Food Porn Friday – Fall Feasting and Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

(Image via culturewav.es)

The days are getting shorter and the air cooler.  Fall fairs are taking place each weekend, home-cooked meals are being devoured at church suppers and farmer’s markets are offering the fall bounty. Fall also brings Thanksgiving, celebrated in Canada and the United States in October and November respectively. So, as part of the less stress holiday season, here’s some tips and recipes for your Thanksgiving meal.

(Image via allrecipes.com)

Turkeys are a popular choice for the Thanksgiving meal. This article from AllRecipes.com shares some tips on how to cook a turkey.

For many people, whether it’s comes from a box or is home-made, there is no turkey without the stuffing. You can use the following recipe as is, or add ingredients and make it according to your family’s tastes.

Really Easy Bread Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf white bread
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

 Directions

  1. Moisten all the bread with as much water as needed to make moist. Add the onion, seasoning, and salt and pepper. Mix with hands.
  2. Place in turkey or in foil and wrap up (which I do) and cook for at least 1 hour, longer if you are cooking it in the turkey. May open the foil for last 15 minutes to make top crusty.

Mmmmashed potatoes. One of the great comfort foods. This recipe uses  extra-sharp cheddar cheese from Vermont for extra flavour.

(Image via eatingwell.com)

Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 11/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh chives, divided

Preparation

  1. Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until very tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheese until melted. Add buttermilk, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons chives. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon chives.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, reheat in a double boiler and garnish with cheese and chives.
  • Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

(Image via marthastewart.com)

The addition of honey and red wine vinegar turns a meal staple such as carrots into a wonderful accompaniment to your meal.

Honey-Glazed Carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths, halved if thick
  • 1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots; cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, honey, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook over medium-high until carrots are tender and liquid is syrupy, 7 to 9 minutes more (there should be only a small amount of liquid remaining).
  3. Remove skillet from heat; add butter, and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

If you want to relax and have something a bit different, use your slow cooker. A tasty beef  bourguignon along with a loaf of bread and you’re enjoying a low-stress meal.

(Image via chatelaine.ca)

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg cubed stewing beef
  • 227 g pkg sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 14 g pkg dried mixed mushrooms, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine, preferably cabernet sauvignon
  • 250 g thick cut bacon, sliced

Directions:

  1. Pat beef with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Combine with mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onion and dried mushrooms in slow-cooker insert. Sprinkle flour and thyme overtop and stir vegetables until coated. Add bay leaves. Pour in broth and wine. Cover and cook on low until very tender, about 8 hours.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high. Add bacon. Stir often until crisp around the edges, reducing heat if needed, for 5 to 8 min. Scoop into a small bowl. Remove excess fat with paper towel. Stir bacon into beef mixture during last 15 min of cooking. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread. Stew will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for at least 2 days, and can be frozen in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag up to 1 month.

Still have room for dessert? Get some of your favourite vanilla ice cream  or whipped topping and pair it with an apple crisp. Prepare it before your meal, put it in the oven before you sit down to eat and it will be done when you are ready for dessert.

(Image via food.com)

Quick & Easy Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 6 -8 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (such as Granny Smith)
  • 2 -3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon; turn into an 8×8″ baking pan that has been lightly coated with no-stick cooking spray; dot with butter.
  2. Cut together flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly; sprinkle evenly over apples.
  3. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes until apples are tender; serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

VARIATION:

This recipe can be made diabetic-friendly by substituting Splenda for the granulated sugar and substituting 1/2 cup Splenda for 1/2 cup of the brown sugar – the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar is still used.

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4 comments

    1. I would be happy to come cook for you. And, just as a heads up. As you were typing your comment, I was searching for foods for next weeks post of Thanksgiving Day snacks.

      I’m including cheesecake.

      Bwahahahaha!

    1. The quick and easy recipes are the best, aren’t they? And there’s something so comforting about apple crisps. It’s our Thanksgiving this weekend. I think I’ll do this on Monday.

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