7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Simply Delicious contains the best recipes for pork tenderloin. I particularly enjoy this preparation, 7-24: Cran-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, which uses cranberry sauce–my favorite part of the Thanksgiving (or Christmas) meal. 🍒

7-24-cran-glazed-pork-tenderloin_page_1Pork and wine taste great when combined together. Instead of marinating the pork as in 7-18: Pork Tenderloin in Wine Sauce, the cranberry sauce and wine are put in the pan to create a sauce to coat the pork tenderloin in flavor. 🍷

Read more

6-9: Orange-Glazed Turkey Breast

6-9: Orange-Glazed Turkey Breast

Sometimes a dish can remind you what you like about a particular ingredient. 6-9: Orange-Glazed Turkey Breast reminded me that I really enjoy turkey breast. Turkey breast is a low calorie protein that is delicious to eat any time of year, not just at Thanksgiving.

6-9-orange-glazed-turkey-breast_page_1This dish would be really easy to make with Thanksgiving leftovers. We bought a turkey breast on manager’s special and froze it for storage until I was ready to make this recipe.

Read more

6-29: Stuffed Turkey

6-29: Stuffed Turkey

This recipe, 6-29: Stuffed Turkey, is the WHOLE reason I originally decided to take on the challenge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year (TGV 2016)–when else was I going to get a chance to use the actual Thanksgiving recipe but on the holiday itself? I have cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but not in my own house, and not planned/shopped/organized for by myself. It was a fun challenge, and I have this card and project to thank for it.

Of course I made this recipe the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24), and it includes not only the turkey, but traditional stuffing and gravy as well. I cooked this in the afternoon, after making 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket in the oven that morning.

6-29-stuffed-turkeyThis year’s Thanksgiving was at least 2 weeks ago by the time you’re reading this, but I hope that if you had one this year it was a nice one, and that if you’re reading this sometime in the future preparing for the current year’s feast, that yours is nice as well. Mine was lovely despite what’s been a tumultuous year, and this recipe was definitely a big part of making my first solo Thanksgiving successful. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read even just a bit of what I’ve written, and thanks for participating in my project, even just for this brief moment.

I’ve been working on this project for just under 3 years now, and I’ve got at least that long to go to attempt to finish it–thanks for giving me a reason to keep this project alive, an outlet for writing, a focus for creative energy, art to share with my family and friends, and a priceless set of memories and experiences tied to a set of stinky old cookbooks that have always meant a lot to me, and mean even more now. Thank you.

Read more

1-5: Pigs in a Blanket

1-5: Pigs in a Blanket

The second of two appetizer dishes I made for Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016), 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket aren’t a surprise to many who grew up with these being served at various parties & gatherings. I’ve been looking for an event like this to make this recipe for, and I finally found it–it doesn’t get more traditional American than Thanksgiving.

This was the sixth of seven dishes I cooked for this year’s feast, and I made these the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24) while I waited for the whole wheat kernels I needed for 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls to finish soaking. I waited until the day of to make these because they really taste best as fresh as you can make them.

1-5-pigs-in-a-blanketSince this is technically being posted after Thanksgiving, these work well for Christmas, parties, or really even just a Saturday night Netflix marathon. The stains and wrinkling of the card (I scanned these over two years ago at this point) tell me someone else may have whipped up some of these sometime in the past, although no other clues exist pointing to whom or when. The tagline at the bottom is right though–most everyone can get on board with these “pigs”.

Read more

17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls

17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls

We’ve finally reached the big day: 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls were the fifth dish I cooked for my big Thanksgiving feast (TGV 2016), and in true baker fashion, I started them before the sun rose on Thanksgiving Thursday. These served as my rolls for my dinner–I served them with a tomato butter and a roasted garlic & herb butter.

17-5-hot-seedy-rollsI wanted something a bit healthier to balance out the sugar in the cranberries and in the desserts (two of which were 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe and 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte). These were definitely seedy, but I think it worked well for a harvest-themed dinner such as Thanksgiving.

Other dishes I made the day of Thanksgiving (Thur. 11/24): 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket, a crudité platter, 6-29: Stuffed Turkey, along with assembling & heating all the other dishes.

Read more

1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana

1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana

I’m counting 1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana as the fourth dish I made of this year’s 7-recipe Thanksgiving cooking marathon (TGV 2016) , but its components actually spanned a few days (and a few cooks). This was one of three appetizers I made for my Thanksgiving dinner–the others being a crudité & hummus platter and 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket.

My mom was always big on the idea of “shrimp cocktail” as being necessary for Thanksgiving dinner appetizers (it was always part of her family’s holiday dinner when she was growing up), so in order to honor that idea, I chose this recipe.

1-10-seafood-cocktail-louisianaAs I mentioned above, I’m counting this as the fourth dish I made–it spanned Wed. 11/23 and Thu. 11/24 as different components had varying levels of make-in-advance-ability. My sous chef made the dressing and prepped shrimp the first night, while I assembled the dish itself right before serving the next day.

Read more

15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe

15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe

The other of two desserts that I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe (the first was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte). With my family, it’s REQUIRED that there be a chocolate dessert option when having a big dinner, so I decided to give this one a whirl–I thought it’d be a nice contrast of flavors and textures when compared to the other options (the aforementioned torte and a pumpkin pie my mom made). 🍫

15-49-chocolate-pudding-deluxeThis was the third dish I made, continuing the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since the pudding needed to chill, I thought letting it rest in the fridge overnight would give it the best chance of holding together when served the next day. 🍮

Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.

Read more

16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte

16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte

One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.

This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.

16-52-apple-nut-saucepan-torteIf I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.

Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.

Read more

4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin

4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin

It’s been a hell of a month, y’all. Between my birthday at the very beginning, the election, an aunt passing away, unexpected horse-sitting, and planning/executing my very first self-made Thanksgiving dinner, I unfortunately didn’t do a lot of writing. However, our Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016) was Simply Delicious-themed, as I used 7 recipes for this year’s feast.

I started the cooking marathon on Tuesday 11/22 with 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin–I thought parsnips would make an interesting variation on the “vegetable” dish for Thanksgiving. I also cooked this one first because I knew I could cook it most of the way, and save the final broiling for right before the dinner was served.

4-27-mushroom-parsnip-au-gratin I don’t know much about parsnips being the “poor man’s lobster” (a quick Google search reveals butter baking cod/haddock/etc. to be the most common modern use for that term), but I’d describe them as a cross between potatoes and carrots. Too potato-y to be a carrot, but too carrot-y to be a potato.

Read more

4-34: Italian Roasted Vegetables

4-34: Italian Roasted Vegetables

This one’s short and sweet. I’ve made 4-34: Italian Roasted Vegetables a few times before, once as part of a big dinner party I cooked for when I was about 13 (6-22: Crispy Chicken Drumsticks and 9-20: Meat Roly-Poly were part of that as well) and Thanksgiving 2000 based on my mother’s notations on the back of the card. I know I’ve used the concept multiple times in other instances, even if I wasn’t following this exact recipe.

4-34 Italian Roasted VegetablesThis is more a method than a particular recipe–you can use pretty much whatever vegetables you want with this one. Now’s a perfect time for this recipe–farmer’s markets are open and there’s lots of good stuff out there to roast. 🔥

Read more