Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year -- Broiled Lobster Tails


Happy New Year's Eve!

Do you have exciting plans for the evening? JiT and I will be attending a party at a friends house, then stopping at our favorite neighborhood bar to greet a few other friends on our way home. It should be a casual evening.

Quite frankly, I would have been just as happy staying at home tonight. In the past, we've thrown a party for 30 or 40 of our closest friends and I'm already missing the fun of planning a party and celebrating at home. Unfortunately, I've been working this week and with the wedding fast-approaching in March, a party just wasn't feasible.

That said, I know plenty of other friends who haven't made any plans for the evening yet. In that case, I suggest a quick trip to your grocery store for some lobster tails (sale prices have been good lately), some butter and lemons, a bottle of decent sparkling wine or champagne (Yellowtail Sparkling Rose is a good budget choice; Moet White Star is a fabulous splurge), and if you can find them...a few of those silly hats an noise makers.

This evening, throw on your comfiest PJs, switch the television to Dick Clark, broil up your lobster, pop your champagne and toast 2009 in casual style.
Lobster tails are certainly a splurge, but you might be surprized at how incredibly easy they are to prepare. They require little more than melted butter and some paprika for seasoning and color and only about 15 minutes in the oven or broiler. Squeeze on some lemon juice and savor every bite. Certainly not a budget buy, but certainly much cheaper than buying one of those "New Years Packages" at a restaurant or bar.

Oh, and if you're in need of recovery food tomorrow, may I suggest the menu JiT and I have planned:
- Bloody Mary bar and mimosas
- Grilled reuben sandwiches
- Oven baked homemade potato chips
Whatever you decide to do, best wishes for a safe, fun and happy New Year's Eve!

Lobster Tails, Grilled or Broiled
Serves 2-3


2 Eight ounce lobster tails (buy smaller or larger based on appetites and budget)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1 lemon, quartered
1/4 teaspoon paprika


Rinse lobster tails thoroughly in cool water. Butterfly the tails for presentation and easier eating, using sharp kitchen scissors. Place the tip of the scissor between the upper shell and the lobster meat and carefully split the shell in half lengthwise all the way to the fin piece at the end. Carefully pry the flesh out of the shell so that it's sitting on top of the outer shell, leaving the fin piece still attached at the end (see the picture above to get the idea).

Brush the tails with melted butter and place on a grill over hot coals or on a baking pan in the oven under the broiler, a few inches from the heat. Cook the tails for approximately 15 minutes, turning occionally for even cooking, until the tails are curled and the meat is firm all the way through, but not dry.


To serve, brush with additional butter and a sprinkle of paprika for color. Serve alongside additional melted butter and lemon wedges.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gingerbread Cupcakes

I realize that Christmas is over and your desire for gingerbread may have gone with it, but these are really quite delicious; the perfect accompaniment to a cup of cocoa on a winter day, so bear with me here.

I've made these cupcakes at least 3 times over the month of December and recieved many compliments on them. The cake is a lighter alternative to traditional, heavy gingerbread or even gingerbread cookies, but the spicy flavor is maintained. I've topped mine with a creamy cinnamon-cream cheese frosting that provides a nice balance. A few red-hots on the top punch up the cinnamon factor and add a bit of color.

The recipe is very loosely based on a Bobby Flay recipe -- I've made a few modifications to keep them from drying out. Some of the ingredients may seem a bit odd (half butter, half oil; sour cream), but they really help keep the cakes moist and light. As a note, the original recipe called for a mango-buttercream frosting that could be an interesting twist to extend these through the rest of the year. Frankly, any fruit or citrus addition could work nicely, but while it still cold and dark, I think these are perfect as-is.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe
Makes 12-16 standard cupcakes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons black strap molasses
1 cup sour cream (light is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners in a muffin tin. The recipe is for 12, but I've usually gotten about 16 cupcakes out of the recipe.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses and whisk until well blended. Begin adding the dry ingredients, a third at a time, and alternate by adding in some of the sour cream. Continue alternating until all of the dry ingredients and sour cream are added and the batter is smooth.

Fill each paper liner with 1/3 cup of the batter, about 1/4-inch below the top of the liner. Place into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Move to a rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosts apx. 12 - 16 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons whipping cream (more if needed to acheive the consistency you desire)

Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla and cinnamon. Gradually add in powdered sugar, a little at a time until smooth and fluffy. Add in whipping cream and whip on high until frosting is smooth and creamy. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag (I just use a 1 qt Ziploc bag with the tip sliced off) and pipe onto cupcakes.

