Giving Thanks & Cranberry Clafoutis

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you …”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

THANKS_03With Thanksgiving just a few short days away, it’s time to turn our thoughts towards gratitude. Given the holiday, someone is sure to ask, “What are you grateful for this year?” It usually happens just as everyone is sitting down to the fabulous feast, hungry and ready to dig in. Next thing you know, dinner is getting cold while, one after another, everyone takes a turn mumbling and stumbling through a soliloquy of gratitude.

Sharing thanks is a lovely tradition. However, I’d like to recommend that you jump in and suggest that everyone share his or her thoughts while eating rather than before. Both the conversation and the food will be better for it. I’m joining a three-family Thanksgiving extravaganza this year. At last count, there will be twenty-four of us for dinner. With that number, the appreciation-fest could go on for a couple of hours.

So what will it be? Just what are you thankful for?

Feel free to kick things off by sharing your thanks for family and friends. It’s the first thing on most people’s list. If you’re in the second or third grade, you will probably add your pets. They’re family too, you know. It’s always nice to be more specific. Perhaps you can welcome a new baby or share you relief on a loved one’s recovery from a health crisis.

Whether it’s you or a loved one who suffered that health issue, take it as a reminder that a body that works (or works the majority of the time) is no small blessing and worthy of thanks.

With a bit of luck, you’re among the fortunate and thankful for a job you love. For some, surviving the latest round of layoffs is a reason enough to be grateful. Since Thanksgiving is the season for sibling rivalry and family dysfunction, it’s okay to brag about … oops, make that share your thanks for … that big order you just booked.

While most of us spend a lot of time working, hopefully, your vocation doesn’t preempt any and all time for avocations. Are there any interesting, fun, wild or wooly activities that you can share? It could be as simple as a great book you recently read or as grand as a cross-country bicycle adventure.

Speaking of reading, you might also be thankful for a brain that can still fire on all cylinders. From common sense to simple and not so simple reasoning and wisdom, a sound mind is a wonderful thing.

If you are a guest and not the host at this year’s feast, you might give thanks for the break. A wiseacre sibling or two will probably add that they too are grateful that you are not cooking. In which case, you can all be thankful for a sense of humor.

If your group is still sharing the love and thanks when dessert rolls around, you might simply be grateful for the bounty of three or four different pies. Especially if you get your turn to pick before your favorite is gone!

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

Cranberry Clafoutis
nteresting alternative to a New England pie, try this homey French custard at your Thanksgiving or any fall feast. Enjoy!
Serves 8-12Clafouti_01

About 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups (about 7 ounces) fresh cranberries
1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a deep 9- or 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate, sprinkle with sugar and turn to coat.

Put the eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar, Grand Marnier and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Add the flour and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the cream and orange zest and process until smooth. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes.

Roughly chop the cranberries and walnuts and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining brown sugar, crystallized ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss to combine. Spread the fruit mixture evenly in the pie plate. Carefully pour the batter over the cranberries.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and slide the clafoutis into the oven. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the clafoutis is nicely browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the clafoutis for about 20 minutes, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges and serve.

outis can be made a few hours in advance and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar just before serving at room temperature.

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One Year Ago – Black Friday Enchiladas (Enchiladas with Turkey & Black Beans)
Two Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Three Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Four Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Five Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Six Years Ago – Winter Soup with Pasta, Beans & Greens
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Three Thanksgiving Menus & Game Plans to Celebrate with Ease

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
It’s almost here! To help you survive in one piece, I’ve put together three menus and game plans to help you make it through the feast of feasts. Whether you choose traditional New England, French Bistro or Rustic Italian – have a wonderful holiday!

And remember – Thanksgiving is a marathon not a sprint. So get started today with shopping and advance prep … or assigning dishes to friends and family members who offer to help out! I’m hoping this list will help you figure out what to cook this year!

New England Tradition Goes Contemporary
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Butternut Squash Soup
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Roast Turkey with Mom’s (or your Mom’s) Stuffing and Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions or Broccoli Puree or Roasted Green Beans
Decadent Cheesy Potatoes or Mashed Potatoes
~.~
Apple Crisp with Cranberry Coulis or Pumpkin Cheesecake or
Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Find the game plan for this menu here for a flawless day of family and fun!

