Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pecan pie, Thanksgiving, 2012

Last year we spent Thanksgiving with a dear friend who has a home in Sun Valley, Idaho. Although we made the turkey ourselves, most of the food for our Thanksgiving feast came from Cristina's Restaurant in Sun Valley. Cristina's is probably the most popular restaurant in Sun Valley; the food is fabulous! It was a joy not to be cooking. Instead we had the opportunity to hike, read, shop and explore this gorgeous part of the world. On Thanksgiving we sat down to a scrumptious meal, including all our favorite dishes. But the desserts were the stars. The pies from Christina's were not only delicious, but beautiful!

Pumpkin pie 

This year I am home for Thanksgiving and getting back into my old routine. The week before Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. I devote most of it to getting ready for the holiday, especially doing as much cooking as possible. The house has a holiday feeling -- all of my mixing bowls and pots and pans are out, wonderful aromas are starting to waft through the house, and delectable ingredients begin to take over the kitchen counters. The kitchen is officially moving into the holiday season.

 I am making most of my usual recipes this Thanksgiving, as well as incorporating some new ones. I like to try a few new recipes each year. The cooking begins on Monday and always includes the following:  

Cranberry Chutney
(recipe below)

  Pie Crust

Lovely sight! 

  Croutons for the Chestnut and Apple Stuffing

It feels so good to get this cooking done in the beginning of the week. There is comfort in these rituals. 

Over the next two days I make:

Turkey stock and two pies: Apple and Pumpkin 
I chop all the vegetables for the stuffing and clean and prepare all the vegetables for the side dishes

This year I am adding two new recipes:
Nigella Lawson's Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts, Pancetta and Parsley. I have made this before and it is delicious. It should be a great addition to our meal. Go here for the recipe.

 Make-Ahead Gravy from last week's New York Time's Food section. According to the recipe, you make most of the gravy ahead of time and at the last minute add the turkey drippings. If this works, it will be a huge time saver on Thanksgiving day! Go here for the recipe.

Looking through cookbooks and magazines for new recipes is part of the fun  

I would love to know: what are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and what new recipes are you trying this year?

Wishing you a warm and delicious holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!



1 pound cranberries
1 cup chopped, cored, pared apples
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 - 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery

Simmer cranberries, apples, sugars, raisins, spices and 1 cup water uncovered in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until juice is released from berries. This takes about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently cook onion and celery in butter until tender.
Add onion mixture to cranberries and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring frequently. This takes about 40 minutes. Add a little water as needed. Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 weeks.


  1. My family has so many "must-have" Thanksgiving recipes, that it's hard to find room for something different. Last year I experimented with the Yam gratin in chipotle cream from the New York Times cookbook, and it was spectacular, so I am making it again. We also recently added Bon Apetit's Maple Cheesecake with maple-cranberry compote into our dessert rotation. A non-negotiable dessert is pumpkin pie from my great-grandmother's recipe. We also must have the "rolls for special occasions" from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook.

  2. I'd love your cranberry chutney recipe.
    I think my favourite dish at Thanksgiving is my sister's sweet potato dish with pecan topping. It tastes like dessert to me!

  3. Sunday, I too would love your chutney recipe. I LOVE chutney and am always on the lookout for a new and tested recipe.

    My favorite Thanksgiving foods are, Pumpkin Pie, yeast rolls, chestnut stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy.

    Of course I will try other things but those are my favorite.

    I hope that you have a fabulous Thanksgiving.

    P.S The soup was delicious! EASY and delicious.

  4. Leslie and Elizabeth, tomorrow I will update this blogpost and include the recipe. It is really easy!

  5. We're at the same place, in prep. Made cabernet cranberry sauce, pie crust dough, and gluten-free cornbread for the stuffing yesterday. Today, the tables will get set, minus the flowers, which will be tomorrow. I have lists that have it down to a military precision, which makes it feel so much more manageable. I love this week too - feels so cozy and I'm so glad the weather feels like Autumn. Never happy about a heat wave for Thanksgiving which can happy in Southern California.

  6. This all looks so delicious. I love the colour of the cranberries in the chutney and the thought of 'cinnamon, spice and apple pie'. It's a great time of year to be in the kitchen!

  7. Oh what fun! This year I will miss the Thanksgiving scents in our home as we head to friends for dinner. I am taking my favorite caramel walnut tort. Thank you for the chutney recipe. It will come in quite handy for our Christmas feast. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Saw your photo of that on Instagram. Looks fabulous!

  8. You are MOLTO BRAVA to get the jump start!
    I did the shopping today!
    Tomorrow I begin the cooking……………ENJOY!

  9. The new recipe I'm trying this year is an apple cranberry custard pie from the Beekman Heirloom Desserts cookbook. I snuck a few tastes as I was making it today and I think it will be a winner.

    1. That sounds amazing! I need to get this cookbook.

  10. Sorry I am a day late...Happy Thanksgiving,you do everthing with such aplomb Sunday,am totally in awe.Sure you had great day.

    1. Judith, thank you so much. Wishing you a very happy holiday season!