Archive for the Category » Thanksgiving «

Gumbo: Turkey Bone Gumbo

Hey! Got a few minutes to talk about Black Friday? Not shopping. Cooking. I know you’re busy finishing up your Thanksgiving menu, planning that inevitable last minute grocery run and cooking make-ahead sides and sauces. And the last thing on your mind is what’s for dinner on Friday. But this is important, especially if your Turkey Day celebration extends through the weekend like ours does. If you need to plan additional meals for visiting family and want to make the most of leftovers, then save that turkey carcass (or beg the hostess for it) [ ... ]

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Praline Glaze

Every year around this time, I get the urge to experiment with canned pumpkin. I like working it into both savory and sweet dishes. This year, I took the dessert route and ended up cranking out this Pumpkin Pound Cake. In true pound cake fashion, this version is dense and subtlety sweet. Those are the two things I love most about pound cakes. I did, however, drain the pumpkin first because I was afraid the cake might otherwise end up too firm. The texture turned out perfect as did the seasonally spiced flavor. [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Mini Blue Cheese Popovers

Since this is the last Friday before Thanksgiving, I thought this recipe for Mini Blue Cheese Popovers would be a good one to share since it works well as a finger food and can also fill in nicely on Thanksgiving Day as a pre-meal snack, a salad course escort or a petite dinner roll.  The crisp edges, airy insides and punchy blue cheese bite make these popovers extra-special.  You know I’m not much on baking and I’ve never made traditional popovers.  But I do like to occasionally play around with these types of recipes and I somewhat understand what makes [ ... ]

Mom’s Sweet Potatoes

These are my mom’s sweet potatoes. Her recipe is simply the best! No fuss or fanciness. Just smashed sweet potatoes “candied” ever so perfectly. During the holidays, they’re a must. It’s a family tradition my mom has carried out for as long as I can remember. And at every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal, I strategically spoon a generous serving onto my plate between the gravy-laden turkey slices and the Le Sueur green peas. That way, I can easily scoop up all those flavors into one forkful. Weird, I know. But that’s [ ... ]

Andouille, Spinach-Mushroom and Brie Bread Pudding

Do you all realize there are only two Thursdays between now and Thanksgiving?  How did that happen?  Why isn’t Thanksgiving on November 29, instead of November 22?  I’m well aware of the fourth Thursday of November tradition, but we’re losing an entire week here!  Can’t we buck the system just once?  For that reason alone, I’m glad I’m not hosting dinner this year.  That takes some pressure off.  But I still need to make two side dishes that can be prepared in advance and travel well (as in 500 miles well) or that can be made with little time and [ ... ]

Spinach Madeleine

One of the best way to experience regional home cooking is to prepare recipes from community cookbooks.  These cookbooks represent an organization’s best efforts to support various social causes while preserving local flavors, cultures, traditions, cooking styles and trends.  What’s more, they’re all bound together by strong values and plenty of wisdom.  One of my favorites is the original River Road Recipes by the Junior League of Baton Rouge.  The series (there are now four books and an interactive edition of the first) is a true reflection of generational Creole, Cajun and Deep South cooking from home kitchens all over [ ... ]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Right now I’m sitting at my sister’s kitchen table contemplating the day with a hot cup of joe (Community Dark Roast if you’re curious) and watching a beautiful fall sun rise over Mandeville, the northshore suburb where my sister lives. I love spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans surrounded by family and today I’ll get to catch up with many relatives I haven’t seen in years. My Uncle Barry is hosting dinner, which is no small feat. He’ll be setting the table (actually tables) for four generations that will be eating, drinking, laughing and giving thanks together. [ ... ]

Brownie Trifle

A trifle is an attention-grabbing dessert typically made with sponge cake soaked in booze and topped with clearly defined layers of fruit, custard and cream.  It’s prepared in a large glass dish or trifle bowl so everyone can ooh and aah over its colorful configuration and is traditionally served at Christmastime.  The trifle overlaps both a “fool” and a Russian Cake (also known as a Russian Trifle or Creole Trifle) in terms of ingredients and preparation.  And I would think it is related in some way, shape or form to tiramisu and our beloved banana pudding. My Brownie Trifle is a variation [ ... ]

Oyster Dressing

During this time of year, Louisiana Gulf oysters are at their peak with a balanced flavor of salty-sweet and a silky texture with a meaty bite.  Their subtle goodness adapts well to all kinds of preparations and ingredients, which is why they’re figured into so many New Orleans holiday menus.  My relatives celebrate the season with oysters eaten raw, Rockefellered, fried and even chargrilled.  But the dish that reigns supreme has and always will be Oyster Dressing. I’m the fourth or fifth generation to be making this wonderful dressing which comes together with only a handful of ingredients that enhance, and [ ... ]

Christmas Traditions and Stuffed Mirlitons with Shrimp and Tasso

Until recently, we celebrated Christmas back home in New Orleans. The upside: being with family and enjoying all the wonderful holiday traditions we grew up with. The downside: orchestrating Santa’s arrival in another city! Now, for obvious reasons, we have Christmas in Georgia. It’s bittersweet. While we love waking up in our own home on Christmas morning, we all miss sharing this special day with the rest of our family. So I’ve begun a few new holiday rituals to keep homesickness at bay. For one, we party on Christmas Eve just [ ... ]