Friday, November 27, 2009

The Sweet Stuff

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family :)  I know I did!

Back to my friends-Thanksgiving!

Let’s get to the goods…the desserts!  Because I don’t like to change up my classic Thanksgiving side dishes, the desserts are where I can get creative each year. 

I may have disappointed a few with the lack of a chocolate pecan pie…BUT I had other plans :)

I’ll just start with my favorite this year…this recipe came from the wonderful Giada!

Profiteroles with Ricotta Mascarpone

Thank you Giada!


I started with wanting to make a cream puff but when I read this recipe I knew it was a winner. 

Puff pastry always sounded like it would be hard to make but I’ve heard it was easy and easy it was!!

I made the filling Saturday:


The next morning I baked the pastry puffs before the Turkey needed to go in.  Profiteroles/Cream Puffs are actually very easy to make.

Basic Ingredients:  Water, butter, flour, sugar, salt, eggsIMG_7242

All ingredients except the eggs are cooked together on the stove.


Then each egg is added 1 at a time and beat in until the dough is smooth and sticky.

Copy of IMG_7244

Spoon onto sheet pan, lined with sil pat or parchment


I smoothed out the tops with a finger dipped in water, then gave each an egg wash for shine


Puffs (in sunlight)



Later on I got out the filling, sliced the top off each puff, and filled the profiteroles




The recipe called for a topping of Nutella + cream, heated together.  For me, the cream and Nutella were just NOT getting along well, so I heated up straight Nutella for my topping.  Just as good or better in my opinion!


YUMMMM the filling tasted just like a cannoli!!!


With my extra Ricotta, I was reminded of another simple Giada recipe I wanted to try…


The Ricotta Cappuccino

I had all the ingredients on hand:


The process couldn’t of been simpler…


And I finally got to use my cute set of espresso cups!



Delicious…I am so making these again in the summer!



My final dessert was Mini Pies!!  I love all miniature desserts :) 

Basic pie crust recipe my fam always uses:  flour, shortening, water, salt.

I chilled, and was ready to roll it out Saturday:IMG_7234

Rolled out discs, placed into muffin tin, lined each with foil and filled with dry beans to use for weight so the crust doesn’t puff up!IMG_7236


Brian requested banana cream and I was thinking coconut cream since I’ve never made it before.  Luckily they are VERY similar and I was able to make 1 filling for both pies. 

I ended up with an Emeril recipe for Coconut Cream Pie

Basic vanilla custardy pie filling…





Just before I added any coconut, I filled half of the pie crusts with a little filling, topped with some sliced banana, and filled to the top.IMG_7261



Then added some sweetened coconut as well as some I had toasted earlier.  P.S. Toasted coconut is AWESOME in yogurt!!!!IMG_7255

Then I filled the remaining shells with the coconut filling.IMG_7264

Later on, these got topped with meringue and toasted with my torch!



I dusted the tops of the coconut creams with more toasted coconutIMG_7320

Others brought apple crisp and pumpkin pie!


Hope everyone is having a great little vacation :)  Now we’re off to the in-laws for Thanksgiving #3 tomorrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

That Time of Year again…

For Apartment House Thanksgiving!!!  The annual big Turkey dinner I’ve been hosting with my old college roomies (+more friends), since it started Junior Year of college.  I kept it going after college and was EXTRA excited this year that dinner would be in my new house, people could sit at a table, and eat off of real plates, real silverware, and even cloth napkins!

Check out last years Apartment Thanksgiving!  Most of the recipes are continued this year

Thanksgiving part 1

Thanksgiving part 2&3

Thanksgiving part 4

Final recap

Items that remained the same were:

Turkey, of course, BUT this year I did decide to go with a Free Range bird from Whole Foods.   It did cost a LOT more, but I felt good about buying it knowing it wasn’t living it’s life crammed in a cage.  IMG_7248

A 22 pounder this year!!IMG_7250

Gotta tent the turkey!       IMG_7251  

Stuffing:  this will never change, and you can see the recipe written out from last year in part 4.

celery and onion



White bread…which again we loved eating a nice soft piece of while cutting it for the stuffing.IMG_7228


Sauté onions and celery in butter :)


then after seasoning, mixing, baking…


Last year I did these mashed potatoes and they were a huge hit, so I couldn’t not make them.

I once again used Rosemary instead of sage because the sage is used in the green beans!


Those green beans were another repeat from last year.  This recipe is so flavorful and such a welcome change from the heavy cream-laden casserole that we used to have.  I mean don’t get me wrong the casserole is classic and delicious but with all the heavy dishes, this one just tastes a little fresher. 

IMG_7217 IMG_7218



Final product with delicious Pancetta


Squash Soufflé was also repeated from last year.  And once again, same as last year, I had some issues.  It always tastes delicious, but there was a little separation,  IMG_7287

I describe the recipe here.  Once again no progress pics, probably because I’m usually frantically making this once the Turkey comes out of the oven. 

Next up…desserts!!  Then the final reveal :)  For now I’ll leave you with my lovely table.  I was so excited to decorate it!!!  I “nicely” set it for 8 (even though when it was time to eat we squished 11 at it)IMG_7294

New end chairs!!!

IMG_7291 IMG_7292

yes I bought a bag of pinecones…I’ll have to get a close up of the centerpiece :)

What’s your FAVORITE Thanksgiving dish??