If desired, top each cupcake with a few red hot candies. Enjoy; preferably with a cup of steamy cocoa and a good book.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Food and Fun

What a rollercoaster week it has been! Things kicked off last Monday. Though I was still working for a few days, the day was cut short by a party thrown by my boss for my co-workers and I. We drank mulled wine, played games and enjoyed a multitude of food, including my gingerbread cupcakes: a recipe I've been working to perfect throughout December. The spicy cake is offset by a moist, light texture and velvety cinnamon cream cheese frosting (I'll post the recipe tomorrow).

After I worked Monday and Tuesday, JiT and I hopped in the car and headed out to my hometown, to spend the remainder of the week with my family.
Each year, my parents' house becomes the gathering place for family from far and wide and this year was no exception. In addition to JiT and I, my sister and her husband flew in from their home in Charleston, and my cousins, their college-aged children and my 91-year old aunt drove up from down-state Illinois. Add in my 89 year-old grandma, who lives with my parents, and there were 12 of us packed cosily into a 4-bedroom ranch house for four days and three nights. This might sound like a recipe for disaster, but my family, fueled by an abundance of food and laughter, gets along great.

There were a few hiccups along the way, like waking up on Christmas Eve to discover the turkey we'd planned to roast was spoiled. Dinner was saved by JiT, who picked up five 8-oz. lobster tails to grill in replacement (there were only five of us that night). My parents, grandma, JiT and I enjoyed the simply grilled lobster, alongside steamed green beans, roasted fingerling potatoes and a bottler of good champagne we'd been saving since our engagement; the meal was an intimate and truly special occasion.

Things really got going on Christmas Day, when the rest of the family arrived. Over a four-day period, we managed to eat menu as decadent as it was varied, including:

- Broiled beef tenderloin, bacon-creamed spinach, twice-baked potatoes, monkey bread and peppermint-fudge ice cream pie on Christmas Day
- Baked french toast made with homemade Challa bread for Friday brunch
- Pizza, baked pretzels and hand-crafted beer from a local brewery for dinner on Friday
- Salt-brined roast turkey, garlic-mashed potatoes, cranberries and all the fix-ins on Saturday
- Pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast on Sunday

Along the way, we also stuffed ourselves with a variety of cookies, pies, cakes, eggnog, festive beverages and homemade marsmallows (that recipe coming soon). Perhaps the best of all being my cousin's luscios blackberry cheesecake. My cousin is a student at Kendall College, studying pastry arts and we regularly looking forward to her gorgeous breads, cookies and other creations. Her cheesecake being the absolute highlight.

In order to make room for all of these indulgent treats, we spent plenty of time playing games and being generally rowdy. The annual favorite is the pantomime game Guesstures; we've had an annual boys-against-girls tournament for the last 10 years. Pajamas are a requirement, alcohol optional but encouraged.

This year, we also discovered the Nintendo wii. My cousin recieved the system for Christmas and brought it along. Over two days, JiT created disturbingly accurate "mii" people for everyone in the family and each of us found a favorite game (mine was bowling). Even my 89 year-old grandma got in on the fun! We knew the game was a true hit when we woke on Sunday to discover that JiT, my brother-in-law Mike and my 21 year-old cousin had stayed up until 5 a.m. playing wii golf. Talk about a family-friendly game!

It was a fun, silly, crazy, exhausting weekend. For me, the weekend is best summed-up by the picture of my mom and dad, sister and I dancing our butts off at a local dive bar last Friday. In this family, anything goes.

Belated Christmas wishes to all of you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hearty Goulash


As a child, one of my absolute favorite comfort-food meals was goulash. Though its far from the traditional Hungarian recipe, the version I loved was a hamburger and macaroni mixture first introduced to me at my nursery school.

This past week, which has been one of the busiest work weeks I've had in ages and also has been incredibly cold and snowy in Chicago, has been a perfect goulash week. I've made it twice and, although, JiT had never experienced goulash before, he gobbled up every bite!

This version is a bit spicier than the one I enjoyed so much as a child. The addition of chili powder, garlic and soy sauce add some pizazz. To keep things healthy, I made with a mixture of ground lean beef and ground turkey, and used whole wheat macaroni.

