As promised I am sharing some of my Thanksgiving favorites and a few time-saving tricks that will help make this years dinner a success! My advice is to do everything you can in advance – set the table, make your side dishes, assign an appetizer to someone (but only ask your guests that you know will be on time), and make sure you have the basics – ice, tp, paper towels, hand soap, tinfoil, and tupperware. Oh and of course have plenty of butter, more then you think you will need, trust me you will use it.
One of my favorite appetizers is not only a crowd pleaser but it is so simple to make.
1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt, and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.
HINT: combine all of the ingredients into a large ziplock bag the night before and keep it in the fridge until about an hour before you want to serve. Once the cashews are warmed pour them into the bag, shake and pour into a serving dish and toss the bag in the trash.
You can not have Thanksgiving without Spinach Madeleine, this creamy dish is seriously amazing.
2 packages frozen chopped spinach
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup vegetable liquor
(6-ounce) Boar’s Head pepper jack cheese cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Red pepper flakes – to taste (I like it spicy)
Cook spinach according to directions on package. Drain and reserve liquid. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth, but not brown. Add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Add evaporated milk and vegetable liquor slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick; continue stirring. Add the cheese, Worcestershire, black pepper, celery salt, garlic salt, red pepper, and salt, to taste. Stir until melted. Combine with cooked spinach. Top with buttered breadcrumbs.
HINT: I double it to ensure I have leftovers! Make this in advance it tastes better if it is kept in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat let the dis come to room temperature and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (time depends on the depth of your dish so check on the dish periodically)
Beet-Orange Salad – Beets aren’t for everyone but I love them and they look beautiful on the table.
1 lbs beets (I like to get a mix of colors)
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
Place 1 pound beets on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons water; close into a packet. Roast at 400 degrees F until tender, 50 minutes. Peel the beets and cut into wedges. Whisk 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt to taste in a bowl. Add 2 segmented oranges, the beets and 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts and toss.
HINT: Cook the beets in advance – peel once they are cooked. DO NOT WEAR WHITE OR ANYTHING YOU LOVE WHEN HANDLING COOKED BEETS. Once the beets are peeled and cut, place them in the bowl you want to serve in and refrigerate. I suggest asking someone to finish this dish for you the day of – no cooking skills needed!
Around Thanksgiving every year I replenish my tupperware, lids get lost, I forget about food and something nasty starts growing in it (you know it has happened to you) needless to say those get tossed – anyways my point is this is the perfect time of year to purchase more and I send my guests home with leftover in what is remaining of my old set.