November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks.

Welcome to the Goldstein Thanksgiving Dinner, 2010. The best thing about a small family dinner (with casual parents like mine) is that I was able to wear LuLulemon Yoga pants during preparation and eating time. Nothing like taking down a big meal with stretch pants on. I have included the details of the night that made it feel special for my family. My mom was the one who brought the turkey and the container for the turkey (including the baster that my brother and I used to play with in the bathtub as little kids. It was the same one she brought over my apartment tonight, don't even get me started on how strange that seems to me! I just decided to let it go, and creepily laughed it off since it was nice of her to bring it over for us to use to moisten the turkey). Per usual, there was spilling of gravy, since that's a family tradition, along with my father making a few jokes we didn't understand/jokes that were not really appropriate for family time. Also, as is tradition, my dad fell asleep before dessert while simultaneously, my mom declared that she was going to hit up the gym later than evening. Sigh. My family is crazy. It's okay, I think I am pretty strange myself! Above all, I am thankful that my parents and brother were able to join me tonight.

Cheers, Mish

Name Tags:
West Elm Gold Pine Cones Note cards with Permanent Marker
Silver Side Serving Plate, West Elm

Centerpiece Decor:
Home Goods Glass Bowl
Target Brand Cinnamon Sticks
West Elm Gold Pine Cones


Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits & Herb Biscuits
Frisee Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios
Clementine Green Beans with Pine Nuts
Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
Fennel and Apricot Whole Wheat Stuffing

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
Mustard Red Potatoes

Dr. Browns Diet Cherry
Soda (a family favorite from our neighborhood Jewish deli in Wilmette, The Bagel)
Red Wine from the Goldstein Parental Units (from Costco, of course)
Frango Mints

Pumpkin Pudding Cups with Cinnamon Cool Whip

Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits
(these were better than the herb biscuits in my opinion, so I'll just include this recipe)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup milk (I used Almond Milk)
In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt; mix well. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until moistened. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 8 to 10 times. Roll to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a small 8 ounce (if you have one) juice glass and place on an un-greased baking sheet. The original recipe said something about a special cutter you need. Screw that! I used a cup and they came out as perfect circles. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Frisee Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios
  • 1 package frisee lettuce
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts (I used unsalted Pistachios that were roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • roughly 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
Combine the last 5 ingredients, whisking them together. Dip your finger in a few times and test if you'd like more juice or pepper, etc. Add in the frisee to the dressing. Toss a few times. Add in the cheese, nuts, and fruit.

Clementine Green Beans with Pine Nuts
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (I just used light cooking spray instead)
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind (I actually used clementines since Doug had a lot of them laying around & I wanted to use them before they went bad!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (I used clementine juice here too)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
Boil water. Add the green beans in and cook them for about 7-8 minutes. I took them out when they were soft but not too soft. If you like them more crispy, then go ahead and make them that way. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add green beans; stir well. Add rind, juice, pepper, and salt; sauté at least a few minutes depending on how browned you would prefer your veggies to be. I warmed them up again on the pan prior to serving. The frying pan added a nice crisp texture. I'd recommend to keep them on the pan as long as possible for more rustic flavor.

Cranberry Pomegranate Relish

  • light cooking spray (Martha said vegetable oil, but I didn't like that taste too much)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallot; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 3 minutes. Add cranberries, pomegranate juice, and brown sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and sauce is slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pomegranate seeds (if using). Let cool to room temperature before serving. This one is delicious. I am going to make this one a tradition. Maybe Doug will let me add it to the family repertoire, since it does, after all, fall under a traditional menu item (he has set traditions for Thanksgiving, while I make more innovative menus).

Fennel and Apricot Whole Wheat Stuffing
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish and foil
  • 1 large loaf whole wheat bread cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces (about 16 cups)
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots, cut in quarters
Heat oven to 375° F. I had to do it with the oven at 350 because I was also working at the same time that the turkey was in the oven as well. Spray a rectangle baking dish. Dry the bread out in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. I had to do it in two shifts. Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, fennel, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the bread, broth, eggs, dried apricots, fennel fronds, and ½ teaspoon salt to the vegetables and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
  • Light Cooking Spray
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used the Splenda Brown Sugar with partial Splenda in it and partial regular light brown sugar)
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (I used just a tad less, I didn't want it to overpower)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (I used a bit more than this, it's basically based on your taste palette)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Almond or Skim milk
Boil the potato pieces in a sauce pan. Cook until tender. Drain and then beat them in a bowl using a mixer. I added in the brown sugar and milk at this time to keep it light. Also, add in the salt pepper and rosemary at this time as well. Simple as that!

Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

(This one is a staple in my kitchen. I make it all the time b/c it's a crowd pleaser. I even made it for my housewarming party!)

  • 3 pounds red potatoes (quarter them)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup vinaigrette

Place the potatoes and salt in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Whisk together the vinaigrette and mustard in a small bowl. Pour half the mixture over the hot potatoes, toss, and let stand for 1 hour. Just before serving, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette mixture over the potatoes, add the tarragon and pepper, and toss.

Pumpkin Pudding Cups with Cinnamon Cool Whip
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided (I used Light Brown Sugar by Splenda)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk (I used Almond Milk. Cooking Light Magazine used Low Fat Milk. I'm sure either would work).
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Cooking spray
Combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine milk and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (through ground nutmeg) in a bowl, stirring well. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat, and cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly (do not boil). Divide pudding evenly among 4 dessert bowls, and cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill until ready to use. I set them in the fridge for a couple of hours while I prepared the rest of the meal. I used Cool Whip when serving. I used the beater and blended Cool Whip with cinnamon. It was FANTASTIC.

I hope everyone had a nice meal!

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