Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving (Photo by Rob Cunningham)

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States.  I hope all of my American readers had a lovely holiday!  I have so much to be thankful for:  family, friends, health, a roof over our heads, my husband’s job that allows me to stay home, and the luxury to cook for fun rather than just to feed our bellies (among many other things to be thankful for!).

For my family, all holidays revolve around food.  But none is the food so steeped in tradition than Thanksgiving.  This year I had the honor of hosting my family for the first time ever!  In total, there were eleven of us sitting down to feast and give thanks, which is a lot for my small family.  The youngest was my almost 3 year old niece, and the oldest my 90 year old Grandma.  Four generations were represented!

Action Shot!

I had a great time planning and preparing the meal.  I knew early on that I would be preparing a couple of items from Around My French Table for appetizers.  When the November French Fridays with Dorie recipes were announced, I was very pleased to see last Friday’s pick was “cook’s choice”.  I chose two recipes that were made by the group before I joined in: Gougeres and Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts.

Gougeres (Photo by Rob Cunningham)

The Gougeres were a huge hit!  How can you go wrong with something that is basically a cream puff flavored with cheese?  These are the perfect make-ahead appetizer since they can be frozen after shaping and baked straight from the freezer (we won’t go into the fact that I didn’t quite manage to get them made ahead of time).

Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts (Photo by Rob Cunningham)

The Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts were also well received.  A couple of us (including myself) wished the flavor of the chili powder had been a bit more pronounced, but others were glad they weren’t spicy.  I used a mix of almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts.  Pecans would also be a delicious choice.

The Turkey and all the Trimmings (sorry for the flash - it was the only way I could get a decent shot with the light I had)

My menu was a mix of family favorites and new dishes.  I was told in no uncertain terms that I must make the “Kerschbaum Family Stuffing” and a turkey, but was otherwise given free reign.  Here is the complete menu:


Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts
Infamous Crab Dip
Goat Cheese rolled in Dried Cranberries (purchased)
Assorted crackers and tortilla chips

Main Event:

Roast Turkey and Gravy
Sage Stuffing
Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts with Marjoram & Pine Nuts
Twice-Baked Garlic Sweet Potatoes
Sugared Carrots
Cranberry Sauce


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust
Dorie Greenspan’s Favorite Pecan Pie

Finally, I have always wanted to try the “Poll” feature on WordPress and finally thought of an excuse to use it!  Tell me which Thanksgiving recipe you would like me to share:



Filed under Cooking

5 responses to “Giving Thanks

  1. Wow! You really did have a housefull! 😀 Is Rob a pro photog? Those are some nice shots! Sounds like you had a great time with great food – hope you didn’t have to do ALL the cooking;)

  2. This looks and sounds all so delicious! I’m impressed with your gougères – These are popular (and stylish – typical cocktail food) here in France and they look so hard to make.
    It’s 7.30 here in France, I’m home after a long day, and this is making me so hungry! 🙂

  3. What a lovely Thanksgiving feast you presented! I still remember doing Thanksgiving for the first time….many years ago! You did a great job and I love your gougéres.

  4. Well, how silly of me. I left my comment over on the poll! 🙂 Sheesh! Sorry about that-I am trying to get used to reading and commenting on my iPad. That is a beautiful photo of you in the kitchen, Karen. You will have such special memories of this Thanksgiving because it was the first time you hosted. I can still remember our first Thanksgiving hosting. You made great cook’s choices for your meal-your menu and meal looks just wonderful!

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