Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Thanksgiving feast

As a food blog, we should be bursting with plans for the Thanksgiving meal. But we've been a little quiet, because we aren't preparing big feasts this year. My family goes out for the holiday meal — and I'm grateful to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor!

But if I were cooking, this is the meal I would plan:

20101209_spiced nuts_1

Best Spiced Nuts: Slightly sweet with a kick from garam masala and Sriracha — irresistible snacking while you wait for the turkey to be done.

Dry-Cured Rosemary Turkey: This is the sole entry here that isn't from this site. This was my go-to holiday recipe for years. The blend of seasonings is just fantastic. Get started on it right away: It cures in the fridge for three days before cooking.

Chestnut Sage Soup: I dream about this soup. Creamy chestnut puree with apples, sage, bacon, and vanilla notes... swoon.

Succotash in Squash: This is a showstopper vegetarian dish, scoring huge points for flavor, presentation, and history — a nod to Native Americans and Thanksgiving tradition.

Yams with Za'atar: Give the candied yams a rest. Instead of burying veggies in sweetness, bring out their deep flavor with za'atar spice. This dish is a cinch to make, which is a blessing on a busy cooking day.

Crunchy Marinated Green Beans: Instead of burying green beans in a casserole, show them off with a touch of Asian flavors.

Black-Eyed Peas Salad: With canned beans, this takes almost no effort. And you can make it the night before, so it's one less thing to tackle on Thanksgiving Day.

Rice of Many Colors: This kid-friendly dish is packed with protein and veggies, and easily adaptable to suit your family's taste.

Minute Bread: Tasty rolls with cheese baked right in — delicious!

Pumpkin Pudding with Cranberry Sauce: An unusual dessert that takes full advantage of fresh cranberries.

Pear and Cranberry Sauce Skillet Pie: This twist on a typical pie blends sweet and tart flavors for a perfect finish to the meal.

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