This year we stayed home for Thanksgiving for the first time since we started dating. That meant we cooked this year. Which meant a lot of planning. One thing I’ve come to realize about myself: I LOVE planning & hate execution!
Here was my menu list:
1. Turkey – G was in charge of deep-frying this since fowl is not my thang these days.
2. Creamy Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes
3. Cranberry Sauce (for looks)
4. Wild Rice & Crimini Mushroom casserole
5. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with a balsamic reduction & cranberries
6. Corn Bread Stuffing
8. Arugula & Mixed Greens Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Mango & a Dijon vinaigrette
9. Cranberry Mojitos
10. Classic Pecan Pie
11. Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Pie
12. Apple Pie Cookies
I started with a simple Homemade Herbed Ranch with crudite appetizer because I didn’t want everyone losing their appetites before dinner. Kids got their own plate.
It looks like it’s about to fall off the counter. It was.
This was the first time I cooked some of these items (including pie crusts which I just started making last week) and not everything came out the way Martha Stewart’s would have (including the pie crusts)! Also, I dropped the Apple Pie Cookies off the menu at the last minute because I ran out of time. I also made a simpler pan-fried brussel sprout dish for the same reason. Cranberries were already representing plenty.
Phew. I’m tired. I will be posting the successful recipes in the coming days.
The highlight of the menu? The Cranberry Mojitos! Yum. So festive, pretty & tasty.
Make these for your holiday parties!
8 oz fresh cranberries (+ extra for garnish)
1 c sugar
1 c water
20 mint leaves
2 TBSP lime juice
4 oz (light colored) rum
4-6 oz sparkling mineral water
First, make the cranberry simple syrup. Pour the cranberries, water & sugar into a saucepan.
Stir gently to combine. Turn heat to medium. When it starts boiling, turn to medium-low for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat & cool. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day or a few hours later, pour it into a strainer over a large bowl. The strained bright red syrup is what you need! [Btw: I DID save the fruit in my fridge. Will be looking for a baking recipe that can use it as I hate to throw it away after all that went into growing, transporting, storing, boiling & refrigerating it. Please comment if you have any ideas!]
Now assemble your drink. I used the measurements more as a guide than anything else.
Add about 10 mint leaves and 1T lime juice to each glass. With a spoon, mash the mint along the side of the glass. Add ice, 2 oz of syrup and 2 oz of rum.
Fill with sparkling mineral or soda water. Garnish with a few cranberries!