What NOT to Give this (or any) Christmas & Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives

santa_sleigh_presentsIf you have finished all of your Christmas shopping, well then today’s post is not for you. However, if you have a long list of friends and relatives that you still need TO buy for – well, read on. Unfortunately, I’m not up on the latest and greatest, so, I can’t tell you what to buy for your spouse, your mom and dad or your best friend. However, I can make a few suggestions of what NOT to give to more or less anyone.

Fruitcake. A perennial non-favorite, fruitcake is THE what-not-to-give gift. The world’s most popular re-gift, this sticky-sweet cake is an acquired taste; one that few acquire. I’m guessing that hundreds, even thousands, of re-gifted fruitcakes have been bouncing from one house to the next for decades.

Socks and underwear. Forget coal, socks and underwear are what bad little girls and boys find in their stocking on Christmas morning.

Appliances. Unless you are ready to sleep in the garage for the next month or two, never, ever give your spouse a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Same goes for a dish washer or washing machine.

Exercise equipment. Buying a loved one exercise equipment is a sort of like hesitating before answering the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” The same holds true for a gym membership, a diet book or, heaven forbid, a scale.

The obvious re-gift. Re-gifting is somewhat controversial. While few admit, many do it. Controversy aside, there are re-gifts and, then, there are re-gifts. If your initials are monogrammed on the cuff, don’t re-gift that shirt. Yes, even if it makes your skin look sallow. Keep it for a Halloween costume or donate it to Goodwill.

Now, are there exceptions to any of these rules? Of course, there are always exceptions. Well, make that usually exceptions. I can’t think of a soul who is pining for a fruitcake. As for that canvas bag with your initials? Sorry, throw it in the truck of the car. Orange may not be your color but it will be great for grocery shopping.

Anyway, back to exceptions. You can break the socks and underwear rule if your gift is beyond special. The key to socks is finding pairs that your friends would never buy for themselves. Simple black, navy and brown or athletic socks are not for gifting. Colorful rainbows, alligators and pink flamingos work for me. Nor should you give a three-pack of tidy-whities to your sweetheart. Think lingerie, silk and sexy. (But make sure you get the right size. Otherwise, you could be sleeping in the garage until Valentine’s Day.)

While a vacuum cleaner never works, a young foodie who is assembling her first kitchen will be delighted with a gourmet gadget or fancy cookware. Think food processors, stand mixers and pasta makers. Or one of those fabulous French cast-iron pots.

Although they make great clothes racks, forget the treadmill or stationary bike. However, it may be okay to give the kids the latest athletic status symbols. Or maybe not. If one of the kids on your list failed the bean bag toss and has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, well, you might want to think again.

Happy shopping and bon appétit!

Garlicy Shrimp with Tomatoes & Olives
This quick dish is perfect for the busy holiday season (and that fabulous French cast-iron casserole). Enjoy!

Serves 8 for dinner & 12-16 as a small plate, tapas or appetizer

Olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch or to taste red pepper flakes
About 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes*, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
About 2 pounds extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
About 1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
8 slices thick cut ciabatta or country bread, toasted

Coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and sauté until they begin to bubble. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about 1/3.

While the tomatoes simmer, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium high, add the shrimp and toss to combine. Cook the shrimp, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until pink.

Transfer the shrimp to individual shallow bowls.

Add the olives, capers and butter to the skillet and toss to combine. Stirring frequently, cook the sauce for about 2 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over the shrimp, sprinkle with chopped basil and parsley and serve immediately with a slice of toasted ciabatta or country bread to soak up the sauce.

* You can use regular tomatoes but I find that the ones in my grocery store have little taste during the winter months. If you use regular tomatoes, seed and chop.

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One Year Ago – Wild Rice Pilaf with Roasted Mushrooms & Kale
Two Years Ago – Maple-Nut Sundaes
Three Years Ago – Rosemary Cashews
Four Years Ago – Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Five Years Ago – Ginger Crème Brûlée
Six Years Ago – Aunt Anna’s Pecan Pie
Seven Years Ago – White Chocolate & Cranberry Trifle
Eight Years Ago – Chicken with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Penne
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What about you? How do you get in the holiday spirit? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Holiday Entertaining – Dinner Party with Friends

Christmas_Cheers_01The holidays are a great time to entertain. Dinner for eight, brunch for a dozen or cocktails for fifty; you decide. Perhaps you are thinking that you are long overdue for a dinner party? Maybe it is your book club or the neighbors or your favorite, oldest, nearest and dearest friends. The ones you met when you first moved to town … how many decades ago? Whomever the company, take a break from the hustle and bustle and get a group together for a long and lazy dinner party. Let casual meet elegant with your favorite cashmere sweater and cozy bistro dishes.

