Thanksgiving 2010 Wrap-Up

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was wonderful! I loved spending time with family, family-to-be, and friends. I also loved having four days in a row without work! I honestly don't get how with a seven-day week, five of those days are work days and only two are work-free. The normal work week should only be four days a week... life would be so much better that way. But I digress...

Thanksgiving No. 1

On Thursday, we went to Jeff's parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner. While all the guys watched football, the girls sat in the other room watching Love Actually -- one of my favorite movies, especially at this time of year. When the game ended, we sat down to an amazing dinner. The spread included challah, chicken soup, turkey, brisket, stuffing, potato kugel, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and warm popovers!

For dessert, Jeff's mother made an apple pie and a chocolate pudding pie. I made some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (a favorite of Jeff's father and a huge hit) and some caramel-pecan bars (which I made for my and Jeff's mini Thanksgiving dinner last year).

The bars went over well, and I definitely recommend trying them if you love pecan pie but want more of a caramel flavor to it.

Thanksgiving No. 2

On Saturday we went to the Cape to have a second dinner with my family. We met my mom, my two sisters, my little brother, and my uncle there. (Unfortunately my dad had to work.) I spent Friday making desserts for the dinner and brought all of those along with me.

We snacked on baked brie with local cranberry jam, cheese and crackers, pistachios, and homemade corn chowder around the fire pit in the back yard. I flipped through bridal magazines and teased my sisters about the dresses they'd have to wear in my wedding until it got too chilly and we all decided to head back inside.

My parents had hosted Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday back in CT, so my mom brought up leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turnip, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, corn, and broccolini. She also brought a huge bowl of turkey gravy -- my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. My dad makes the most amazing gravy. I usually just dunk chunks of bread in it and eat it.

Just before dinner my mom roasted some green and white asparagus with garlic. Then she warmed up all the leftovers, and we set everything up buffet-style so we could fill our plates with everything we wanted. It was another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat! (Does anyone else have a family tradition of listening to Alice's Restaurant every year?)

Jeff and my sisters and I played a game of 9-5 (a version of setback) in between dinner and dessert. And then I warmed up my cranberry crumble tart and set out a cranberry maple pecan breakfast cake and some mini chocolate cupcakes. Somehow all of the cupcakes disappeared before it was even time to have dessert!

We had the warm cranberry tart with vanilla ice cream. It was sweet and tart and had a hint of citrus from some orange zest.

The cake came out so moist and was studded with cranberries and toasted pecans. True to the description that accompanies the recipe, it tastes like pancakes. My mom and I divided up the leftovers, and I ate more of it for breakfast this morning.

I have a post on the cranberry crumble tart coming soon.

The chocolate cupcake recipe is the one in the Flour cookbook (which you can find here), and the dark chocolate frosting is from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes (available here).

The cranberry maple pecan breakfast cake can also be found in the Flour cookbook. It's supposed to be baked in a loaf pan, but I used an 8" x 8" x 2" square pan instead -- just because I wanted it to look like a cake instead of a loaf.

What did you make for Thanksgiving this year?