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New England Meets France for a Five Course Bistro Dinner
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Wild Mushroom Soup
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Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy and Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions or Roasted Carrots & Pearl Onions
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
or
White Beans Provençal with Bacon & Baby Kale.
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Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad or Mixed Greens with Warm Roasted Squash
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Cheese Platter
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Rustic Apple Croustade or Cranberry Clafoutis or Ginger Crème Brûlée
or Maple Mousse with Apple Compote

The Game Plan to make it happen

~.~.~.~

A Rustic Harvest Feast Italian Style
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Mixed Greens and Roasted Mushrooms
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Roast Turkey with Giblet Sauce
Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Stir-fried Leafy Greens
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White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle or Rustic Apple Tart.

Everything you need to know and do for this relaxing feast.

~.~.~.~.~.~

Bon appétit! * Buon Appetito! * Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving? Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus!  For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2014

Thanksgiving Special – A Rustic Harvest Feast Italian Style

gords_French_bowl_jugToday seemed like a good day to share three different menus for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Whether you and your family are hungry for traditional fare, a five course bistro dinner or a rustic Italian feast, I’ve decided the turkey is sacrosanct at Thanksgiving. However, the rest of the menu is fair game. Feel free to take a menu from soup to dessert or mix and match! So stay tuned, there’s more to come!

Now this is the dinner I would serve if my family didn’t insist on traditional New England dishes. I can only bend them so far.

Antipasti – a salad to start!
Like France and Switzerland, fall is mushroom season in Italy. My salad of Mixed Greens and Roasted Mushrooms will make a great start to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Move on to the main event!
Many Italian would move onto a pasta course but I prefer to keep it simple. I suggest you combine a beautiful fall risotto with, what else, the Roast Turkey. Feel free to keep the Cranberry Sauce on your menu but skip the stuffing. Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto will be the perfect side dish for your turkey. Complete the main course with Stir-fried Leafy Greens.

For a sweet finish!
It’s not quite Tiramisu but White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle is creamy and delicious and, well, let’s just call it a distant cousin. Alternatively, you could serve my Rustic Apple Tart.

The Game Plan

Now:
If you haven’t done it yet, order the turkey!

Saturday morning before Thanksgiving:
Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and make your shopping list. Check it twice.
Pick up any and all nonperishable items and everything with a long expiration date at the supermarket and farm stand.

Sunday or Monday:
Find 15 or 20 minutes to make the Cranberry Sauce and the vinaigrette for the salad.

Tuesday:
Set the table and pull out your serving dishes.

Wednesday:
It’s Thanksgiving Eve, time to move into high gear. Check and double check your lists and head to the store. Pick up the fresh turkey, perishables, flowers and anything you forgot on Saturday.

Make the White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle.

Roast the squash for the risotto. Cool, cover and store in the refrigerator. Remove the squash from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you start the risotto. Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano for the risotto, cover and store.

Wash, bag and refrigerate the salad greens as well as the leafy greens.

Turkey Day:
First thing in the morning, start roasting. Your menu may have its roots in the north of Italy but the house will smell warm and homey … just like Thanksgiving.

Roast the mushrooms and onions for the salad. Cool, slice the mushrooms, cover and store in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Toast the walnuts, cool, cover and store at room temperature.

If you haven’t already, check your recipes and, based on your dinner hour, list the start times for each and every dish. If you haven’t already, think about assigning tasks to friends and family. Let the wine aficionado in the group open and pour. Foodie friends will be happy help with carving and tossing.

About a half hour before it’s time to shove the turkey into the oven, remove it from the refrigerator. Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey’s cavity.Quarter a lemon, orange or apple and an onion and put them in the turkey’s cavity. Tie and truss the bird.

While the turkey roasts, make broth for the gravy with the turkey neck and giblets.