It takes an hour to 90 minutes to prepare...the longer you let the mixture sit covered, the more of the juices will be absorbed into the macaroni for a thicker, richer dish. But its all in one pot, so cleanup is simple and the leftovers are fabulous for lunch the next day (if you have any).

Hearty Goulash
Serves 4 - 6

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion (or about a half-cup of frozen diced onions...time saver!)
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup V8 juice
2 cans diced tomatoes (with garlic, if you can find)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. Lawry's season salt (more to taste)
1 tsp. chili powder (more or less to your taste)
1 Tbs. soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (regular is fine too)
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown beef and turkey over medium-high heat until cooked all the way through, breaking up as it cooks. Drain any fat. Add onions and continue cooking until tender (about 5 min). Add tomato sauce, V8 juice, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, season salt, chili powder and soy sauce. Cover and continue cooking for about 20 minutes.

Add macaroni to pot and stir well. Replace lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes, or until macaroni is tender. Turn off heat and let the pot sit covered for an additional half hour or so, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Spoon into bowls and add salt & pepper to taste.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fake-iversary Dinner: Surf & Turf



Yesterday was mine and JiT's four-year "fake-iverssary". JiT says we don't get a real anniversary until we're married, and though I agree, I still think putting up with one another for for years is something worth celebrating. Thus, the "fake-iverssary" was born.

In honor of our special day, I chose to fix and old-school surf and turf meal:
- Frisee salad with blue cheese and pears
- Thick-cut garlic-rubbed NY Strip Steaks
- Broiled lobster tails
- Roasted garlic country smashed potatoes
- Greens beans almondine
- Chocolate lava cakes (which we never got around to making because we were too full)

I know its an indulgent menu, but with such rich flavors, you can keep the portions pretty small. By purchasing one thick-cut NY Strip steak, and cutting it in half width-wise, we each got a perfect 6 oz. portion of steak. In addition, we each had a 4 oz. lobster tail, butterflied for a beautiful look that filled the plate, and we were totally satisfied.

NY Strip is far and away my favorite steak. Rich and flavorful, and though it doesn't melt in your mouth like a filet, the texture seems a bit more substantial, which I prefer. The meat really doesn't need much "help" to achieve great flavor either. The recipe below is based on a cooking method detailed by Cook's Illustrated in their monthly Podcast. I recommend checking it out, for great how-to instructions for cooking just about anything.

As a fun side-note, JiT and I toasted our four years with a bottle of Yellow Tail Sparkling Rose Wine. A surprisingly tasty choice for around $10 a bottle.

Garlic-Rubbed NY Strip Steaks
Adapted from a Cooks Illustrated recipe
Serves 2

1 12 oz thick-cut NY Strip Steak
1 clove garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat oven to 275. Trim any excess fat from edges of strip steak and cut steak in half width-wise, for two six-ounce portions. Rub each steak on all sides with crushed garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let steaks rest until they've reached room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Place steaks on a rack inside of a baking sheet and bake until they reach an internal temperature of of 95 degrees. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a heavy skillet or cast-iron grill pan until smoking-hot. I suggest opening the windows and turning on a fan at this point.

When steaks reach 95 degrees, remove from oven and use tongs to place in the pan. Stand back in case of splatter. Cook the steaks for about 1-1.5 minutes before flipping, to allow them to get nice and browned. Flip and cook for an additional 1-1.5 minutes. Remove from pan. If the steaks are thick enough to require browning along the sides, use your kitchen tongs to hold them together and brown for a few seconds on all sides. Remove to a pan and tent with foil. Test with a kitchen timer. For medium-rare, you want an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

Let the steaks rest under foil for about 10 minutes. When rested, slice against the grain and serve.

As a note of disclosure, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is a client of my company, Edelman.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kitchen Crushes: Shameless swooning over my favorite products

Following my recent bridal showers, I've lately found myself involved in several, simultaneous love-affairs with my new kitchen swag: I think about them when I'm at work and fantasize about things I might do with them (the food processor especially). Its occurred to me that I obsess over them the way I once obsessed over 80's tv-stars and highschool crushes (sort of sad, when I put it that way...), so I've decided to introduce a new post category: Kitchen Crushes; a spot for product reviews and general swooning.

Let me introduce my first crush....
Isn't he handsome?

