Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a fabulous and delicious Thanksgiving, whether you celebrated the holiday with family or friends.

I had so much to be thankful for this season. I celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary (which my husband bought me a Kindle!), I recieved and un-expected raise at work, I had the opportunity to gain valuable library experience and meet wonderful people throughout my practicum, and spent a beautiful vacation in Georgia with Mr. B.

But I am most thankful for my husband and all the time I got to spend with him this year.

Last December my husband was laid off from his job (he's a sherrif's deputy), which allowed us to spend lots of quality time together. Even though we had to watch our spending and create budgets, we never struggled or wanted for anything. The Lord blessed us with so much and it helped us realize that money isn't everything. I just wanted to share  with you all what I am most thankful for this season and that's my beautiful husband.

Now onto the food!

Because my family lives two hours away, and Mr. B's lives 15 minutes away, we have to divide the holidays. Hence, we rotate Christmas and Thanksgiving. This year, my family got Thanksgiving, and Mama and Daddy hosted it at their house. Many relatives were out of town (including my brother, whom I missed terribly) so it was a small(er) dinner with my Grandpa, parents, cousin and aunt.

Mama made a nutella cheesecake, pumpkin pie and Daddy had to have pecan pie. So I decided to add an Upside-Down Berry Crostada to the mix. I don't know where I even got this recipe. All I know is I found it on a scrap piece of paper in my recipe keeper. No directions, just a list of ingredients.

So I put my baking skills to the test. And Betty Crocker herself would be impressed with the results.

It was by far one of the simplest desserts I'v ever made...and one of the tastiest. It didn't take long at all and the hardest part was waiting to eat it the next day! [These berries were so juicy I couldn't stand it!....in a good way]

The berries spilled out from underneath this perfect crust into this messy deliciousness. Ah-mazing!

And the cheese whip. Oh, the cheese whip. I can't even show you a picture of this white heavenly fluff that went on top because I forgot to snap a picture of it! I was in another world eating this dessert. The need for photos did not cross my mind. I apologize. I was distracted. I blame the crostada.

This whip is soooo good, I honestly don't know if I'll ever eat whip cream again. [Shut the front door!]

Yes, it's that good. Make it.

Upside-Down Berry Crostada

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 c flour
4 Tbsp Stevia, divided
1 lemon zested and juiced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3 Tbsp ice water
30 oz frozen mixed berries, thawed
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 c mascarpone cheese
1/3 c heavy cream
3 Tbsp honey

Combine flour, 2 Tbsp Stevia, lemon zest and salt in a bowl. Add butter and mix until coarse. Add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, and pulse until clumps form. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Stir together berries, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp Stevia and cornstarch and pour into 10" baking dish. Roll out crust to fit over berries. Place crust over berries and fold crust over itself until it just fits inside baking dish. Cut a 2" slit in center of dough. Bake until crust is golden and berries bubbly, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip together mascarpone cheese, cream and honey. Cover and reserve in refrigerator until ready to serve. (Serve on top of warm crostada.)

I've also included a few photos of the other dishes that graced our Thanksgiving menu.

For an appetizer, I made this tasty Baked Brie with Apples and Cranberries. It was demolished.

[Recipe below.]

Green Bean casserole is a must!

Love these holiday spreaders Mama had!

A rundown of our menu.

After our feast and football still on the TV, we filled the table with ads and planned our Black Friday route! We hit Walmart at 10 pm and didn't get home until after 7 am. It's a tradition in our family to hit the Black Friday sales and we always have a blast. Plus, stopping at Starbucks for a quick coffee break around 2 am and then breakfast aorund 5:30 am to kill time before the next store is super fun.

My hubby and I were excited to find towels super-cheap for our bathroom. He also bought himself a new griddle and I enjoyed a new pair of boot slippers. Don't worry....we did shop for others too.

Baked Brie with Apples and Cranberries

Serves a crowd

8 oz wedge of Brie cheese, or round
1/2 medium apple, chopped
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine apple, almonds, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Stir in butter just until mixed. Cut Brie in half horizontally. Place one half of Brie, rind side down, in small baking dish. Spoon half of apple mixture on top of wedge, spreading evenly. Top with other half of Brie wedge, rind side up. Spoon remaining apple mixture on top. (If it falls down the sides, no big deal. It's still delicious.) Bake 13 minutes, or until cheese is just melted. Serve with crackers,  and apple and pear slices.

What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish this year?

With Love and God Bless,

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