Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blog-readers. I have always loved this holiday. I have to admit that this year my week leading up to the holiday has been for some reason a very stressful one...I have had minor disasters, crazy busy days, and lots of day-to-day "what next" moments. But even in the midst of this I know I should be so thankful... We always spend this holiday with Craig's family and they make a huge spread! However, Monday, I attempted to make a mini-thanksgiving day meal for my parents so that I could choose some of my traditional favorite Thanksgiving foods. I didn't think of the fact that I would be home alone with the kids all day and the preparations wouldn't go as smoothly as I had imagined...still, it all turned out okay. (I say "okay" because I had planned on another dish that didn't get made, and on setting a much more elaborate table, but we didn't quite get to that.)
I made "holiday brew" or a spiced punch. I call it wassail (you know like "here we come-a-wassailing among the leaves so green...") I thought maybe I had made this name up so I googled it, and it is an actual name for this punch. At any rate, it is Cran-Apple juice with a blend of holiday spices and cinnamon that is served hot. I also made an appetizer that is quite unusual for me. I bought mushroom caps and stuffed them with an imitation of The Melting Pot's "Green Goddess" dip. Its unusual because I don't care for mushrooms, but I have found a way that I love them! I think I'll try them again and attempt to perfect the recipe even more.
There was turkey - of course! However, since this meal was only for three people I simply bought a turkey tenderloin and baked it. It wasn't as yummy as the traditional Thanksgiving turkey in my opinion but it was really flavorful and juicy. I also made stuffing. I find that adding a few dried cranberries, some apples, and if you like them - onions and celery - make an ordinary box stuffing a little extra special.
I like cranberry sauce. I know that not everyone does, but I really enjoy it and wish I ate it more often. I threw some crushed pineapple in for extra flavor.
Smashed potatoes - So good! I left just a little bit of the skin on and added some chives, sour cream, and parsley. There was gravy too, naturally.
I had some rolls... As an example of my "what next" moments - I opened one of my grocery bags to find that my rolls were completely smashed because they were in the bag with the Cran-Apple juice. Really?... Oh well, we ate them and they tasted the same I suppose.
Probably my favorite part of the meal...dessert! I made pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese frosting and caramel drizzle.
These cupcakes tasted like a tiny pumpkin pie! They were so moist. Honestly, this is one of my favorite cupcake recipes yet. It is definitely recipe worth sharing so I am posting a link to the recipe here! The only chages I made were that I used a Butter Pecan cake mix (so good) and I added a drizzle of caramel on top. Again, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am thankful for each of you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for commenting, encouraging me, and for being so supportive! Whether or not the bread gets smashed, or Savannah spilled a bowl full of my first dip all over my freshly mopped kitchen floor...(yup, lol) I enjoyed dinner with my family, and will enjoy time with more family today. ...I truly have so very many reasons to be thankful.