind of fell apart on me. I think maybe a full jar of Nutella might have been too much.
We also had sweet potato puffs and a cranberry ambrosia dish, but I didn’t make those so I don’t have the recipes. But Thanksgiving needs sweet potatoes and cranberries, in my opinion.
After my last day of work before the break (tomorrow), Mike and I leave for a long car trip and a visit to the wilderness called Arkansas. I have never been there before. Then we will be driving back to Wilmington, NC for Christmas, and then finally sometime around the New Year, we will make our way back home. This is all by way of letting you know there probably won’t be any bread baking until 2010 on this website. Although there might be some travel updates and photos, if you are interested in what Arkansas, North Carolina, and various states in between are like.