Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Or maybe I should say Happy Holiday Shopping? Look at today's newspaper:It stands up on it's own!!! It took a while to flip through all the ads - I was starting to wonder if there really was a newspaper!

Before I get to Thanksgiving food, I'll share some food goodies from yesterday.

On his way home from the vet (Loki is fine, just missing Hermes), SP stopped here:Dunkin' Donut treats! After lunch yesterday, we shared a pumpkin donut and a sour cream donut. Last night after all the errands and cooking, we shared a blueberry donut. Today I ate the French cruller and SP at the coconut one. I'm sure later this afternoon we'll polish off the jelly one!Yesterday afternoon & evening, we went out to do more errands. We went to Target, Pier One, Levin, Barnes & Noble, Michaels, Hallmark, and Bed, Bath & Beyond (we bought a real turkey roasting pan & rack). And Giant Eagle - of course we needed a couple last minute items for today.

We set off in late afternoon, so when we were still out & about at 6:30 pm and SP's blood sugar was going low, we decided to forget the frozen manicotti plan and instead I grabbed dinner from Panera and SP from Chipotle. We were leaving Pier One when we decided this and Panera & Chipotle are in that immediate area, so we could walk to them and quickly satisfy our tummies. I forgot to take a photo of SP's burrito, but I took one of my 'You Pick Two' Chicken Bacon Dijon panini & the new Vermont white cheddar macaroni & cheese.Very yummy mac & cheese! Panera didn't seem to mind that SP ate his Chipotle there.

We had to stop at Giant Eagle for 2 reasons: 1. We decided to brine the turkey so we needed molasses and 2. It was getting late and we still had to get the turkey brining and make the pie, so we decided to cheat and buy frozen pie crust.

I know, I know. How non-foodie of us. But we were running out of time and we think the frozen Pillsbury pie crusts are just fine, so we cheated. It made our lives so much easier last night.As soon as we got home, I unloaded all our purchases and put them away while SP got to work on the brine for the turkey.We decided on this recipe from Food Network's Dear Food Network Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems Solved show we watched. We have a 10 lb turkey and we decided to halve the brine recipe. There was enough liquid to submerge the turkey - if not, we would have made another half batch of brine. We omitted the garlic because of my garlic sensitivity. Here's the submerged turkey:It just fit into our side-by-side refrigerator:The turkey sat in the brine until we took it out around 9:30 this morning - just a bit over 12 hours. SP patted it dry and arranged it on our newly purchased roasting pan & rack. We plan to eat our Thanksgiving meal around 6 pm, so it'll be hanging out for a while.

After the turkey brine, we made our dessert: Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie from Bon Appetit's November 2007 issue. We debated between that and Spiced Pumpkin Phyllo Pie from the November 2009 issue of Bon Appetit. I can't remember why we chose the one with mascarpone but I suspect we decided to not mess with phyllo dough!!

Cheating with purchased pie crust saved a lot of time since homemade dough requires chilling time. Plus, we didn't have to worry about whether or not our dough was turning out too dry or too wet or too gummy. Mixing together the filling was quick and easy. I love the smell of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger - mmmmm. It baked for about an hour - here it is getting puffy in the oven:It cooled for about an hour and then we covered it with foil and put it in the refrigerator. After dinner tonight, we'll make the Whipped Cream & Mascarpone Topping.Later this afternoon we'll be roasting our turkey, making stuffing, baking yams, and making a green bean casserole. It's nice to be able to stay in our pajamas and not be all crazy/stressed preparing a meal for 14 people (that was last year).

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