Bread / California / Family / Food / Holiday / Poultry / Vegetables/Meatless

Thanksgiving Plate 2012

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I really just wanted to see plates of food with recipes linked to it. Wouldn’t that be a genius way of simplifying/gathering?

Well, here’s mine:

Thanksgiving Plate 2012

Too much parsnips, not enough roasted carrots!

I think I’ve covered all the important stuff: roasted root vegetables, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, turkey, and cranberry sauce.

Roasted Root Vegetables
adapted from Giada

Super simple and easy side dish to incorporate vegetables! This year, I used Giada’s recipe (link above) with the parsnips.

I learned that I am not fond of parsnips

A few other things I learned:

  • I would execute it the same way as this year, which is lining up the vegetables in their own sections so people can avoid what they don’t like. I did that this year because I smelled the parsnips as I was cutting it up and already decided I didn’t like them…
  • No parsnips.
  • Roast a huge sweet potato, lots of carrots, a yellow or red onion, and asparagus. And a LOT of brussel sprouts.
  • I could live with just seasoning these with salt and pepper and no herbs.


  1. Cut up your veggies into equal pieces (so they cook at the same time), toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, and dried basil.
  2. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until tender.

Simple Brussel Sprouts with Parmesan

I can’t find the link t the recipe now but I had some leftover uncooked brussel sprouts from last night. I only cooked half a pound thinking no one else would love them like I did.

I was wrong.


  1. So this morning I cut off the tough stem on the sprouts, cut them in half, and tossed them in a little olive oil.
  2. After seasoning with salt and pepper, I placed them cut side down in a pre-heated pan over medium heat with some olive oil. They sizzled a little bit and I covered the pan for 5 minutes.
  3. I tried to spear one with a fork but it was still tough so I covered for another 2-3  minutes.
  4. Once they were softer, I turned up the heat and flipped them over. After they had some color on the other side (1-2 minutes), I put them on a plate and sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese.

The cheese melted a little and they were just… so, so good. If I didn’t consume so much butter already, I would have tossed some in when they were frying!

Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes
adapted from Heather Likes Food

My favorite mashed potato recipe is actually from Alton Brown but I tried something new, again, this year. It was tasty, but not as garlicky as I’d hoped.

  • 1.5-2 lbs red skin potatoes
  • 1 roasted garlic head (directions here)
  • 1/2 cup half and half (more or less)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (more or less)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Scrub those potatoes clean! Cut in half or quarters and place in a pot of water. Boil until fork tender.
  2. Once tender, place in bowl and mash with half of the roasted garlic, 1/4 cup half and half, and 1/8 cup of grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. TASTE. Add the remaining roasted garlic, half and half, and parmesan if necessary.

I ended up using all of the garlic and it was a very mild flavor. I might have destroyed my taste buds.

Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

My sister hates vegetables. But she ate these green beans. Therefore, I will always make them until she tells me to stop. One of our guests doesn’t like pork so I nixed the bacon and used mushrooms…. Mmmm…

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


  1. Bring a pot of water (with a sprinkle of salt) to boil and prepare a bowl of coooooold water (with ice preferably to keep cold!).
  2. Prepare the green beans by lining them up and chopping off the pointy ends, both sides. Wash and get ready to blanch!
  3. To blanch green beans: place green beans into boiling water and let cook for 3 minutes. I like mine crisp and they will cook more so… 3. Minutes. Remove from boiling water and place into cold water to stop cooking. Take them out of the cold water, give a good shake to get rid of the water then place beans in the baking dish/casserole once cooled. Repeat until all beans are blanched!
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once melted, add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt,  and allow to cook until slightly tender. Add more oil if necessary.
  5. Once slightly tender, add in the onion, garlic, and another pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Spoon onto a plate and set aside.
  6. In the same saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk, making sure the two are incorporated. Let cook until slightly golden/until you can’t smell the flour..? You are making a roux!
  7. Whisk the milk and half and half into the pan until there are no lumps. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. TASTE. Season some more. You really, really need to.
  8. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese. When melted, mix in mushrooms and onions. TASTE ONE MORE TIME and season. Turn off the heat.
  9. Pour the sauce into the baking dish with the green beans, making sure all beans are getting some sauce. Sprinkle the panko on top and bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes.

PHEW! I need to remember what this is all for…

Thanksgiving Plate 2012

Right, for this delicious plate of food..

Cornbread Stuffing
recipe from The Pioneer Woman (cornbread, stuffing)

Do what she did. Change nothing. Best stuffing/dressing ever.


I’ve brined it, I’ve layered bacon on it, I’ve burnt it, I’ve under-cooked it.

I always take a stick of softened unsalted butter and mix in lots of salt, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, oregano, and 4-5 cloves of garlic, and black pepper.

I take that turkey, stuff a layer of this butter between the skin and breast, and them rub the rest all over. Some years I put bacon on top. Some years, I don’t. But I always put a cut up onion and garlic in the cavity.

Propped up on vegetables or rolled up foil, I put that turkey into the oven for 325 degrees F and baste every 30 minutes. Sometimes with it’s own juices, sometimes butter. One year, it was maple syrup.

After an hour and a half, start taking that bird’s temperature! I cooked mine for 2 1/2 hours and it was higher than that serving suggestion internal temperature of 165 degrees. I also tend to overcook meat so… that’s why I’m suggesting that.

One year, I cooked it uncovered and the skin burnt. Then I learned to cover with foil until the last hour. This year, that skin did not get crisp and I think got even more over-cooked but you best believe nothing dried out because of that butter!

Things to keep in mind for cooking a turkey: Turkey 101

I can’t wait to see what the next holiday brings! Happy Cooking!

Oh and…

Cranberry Sauce

Open can and slice.


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