Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sides and Pie...

Everyone knows that a Thanksgiving meal isn't just about the turkey. There are the sides, too. Like pie. And stuffing. And gravy. And mashed potatoes.

And did I mention pie?

In the great division of annual holiday labor, the stuffing fell to me this year. Which is funny since I don't even like stuffing. Stuffing from a box, that is. So this year I decided to try a new recipe: Artichoke Sourdough stuffing with Parmesan cheese.

The ingredients include all of those lovely veggies you see above, plus artichokes, parmesan, and sourdough bread.

Everything is mixed together, soaked in chicken broth, and baked in the oven.

Truth be told, I still don't like stuffing, so this wasn't my favorite side, but my husband loved it and said it was a keeper. The already half-eaten container of leftovers testifies that he wasn't lying, so if you're searching for a new recipe, this might be a great fit!

Moving on, have you ever seen such perfect rolls in all of your life? They are the prettiest we've ever made. I believe you might have even caught me cooing at them....

Contrary to the rest of our meal, these babies aren't from scratch, but instead are Rhodes frozen rolls that you can pick up at any grocer.

You have to take a few shortcuts, after all.

Next comes the gravy. Like stuffing, I'm not traditionally a gravy fan, but I have to admit that this year's batch wasn't half bad. What you see above is one turkey leg, the gizzards, herbs and broth getting ready to simmer on the stovetop for an hour or two. Then comes the thickening agent (otherwise known as cornstarch) and seasoning.

I let my husband, who is a gravy enthusiast, concoct the brew. He was pretty pleased with himself. Pretty pleased indeed.

While he was brewing the gravy, I was working on something I enjoy much, much more: homemade apple pie. It is probably the easiest item on the whole menu. It starts with the dough, which takes about two minutes to whip up in a food processor.

And then comes the filling. Fresh Granny Smith apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It's that easy, folks.

If you were spying on me as I pulled this beauty out of the oven, you just might have caught some more cooing. It's just so pretty I can hardly stand it. And tasty, too, all warm and gooey with vanilla ice cream on top.

And of course Guiness, if you're my husband, who stocked up on the dark beer just for the apple-pie-eating occasion.

And the best part of the whole thing, in my opinion, is the leftovers. I've already eaten about half-a-dozen turkey & roll sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed more than one slice of pie for breakfast (you already know how I feel about pie for breakfast...).

And considering that Thanksgiving doesn't even commence until tomorrow, I'd say I've gotten a fairly good head start, wouldn't you?

What are your favorite holiday sides? Share your comments by posting here!

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