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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

So here I am after a marvelous Thanksgiving! I hope yours was splendid, too. Last time we spoke, I was getting prepared for the Fearful Food Face Off. But I have a confession to make. There is no such thing as a Fearful Food Face Off. I would have no way of judging who would win, and really don’t care anyway.

So, in all seriousness, I think my dishes were a success! After spending all day before Thanksgiving baking, it had better be. Originally, my goal was to make everything by myself with no help. Aka, I would not resort to asking Mighty Mom for assistance unless I was truly in dire circumstances. That was what would make it more of a fearful challenge. I’ve made easy things like cookies and cakes and ramen noodles on my own before, but never something as important as some dishes to bring to Thanksgiving. So this time, I would do it all on my own, and sink or swim on my own. But, like I said, that was the goal.

What actually happened is another matter. I didn’t make it five minutes! Mom was cooking alongside me, and oh-so-available for questions. For goodness’ sakes, this was for Thanksgiving dinner and I didn’t even know what al dente meant in the recipe for my macaroni and cheese! I knew it meant cook it right, but how would one go about that? I have since learned it means in practical terms tender and soft when you bite it, but not too soggy. I am very glad I didn’t have to figure it out on my own, as my mom was picking up things that were wrong with the recipe as we went along that I would never have caught.

Here’s what the finished product looked like:

It looks gross, but those are panko bread crumbs on top. Adds a lovely texture and crunch. It was half-devoured by the time we left and my uncle said it reminded him of No Nonsense Nana’s cooking when he was little. So I call this one mission accomplished. Here is the recipe if you are interested: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html

The one thing I made almost entirely myself was Herbed Monkey Bread. Funny name, good stuff! I love bread. All kinds. I love working with dough. So this one was super fun to make! It’s basically a yeast dough with all these cool herbs like thyme, parsley, and rosemary spread onto it. Plus parmesan. Parmesan makes all things well. Unfortunately, I got the recipe out of my local newspaper, so I don’t have the recipe to share. But here’s a picture to make you envious:

Last but not least was pumpkin cheesecake. After making it, I understand why it received so many votes! Good job, voters! Quite yummy, although quite rich. And probably one of the most difficult to make. It ended up being a little too soggy, but otherwise, I think it was swell. Oh, forget talking. Here’s a pic:

And the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/almost-famous-pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe2/index.html

All-in-all, each were edible and 2 of the 3 recipes were definite keepers. I really do like cooking, and maybe one of these days I’ll have as much knowledge and know-how as Mighty Mom and won’t need her help at all. Until then, I’ll learn by the side of one of the best cooks I know.

I absolutely loved working beside her in the kitchen. It’s one of those small things in life that mean so much. She let me do enough so that I could call the dishes my own, but she was also available for guidance if I needed it. It was a wonderful feeling to work side by side, and have something of my own to contribute for Thanksgiving dinner. If you haven’t done it before, I highly recommend it.

Would I call this fear conquered? Yes and no. I brought some things of my own for Thanksgiving, so yes. “No” because I didn’t make it without any help no matter how it turned out as planned. Ah, well. There’s always next year!

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Even though they don’t know it yet, the other cooks in my family are in a face off. They are involved in an epic battle that will distinguish baking from cooking, tasty from delicious, and women from girls. This battle will be a battle for the centuries. It is the always dreaded, always challenging, FEARFUL FOOD FACE OFF.

Not really. But it was a wonderful alliteration, don’t you think?

It’s only fearful because it made it onto The List at spot number four: Bring a few things of my own for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, hypothetically speaking, what’s wrong with a little competition? Naturally, I would be going into it as the underdog. Having never brought anything of my own for Thanksgiving and with very little experience in the kitchen, one might assume an almost automatic disqualification. But, hypothetically, what if I were to triumph in a grand display of underdog power never seen since the likes of Susan Boyle stepping onto the stage?

What? It could happen. I literally cooked for about six hours today. I made bread rolls, yummy macaroni and cheese, and delectable pumpkin cheesecake. And, if I may say so myself-they were fearfully and wonderfully made.