When the turkey has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about thirty minutes before carving. Make the giblet gravy and keep it warm. Or better yet, I suggest you forget the flour and roux and make a giblet sauce instead.

Carve the turkey and cover it to keep warm.

Start making the risotto. Whether you are having a cozy dinner in your farm kitchen or in your formal dining room, you can make risotto for Thanksgiving, And no, you do not have to stir it constantly! It can simmer by itself why you enjoy your salad. I cheat a little and, instead of 1/2 cup, I add the stock about 1 cup at a time. I use a timer and add stock and stir about every five minutes. Sometimes I lower the heat to slow the risotto down and then finish it quickly on medium-high to keep it from getting mushy. If you are a relaxed group, especially if you are doing a kitchen Thanksgiving, just start the risotto after the salad course.

Toss the mixed greens with vinaigrette and arrange the salad on a large platter or individual plates. Dinner is served! If you’ve got a large group, serve family style. It won’t take forever to get everyone served, if you pass two platters or bowls of everything. Start dishes at both ends of the table. Relax and enjoy. A rustic Italian feast celebrates la dolce vita or the good life. Take your time between courses and let the conversation and laughter flow.

Bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click Here for more seasonal menus or Here for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog ! © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Thanksgiving Special – New England Meets France

Thanksgiving_GVAToday seemed like a good day to share three different menus for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Whether you and your family are hungry for traditional fare, a five course bistro dinner or a rustic Italian feast, I’ve decided the turkey is sacrosanct at Thanksgiving. However, the rest of the dishes are fair game. Choose one menu or mix and match, it’s up to you!

I lived in Switzerland for almost two decades. While I was there, I served a Thanksgiving dinner with a foot on each continent with a five course dinner combining New England and French traditions.

Start with soup!
Fall is mushroom season in France and Switzerland so I always started my Thanksgiving feast with Wild Mushroom Soup. One important thought before we get too far into the menu. You might want to warn your guests to pace themselves!

Move on to the main event!
The star of the show is still the Roast Turkey. Although there is nothing French about it, I always served my turkey with Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing and, of course, Cranberry Sauce. You might like to serve Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Carrots with the turkey along with my Lemon Roasted Potatoes. Or go with a one-pot option and try my White Beans Provençal with Bacon & Baby Kale.

Time for salad!
The French typically eat their salad after the main course. A lovely salad will add a special touch to your bistro Thanksgiving. Either Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad or Mixed Greens with Warm Roasted Squash would be a great choice.

Cheese please!
My favorite Thanksgiving cheese was always Vacherin Mont d’Or. It hit the market in mid-September and was beautifully aged and at its best by mid to late November. You can find it on line but you can always serve a platter of your favorite cheeses.

For a sweet finish!
One of my Thanksgiving standbys en Suisse was Rustic Apple Croustade. It is just wonderful. However, for New England goes bistro you can’t beat Cranberry ClafoutisGinger Crème Brûlée or Maple Mousse with Apple Compote

The Game Plan

Now!
If you haven’t done it yet, order the turkey! If you like, find some Vacherin Mont d’Or on line. With a bit of luck it will arrive in time for Turkey Day.

Saturday morning before Thanksgiving:
Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and make your shopping list. Check it twice.
Pick up any and all nonperishable items and everything with a long expiration date at the supermarket and farm stand.

Sunday:
If you don’t already have a batch in the freezer, make the Wild Mushroom Soup but don’t add the half & half. Cool and store the soup in the freezer until Thursday morning.

Monday:
Find 10 or 15 minutes to make the Cranberry Sauce.

Tuesday:
Set the table and pull out your serving dishes. If you are serving the White Beans Provençal, don’t forget to soak the beans.

Wednesday:
It’s Thanksgiving Eve, time to move into high gear. Check and double check your lists and head to the store. Pick up the fresh turkey, perishables, flowers and anything you forgot on Saturday. Or better yet, send your sidekick to pick up these things while you start cooking!

Prep the stuffing and store it in the refrigerator.

If you are serving White Beans Provençal, prepare the beans, do not add the kale, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. If you are serving carrots or Brussels sprouts, prep the veggies but don’t roast. Prep the bacon for the sprouts as well. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the vinaigrette for the salad. Toast the walnuts cool, cover and store at room temperature.

