The day seemed to go off without a hitch. We hosted both side of our family--a total of 18 people. Only my brother Jed and his family were missing. I did not set off the smoke detector. Not sure whether it was due to my new roasting pan, the smaller size of the turkey or the fact that it was warm enough to keep window open. My two favorite recipes of the day were the following: Blobby Flay's Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes. Simple--only 4 ingredients. If you double this, don't double the sauce--just the potatoes. And use sweet potatoes--not yams. This was my other favorite new recipe of the day. Giada De Laurentiis's Rosemary Cheese Breadsticks. Nobody will know you cheated and used Pillsbury. Both are simple. Both go well with the classic dishes. The rest of the menu--for posterity:
Prep Party the night before: Hot spinach dip with Pumpernickel bread; beef stew; Autumn salad (lettuce, carrots, corn, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, apple chips, in a pumpkin vinaigrette); spiced wafer cookies with pumpkin dip
Appetizers: Williamsburg peanuts, Assorted Olives, Brie with Jalapeno Jelly on crackers, Cranberry cocktails
Main menu: Roast Turkey with Italian Apple stuffing and Riesling gravy; Smashed potatoes; Scalloped sweet potatoes; Creamed corn; Green bean casserole with goat cheese, red peppers and sauteed onions; breadsticks; Pedronocelli Mother Clone Zinfandel
Dessert: Pumpkin Layer cake with spiced Cream cheese icing; Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake with Hazelnut brittle garnish
I guess it is obvious that I love food. And I am thankful for this day which allows me to play chef and invent different combinations. We also had a nice looking table. it was supposed to be an all white and cream table, but I changed it last minute to be white with red accents. On Monday, it snowed at our house. It was the first time that it ever snowed while we still had red leaves on the trees. Everyone in our neighborhood has a maple tree that turns red, so the red and white together were stunning. I threw some of the red leaves across my white table runner and used red napkins against our white dishes. It is very unusual for us to have red leaves this late in the season. Very festive!