November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 Menu

Happy Black Friday?! Is today considered a holiday now too?! Lol idk but I'm staying home today and doing lots of filming/DIY-ing, and I'd take that over shopping any day.
...okay, I did online shopping but only 2 things were for me, the rest were gifts.

Anyways, my brother and I (well, mostly I, hehe) cooked everything this year, and it turned out pretty dang good. We definitely have a refrigerator full of leftovers, and that's absolutely perfect (who doesn't love Thanksgiving leftovers?)

First of all, my pre-Thanksgiving lunch (breakfast was a green juice made with spinach, an apple, and a banana):

Homemade saukerkraut with wakame, avocado, and cashew salad topped with furikake

Here's the menu:

 Creamy Carrot & Cauliflower Soup :   my mom had two bowls of this; she loved it which made me sooo happy ;) this soup was inspired by our family friend's carrot soup (hers is ten times better but I can never make it like she makes it!)

Recipe: Baked Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

slices of bacon, each slice cut in half
asparagus spears, washed
salt & pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400*F
2. Coat the asparagus with the oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Wrap 1/2 a slice of bacon around each asparagus spear (or keep some vegetarian)
4. Lay the asparagus on top of a cooling rack that's placed on top of a rimmed cookie sheet
(my cookie sheet doesn't have any rims and the oil got everywhere...the oven is currently self-cleaning for that reason)
5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (depends on how thick your asparagus is)

Recipe: Warm Beet and Green Bean Salad

4 beets, steamed and cut into quarters
2 cups of green beans, washed
1/3 cup of walnuts, toasted
1 onion, sliced thinly
black pepper


1. Cook the onions until golden brown (almost caramelized). Sprinkle with black pepper.
2. Cook the green beans in salted water (just enough water to cover the green beans; not too much salt too!) until tender.
Shock with cold water immediately to prevent overcooking.
3. Assemble salad and top with walnuts

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce (naturally sweetened!)

1 large apple, chopped
juice of 1 orange
2 cups of cranberries (frozen)
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 cup of water


1. Boil water.
2. Add all of the ingredients and cook until all of the cranberries have popped.
3. Let it cool and then place in the refrigerator (best overnight) to chill. 

Recipe: Garlic Bread

French baguettes (recipe courtesy of Chef John!)
1/4 cup of butter, softened
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced finely (i used a microplane)
1/4 cup of parsley, minced
black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 *F
2. Mash the butter with the garlic, parsley, and black pepper.
3. Slice the baguettes in half and spread the butter mixture over the halves.
4. Fold each baguette back up and wrap with foil.
5. Heat in oven for about 5 minutes 

*You can also sprinkle cheese on top and bake/broil without the foil until the cheese melts.

Recipe: Mashed Potatoes

10 large potatoes, cut into pieces (tip from Alton Brown)
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 package of cream cheese
salt & pepper
1/4-1/3 cup of milk
(opt) bacon slices


1. Place the potatoes in salted, cold water in a pot (just enough to cover the potatoes)
2. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
3. Drain the potatoes.
4. Bring the milk to a simmer in another pot.
5. Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes; gradually add the milk until you achieve your desired consistency.
6. Add the butter, cream cheese, pepper. 
7. Bake the bacon at 400*F for about 15 minutes (until crispy). Chop into pieces and mix into mashed potatoes

*Vegan mashed potatoes: my mashed potatoes were mixed with almond milk and nutritional yeast ;)

Recipe: Mushroom Gravy

3 cups of mushroom stock
1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water
(non-vegetarian & non-gluten free option: 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 cup of turkey drippings)


1. Thicken the mushroom stock and cornstarch slurry over medium heat.
2. Cool the mixture and blend it.
3. (opt:) Make a roux by melting the butter and mixing in the flour for about 1 minute. Add the turkey drippings and cook until the mixture thickens. Add to the mushroom stock.

cooking makes me super happy ;) now get ready for my favorite recipe which was inspired by this sticky forbidden rice salad that my mom brought home for me (THANKS MOMMY):

Recipe: Sweet Wild Rice Salad

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds, toasted
1/4 cup of walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup of dried cherries
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of frozen corn
1.5 cups of grapes
1 cup of wild rice
2 cups of water


1. Add the cherries and orange juice to a small pot. Cook on medium heat so the cherries can be infused with the orange flavor until the orange juice has evaporated.
2. Heat up the peas and corn with just enough water to cover them.
3. Rinse the rice well (until the water is no longer cloudy). Cook the wild rice in 2 cups of water (the water level should reach the first crease of your pointer finger when your finger is submerged and touches the surface of the rice.) Simmer the rice for about 45 minutes. Keep the lid on for about 10 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork.
4. In a medium pan, toast the grapes until warmed through.
5. Toss all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

my dad bought a smoked turkey from a local Amish market; I just cut up a ton of potatoes/sweet potatoes/carrots and laid the turkey on top of them. I washed an apple and scored the exterior; the apple was stuffed in the cavity of the turkey to keep it moist. I added a splash of vegetable stock to the pan to prevent the turkey from getting too dry (but a ton of "juice" still came out so I guess it was super moist already). I cooked it for about 2.5 hours at 325*F .

RAW & Vegan Pumpkin Pie: it was soo unbelievably good. and easy to make ;)


how can anyone make room for dessert (2 slices of pie by the way) after eating 2 super big plates of food (mostly consisting of wild rice salad lol)? I honestly don't know. But I made it work ;). 
(By the way, doing the dishes and cleaning up for about 1 hour between dinner and dessert helps!)

So that was my Thanksgiving ;) I hope yours was enjoyable and I hope everyone who had to work on Thanksgiving still enjoyed their day <3

xoox, hannah

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