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Entries in thanksgiving (3)

Tuesday
Nov232010

Inject some Mexican flair into your holiday menu

When you hear "Mexican food" do you think of tacos, yellow cheese, and salsa?  Marcela Valladolid of Food Network's Mexican Made Easy is out to prove that there's much more to our southern neighbor's cusine! Mexican food can be sophisticiated and even makes for a great addition on your holiday menu.

Sauza Tequila has partnered with Chef Marcela to present "Ladies Night In" events. I attended the Chicago event just a few weeks ago and picked up some great recipes for you. These dishes are unique but still have a healthy dose of holiday comfort and cheer:

Brussels Sprouts in Morilla Cream Serves 4-6
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds brussels sprouts. halved
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
3 scallions (white and pale green parts only)
1 morilla chile, stemmed, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and stir for 1 minute to coat them with butter. Add the broth, cover, and simmer for 7 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts are tender. Uncover and continue to simmer for 4 minutes, or until all of the broth evaporates. Transfer brussels sprouts to medium bowl.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in same pan. Add the sunflower seeds, scallions, and chile and saute for 2 minutes, or until the nuts are toasted and chile is tender. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, return the brussels sprouts to pan, and toss to coat them with the cream. Season the brussels sprouts to taste with salt and pepper. 

 

Apricot-Tequila Chicken
4-6 chicken pieces
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
2 tbs crushed chile de arbol
1/3 cup Sauza Tequila Blanco
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine apricot preserves, chile de arbol and tequila in
medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season
chicken with salt and pepper on all sides and place on glass baking dish. Brush
apricot mixture on chicken and pour left over mixture all over chicken. Roast for 80
minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and crispy. 

 

Roasted Chipotle Acorn Squash Serves 4-6
2 acorn squash (1-11/2 pounds each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the acorn squash in half lenghthwise. Then cut each half crosswise into 3/4 inch thick slices. Remove and discard the seeds from the squash pieces. Transfer the squash to a baking sheet. Mix olive oil, garlic, ground chipotle, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the squash pieces and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender. 

Naturally, with Sauza as the sponsor we sampled delicious cocktails throughout the night.

The overwhelming favorite was this warm tequila cider...one of my friends pronounced it "Christmas in a glass!" upon tasting.

The recipe will be featured in my December newsletter (comes out Monday 12/6).  Subscribe so you can make it, too...it's really different and delicious!

Food photo credit Barbara Rozgonyi
Group photo credit Nicole Yeary

Thursday
Nov182010

Happy Kids = A Happy Thanksgiving! A "Kids Table" is the Key!

Today's post is by Debbie Bennett of Table Tops for Tots. I know many of you will have "kids tables" for the holidays, and Debbie shared some of her favorite tips! You can follow Debbie on Twitter @TableTopsForTot


Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday full of food, floats and football...but it can be a L.O.N.G. day, especially for little ones! Granted, the kiddos can be entertained for an hour or two watching parades on television, but depending on the time of day your family sits down for the "big feast," how much they enjoy football (or helping out in the kitchen), and their age, you might be hard-pressed to keep them occupied instead of underfoot until dinner is served.


This is where a classic Thanksgiving day "staple" can come in handy to save the day. This staple is not something found in your pantry...it's the traditional Thanksgiving Kids Table! But don't think of the table you may have been relegated to sitting at as a child. Nowadays, the "kids table" can be fancy, fun and cause for celebration in and of itself!

Below are just a few ideas and sources for making a "kids table" part of your yearly Thanksgiving tradition:

1.  Use kraft paper to make a kid-friendly and easy-to-clean crafting/dining area for kids.  It's also easy to make "fancy adult napkins" for the youngsters by cutting squares from a yard or so of an inexpensive coordinating fabric.

2.  Craft pom-poms, self adhesive google eyes, and construction paper "beaks" placed in easy to see containers, make creating a pine-cone turkey easy as pumpkin pie!

3.  Crayons and kraft paper go hand-in-hand.  Let your little ones color on the table (!) to their hearts' content.

4.  Harvest-themed Rainbow Crayons from Art2TheExtreme along with a mini "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving-inspired" popcorn snack at every place setting will keep kids entertained and sustained until dinner time.

5.  Add some Thanksgiving flair to clear plastic tumblers with ribbon and printables from Frog Prince Paperie's Thanksgiving Kids' Printable Party Pack.

6.  We used inexpensive cream-colored fabric placemats stitched together to cover a few Table Tops For Tots kids chairs.  You can wrap a bit of coordinating ribbon around each chair to add a festive touch.
Tip: we purchased a spool of 3" florist ribbon. At $2.99 for 6 yards of ribbon, it was less expensive than the standard 3" ribbon found in the fabric section of the same craft store, and just as pretty!

 

7.  Gather pine cones so your little guests can create their own pine cone turkeys!  They can then write their many blessings on strips of paper, which make up the turkey's feathers.

8.  Alternatively, write blessings on construction paper leaves for the Thanksgiving "Tree of Thanks" below. It was created from the template found in Frog Prince Paperie's wonderful Thanksgiving Kids' Printable Party Pack.

 

Friday
Nov052010

Try something new! Six alternatives to Pumpkin Pie

I'm not suggesting that you not serve pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but perhaps you would like to add pumpkin in a non-pie presentation.  You know, mix it up.  Go crazy.  I found three recipes and also asked for input from readers via Facebook and Twitter...here are some of the best ideas:

Chris recommended Ina Garten's Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

I think this Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake looks divine

Need a taste of childhood? How about Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?

Look at the great colors in this Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle!

Jenn offered up her Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bars.  Delicious!

Yana suggested Pumpkin Creme Brulee...yum!

Would you try one of these? Or it it traditional pumpkin pie only on your table?

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