Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Best Thing I Ate this Thanksgiving

As we all well know, Thanksgiving is a much needed time of contemplation, reflection, and introspection.  It is a time set aside for counting our blessings and taking stock of the overwhelming amount of things we have to give thanks for.

It is also the only holiday that is solely dedicated to food.

That being said, I would be remiss if I did not share the best thing that passed my lips this Thanksgiving; and, believe you me, it had a LOT of competition.

My husband and I were lucky enough to share both a Thanksgiving lunch and a Thanksgiving dinner with both sets of parents of a couple friend of ours.  As my girlfriend's mom put it, "I am thankful for friends who are like family and family who are like friends."

My feelings never mirrored those sentiments more than this Thanksgiving.

Each meal had several standouts.  At lunch it would have to be the meatless stuffing (both families were so awesome to offer less meaty options), a surprisingly delicious pineapple/ cheesy/ cinnamony oaty dish that I had never seen or heard of before and a particularly scrumptious dish of sweet potatoes.  Dinner was an ah-may-zing smorgasbord too.  There were these little, edible, baked squash things that looked like the decorative pumpkins you see everywhere this time of year.  The squash baked into beautiful little yellow bowls of tender goodness.  There were pan roasted brussels sprouts (which were the bomb!) and the turkey was the most moist and well seasoned my husband has ever had.

My favorite item though was ---- dessert.  This may seem like a no brainer but, I am not typically a huge sweets person.  Hmmm… that's kind of a lie.  I try not to be a sweets person so I usually steer pretty clear of desserts as a rule and, if I'm going to indulge I get something that I can split with several people or I steal a bite from someone's plate.  This Thanksgiving though, my strategy was to try a little bit of everything.  But, I digress…  For dinner at her parents house, my friend Amanda made Mini Honey- Almond Cranberry Crostatas for her dessert contribution.  As it turns out, every year she and her dad have a bit of a dessert rivalry and they pole the table to find out who has been victorious in creating the most delectable dessert that year.  It was extremely close but, Amanda came out the victor.

I don't know if this is the exact recipe she used but, it looks like the same ingredients and process.

Make these minis for an upcoming holiday gathering and bask in the compliments as people, with mouths still munchin', tell you how good your dessert is.  Seriously.  These are "tell it to the chef with your mouthful" good.  Amanda doubled the recipe and used almond filler since she couldn't find almond paste at the grocery store.  Uhhhh.  So good.  It was one of those desserts that you tell yourself, "Okay.  Just one more bite," until all the sudden, its gone, your dabbing up the crumbs with your finger, and your eyeballing the few that remain on the buffet.

My husband disagreed with me about the winning dessert (I guess that's allowed).  His choice, "hands down," was the home made pumpkin pie artfully crafted by Amanda's dad.  It wasn't too sweet.  It wasn't too pumpkiny.  It was Goldie Locks good with just the right pumpkin to spice ratio where the natural pumpkin flavor sings and the spices are there in the perfectly palatable measure.  I too tasted this pie and it was most definitely exactly what a pumpkin pie should be.

Well, there you have it.  My favorite from Thanksgiving 2010.
I hope your holiday was full of family, friends, and food and that it was a holiday to remember.


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