If you are serving one or both, make the mousse and apple compote and/or crème brûlée.

Turkey Day:
First thing in the morning, bake the apple croustade if it’s on your menu. Your dinner may have its roots in France but the house will smell like Thanksgiving.

Don’t forget to remove the mushroom soup from the freezer. Put it in a large soup pot to thaw.

If you haven’t already, check your recipes and, based on your dinner hour, list the start times for each and every dish. If you haven’t already, think about assigning tasks to friends and family. Let the wine aficionado in the group open and pour. Foodie friends will be happy help with carving and plating.

About a half hour before it’s time to shove the turkey into the oven, remove it from the refrigerator. Do not forget to remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey’s cavity. Stuff, tie and truss the bird.

While the turkey roasts, make broth for the gravy with the turkey neck and giblets.

As dinnertime approaches, finish making the soup. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Put the white beans on a back burner on low and bring to a simmer.

When the turkey has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about thirty minutes before carving. Put the carrots or Brussels sprouts in the oven to roast. Make the giblet gravy and keep it warm.

Carve the turkey and cover it to keep warm. Stir the kale into the white beans. Follow my Nana Nye’s example and put the apple croustade back into the oven that is off but still warm.

Ladle the soup and dinner is served! Relax and enjoy. A five course dinner is a marathon of small portions not a sprint. If you’ve got a large group, serve family style. It won’t take forever to get everyone served, if you pass two platters or bowls of everything. Start dishes at both ends of the table. Take your time between courses and let the conversation and laughter flow.

Bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus or Here for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog! © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Thanksgiving Special – New England Tradition Goes Contemporary

ThanksToday seemed like a good day to share three different menus for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Whether you and your family are hungry for traditional fare, a five course bistro dinner or a rustic Italian feast, I’ve decided the turkey is sacrosanct at Thanksgiving. However, the rest of the menu is fair game. Feel free to take a menu from soup to dessert or mix and match! So stay tuned, there’s more to come!

For a traditional New England feast with a few contemporary touches …

Start with soup!

If it’s Thanksgiving in New England, you can’t bet more traditional than Butternut Squash Soup

Move on to the main event!

The star of the show has got to be Roast Turkey with Mom’s (or your Mom’s) Stuffing and Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Sauce.

Growing up my grandmothers and mother made squash puree, turnip puree, creamed onions and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. After the lovely soup, I figure two will do. First, I like a little something green on the plate. Broccoli Puree is one of my favorites. You can make it a day ahead which is a real bonus. Then again, I love roasted vegetables. Either Roasted Green Beans or Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions would be a great choice for your Thanksgiving celebration. And second, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes! My Decadent Cheesy Potatoes are rich and over the top wonderful. An added plus, you can make them ahead! I’ll be bringing two big pans of these spuds to the three-family extravaganza I’m attending this year. (It’s the first time in a long time that I have not been hosting Thanksgiving.) Another good choice are my version of my mom’s fabulous Mashed Potatoes.

For a sweet finish!
My Pumpkin Cheesecake takes traditional pumpkin pie up to the stratosphere and it a definite a family favorite. If you have a big crowd coming, Apple Crisp with Cranberry Coulis is a great choice. Just double or triple the recipe and use a bigger dish. Otherwise, you might like to bake another favorite. Or make some whoopies with my Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

The Game Plan

Now!
If you haven’t done it yet, order the turkey!

Saturday morning before Thanksgiving:
Finalize your menu, gather your recipes and make your shopping list. Check it twice.
Pick up any and all nonperishable items and everything with a long expiration date at the supermarket and farm stand.

Sunday:
If you don’t already have a batch in the freezer, roast and puree the vegetables for the butternut squash soup (steps 1-3). Cool and store the puree in the freezer until Thursday morning.

Monday:
Find 20 minutes or so to make the Cranberry Sauce and the Cranberry Coulis if you plan to serve Apple Crisp.

