Thanksgiving. The most glorious holiday of the year. The holiday where your sole purpose is to consume food. No dressing up in goofy costumes. No silly exchanging of presents and "small talk" with the dreaded in-laws (oh, wait...you still might have to do that). Nope, it is a day that one dedicates entirely to the preparation and consumption of mass quantities of (largely unhealthy but) crazy delicious grub.
Best. Day. EVER.
Last year, my parents and I traveled down to Oregon to spend Turkey Day with my sister Holly and her family. I wasn't flying in until the afternoon on Thanksgiving proper, so we decided to go avant-garde last year and go out for Thanksgiving. As in, not cook anything.
It had never been done before. By anyone in my family ever.
I mean, we're not crazy or anything. We didn't want to take a gamble. So we chose one of our favorite little restaurants located in McMinnville, Oregon called Bistro Maison. This meal was crazy good. We still think about it- the incredible chestnut stuffing, the luscious mashed potatoes, the vat of homemade gravy. The most beautiful, delicious food on Thanksgiving you could ever consume, as only the French could do. And I would know, because I went to France this summer and they do food right.
Sadly, no Freedom Fries this year. Instead, Holly has installed austerity measures at her house, which means a homemade Thanksgiving for us. As Holly and I were working on the menu for our feast last night, I kept clicking and surfing to find some of my favorite holiday recipes from years past. And I thought it might be helpful to share some of the all-star recipes I have come across over the years. Here are some of my faves:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts- the Barefoot Contessa rocked my world with this recipe years ago, and it's been a staple on my family's Thanksgiving table ever since.
- Apple and Sausage Stuffing- my go-to stuffing recipe. Easy, and never fails.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes- my friend Kate swears by these. Best she's ever made.
- Roasted Beets- the most delicious beet recipe known to man. I've made lovers out of the biggest beet haters with this recipe. Stunningly easy and delicious.
- Cheesy Corn Casserole- easily my most popular recipe (and a constant reminder when I'm in the kitchen of the classic adage: "Keep it simple, stupid.")
- Roasted Asparagus- another huge veggie crowd pleaser. Fast and dummy-proof.
- Chili-Spiced Roasted Acorn Squash- a new one to the repertoire, but worthy of a mention.
As for the turkey, Holly and I want to try our hands at brining this year, so we're testing out our pal Alton Brown's recipe for the perfect bird. Keeping our fingers crossed!