Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10th Annual “Apartment” Thanksgiving

So most all of you know by now I always host a Friends-giving the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Its been a tradition since junior year of college and we just realized this marked the 10th Anniversary!!!  Crazy!! 

The setting, the food, and the guests have tweaked a little over the years but in general it’s stayed the same.  Only now I’m in a house not an “apartment”. 

You can check out all my past 3 years of blogging about Thanksgiving and all the recipes I’ve used here: 2011, 2010 (and this 2010 recap has links to 2009 and 2008 which have some of my traditional recipes).

Some highlights from this year?

First, I switched up the method of cooking the Turkey for the first time ever!

I decided I wanted to try a brine and opted to use arguably the most popular brined turkey recipe on the internet: the Good Eats Roast Turkey.


Brine ingredients. 

You let the turkey sit in the brine for 8-16 hours. I put mine in the brine the night before, and took it out around 11:00 AM the next day.

That’s the other thing I liked about this recipe…MUCH shorter cooking time!  You roast at 500 for 30min, then lower to 350 for 2-2.5 hours until the bird is done. 

The recipe recommends using a thermometer probe in the thickest part of the breast and removing the Turkey from the oven when a temp of 161 is reached. 


My only gripe is that I think I should have taken it out earlier.  Once the thermometer beep went off at 161 degrees, the popper had popped and I wonder if it had popped much earlier?  I think the meat was delicious, but the white meat was a tad drier than I was hoping with this brined turkey.

Although the drippings made some KILLER gravy this year.


Nothing groundbreaking here.  I always boil carrots as a side because I use the cooked carrot broth in the gravy.  HOWEVER, this year we remembered we still had carrots planted in our garden!

The only green left in the garden.


A few colored ones!

I couldn’t believe how many we pulled up!



These were simply served with butter


Of course the classic family recipe stuffing.


Green beans


I also had fun with the cheese plate this year!

My bff got me a slate cheese board for my bday last year and I had YET to use it!! 


We hit up Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and asked the guy to help us pick 3 cheeses.  I wish I could just go in there and sample EVERY cheese in that shop!! 


We went with a smooth comte, a 2.5year aged gouda, and a soft goat that was more on the mild side.  I love stinky cheese, but always go milder for guests.              

Apps and Drinks


And finally Desserts!!

After doing some online browsing for new fun, yet simple recipes….I picked these:

White Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Granita

This was actually super simple and SO good.  Definitely a favorite of everyone that came.  Plus they look fancy.


This was an eggless mousse that basically was just white chocolate, cream, and crème fraiche!

The pomegranate granita couldn’t have been easier.  Just dissolve the sugar into the POM juice and freeze.  Before I was ready to serve I just ran a fork through it to break up the ice.

I didn’t even make the pomegranate syrup, and honestly you didn’t need it.


Served in my grandmothers colored glasses she gave me :)


Rich but delicious and refreshing at the same time.

Next was….

Apple Galettes with Caramel Sauce


The recipe called for packaged puff pastry, but I just made a simple pastry dough from one of my cookbooks…your basic flour, butter, water.

I loved the addition of almond pasted under the apples


But I made some without it for my friends with nut-allergies.


Right before I served them, I made the caramel sauce on the stove.  It only takes a few minutes.


These were awesome!  Although if you have leftovers, the caramel sauce gets a little weird just sitting on top.  So I’d recommend not topping them all with caramel unless someone wants to eat them all.


Mini Black Bottom Pies!       IMG_5490

Not the best photo.  But I used the same pastry dough as the apple galettes, and used a recipe from an OLD OLD Betty Crocker Cookbook.


I only used 1 Tbsp of Rum in the recipe though and thought it was definitely enough!

Its basically a pie with a layer of a chocolate cream filling on the bottom, then a rum-custard filling over that.  Then serve with fresh whipped cream!

Well I think that just about covers it for House Thanksgiving 2012!!

It’s always a blast with my friends…although I think next year we will most definitely need a kids table!!  Crazy!

Speaking of kids…  I find out the gender of my baby today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I CAN NOT EVEN WAIT!!  Only a few more hours now!!!

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!


  1. SO funny! As soon as your post popped up, I thought- I think she finds out the gender today! AH! I can't wait to hear. I'm predicting a boy. But most importantly- a healthy baby!! I love your friendsgiving. The green beans look especially fabulous. Love that cheese board too

  2. Love this post! So many great things in here! I cannot believe all those carrots. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving tradition with your friends. Cannot wait for you to find out the gender - SO EXCITING!

  3. What a spread! And sooo exciting to find out the sex of your little nugget! I REALLY wanted to schedule our appointment this week but we have to wait until next Weds. I'm sure either outcome will be thrilling!!

  4. very exciting!! love those home-grown carrots too :) happy thanksgiving!

  5. Please tell me you had help making all of this?!?!?!?! Looks fantastic.

  6. White chocolate mousse sounds divine. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. This sounds like so much fun... it's so great you've kept this tradition going for so long. The carrots look awesome and so do the desserts! So exciting about finding out the baby's gender!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Such exciting news - congrats Bridget!!! Can't wait to hear whether you're having a boy or girl :)

  9. Happy thanksgiving, your meal sounds delicious! Can't wait to hear your news!