Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trypto-fantastic!

I've been looking forward to Thanksgiving for a long time now and it did not disappoint! It did come and go rather quickly, though, and I've been sad ever since without the menu to daydream about and the anticipation of my family's visit. At least now I get to relive it all here on my blog. Here's our Thanksgiving table. Ashley and my Dad figured out how to fold my mother's Thanksgiving napkins into poinsettas and we placed a leaf-shaped shortbread cookie on top of each of them as favors. This was my first time using my china for guests, so it was a big deal for me. Ashley unpacked and washed each piece, and then after my Dad handwashed our dinner plates, she stood and repacked them all after dinner! That's a lot of work after a big meal! We were late getting everything ready to go, but everyone was so nice and patient and willing to make last-minute trips to the store or home because I forgot to buy Cream of Mushroom soup! (Thank you, Chrissy!)

I have no picture of the beautiful golden turkey. I feel a little bit sad about that, but I do have a funny story to share. I brought the turkey to Natalie's house to roast. (Thank you Natalie!) I brought it over at 6:45 AM and knew it would need a long time to roast due to it's enormous size. At 1:30, two hours before showtime, I called Ashley who was staying at Natalie's for an update on the bird's internal temperature. She checked the thermometer and reported a whopping 197 degrees! I couldn't stifle the "WHAT?!!!" when I heard such a high number. Luckily, I had inserted the thermometer into the wrong part of the turkey, and the temperature was exactly where it needed to be. Phew!! I ended up using a combination of this and this for my brine. I stuffed the cavity with the apple-sausage stuffing, which tasted fabulous by the way.

A disclaimer: I was having camera issues that day but no time to deal with them, so the pictures I do have leave something to be desired. That said, let's get a look at the food!


My mother's artichoke dip. This recipe is a holiday party staple in our family. It's easy and delicious and gets the people going! I don't know about that last bit, but it's definitely a crowd-pleaser. 1 cup mayo, 1 cup shredded parmesan, 1 softened package of cream cheese, 1 drained can of artichoke hearts, blended with a hand mixer and baked in a dish at 350 for one hour. Serve with tortilla chips. Also pictured above is the spinach gratin. It was definitely good, but I'm not sure it can hold its own on the Thanksgiving table and therefore will most likely not be making an appearance next year.

Ah, here are my two FAVORITE Thanksgiving side dishes. Mmmm.... raspberry pretzel jello salad and Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples.


We were lucky enough to have Ashley's famous dinner rolls prepared by Ashley herself and served with raspberry butter. Also, a delicious homeade cranberry sauce prepared by Chrissy that was perfect. And here is my Thanksgiving dinner plate masterpiece. I love all the pretty bright colors- like an artist's palette! (Not pictured: creamed corn. Creamed corn and I have had a volatile relationship ever since my Mom forced me to eat it as a kid and I gagged. Maggie loves it and insisted on Aunt Gayle's recipe. She and I have had several conversations about my creamed corn aversion and this time something she said finally got through to me: corn, cream, and parmesan cheese.... what's not to like? Hmmm... a valid point, Maggie. Well put. Still couldn't make room on my Thanksgiving plate for it, however. Maybe next year I'll make a little room for some yellow.)




I am so glad I only made two pumpkin pies, and not three. I also made an apple pie and my mother's peppermint dessert. I thought it seemed like an appropriate way to usher in the Christmas season after a big Thanksgiving meal. I am fully aware that I think about food way too much. Even with all the people, we still had a lot of leftover dessert, so I've been having a little helping of each of them with just about every meal since Thursday. Naughty.


And our guests. (Bobby is missing from this photo because he was helping Franny.) We were so glad to be able to have friends and family with us on Thanksgiving. I had so much fun with all of you. I am so pleased with my first Thanksgiving-hosting experience and I think my Mom would be proud. I tried to do it "Marianne-style" and even got to use her table cloth and napkins and Thanksgiving salt and pepper shakers, thanks to my Dad. He also brought See's candy like she always served at parties. Dad, you're the best. It was fun to use the china she helped me pick out and the beautiful Lenox casserole dish she surprised me with at one of my bridal showers for the mashed potatoes. There is nothing like having the perfect serving dish! Thanks for coming everyone and for all your help! Some of you had to travel to get to us and we were so grateful to have you all there with us.

20 comments:

The last Unicorn said...

Wow Katherine! I knew you would throw a wonderful thanksgiving... but it looks like you seriously out did yourself!! That was a lot of dessert, but they say one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the left overs :)

Jill said...

Your mom would be VERY VERY VERY proud. Your last paragraph made me tear up a little, I am such a boob.

Jill said...

Oh duh I forgot to mention your food looks amazing, wow I am seriously impressed.

Levon, Stefanie, & Pohai Basso said...

Katherine!! Looks YUMMY! Way to go. I wish I could dig into that from my computer! Haha. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ashley said...

I thought you pulled it off without a hitch, it was great. Next time, hold off putting out the artichoke dip until the girl watching the turkey gets there! Just kidding, I couldn't have stuffed more in there if I tried. Mmmm...can we do it again? Next week?

Jordan said...

You put us ALL to shame. Except, Katherine, I don't know how I feel about pretzels in jello, I just don't know.

Natalie said...

So I am going to go ahead and RSVP for Thanksgiving at your house for next year....and the next....and the next...is that ok?
By the way, I think we have the exact same china!

Allison & Noah Riley said...

Katherine, that mint chocolate dessert looks so good I almost cried. We're having some friends over for dinner this weekend and I would LOVE to attempt it. Do you have a moment to send me the recipe? If it's easier to email, that would be awesome... riley.alli@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

jayne said...

Your mother is smiling down on you and bursting with pride at the fabulous party you were able to throw together! It looks sooooo extremely yummy and your place settings are fabulous. Nice work!

Jodie said...

You are too awesome!! What a great spread and a fabulous table. As always, your strength and abilities amaze me. By the way, are you for hire? :)

Katherine said...

You guys are so nice!! And you are all welcome at my house next year for Thanksgiving! :) Jordan, give the pretzel jello a try. I promise, you won't be sorry! It's the perfect combination of sweet and salty, also adding the perfect amount of tang to balance the richness of all the other Thanksgiving staples. Thanks for all the compliments!

sara and stanford said...

Dang Katherine, it all looked so wonderful. I'm glad you got to have your family out and I'm sure they loved having you cook!

Erin said...

It looks like so much fun! And absolutely delish!

The Wilkins' said...

Katherine I am totally impressed, but not a bit surprised at your amazing dinner!

valerie said...

The food all looks awesome!! I love what you did with the crust on the apple pie with the leaves. What a great idea.

Anne said...

So beautiful Katherine, it all looks amazing.

Gough Family USA said...

Wow Katherine. You are my hostess hero. What an amazing dinner, and an incredible party. You're mom must be so proud!

Chrissy said...

Katherine, YOU'RE THE BOMB!! Thanks so much for having us over. We love you guys so much.

Allison & Noah Riley said...

Your artichoke dip sounded way too amazing (and remarkably not complicated!) to not try, so I whipped up a batch for dinner with guests on Friday. And then our guests got sick and couldn't come, so Noah and I ended up eating it with (er, FOR) like four meals. We loved it! Thanks for the great idea!

Matt said...

Hello!

I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I'd like to request permission to use the photograph you have posted in this book. Please contact me at matt@wefeelfine.org, and I'd be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Matt

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