Hello, everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday — or, if you’re not American, a lovely weekend. I decided to take a break from blogging, too, so I could enjoy family time with Mr. X and his brother. It was such a great visit. And today, it’s back to life and food made without whole sticks of butter.
But before that, I thought I should still share our Thanksgiving spread. Here’s all of it, including the smoked turkey the boys bought for themselves:
And here’s my (first) plate:
Two slices of Cheesy Cornbread Casserole (recipe to come this week), Lemony Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, homemade sourdough rolls, and roasted corn. I also made a pecan pie, which was so pretty:
I admittedly do not like pecan pie, so I thought the result was only ok, but Mr. X really liked it. I followed this recipe (the sugar method, not maple syrup), which was surprisingly easy. I made the crust from scratch, too, and it was the worst. I mean, flavor-wise it was fine, but I will never, ever, ever make an all-butter (as opposed to half-butter, half-shortening) crust again. It melted WAY too fast, so it was a nightmare to work with. I won’t link to the specific one I followed out of propriety, but I’ve made a decent number of pie crusts in my life, and just take my advice and ALWAYS use shortening. (I like the Earth Balance brand.)
As for the other dishes, everything turned out delicious, so I wanted to share some easy recipes with you. They were great at Thanksgiving, but there’s no reason not to eat them year-round!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (for a group!)
- 1/2 head of garlic
- 5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter (vegan butter works, too)
- ~1/2 cup vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Take half a head of garlic and cut off the stem end, just enough to reveal the cloves inside. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake until the garlic is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. Set aside. You can do this step the night before or right before.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender. I like mine fairly soft. The cooking time really varies based on how big your potatoes are, but I think mine took 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the base of your mixer or a large bowl. Add the butter and begin mixing/mashing. I used my KitchenAid, and the result was deliciously fluffy and lump-free potatoes. After a minute or two, start adding your roasted garlic by just squeezing it from the skins. Taste after each additions to reach your desired level of spice. Add small amounts of the veggie broth as you go, too, to add a little flavor and fluffiness. Finally, season with salt and pepper, give a final mix/mash, and then serve.
Makes a ton — maybe 8-10 servings. They don’t even need gravy.
The potatoes were my favorite part of the meal. I will never make mashed potatoes without my KitchenAid ever again. They just had the perfect texture.
And here’s another tasty vegetable recipe for you:
Lemony Brussels Sprouts
(based on a dish from Boon in Guerneville, which we had on our honeymoon)
- 1 pound (or stalk from Trader Joe’s) Brussels sprouts, cleaned and dried
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5 capers
- Black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss your Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Pour them into an even layer on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to brown them evenly. They are ready when a fork pierces them easily and they are deliciously browned all over. Remove from oven. Now pour a little more olive oil into a frying pan and set it over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is ready, add the Brussels sprouts, half the lemon juice, and the capers. Stir around and mash the capers as you pan-fry. Once the juice is absorbed, add the rest along with some black pepper. Cook for a couple more minutes until the oil and juice are absorbed. Serve hot and delicious.
Makes 4 small servings or 2 more substantial ones.
These were a big hit, and they are almost as good as the ones I remember from wine country.
So there you go. Like everyone else in this country, today begins a return to healthier foods. Here’s our tentative meal plan for the week:
- Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday — Leftover Cheesy Cornbread Casserole and carrot sticks
- Thursday/Friday — Leftovers?/TBD
- Saturday — Veggie wraps
- Monday/Tuesday — Chili (which is almost fat-free) and sauteed Swiss chard
- Wednesday/Thursday — Giant salad with roasted veggies and tempeh
- Friday — Veggie wraps
- Saturday — Possibly dinner out, since I may drag Mr. X to look at Christmas lights
Obviously we’re not talking about a detox here — just a return to the kind of cooking I usually do, with lots of veggies. Today I’m attempting to regain balance in my body by drinking tons of water, and it’s already helping. My poor system has been on salt-and-fat overload!