Thanksgiving 2018 Class

Thanksgiving 2018 Class

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There’s nothing I love more than a gigantic group of family and friends gathered around the table for Thanksgiving. One year, the table seated 38 people, and was so long it stretched from the dining room to the front door! For a few visiting friends, it was their first time ever celebrating Thanksgiving. It was a magical event, complete with delicious food and wine, giving thanks, and being grateful for all that we have been blessed with.

Whether you’re hosting just a few people or big crowd, this is the ideal menu for holiday entertaining. Almost every recipe has a make-ahead component. In fact, some things can be made well in advance and put in the freezer so that on Thanksgiving Day (or whatever day you’re entertaining) all you have to do is put a few things together and spend the remainder of the time enjoying the company. To make it even easier, follow my 4-day turkey game plan. It will to ensure that you’re on top of your game!

So what are we cookin’, good lookin’?

Winter Vegetable Tarte Tatin

This beautiful tart is a savory twist on the classic dessert. Perfectly roasted winter vegetables are topped with a light caramel, goat cheese, herbs and a fluffy pastry. It’s the perfect way to excite ones appetite, but still leave room for the main course. Cut into bite size squares, this tart is the perfect accompaniment to a cocktail or glass of bubbly. It can be a delightful addition to your aperitivo or a lovely light lunch served with a salad.

Candied-Glazed Butternut Squash

This is a dish I know you’ll be making all winter long. The butternut squash is tossed with a simple mixture of sugar, butter, and spices, then roasted until it’s soft and caramelized. It seriously tastes like candy!

Perfectly Roasted Turkey with Apple Walnut Sausage Stuffing & Bourbon Pam Gravy

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the star of the show: a perfectly roasted turkey! It’s seasoned with salt, pepper, and sage then perfectly roasted to a golden brown (but still moist and delicious).

Stuffing is one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving, and I make plenty of it to make sure there is enough for leftovers! I place some in the bird and then make a side dish (or two). This is a classic stuffing, with toasted baguette cubes, apples, walnuts, and sausage. It’s just the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and crunchy. Once on your plate, the sliced turkey and stuffing can be covered with a delectable bourbon pan gravy. Not only does this help warm up the turkey and stuffing, it adds a lovely counterbalance to all the other flavors on the plate.

Pumpkin Spiced Crème Brûlée:

Have you noticed everywhere you look there’s pumpkin? Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes--pumpkin spice everything! So, we’re joining the bandwagon and making our version of pumpkin spiced crème brûlée. To me, this is the best of the pumpkin pie--that classic pumpkin spice filling made into a custard and then sprinkled with sugar and toasted to make that hard candy crust. I know it’s crazy, but this desert seems so light and totally decadent at the same time! It’s an absolutely heavenly way to end a beautiful Thanksgiving meal.

Wishing you and yours a day filled with peace, happiness, and a fantastically delicious meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

4 Day Turkey Day- Game Plan

Monday & Tuesday:

• Shopping for food, wine and flowers

• Organize serving pieces, china, glassware, flatware and linens

• Cube bread for stuffing, let dry overnight then put in zip lock bag (can freeze)

• Sauté sausage & vegetables for stuffing, put in zip lock bag (can freeze)

• Toast nuts

• Make crème brûlée


• Set Table

• Wash bird

• Cut butternut squash

• Cut parsley

• Roast winter veggies for tarte tatin

Thursday/ Thanksgiving:

• Start turkey prep 6 hour before serving ahead.

• Assemble stuffing. Stuff turkey, place in oven

• Assemble tarte tatin & bake

• Prepare butternut squash and bake while turkey is resting.

• Make gravy

• Right before serving brûlée the crème brûlée

• Relax, Enjoy, Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 2017 Thanksgiving Class

November 2017 Thanksgiving Class

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Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday menu for entertaining. Many people are overwhelmed by it, but all of these recipes have a great make-ahead component. And by using my four-day turkey “Game Planner” (CLICK HERE FOR IT)  you will be completely organized so that the day of Thanksgiving you're just basically assembling things and cooking the turkey. You will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your family…. and that something to definitely be grateful for.

Greens & Mushroom Galette
This is a scrumptious, savory pastry free-form tart filled with sautéed Swiss chard and mushrooms. Its just enough to ward off pre-festivities hunger, but not fill you up. Perfect paired with a glass of bubbles!

Perfectly Roasted Turkey, Gravy and Stuffing
This is the way my mom cooked a turkey. She calls it steam roasting. It's a tried and true method that results in a turkey that is both moist and delicious.  You roast the turkey uncovered for 30 minutes, and then tightly sealed the pan with aluminum foil. This creates a moist environment that results in a juicy bird.  And no basting required! The stuffing is a delectable combination of Italian sweet sausage, mission figs and sage. And, of course, the perfect pan gravy to top it all off!

Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Beautiful tender Brussels sprouts are blanched and then tossed with a delicious white sauce called the Béchamel. Topped with Panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, this is a delicious side dish that is rich in flavor, but not too heavy, and adds a little texture to the plate as well.

Cardamom Carrots
Cardamom has a lovely, sweet floral note, and combined with the ginger, gives these carrots and exotic taste that is a nice counterpoint to all the savory goodness on your plate. These add both a little color and counter-balanced flavor.  Perfect!

Cranberry Ginger and Pear Tart
In this dessert, the tanginess of the cranberry, sharpness of the crystallized ginger, and the sweetness of the pears combine together in a flaky pastry to make this a show-stopping way to end your meal. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.  What could be more delicious?