Tuesday:
Set the table and pull out your serving dishes.

Wednesday:
It’s Thanksgiving Eve, time to move into high gear. Check and double check your lists and head to the store. Pick up the fresh turkey, perishables, flowers and anything you forgot on Saturday.

Make your stuffing and store it in the refrigerator.

If you are serving Broccoli Puree, make it and store in the refrigerator. If you’re making beans or Brussels sprouts, clean and prep them but don’t roast them yet. Toast the walnuts.

If you are serving Decadent Cheesy Potatoes, prepare them and store in the refrigerator. If you are going with mashed potatoes, wash and dry the potatoes.

Cheesecake is best made the day before you plan to serve. If you plan to serve Pumpkin Cheesecake, bake it, cool to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator. Same goes for the whoopie pies, make them on Wednesday if they are on your menu/

Turkey Day:
First thing in the morning, bake the apple crisp. With sweet and spicy apples bubbling in the oven, the house will smell like Thanksgiving.

Don’t forget to remove the squash puree from the freezer. Put it in a large soup pot to thaw with more chicken broth.

If you haven’t already, check your recipes and based on your dinner hour, make a list of start times for each and every dish.

About a half hour before it’s time to shove the turkey into the oven, remove it from the refrigerator. Do not forget to remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey’s cavity. Stuff, tie and truss the bird.

While the turkey roasts, make broth for the gravy with the turkey neck and giblets.

As dinnertime approaches, roast the beans or Brussels sprouts or warm the broccoli in the oven. Bake the Decadent Cheesy Potatoes until hot and bubbly or put the potatoes on to boil and smash. Finish making the soup.

When the turkey has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about thirty minutes before carving. Make the giblet gravy.

Carve the turkey, transfer the stuffing to a serving bowl and cover both to keep warm. Keep the other side dishes warm. Follow my Nana Nye’s example and put the apple crisp in the oven which is off but still warm.

Ladle the soup and dinner is served! Relax and enjoy.

Bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus!  © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Thanksgiving Potluck & Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad

Turkey_02So what’s your plan this Thanksgiving? Will you spend days in the kitchen preparing the perfect feast? Maybe, you’ll be wined and dined by Mom or Nana … or a friend whose cooking rivals the best restaurant in town. Then again, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that just cries out for a potluck. Here are a couple of thoughts for potluck guests and hosts:

Some host like to wing it. They don’t make suggestions and they don’t take notes. I can’t be certain but I think they secretly hope that everyone will bring dessert. Others try to choreograph a fairly even distribution of appetizers, sides and sweets. If you’re a guest, defer to your hosts when choosing what to bring. After all, they’re the ones who’ll be cooking the turkey and running the vacuum cleaner around the house.

That said, it’s okay to negotiate a little. If sweet potatoes covered with mini marshmallows are not in your repertoire, offer to make your infamous Pumpkin Cheesecake or Decadent Cheesy Potatoes.

Don’t grumble if your cousin already called first dibs on the cheesecake and your sister-in-law beat you to the spuds. Yes, even if they are using your recipes! Consider it a compliment. Be gracious and offer to make a delicious soup, salad or apple pie.

If you are hopeless in the kitchen, fess up and offer to bring a couple of bottles of wine, a flower arrangement or a loaf of bread from your favorite bakery. Your friends and family will be thankful.

The devil is in the details. If you are in charge of salad, bring the tongs and vinaigrette. Of course, your host will forgive you if you forget. However, she has enough to juggle without having to track down extra utensils and olive oil at the last minute. Same goes for ice cream for the pie.

And keep the last minute, finishing (or not so finishing) touches to a minimum. In other words, don’t arrive with bags of greens to wash or desserts to flambé. And definitely don’t bring a bushel of raw, unpeeled, unwashed potatoes along with your most winsome but bumbling expression if you’re in charge of the spuds.

Don’t assume there will be plenty of oven space for you to roast your veggies or bake your pie. For hot dishes, my favorite trick is to cover my serving dish, wrap it in an old (but clean) beach towel or two and then throw it all in a cooler. Between the towels and the cooler, your dish will be well insulated and stay warm for about an hour.