Maybe you’re thinking … what the heck is a cozy bistro dish or how did that hole find my sweater? I can’t help you with the sweater but I can suggest a menu!

So, here we go.

Start with a glass of champagne and a tasty amuse-bouche. (Translation – amuse-mouth. It’s just a fancy way to say a one or two bite treat.) How about a nice little tartlet (or tartelette in French)? You might like to try my Butternut Squash Tartlets or Tartelettes au Fromage avec Saucisse et Poireaux (Sausage and Leek Tartlet). Add bowls of Spicy Olives and Rosemary Cashews to nibble.

Moving à table (to the table) … a lovely soup is just the thing on a chilly night. I suggest you try my Wild Mushroom Soup.

For the main course … you can’t go wrong with my Lemon Roasted Chicken Thighs. Serve the chicken with a spoonful of Whole Grain Pilaf and Roasted Parsnips with Rosemary and/or Roasted Carrots (skip the pearl onions).

Next, comes the salad; yes, after the main course. Keep it simple with Salad Greens with Classic Vinaigrette. Keeping with the French theme, add a wedge of your favorite cheese and a basket of artisan bread and/or crackers.

Now, it’s time for dessert. As always, you can’t go wrong with chocolate. My Chocolate Walnut Tart is rich and delicious. If you’d prefer a creamy French pud, then give my Cranberry Clafoutis or Ginger Crème Brûlée a try.

Have a lovely evening! Bon appétit!

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

How are you spending the long holiday weekend? 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! target=”_blank”>Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Getting in the Spirit & Chocolate Walnut Tart

Christmas_StockingHopefully, you’re feeling all warm and cozy after Thanksgiving. There were probably a few not too subtle and not too quiet words spoken at some point between the shrimp cocktail and pumpkin pie. It would not be Thanksgiving if there were not at least one blowup. I’m sure all is forgiven or at least forgotten by now. Anyway, let’s turn that Thanksgiving afterglow into some big old, no strings, no limits holiday spirit. I’m sure you have a few ideas but these will help you get started:

First and foremost, take down any political signs that are still in your yard. Replace them with sparkling lights and a snowman or two. Hang a wreath on the door and fill an old planter with evergreens, holly and more lights.

Drive around town and look at other people’s Christmas lights. Revive an old tradition of a special dinner out after the Christmas lights tour. If your family has never celebrated the lights tour tradition, start it. You deserve a night out.

Dig through all your old boxes of decorations and ornaments. Don’t stop there; look through your mom’s old boxes too. These treasures will bring back special memories. Embrace and revel in the nostalgia of Christmas.

Get a tree and fill it with lights, baubles and bows. If it seems like too much trouble … get one anyway. If it really, really, really seems like too much trouble, cover the mantle with greens and decorate them with lights, baubles and bows. It will get you in the spirit and send you over to the farm for a tree.

Whether you favor Bing or Bruce, crank up some holiday tunes. It’s a wonderful time of year and music is a big part of it. Find one of those all Christmas stations on the radio and let it play throughout the day. Music will lift your spirits on a dark and cloudy afternoon and make any task easier. In the coming weeks, make it a point to attend a community concert, go caroling and hum your way through the supermarket.

Bake something. Anything; it doesn’t matter whether you bake dozens of cookies, a tart or a pan of brownies. By all means, get the children or grandkids involved. They can help you measure and mix and keep you company. If you don’t have any kids available, borrow one or two from a neighbor. I’m sure their parents will be delighted to have some free time to wrap gifts, do some shopping or just sit quietly for a minute.

Baking done; now, it’s time to make something. Craft a tree ornament, knit a scarf or decorate a wreath; the list is endless. ‘Tis the season to take a workshop at the library or community center, search the internet for clever projects or ask your creative friends for help. Remember, when in doubt – a can of gold spray paint can turn almost anything into something magical.

Do you have a favorite book that your parents read you every year at Christmas? Even if it’s been years, hunt it down, cuddle up on the couch and read it again. From the transformations of Ebenezer and Grinch to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, these stories share themes of love and kindness.