Many nights, as I hovered over the sink, lovingly scrubbing my favorite pot, it occurred to me how very much I LOVE said pot. Actually, calling it a "pot" seems sort of durogatory. Its not really a pot at all. It's a: "Mario Batali 6-Qt Italian Cooking Essentials Dutch Oven."
Okay, so no points for catchy title, but whatever. Its a heavy-duty cast-iron, enamel-coated, fire-engine-red workhorse and I absolutely love it. I don't even mind that the darn thing weighs a ton and its too damn big to fit in any of my cabinets. Its so pretty, I just leave it sitting on my stovetop all the time. And, more often than not, its cooking something anyway.
I've used it for everything from braising meats to roasting vegetables in the oven, then adding broth and pureeing in-pot on the stovetop to stewing a pot of JiT's famous chili all day long. This thing does it all.

Which brings me back to lovingly scrubbing: your dishwasher is no match for a pot of this heft (not to mention cast iron and dishwashers do not play nice), but the pot washes up pretty easily in the sink. I may be risking a serious case of dishpan hands, but he's worth it (insert girlish squealing here).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pasta with Ribbons


Though it shames me to do it, I have to insist that you visit Proud Italian Cook to see the gorgeous photo of her version of this dish. Go on, give it a click. I can wait...

Sigh. Are you back? Wasn't it lovely? Are you madly jealous of her skills? I am. Of course, the fact that I took my picture at night, when there isn't any natural light and JiT wasn't around to help may have played into this sad sight.

Regardless, let me assure you, the results were tasty. And such a fun idea! Using a vegetable peeler, you simply shave some zucchini, yellow squash and carrots into long, thin ribbons. Slice a few cloves of garlic into paper-thin pieces and saute the lot in a drizzle of olive oil. Toss with pasta, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and some parmesean cheese and thats it. Light-tasting and delicous.

The ultimate weeknight pasta dish if ever I've seen one. Of course, in the case of this photo, I'd rather eat it than see it ; )

Pasta with Vegetable Ribbons
Adapted from a recipe by the Proud Italian Cook
Serves 4

2 medium carrots
2 medium zucchinni
1 medium yellow squash
Olive oil (1-2 Tbs)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced paper-thin
1/4 cup parmesean cheese, shredded
1 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. fettuccine, cooked al dente (I used whole grain)
Reserve 1/4 cup of the water used to cook the pasta

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin of your carrots and discard. Continue peeling the rest of the carrots into long ribbons. Repeat with the zucchini and yellow squash (no need to discard the outer skins this time), discarding the "cores" once your peeler starts to hit seeds.
Place a large sautee pan over medium heat and drizzle olive oil. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add vegetable ribbons and sautee, tossing gently until the veggies become limp. Add cooked pasta and toss until combined. If the mixture seems dry, add in a bit of the cooking water. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
To serve, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and parmesean cheese. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Updating a Family Favorite: Green Bean Casserole FROM SCRATCH


Ah, the green bean casserole. Beloved staple at many a middle-American Thanksgiving table. Like most people, I can appreciate the simplicity of mixing a few canned ingredients together, baking and serving. But in recent years, I've started to feel a little disappointed by the heavy sauce and -- dare I say it -- mushy, tinny-tasting canned beans. So I embarked on a mission to make a similar tasting version using fresh, from-scratch ingredients.

I found a genius recipe from Kitchen Parade that called for fresh mushrooms and green beans, white wine, sherry, cream and -- the best part -- it could be made days in advance and frozen until you're ready to bake and serve. Fabulous.

I ended up using frozen, diced green beans instead of fresh...mainly because the beans in our store looked kind of sad, and because I was feeling lazy. The results were still great. The beans had just enough bite to tell you they were green beans (instead of mush), the sauce added a familiar-but-better taste, and the topping -- a combination of those fun crispy onions and Japanese panko crumbs -- was divinely crunchy.

My last remaining concern was JiT. When I first announced my canned-casserole swap-out intentions, he was not a fan of my little holiday coup. A staunch believer in the mushy version, he was only swayed after I made him a test batch and he promptly inhaled every last bean.

Though this version clearly requires more time that the can-dump version, the ingredients are easy to find and it only takes about 30 minutes to mix it all together. Bake it immediately or stick it in the freezer for later. I promise you won't be sorry.