If you’re hosting the potluck, do consider at least a modicum of planning. Yes, I know it can be fun and funny to throw caution to the wind and let everyone bring whatever strikes their fancy. Even if you love, love, love them, are you sure you want masses upon masses of sweet potatoes? Or half a dozen pumpkin pies?

On the other hand, there is planning and then there is planning. If you are one of those meticulous perfectionists, you might want to do all the cooking yourself. Let’s face it, just because your neighbor promises to bring apple pie doesn’t mean she’ll actually get to the bakery before they run out. Expect a few surprises. Heck, blueberry might not be traditional for Thanksgiving but it’s still delicious.

Have fun and be thankful for good food and a great day with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

Radicchio, Fennel, and Arugula Salad
Want to lend your host a hand this Thanksgiving? Why not offer to bring a light and bright salad? Enjoy!radicchio_fennel_arugula_02
Serves 8

About 12 ounces radicchio, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
8 ounces frisée salad or arugula or 2-3 endives, cut in bite size pieces
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
About 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
About 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted
About 1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
2-3 ounces Manchego cheese

Put the radicchio, fennel, frisée, scallions and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss. Arrange the salad on a serving platter or individual plates.

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to make thin shaving of Manchego. Sprinkle the salad with Manchego shaving, hazelnuts and cranberries

Orange-Sherry Vinaigrette
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange
2-3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste

Put the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic and shallot in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Gradually add olive oil to taste and whisk until smooth. Cover and let the vinaigrette sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to several days in the refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature and whisk again before serving.

Cover and store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator.

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One Year Ago – Roasted Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots & Pearl Onions
Two Years Ago – Turkey Noodle Soup with Spinach
Three Years Ago – Curried Thai Soup with Turkey, Vegetables & Noodles
Four Year Ago – Roast Turkey with Mom’s Stuffing & Giblet Gravy
Five Years Ago – Penne Gratin with Leftover Turkey
Six Years Ago – Leftover Turkey Stir-fry
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving Special

Thanksgiving_GVAWith Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, it’s time to think menu. For some families it’s easy; the dinner hasn’t changed in thirty-five years. Okay, let’s be honest, it hasn’t changed in fifty or sixty years.

However, if you don’t mind a little change in your life, here are a few thoughts for your harvest feast:

To start. Let family and friends gather around the fire or outside with a football. Chat, laugh and reconnect … and enjoy a nibble or two. A duo of crostini works for me. How about Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Crostini and Mushroom Crostini. For a sweet and savory treat, try my Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Savory Fig Jam.

To sip with your nibbles, how about some Mulled Cider (spiked or not) or enjoy a glass of Prosecco .

No need to hurry. Thanksgiving is a marathon feast, not a sprint. When you are ready, settle down to the table for a first course. The always good, traditional choice would be Roasted Butternut Squash Soup or one of my favorites, Wild Mushroom Soup. Unless you’d like to spice things up with some Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Unless you’d rather have a salad … what could be more Thanksgiving-ish than Mixed Greens with Warm Roasted Squash. Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad or Mixed Greens with Roasted Grapes are also excellent choices.

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without turkey but what about stuffing? Perhaps you’ll go withRoast Turkey with My Mom’s Stuffing & Giblet Gravy. Given the choice, I’d go with Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing.

And then, it’s sides and more sides. I like to stay seasonal with some of my favorite fall vegetables. For a little color, how about Broccoli Puree, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pearl Onions or Braised Red Cabbage. And maybe add some Roasted Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots & Pearl Onions. Of course there must be spuds … Mashed Potatoes , Decadent Cheesy Potatoes or Lemon Roasted Potatoes are all good choices.

Before you know it, it will be time to end the evening – on a sweet note of course. The favorite at my house is Pumpkin Cheesecake. And you’ll need something with apples as well. Maybe a delicious Rustic Apple Croustade or, great for a crowd, Apple Crisp. And for fun, send everyone home with a Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pie.

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving tips! Bon appétit!

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Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2014