Happy holidays and bon appétit!

Chocolate Walnut Tart
A delicious change from the traditional Pecan Pie, this tart is perfect for chocoholics. Enjoy!baking_01
Makes one tart

Flaky Pastry (recipe follows)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Garnish: unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough and fit it into a 9- or 10-inch glass or ceramic tart pan. Trim and crimp the edge. Cover and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter and rum. Whisk in the sugar and maple syrup. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the walnuts and allspice.

Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until set, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours. Pour the glaze over the tart and spread evenly to cover the top. Cool completely and serve garnished with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces dark chocolate
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Put the chocolate, butter and cream in a heavy saucepan and, stirring frequently, heat on very low until about 2/3 melted. Remove the pan from the heat, let sit for 5-10 minutes and stir until smooth.

Flaky Pastry
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with ice water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and process until the dough comes together in a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

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One Year Ago – Citrus & Spice Sugar Cookies
Two Years Ago – Peppermint Bark Cookies
Three Years Ago – Mixed Reds & Greens Holiday Salad
Four Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Five Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Six Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Seven Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Eight 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 about you? How do you get in the holiday spirit? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Thankful for Leftovers Special

ThanksAhh the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing to do but put your feet up, make the turkey stock and … either go for a walk or let out all your pants. (If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not a Black Friday shopper!) There is so much food in the refrigerator; you won’t need to make dinner for a week, maybe two.

The only question is what to do with all that leftover food … 

… well, here are a few thoughts …

There is everyone’s favorite … soup:

My Favorite Spicy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup

Curried Thai Soup with Noodles, Turkey & Vegetables

Turkey Noodle Soup with Spinach

Not feeling soupy? How about:

Leftover Turkey Stir Fry

Black Friday Enchiladas (Turkey & Black Beans Enchiladas)

Cheesy Gratin with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Pumpkin Chili with Turkey & Black Beans (Replace the ground turkey with bite sized pieces of leftover turkey.)

If you love roasted vegetables, there’s a chance you made too many. Whether you’ve got roasted butternut squash, carrots, parsnips or a mix, they’re delicious in many, many ways. Enjoy your gently reheated, roasted vegetables in a variety of interesting concoctions:

As an appetizer, try them on Crostini with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction

On a salad of Mixed Greens with Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds and Parmigiano-Reggiano or Arugula with Goat Cheese Salad and Toasted Walnuts.

Go Italian, pull out the pasta machine and have some fun with Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter. Alternatively, you can buy your raviolis and enjoy Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash & Browned Butter. Need a few more options, what about  Butternut Squash Lasagna or Squash Risotto?

If all fails, whirl them into soup. Regardless of the veggies, you can probably use my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup as a guide.

slippers_02Need more … alright, here are a few more suggestions.

Have a great weekend! Bon appétit!

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

How are you spending the long holiday weekend? 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, 2016

Something to Talk about this Thanksgiving & Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter

thanksgiving_proclamation_1863_02Woooo-eee! When President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving, he missed two important consequences. The first is the five Thursday Novembers. Fast forward several decades and the big department stores were none too happy to delay the start of the holiday shopping season. It took a bit of lobbying but FDR eventually re-proclaimed Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November. The second consequence is that, every other year our harvest feast comes right on the heels of an election. Sometimes those elections are calm, even uneventful while other are anything but.

I think we’d all agree that this year’s election was nothing short of prickly. On top of that, the election was held on the last possible date and Thanksgiving is on the early side this year. If it feels like you just voted, you’re right. It was only two weeks ago. Given that nerves may be a little frayed, what will you talk about around the Thanksgiving table? Will you avoid politics or jump in feet first?

It all depends on your friends and family. Some people love nothing better than a raucous political argument. They live for the day when Uncle George arrives with his absurd, antiquated views. Or when that hippie cousin stops by with all her balderdash. With any luck, George and the hippie share that enthusiasm for a raging argument. It’s what some families do. However, if disagreements make you break out in hives, you’ll need some alternative topics of conversation.

Of course, many families are all in agreement. Their ballots match both up and down the ticket. If that’s you and yours and your candidate won, then you’re somewhere between satisfied and ecstatic. After a few high fives, you’ll want to get on to more important things. After all, nothing stops a conversation faster than cheerful agreement.

