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Non-Traditional Traditional Thanksgiving

Something y’all are bound to notice about me sooner or later is that I have a very particular and identifiable style. I typically describe myself as Classic with A Twist. When I post about my wedding, this will become even more apparent! If I was a cuisine, I would likely be Modern American–updates on old favorites with a focus on clean flavors, simple ingredients.

I knew that I wanted to cook for Thanksgiving, but with my mom, brother, Alex, and I eating, and me cooking (thus meaning that I wanted to cook want I wanted to cook, and want I would be able to eat), I knew that I would have to balance healthy with indulgent, nouveau with traditional. And these would have to be accessible, accomplishible recipes. So what did I come up with?

Bevs:

*Rose Champagne

Popppinn bottttles....

Popppinn bottttles….

*Flip Flop Riesling–Alex and I had this left over from this summer (I got it to pair with Thai, but we never used it. I prefer red, but it was perfect to cool off the spice of the enchiladas while complementing the sweetness of the pumpkin and cranberry).

*Ace Pumpkin Cider (we had this in between dinner and dessert)

*Ocean Spray Diet Sparkling Cranberry (I had this after the champagne, though I helped Alex with his bevs 😉 )

Dinner:

A very impressive spread, if I do say so myself!

A very impressive spread, if I do say so myself!

*Turkey, Cranberry, and Chipotle Pumpkin Enchiladas

So #strangebutgood

So #strangebutgood

*Haricot Vert and Butternut Squash Salad with Shallots, Black Mission Figs, Pecans, and Maple Mustardo

Even my BROTHER thought it was delicious.

Even my BROTHER thought it was delicious.

*Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

They came out great--not overdone!

They came out great–not overdone!

*Assorted Olives from WFM Olive Bar, Turkey Pepperoni, Hennings Cranberry-Chipotle Cheddar, Open Nature Wafer Thins, Homemade Apple-Cranberry Chutney

*Homemade Apple-Cranberry Compote

Dessert:

*Cranberry Cupcakes with Chai-Apple Cider-Cranberry Compote and Fresh Cranberry Buttercream

Yes.  That Good.

Yes. That Good.

*Mini Pecan Pies and Crown Royal-Pecan Pie Tart with Oat-Pecan Crust

The Whiskey-Pecan was the winner here, but believe the others are not standing much of a chance in this household.

The Whiskey-Pecan was the winner here, but believe the others are not standing much of a chance in this household.

*Pumpkin Ice Cream (Whole Foods)

So. Ridiculously., Happy.

So. Ridiculously., Happy.

*Sweet Ophelia Cherry Pecan Chocolate-This was good but I had higher hopes–the pieces of pecan and cherry are basically non-existent, but the chocolate is delicious, as milk chocolate is.

And how did it go?

My Round 1 FIGHT #mortalkombat

My Round 1 FIGHT #mortalkombat

In the interest of full disclosure, I did make an extra versions of the enchiladas (less cheese-on-top) and the haricot salad (less-mustardo) for me. I wasn’t going to, but we had sufficient ingredients leftover, I wanted to make sure that there was plenty for everyone else, and hey, it’s my party, and I won’t get a stomachache if I want to. And it was so worth it to enjoy every bite.

The FEAST…was EATEN!

This is a before pic, but you get the point.

This is a before pic, but you get the point.

We finally got to use our fine china and crystal, and there are still some (a few) leftovers for us to enjoy starting Sunday night (when my fam is gone–we are eating out the next few nights). I might freeze the last 2.5 enchiladas to makes sure that they keep.  The cornbread muffins will be frozen or just left for Alex to enjoy as a snack.  I am taking a few of the enchi’s and muffins to work for one of managers and one of my coworkers who I promised some of my goods to (not my goodies, guys, those are for Alex).

Everything got rave reviews, all members ate until they were UNCOMFORTABLY full, and I couldn’t be more pleased.  I did a lot of cooking, but nothing was that complicated, everything is easily reproduced, and even though I did make “Susie” versions of the main dishes, I will be able to enjoy the leftovers now that I know that everyone else enjoyed them first.  I designed the menu with the plan to be able to eat every single thing, but I know what cheese does to me, and it simply wasn’t worth it to me to risk it, knowing that I would be eating in a manner and amount that is out of character for me.

There was nothing on that table, or the dessert table, that I didn’t enjoy a portion of. I am so proud of my hard work, and can I just say that pumpkin ice cream topped with cinnamon, cranberry cupcake, and whisky-pecan pie might be one of the most amazing combinations EVER???? GET> ON> THAT> #TRUST.

Alex and I just watched Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, and I am writing this up now that he has gone to bed (I had a little coffee with my ice cream. Maybe not the smartest i
dea?). We were so lucky that he got out really early today and the 4 of us were able to spend the afternoon together, but he still has to get up at 5 tomorrow for work, so early to bed for him.

I am taking my mom and brother on what my father has so sweetly termed a “march of death” tomorrow.  In reality I am going to force them to get in a little exercise by walking along the lake to the Museum Campus, get amazeballs Thai at Ma & I, and then bringing them back up the (noncrazy) part of Michigan Ave. And avoiding State St and upper Mich like the plague.  And then Chicago q tomorrow night!

I hope that all of you were so lucky to share such a great day with friends and family. Let us revel in it a bit, instead of pushing it aside in the interest of gifts and possessions. Leftovers, anyone?

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