I come from a family of cooks. My mother cooks. My grandmother cooks. I inherited my love of cooking from all the women I watched prepare grand, from scratch meals for our family. It was always something they looked forward to & to sit down and enjoy a home-cooked holiday meal was my ‘normal.’ I learned from a very young age that holidays were supposed to include amazing food and I am excited to pass this lesson on to my own little family.
I started cooking my own Thanksgiving when we moved to Texas & no longer had any family nearby to enjoy the holidays with. I decided that I needed to learn how to do it on my own & after two learning years, I feel like I have finally got it down. This year I tried some different recipes that will now become my own traditional Thanksgiving recipes. I am excited to add to my collection as the years go on & we add more mouths around the table. I tried a number of different things this year, a few were intended to improve my efficiency & they most certainly did! I am a pretty good multitasker as it is, but I have a few tools that are making my life so much easier. So I am sharing in pictures (but all off my iphone, because I totally forgot to pull out my fancy camera); words & links to recipes follow! Read left to right, top to bottom.
- My iPad is now a kitchen necessity. This tool has streamlined my cooking tremendously & I experimented with a new app for this big meal & it was AWESOME! KitchenPad Timer was worth every penny, & allowed me to have up to 8 timers going at one time. The icons even corresponded to the food’s location on the stove or in the oven. So so so nice!
- I always cook my favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake for Turkey Day, but my hubs won’t eat it. Since it was just the three of us, I spoiled him with his favorite Gourmet Chocolate Mousse (& clearly that picture was taken before I learned how to white balance…eek!)
- Lime & pink oven mitts, of course!
- The KitchenPad Timer alarm pops up over any open app & is quite obnoxious. Can’t miss it! & behind the timer, you can see that I used Evernote to organize all my recipes & tagged them as “Thanksgiving 2010″ so I will forever have them ready to be pulled up on my computer/iphone/ipad for reference.
- My quality control officer…testing out the fresh whipped cream…then asking for ‘mo’ of it!
- MMmm. Sweet potatoes. I used this recipe, but cut the sugar by 3/4 and it was still too sweet. I won’t cook it again. I guess I prefer a sweet potato as is, out of the ground. Plenty sweet!
- Fresh chives from my garden add a nice touch to my Mashed Potatoes. I let the potatoes soak in water (peeled & cut) for a few hours & I swear this makes them amazing. I also roasted some garlic & added that instead of the minced garlic. These were PERFECT. My first perfect mashed potatoes.
- Cooked my turkey upside down, for a bit too long (you can see the grate marks :( oops!) But cooking it this way made it the juiciest turkey I have ever cooked! I followed this recipe for the Perfect Turkey. & had to cut into it right away for a certain little miss who could wait NO LONGER to eat! No perfect turkey pics…
- My husband won’t eat veggies on Thanksgiving. So this is his plate. I used Martha’s recipe for Pan Gravy & it was the most savory gravy I’ve ever had. Definitely using it again! & my Grandma’s Dressing recipe.
- Somebody likes it…
- …but when she is done…she is DONE. & did I mention it was 80 degrees & ridiculously humid here? Onesie weather. Blah.
- aaah. clean counters. football. (for him, not me) and some cold pellegrino. the meal is done! The kitchen is CLEAN!
- Gourmet Chocolate Mousse!
- & Family tradition—the tree is ALWAYS purchased & brought home the Friday after Thanksgiving!!
- & then decorated to the sound of Christmas Music! I can’t get enough of Sirius HOLLY!! :)
Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! Now time to get my Christmas Craft on…my project list is never-ending!!!!!!! Fun things to come! :D :D :D