Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let's get cookin'

I can't believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Time really flies. But at the same time, I can believe it because I went to the grocery store today and it was a madhouse. Yep, it's that time of year, when people come out in droves to fill up their carts and baskets with all the fixins' for a fabulous turkey dinner. And when I say people come out in droves, I mean last minute and I mean people like me.

Luckily, I don't have to make the whole feast. (I've never cooked a turkey in my life! And I'm pretty content with letting my mom do it for a few more years.) For the past couple holiday dinners I have brought something to the table--usually something different than what we normally have, just to switch things up a bit--while also helping my mom in the kitchen prepare and cook all the traditional dishes the day of.

This year, I have committed to contributing more than usual. While looking through my grocery list at the store this afternoon I started to think I had bitten off more than I could chew (no pun intended). But I feel fairly confident that I can pull it all off, and tastefully (pun intended).

Here's what I've signed on to make:

:: Polenta and Chicken Tartlets
I've made these twice before. They are great little appetizers, so easy to make but still delicious. Imagine shredded roast chicken dressed with pesto and cranberries, sitting atop a bed of polenta. What's not to like, right? And my family loves them, so that's why I'm making them again. But this time I think I'll halve the recipe-- otherwise I have tartlets in the fridge for a week (or more)!

:: Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis
I saved this recipe, found in Self magazine, nearly a year ago, but when I was searching my digital recipe folder last week for Thanksgiving ideas, this cocktail sounded perfect. Cranberries and pomegranates are the fruits of the season, so why not enjoy them with a splash of fizzy Prosecco-- Italy's sparkling wine. Plus, this drink can be sipped guilt free; there's only 161 calories per serving.

:: Cranberry-Pineapple Minis
This recipe I got from my mom. Who I believe saw it in a JELL-O ad in a magazine. She was going to make this spin on the traditional cranberry sauce but I decided I'd take it off her hands since she has more than enough to cook on Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls... you get the idea. We're only four people but she whips up enough to serve an army!). Looking through the easy-peasy recipe, these minis sound like surefire crowd-pleasers. They're sweet and crunchy (from the walnuts) and come in itty-bitty cupcake liners. Much cuter than canned cranberry sauce.

:: Dutch Apple Pie with Pecan Crumb Topping
Of everything I'm making, this is the one that I am most nervous about since I've never made a pie. The recipe is courtesy Rachel over at Heart of Light, and while Rachel would probably never dream of using a store-bought pie crust, I am. I figured I'd give myself a break on this one. Making your own crust is typically the hardest part but with Marie Callender's deep dish pie crust in my freezer, I think I'll survive my first pie-making experience. I feel a little like I'm cheating but it will still be somewhat labor intensive (I gotta slice the apples and make the topping after all!) and of course, made with love.

So, all my stateside readers, what are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you getting busy in the kitchen or leaving it to someone else? And if you are getting cooking this Turkey Day tell me, what are you making? I'd love to add some new recipes to my arsenal!

P.S. Thank you for putting up with my little rant yesterday and for your kind words. Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed, as I'm sure we all do, and I thought maybe if I could get the stress off my chest, so to speak, I'd feel a bit better. And I did. So thanks again. You are lovely.

top images both via Martha Stewart 


Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Happy Thanksgiving, lady! Sounds like you will be having quite the feast!! Enjoy it!

rachel said...

Yum! I looove polenta – that first recipe sounds delightful.

Our turkey is brining right now. It's not quite as hectic as I thought it would be (yet, anyway) since other folks are bringing a lot of the dishes. I think pretty soon it'll be time to make some cookies for the pre-meal snacking :)

have a wonderful thanksgiving, carissa!

Andhari said...

Okay by the time you said BELLINIS, it's like my world stops spinning.

That's only my FAVORITE COCKTAIL EVER.:P I usually order frozen peach one/ But pomegranate and cranberry sound like it's a must try :)

Happy thanksgiving.

janis said...

hi carissa! it sounds like you have indeed put a lot on your plate {another culinary pun! ha!} i hope all your contributions turn out well!!

ps. cute blog my dear!

Shoshanah said...

All the food you're planning on making looks great! And the polenta and chicken tartlets look especially good out of them all