Thanksgiving was really different this year. After deciding that I couldn’t go home to see the fam, my plans changed daily. FIrst I was going to spend the day with co-worker friends, then I was going out to Thanksgiving dinner with my cousin who was coming to town. Then my roommate was staying home and we were going to cook a feast together. When she cancelled on me I thought about serving dinner at a shelter. Then my brother called and said he had no plans either.. so at the end of the day it tuned out to be me and my younger brother Robby. And we had a really nice time. Both of us really wanted to be with the rest of the family but it was still nice that we had eachother to celebrate. So with dinner for two I felt like a turkey might have been overkill. I even contemplated just making a tuna casserole (his favorite) and calling it good. But that just wouldn’t be my style. Even if I was only cooking for two I love to cook. It absolutely made my day to be able to cook for someone other than myself. So I made the rib roast that I’d been drooling over ever since the Cooking Light holiday magazine came out. It was every bit of delicious that I hoped it would be.
I’ve also really been looking forward to making these herb and Asagio rolls. I think this was my first experience with yeast. They tasted good but really didn’t rise as much as I had expected. They also seemed a little tough on the outside (but soft inside). So I was disappointed, but I do want to bake bread again soon. I won’t give up so easy. 😉
I had to throw in some roasted brussels sprouts because I absolutely love them even if nobody else does! I’m convinced that anyone who doesn’t like their greens just hasn’t had them prepared the right way. (I didn’t change Rob’s mind, but then again he didn’t even try them!! Oh well, I’m sister, not mother). Lets face it, a lot of people just cook the heck out of veggies until their soggy, limp, and bland tasting. Yuck! I like my greens with a little crunch and a lot of flavor. Brussel sprouts cooked under the broiler is one of my favorites because they’re so naturally nutty tasting. For dinner I just quartered them, tossed in olive oil, sprayed with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with salt and pepper. They were awesome!
The only other thing we really needed was a good salad. I tossed some mixed greens with olive oil, salt and pepper, and added cherry tomatoes. Oh, but I can’t forget… Robby’s favorite dish is tuna casserole. I know what you’re thinking, “Really? Tuna?” I know. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s one of those comfort foods that reminds us kids of growing up. Tuna casserole was a staple in our house. Although my favorite food as a kid was lasagna. Mmmmm…
So here’s the spread. Tuna casserole and all.
Dinner really was just a spread of some good old down-home cookin’. 🙂 We didn’t over stuff ourselves either so there was plenty of room for dessert. Now that I had some extra hands in the kitchen I put Rob to work peeling and coring apples. Dessert was supposed to be a pear crisp but the pears at the market were hard as rocks. So I improvised. We had an apple crisp. I do believe that was a good call.
Do you love the pink apron? I sometimes wear it when all of us girls are cooking together. I wasn’t going to yesterday but I thought Rob would get a kick out of it. He did, and then he took pictures of me being Martha Stewart.
Apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Mmm!! Sweet, yet light. I had to improvise with the crisp portion of the recipe as well. It called for 6 amaretti cookies. Well I didn’t know what that was, and neither did the gal at the bakery. So I looked around and decided macaroons would make a good substitute. The macaroons were pretty cakey though. I’m not sure if amarettis are cakey or hard cookies, but it worked. I added a tad extra flour to the crumble to soak up the moisture.
I have to tell you what happened before my brother got to the house. I still can’t believe I did this. Okay, so his special request was for english toffee. Well, I’m all about making that happen so while in the middle of cooking everything else I throw a pot on the burner: butter, sugar, we’re on our way..
I’m chopping the brussels sprouts, tossing a salad, mixing the toffee. It’s finally ready and I go to pour the 310 degree candy onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. The kitchen timer is going off. Hot pot in the sink and I put the 310 degree candy coated spatula in my mouth!!!! Aaahahhhhhh is right! OMG it hurt so bad. The toffee stuck to the roof of my mouth and sizzled. I tried to spit it out which is how I burnt my tongue and lower lip too. Worse burn ever. I couldn’t feel my lip all night. Today it’s blistered and my tongue and palate are missing a layer of skin. I’m on a mush, room temperature food, diet. Lesson learned the hard way: when you’re making candy, just. make. candy. Too many things going on at once and it was just too natural to lick the spatula before throwing it in the sink.
Fortunately the batch turned out nicely..
After we ate as much as we could eat we vegged out in pj’s to Christmas movies. An all time favorite: Elf, and a newbie favorite: Four Christmases. Are Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon just the cutest movie couple?! I think so. And the part where they’re at his mom’s house playing Taboo.. it makes me laugh out loud. The way the couples who really know eachother can practically read eachother’s mind to win the game. I’ve played with friends who are siblings before, and one time the word was meatloaf. The hint given was “that thing mom always made growing up that we all hated”. In unicem they all said “meatloaf”! Haha.. its things like that that bring you closer as you get older. 🙂
Betcha thought I missed going on a run with all this kitchen chaos. Well guess again. I got 6 miles in before the real nitty-gritty came. I planned to do 8, but apparently the parks and recreations bathrooms are closed on THanksgiving. Good to know. There was no way I was going any further without a pit stop. Had I been home in eastern Washington I could have run with Sara Palin. My brother ran the Turkey Trot 5k that we all do every year together, and apparently Sara Palin has family in my hometown and my brother passed her in the race. How random is that? I did have a leisurely run though (until I realized I was without a BR), packed my camera, counted 19 other runners on the trail. Everyone was extra friendly today it seemed. Maybe because we were all excited to get home and carb load afterwards!
This “&” is in the Seattle Sculpture Park. Is this art?
This is where my running long jump skills come in handy. I’m telling you.. this rain is nothing to mess with.
Me and Robby here cheesin’ in front of the fireplace. We tried to take a self-portrait for mom. I don’t know about this. Might have to wait until next year for descent pics. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
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