From-Scratch Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from Kitchen Parade
Makes 10 servings

SAUCE & BEANS
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 small chicken boullion cube
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Additional salt & pepper to taste

2 pounds frozen, chopped green beans (still frozen)
1/4 cup cornstarch

TOPPING
1 cup panko crumbs (near the Japanese foods in your grocery)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups canned fried onions, chopped

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat til melted. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are cooked. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to incorporate. A quarter cup at a time, stir in the chicken stock, letting addition become absorbed before adding another. The mixture will begin thickening as you go. Add the boullion cupe and stir in the wine, cream and milk. Bring to a boil and let simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, if needed. The sauce should be on the salty/peppery side, since the beans themselves are unseasoned.

While the sauce cooks, toss the beans and cornstarch well. Pour the mushroom sauce over the top and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9x13 ceramic baking dish.
At this point, you can either freeze the dish, using the instructions below, or continue right on to baking.

To Freeze: Cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure there’s no air between the beans and the plastic. Wrap with foil. Freeze. Do not thaw before baking.

Topping: While casserole is baking, combine topping ingredients in a bowl and toss until the butter is evenly distributed. Set aside until the last 10 minutes of baking.

To Bake: Preheat oven to 400F.
If casserole is frozen, remove plastic wrap from casserole, then replace the foil. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, leave the foil off and bake for another 50 minutes. Spread topping over the casserole, bake for another 10 minutes until golden.

If casserole is freshly made or thawed, bake covered in foil for 30 minutes, stir and add the topping. Bake for another 10 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and the topping is golden.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Roasted Acorn Squash

I have a confession to make. I don't like candied yams...or candied sweet potatoes or candied squash or any type of starchy vegetable dish that involves marshmallows or maple syrup. I just don't. But, knowing these dishes are a staple on most Thanksgiving tables, I was hesitant to 86 them completely.

Instead, I decided to take a risk and make a simpler dish that showcases the vegetables, rather than drown them in sugar. Thin slices of acorn squash are spread on a cookie sheet and drizzled lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh thyme leaves and just a light sprinkle of brown sugar. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, flip halfway through cooking and be amazed. The roasting process brings out all of the natural sugars in the squash, giving the veggie a slightly sweet, mellow flavor and a beautiful golden color.

To my great surprise, JiT's family LOVED the dish -- despite a short debate on whether or not to eat the skin (you can but I won't make you). His mom even requested that I make a second batch and leave the recipe! And its so easy, I have no doubt that it will become a weeknight staple.

If you don't see acorn squash at the store, you could likely substitute other varieties with similar success: delicata is my favorite, but even the ever-popular butternut, cut into small chunks, would be lovely. Pair this with baked chicken, pork chops or even a pot roast and you'll be very pleased. Just hold the marshmallows.

Roasted Acorn Squash
Adapted from a recipe in Real Simple
Serves 4

1 medium-sized acron squash
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (enough for generous drizzling)
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
The leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice acorn squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and "guts" and discard. Slice the squash halves into half-moons, each should be about 1/3" thick. Place the squash in a bowl (or directly on your cookie sheet), add the olive oil, brown sugar, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and toss to combine, using your hands. Arrange pieces on a cookie sheet in an even layer and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden, flipping the squash halfway through cooking.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey Coma

Well, I survived making Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws house. Despite the fact that I left my meticulously organized recipe folder sitting on my desk at work (luck I bookmarked everythign in my last post), and the usual bumps associated with making a huge meal in an unfamiliar kitchen: a thermometer meltdown after some confusion over the differences between "meat" and "candy" (one is NOT oven safe), resulting in an emergency Walmart run mid-day, trying to get the gravy right and without lumps, keeping my MIL from losing it while mashing the potatoes, almost forgetting the cranberries in the fridge and absolutely and completely FAILING on twitter updates.

Yet, in spite of the little bumps, the meal came out beautifully. JiT declared the turkey (the first one, and the "leftovers" one made later that day) the "best" he's ever had...so salt brining will be our new tradition. They really were amazingly juicy and flavorful. No need for any seasoning or even gravy for that matter.

All of the leftovers, including 20 lbs of turkey, 4 lbs of from-scratch green bean casserole, enough stuffing for a small army and, the surprise hit of the day, oven roasted acorn squash, were GONE by 4pm the following day. These boys can EAT.

Over the next few days, I'll share the adapted recipes for the sides, some of which are easy enough for a weeknight non-Thanksgiving meal, or perhaps worthy of a Christmas feast?

Meanwhile, I hope everyone else is on their way to recovery from a fabulous turkey coma! I'd love to hear about your adventures!

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