Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Turkey Day!

Well, my friends, we had a successful and surprisingly traditional Thanksgiving this year!

Since my mom and I were determined to stay true to all of our holiday traditions -- basically great food and great company -- we started our prep last night and were in the kitchen bright and early to get that turkey in the oven!

I decided to do a turkey trot on my own and ran a rather painful 7 miles before meeting up with Lee.  We planned to tackle 6 miles before heading home... but I declared around mile 8.5 that I couldn't do it.  I wasn't in the mood.  So, I headed back home.  No harm done!

By noon, we had the appetizers out, the game on, and the turkey cooking away!

This year was really special for me because I got to cook over half the dishes alongside my mommaaa, which made it feel like the HOLIDAYS! 

We decided to keep appetizers easy and light -- a platter of gluten-free corn chips, guac and salsa.  A bowl of black and green olives, pickled beets, and baby dill pickles.  And Marcus (one of our stray grad students) brought a huge platter of crackers, cheese, and meat!! YUM!

Before we knew it, the turkey was ready and it was time to eat!

We had some easy place-and-bake rolls (for the boys -- they like their carbs)

And our lightened-up stuffing, made with Sara Lee's 45 calorie bread, celery, onion, a little bit of butter and some chicken stock.  Stuffing is always my favorite -- and this was no exception! I think I had 3 or 4 helpings of this  Ha.

Classic green bean casserole -- made with french style green beans and a can and a half of fat-free cream of mushroom soup.  I opted for my helping without the fried onions on top.  Green bean casserole just screams comfort food and holiday meals to me!

Amazingly juicy and tender TURKEY thanks to my mom's skills with the turkey bag.  Are you a dark meat or white meat fan??  I'm all about the dark meat, baby.

My contribution:  Healthy Maple Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole -- 120 calories per serving! Marcus, my friend from the midwest (meat and taters kind of guy) said that this was some of the best sweet potato casserole he's ever had! And he didn't even know they were healthy!

My second contribution: Healthy buttermilk mashed potatoes with chives. About 150 calories per serving -- this was a favorite at the Thanksgiving table today!  The chives really added something.  All the boys (and my mom) loved them!  I'm not really a potato fan... but I enjoyed my fair share!

The spread: 

The chefs:

The college students!

My plate (first plate, I should say)

I was especially excited to see how our Skinny Pumpkin Pie turned out, so you can imagine how long I waited before I dove into the dessert selection (I think under 5 minutes...)

Lee brought some vegan peanut butter and apricot cookies and a loaf of double chocolate pumpkin bread!  YUM.  I tried both, obviously. 

I also made some Mini Maple Pecan Pies -- another healthy alternative for the dessert table.  At about 45 calories a pop, you couldn't help but go back for seconds.  

We have this tradition of passing out in turkey-induced comas right after lunch (served around 2:30)... and waking up in time to watch even more football and make some interesting leftovers!

What, you don't eat Thanksgiving lunch AND dinner?  Crazies...

My mom waits all year to bust out one of her favorite leftover turkey recipes -- an Asian-inspired crispy turky with spring onion, plum sauce, and cranberry sauce on top of flat bread.  Think Peking duck but with Thanksgiving leftovers!! SO DAMN GOOD.

 I also made some more dessert -- sugar cookies (healthified with apple sauce in place of butter)

I can't believe we had that much food in one day!  Actually, I can... it was truly delicious and I enjoyed every last bit.  My favorites included the stuffing, the sweet potatoes, and the pumpkin pie!! One of the best pies I've ever had! 

We sent the boys home with tons of leftovers and my mom and I are currently plopped on the couch watching Love Actually to carry us right into the next holiday.

I'm so thankful.

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