Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner Review

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're all settled into the cookie-baking-and-Christmas-shopping thing (thankfully we decorated the house and tree at the beginning of November...yes, I put my tree up before Thanksgiving, and yes, I'm thankful because I get to enjoy it longer...), which means I am finding a little free time to share with you all.

Here's a peek at what Thanksgiving looked like over here.

Mama's cheeseboard was the prettiest and tastiest star of the show. She and my aunt recently returned from a trip up to Wisconsin and, of course, they brought back various cheeses to sample. Sidebar: why were they in Wisconsin, you ask? aunt (and my grandmother) is a HUGE Green Bay Packers fan. Mama (and my grandfather) is a HUGE Minnesota Vikings fan. (My uncle is a HUGE Browns fan...we're all HUGE fans of various teams over here; Sundays are fantastic.) My aunt, Joann, turned 40 a few weeks ago, and to celebrate she and my mother went to a Vikings-Packers game in Green Bay. You know, the one that recently ended in a tie. Daddy laughed and asked me what were the chances that two sisters, each liking a different team, would drive eight + hours to the game, and it actually end in a tie?! I guess the good Lord knew how uncomfortable that looong ride home would have been.

Anyhoo...Mama brought back a few types of cheese, along with some pear-peach chutney, to snack on while we waited for the holiday dinner. Cheese, chutney, crackers, nuts, and fruit? I don't even need the meal. I was in heaven. Mama, my aunt, and I were the only ones that actually appreciated the cheeseboard; everyone else just casually snacked. We were all, "Oh my gosh, you have to try the hard goat cheese one, with the pita cracker, spread on a little chutney, and top it with a nut, but it has to be the pistachio, that's the best one."

Ahh, never a dull moment over here.

It was a very odd Thanksgiving. I actually preferred the turkey this year WITH the gravy (I'm usually just a sides kind of girl). I enjoyed second helpings of Brussels sprouts, quinoa salad, and cornbread stuffing. Usually, I can't get enough of the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, cough, cough.....also, I didn't partake in any bread. Hmmm, interasante.

The dessert bar (on Mama's new coffee bar, wonder where she got the idea....wink, wink) consisted of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, these pumpkin and honey cookies, and Mama's infamous hot fudge cheesecake. I'm not a pie fan unless it involves fruit, and even then I prefer a cobbler, but I indulged in my cheesecake :P

Also, a few weeks ago Mama found a tasty recipe on Pinterest and asked if I'd make this quinoa for a healthier side dish for Thanksgiving. I did. The pistachios are fan-freaking-tastic, and the sun-dried tomatoes (which Mama and I both kind of do not like on their own) were actually quite decent in this quinoa dish. Lightly tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and agave, it was refreshing, and very much welcomed alongside the stuffing and mashed potatoes. The only changes I made to the recipe: more lemon (+ zest) and more pepper. We're huge lemon fans.

I enjoyed it. She enjoyed it, so much as she took what little leftovers there were and portioned it out for her lunch for the week. I, on the other hand, ate my teensy portion the next day. And then I was sad because Mama and I no longer (and have not for the better half of a decade now) share the same household, nor the same refrigerator. Therefore, I was unable to eat her making-it-last-as-long-as-she-possibly-can portion. Hey, you do what you have to do.

This Lemon Quinoa Salad might be a new must-have at our Thanksgiving table, and a new favorite work lunch. It's too, too easy to make, and will immediately be doubled forever more. And I'll still not share. Probably.

Oh, and I was a little crafty over here at the library, where the kiddos and I enjoyed a Holiday Crafty Kids session. Check out my cute hand print turkey.

I hope everyone had a fantastic and fun Thanksgiving holiday!

With Love and God Bless,