If I were in a hypothetical competition, what might my hypothetical competition look like? Theoretically, of course, let’s take a look:

No Nonsense Nana: As the supreme matriarch of the family, No Nonsense Nana is the projected winner and all-around favorite for this holiday season. With over twenty five years of experience in the kitchen, she might just be the hardest to take down.

The Aunt Attack: Though somewhat unassuming, don’t let this capable cook fool you! The Aunt Attack has proven herself worthy time and again in the kitchen, and has won her name for her signature move: the coming up from behind in a silent attack. She could be the one to beat.

Mighty Mom: Mighty mom has had a love for baking since she was a teenager. While she has always been a good cook, lately she’s upped her game by watching Food Network. With new moves from last year, she could be a real contender.

No Nonsense Nana will be pulling out all the stops this year with a Turducken. The Aunt Attack is planning on bringing her A game with homemade rolls. Mighty Mom is bringing a lot to the table (pun intended) with the classic green bean casserole, apple pistachio salad, and pumpkin pie. Lookout! Lizzie (*ahem*, me) will be one to look out for (weren’t expecting that, were ya?) with her Herbed Monkey Bread, paprika-infused Macaroni and Cheese, and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Who will take home the win? Will it be the favorite? The sly and cunning Aunt Attack? The seasoned pro with new tricks up her sleeves? Or the unassuming rookie?

Make sure and check back later this week to find out! Hypothetically.

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Your Turn #4

With Thanksgiving this week, I was wondering…

Which Thanksgiving dish of one of your relatives are you least looking forward to? (Don’t worry, they won’t know you said anything.)

Which Thanksgiving dish of one of your relatives are you most looking forward to?

Feel free to answer either one of the questions, and/or both!

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With a grand (haha) total of six votes, I will be making for Thanksgiving dinner 2010…

Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake!

Here’s how it went down:

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie: 1 vote

Croissant Bread Pudding: 1 vote

Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake: 4 votes

Make sure and check back later this week as I face off against three fabulous matron cooks. Rolls, macaroni and cheese, and pumpkin cheesecake, here I come.

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Get Your Votes In!

Sorry, there’s been a change of plans! The poll about what dessert I should make for Thanksgiving will now be closing tomorrow, November 20th, around 7:00 P.M. ish. I need to go shopping for ingredients earlier than expected, so I need those results. If you want your voice heard, get your vote in before 7:00 tomorrow! Cast your vote by commenting on this post with your choice. Once again, here are the choices:

  • Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Croissant Bread Pudding
  • Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

For more information about these desserts, check out the original post titled Your Turn #3.

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Your Turn #3

In way of update: The next fear on my list was originally “make an entire meal by myself.” After my mom asked me if I wanted to make the rolls this year for Thanksgiving dinner, I changed my mind. The new fear is: “Bring a few things of my own for Thanksgiving dinner.” It’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m excited! But I need your help.

I will be making rolls, macaroni and cheese, and a dessert. But the kind of dessert is up to you. I have narrowed it down to three, and I need every reader to vote! If you are not a regular reader, the poll is still open to you as well. The poll will close a week from today on November 15, and I will announce the winning dessert then. If for some reason the poll I embedded does not show up, vote by commenting with your choice.

Here are the choices:

Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake: Some of the ingredients that make this dessert unique are cloves, cinnamon, sour cream, and ginger.

 Fun facts: Originally featured in Food Network Magazine, Almost-Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake is sure to please.

Level of difficulty*: Intermediate.

Find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/almost-famous-pumpkin-cheesecake-recipe2/index.html

Croissant Bread Pudding: The most unique ingredient in this dish is, of course, the croissants.

Fun facts: I have never had bread pudding before. It would be fun to make, but probably even more fun to taste!

Level of difficulty: Easy

Find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/croissant-bread-pudding-recipe/index.html

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie: The uniqueness of this dessert is captured in its title: apple butter!

Fun Facts: Created by Food Network star Paula Dean, taste buds are sure to be in danger.

Level of difficulty: Easy.

Find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/apple-butter-pumpkin-pie-recipe/index.html

So you tell me: which food fear will I be facing next week? Vote, then check back next Monday to find out!

*Levels of difficulty are based on the ratings www.foodnetwork.com gave them.

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