On the other hand, you might all be in agreement but also in despair. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to lay off the political talk. Save it for Black Friday or a dismal, rainy afternoon during the January Thaw. For now, it’s time to be thankful and take a break from the angst and sorrow.

So then, whether it is fear of fisticuffs, campaign fatigue or whatever, let’s lay off the politics for a day, maybe two. Are you good with that? Assuming your answer is yes; will your friends and family be able to keep up a conversation? It’s not an unreasonable question. If you’re worried that your Thanksgiving feast will be eaten in resounding silence, well then, let’s give ’em somethin’ to talk about.

Thanksgiving is a good time to count our blessings, look to the future and focus on the issues that matter. You know, important stuff like whether the Patriots will make it to the Super Bowl. Once you agree they will, you can move on to debate the virtues of online dating and Coke versus Pepsi. Be sure to save some time to puzzle out if it is El Niño or La Niña that brings all the snow. From there you can discuss alien abduction – truth or fiction, consider if the 1969 moon landing was faked and figure out if there is a heaven for dogs. And what about cats? Artistic types will want to debate where creativity comes from and if shyness is a condition or a choice. And what about those boisterous extroverts?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter
A delicious way to use up any Thanksgiving leftovers. If you don’t have any leftover squash, well, it’s worth making a new batch! Enjoy!nye_making_ravioli
Serves 4

Butternut Squash Filling
About 1 1/2 cups leftover Roasted & Mashed Butternut Squash, at room temperature
1/2 cup mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Pasta Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Putting it all together
1 large egg
6 tablespoons butter
About 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Make the filling: Put the leftover squash, mascarpone and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a bowl and stir to combine. (Any extra filling makes a great bruschetta topping.)

Make the pasta dough: Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and beat on medium speed to combine. Continue beating while adding the eggs, 1 at a time. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball.

Dust your work surface with flour. Knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes.

Put the remaining olive oil in a bowl. Roll the dough in the oil until evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into 2 pieces. Dust your work surface and the dough with flour. Flatten the dough into rectangles and roll them through a pasta machine 3 or 4 times on the widest setting. Reduce the setting and continue to crank the dough through the machine, 3 or 4 times at each setting until each piece is about 1/8-inch thick.

Putting it all together: Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.

Dust your work surface and one side of each pasta sheet with flour. Using a large cookie cutter, make 2 1/2 – 3-inch circles.

Brush one side of half of the circles with egg wash and add a dollop of filling. Top with the remaining pasta circles and gently press together. Crimp the edges with a fork to tightly seal. Let them sit uncovered for 30 minutes to dry slightly. (The ravioli can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated until ready to cook.)

butternut_squash_ravioli_02Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the ravioli and cook for 3 minutes or until they float to the top. Don’t overcrowd the pot.

While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, cook the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until golden brown.

Using a large strainer, transfer the ravioli to a platter or individual plates, drizzle with browned butter, sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped nuts and serve.

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One Year Ago – Thanksgiving Leftovers
One Year Ago – Cranberry Clafoutis
Two Years Ago – Black Friday Enchiladas (Enchiladas with Turkey & Black Beans)
Three Years Ago – Snowy Pecan Balls
Four Years Ago – Chocolate Truffles
Five Years Ago – Smoked Salmon Mousse
Six Years Ago – Roasted Beans
Seven 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 will you talk about around the Thanksgiving table this year? Feel free to share.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Three Menus (& the Recipes) for a Delicious Thanksgiving

stirring_the_potThanksgiving means a lot of things. It is a wonderful time to celebrate family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate delicious food traditions.

I’m off to a friendsgiving potluck this year. If you are too, here are some suggestions of what to bring.

If you’re staying home and cooking for loved ones … I’ve put together three great menus to help you make it through the feast of feasts in one piece. Feel free to use one in its entirety, pick and choose or mix and match.

Whatever you cook this Thanksgiving, have a wonderful holiday!

