A Very Particular Thanksgiving 2010

The Thanksgiving recap post you knew was coming! Well, I think technically I'm still full from last night's dinner, so this post may be difficult to write. But all in all, I'm super happy with how it went, and am definitely saving some of these recipes for next year!

After the photos, I've written out some of the recipes I used - for the cranberry sauce, wild rice stuffing, stuffed squash, and cheesy dip. Bookmark them!

Delicious cranberry ginger sauce. So easy to make, with a very special twist!

Of course, I couldn't NOT show a photo of my roast turkey. I made it quite early, let it rest for a while, then carved the meat and stuck it in the fridge. Our little oven couldn't handle more than this beast!

Here's Phil's acorn squash, pre-stuffing. To be honest, I would have been happy to have this instead of turkey on my plate!

And there's the finished product! I also gave it a little hat and a lot of parsley for garnish :)

Here's the wild rice stuffing getting all stirred up.

Ready to be served to the masses!

And the cheesy dip with crudites as everyone arrived. I'm glad we started out with some fresh veggies :)

Thanksgiving napkins and scented candles courtesy of my mom!

A beautiful dish of candied yams, thanks to our friends Nat & Al!

Roasted butternut squash (above) and roasted carrots & parsnips (below) thanks to our friend John!

Our feast on the table last night, including some delicious green beans with almonds and mustardy dressing, from our friends Christophe & Steph! Also - spot the canned cranberry sauce in all its cylindrical glory :)

particular-kitchen-style cornbread from my friend Suzanne! She also made a traditional pumpkin pie and some mini ones!

Plus my raw pumpkin pie!

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for my amazing fiance, my spectacular friends near and far, being healthy and happy, my awesome family, and my dishwasher. Seriously, that thing is a lifesaver :)

Find the recipes below...

Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Makes approx 3 cups

The particulars:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 thumb-sized piece root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, water, and maple syrup. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Take the cover off, stir, and let simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by half.
  2. Remove from the heat, add the ginger, and stir through.
  3. Leave to cool for about an hour, then stir through the maple syrup.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Pecans and Apples

Serves 8; I doubled the recipe for 10 people and ended up with LOADS of delicious leftovers

The particulars:

  • 2/3 cup wild rice
  • 2/3 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 4 spring onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the two rices with a hefty pinch of salt and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked and fluffy (about 35 minutes).
  3. When the rice is almost done, start cooking the onion and celery with the olive oil in a large casserole dish on the stove. Cook until the onion is translucent and starting to color, then add the apple and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the spring onions, raisins, herbs, and spices, along with some salt and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and stir in the cooked rice mixture. Also add the breadcrumbs, pecans, orange juice, and maple syrup. Taste and season if necessary.
  5. Cover the casserole dish with a lid and place in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Makes one portion

The particulars:

  • 1 small acorn squash (or other round but flat-bottomed squash)
  • one portion of wild rice stuffing with apples & pecans (as above, up to step 4)
  1. Cut the top off of the squash (set aside for a "hat" if you would like!). Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  2. While the oven is preheating and the rice is cooking for the stuffing above, place the squash in a shallow baking dish and heat in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft enough to scoop with a spoon.
  3. When slightly cooled, begin to scoop out the flesh and mash with the spoon while still inside the shell.
  4. Add the portion of stuffing to the inside of the squash and mix it together with the flesh. Put the hat back on! Place the squash in the oven alongside the casserole dish of stuffing and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh parsley leaves and a generous dollop of cranberry ginger sauce!

Cheesy Creamy Dip

Serves 4; recipe from tanya alekseeva

The particulars:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour, then drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp himalayan crystal salt
  1. Blend the cashews with the water first, until smooth and creamy. This base will last in the fridge up to 10 days!
  2. In a food processor or powerful blender, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until creamy and smooth. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Use as a salad dressing or dip with crudites.