..........a blog about food, travel, gardening, and living the good life in Arizona.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving With Friends

Three days ago we shared our Thanksgiving dinner with our dear friends from Nebraska (Connie and Lee Doehring), our first official house guests here in Tucson. For the few days they were here, we had the pleasure of introducing them to the desert southwest showing off the Desert Museum and the International Wildlife Museum, dining at some of our favorite restaurants and, of course, cooking for them in our newly renovated kitchen. I spent most of Thanksgiving day putting every appliance to the test preparing my favorite meal of the year; a menu I planned days in advance to include a new first course this year, butternut squash soup. Here’s the full menu along with source credits in case you want to try any of them:

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu November 26, 2015

Appetizers: Parisian Tapenade (recipe upon request), Baked Feta with Thyme and Honey (Food52), crostini, prosciutto-wrapped cheese sticks (Trader Joe’s) with mustard mayo dip (recipe upon request)

First Course: Butternut Squash Soup (ginger, crème fraiche and spicy pumpkin seeds (Martha Stewart) and chili oil (101 Cookbooks)

Entrée: Roast Turkey (unstuffed – Food Network: Top Turkey Tips http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/articles/top-turkey-tips.html)

Sides: Orange Candied Sweet Potatoes (Women’s Society of Christian Service – Evelyn Goodell (recipe upon request))
Garlic-Roasted Green Beans & Shallots with Hazelnuts (Fine Cooking: Issue 70)
Bread Stuffing Casserole with Apples (Pepperidge Farms herb stuffing)
Spiced Cranberry Sauce (Epicurious: Gourmet November 1991
Dinner rolls (purchased)         

Dessert: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie (Saveur: September 2007)  

One of the many things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving is the interest I developed in food preparation while still a teenager in Pennsylvania. Working as a short-order cook at a truck stop during my high school years and later as a waitress when I was attending business school taught me many of the basics of cooking. And the 20+ years I lived in California gave me the opportunity to attend cooking classes with local chefs at restaurants and culinary schools expanding my knowledge base and kitchen confidence. To this day, my passion for food, cooking and menu planning have been the joys that enrich my life and fuel my appetite and creativity in the kitchen. I love sharing them with friends and family and of course, with you, dear reader! Until next post, remember... "you can be old and ugly, but as long as you can cook, you'll always have friends" James Beard. :)

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