~.~.~~.~.~~.~.~

Traditional New England Fare with a Contemporary Twist
~.~.~

To Start
Butternut Squash Soup
~.~

The Main Event
Roast Turkey with Mom’s (or your Mom’s) Stuffing and Giblet Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Green Beans & Tomatoes
(It’s not green bean casserole – it’s much, much better)
Mashed Potatoes
(Of course!)
~.~

A traditional Thanksgiving seems to cry out for a multitude of desserts!
Apple Crisp with Cranberry Coulis
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Aunt Anna’s Pecan Pie

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Five Course French Bistro Dinner
~.~.~

Entrée – To Start
Wild Mushroom Soup
~.~

Plat Principal – The Main Event
Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy with
Savory Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard Bread Pudding & Cranberry Sauce
A delightful casserole of White Beans Provençal with Bacon & Baby Kale
~.~

La Salade – Salad
Arugula with Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese

Fromage – Cheese
A Beautiful Platter of Artisanal Cheeses with Bread & Crackers Platter
~.~
Dessert – A Duo of Mousse
Pumpkin-Ginger Mousse
Maple Mousse with Apple Compote

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

A Rustic Harvest Feast Italian Style
~.~.~

Aperitivo – To Nibble with Cocktails
Roasted Almonds

Antipasto – To Start
Butternut Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
~.~

Primo – The First Course
Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash
~.~

Secondo – The Second Course
Roast Turkey with Giblet Sauce, Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing &
Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Carrots & Pearl Onions
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
~.~
Insalata – Salad
Lemony Kale & Radicchio Salad
~.~

Formaggi e frutta – Cheese & Fruit
A beautiful platter of artisanal cheeses, preferably Italian, and fresh fruit
~.~

Dolce – Sweets
Tiramisu
Rustic Apple Tart

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Bon appétit! * Buon Appetito! * 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? For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click here or Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2016

A Friendsgiving Potluck Special

gnarly_gourdsAre you going to a potluck this Thanksgiving? Or maybe you’re hosting one? If you’re the host, your job is more or less set. You’re in charge of the turkey and stuffing … and don’t foret the Cranberry Sauce!

If you’re a guest, well, now would be a good time to figure out what to bring … and clear it with your host. Then again, if you’re the host, it’s nice to have a list of possibilities handy when people start to call and ask, “What do you need?” So, here we go … from soup to nuts … here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving and fall dishes to share with family and friends next week:

We’ll start with a few great Thanksgiving appetizers: First, there are the one or two bite wonders:
Butternut Squash Tartlets
Greek Stuffed Mushrooms
Spanish Stuffed Mushrooms
Butternut Squash Crostini with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Reduction
Mushroom Crostini

Next, a delicious dip or hummus will be very welcome. Here are three tasty choices:
Chipotle Sweet Potato & White Bean Hummus
Roasted Beet & White Bean Hummus
Warm Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onions & Walnuts

Finally, pilgrims lived by sea and feasted on its bounty at the first Thanksgiving. Seafood makes a great holiday starter. Perhaps you’d like to try my …
Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce
Smoked Salmon Mousse
Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli 

I’m bring soup to a Friendsgiving this year. Here are three you might like to try.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (my family’s favorite)
Wild Mushroom Soup
Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Maybe your group would prefer a salad. Here are some of my favorite fall salads:
Lemony Kale & Radicchio Salad
Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad
Butternut Squash Salad
Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad 

When it comes to Thanksgiving, you cann’t have too many side dishes … can you? If you’ve volunteered to to vegetables. I’m a huge fan of roasting veggies – here are some suggestions:
Thanksgiving_Place_CardsRoasted Beets with Sautéed Greens
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions
Roasted & Mashed Butternut Squash
Roasted Carrots with Pearl Onions
Roasted Parsnips with Rosemary
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmigiano-Reggiano
Roasted Green Beans & Tomatoes
Roasted Mushrooms, Leeks, Shallots & Pearl Onions
Broccoli Purée

So, maybe you only eat them once or twice a year but you gotta have spuds on Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of possibilities:
Decadent Cheesy Potatoes
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
If you’d prefer a spud alternative, you can always try my:
Quinoa with Sweet Potato & Spinach (a good choice if there will be a vegetarian or two at the party)
Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard

And it’s on to dessert. For a whole lot of people, it’s not Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie. Well, I think you just might like some of my alterative just as much … maybe more. Here goes:
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin-Ginger Mousse

If you rather fancy an apple pie .. then consiider my
Mini Tarte Tatin
Rustic Apple Croustade
Rustic Apple Tart.
Apple Bread Pudding
Applesauce Cake with Brown Butter Icing
Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp with Cranberry Coulis

Have a wonderful Friendsgiving and bon appétit!

How are your Thanksgiving plans shaping up?  I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

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, 2016