While Thanksgiving seems like a lot to plan and execute, perhaps it’s the day we should, instead, plan on sharing the work and the fun. Someone brings only wine, but offers to help clean up or play a board game with the kids after dinner. Another spends all week baking grandma’s favorite pies and does nothing that afternoon but pour New Mexican sparkling wine–namely, Gruet. (No French Champagne on Thanksgiving, please!) There’s also the real possibility of skipping the pig-out buffet and planning a curated — and maybe more healthful — meal. Making it somewhat more dinner party-ish, we could think in terms of one vegetable instead of 4, two pies rather than 10 desserts, a single perfect potato dish, and maybe someone’s favorite aunt’s cranberries. Ok, you have to have stuffing. Would it still be Thanksgiving without twenty casseroles? You bet your little tom turkey it would. And could we talk a little less in the way of dishes and leftovers here? But of course!
Since making soup is one of my very favorite activities, I invited my junior chefs Josiah and Alaena (8 and 6, respectively), over to make one of the newer soups on the blog, EASY CHICKEN- BLACK BEAN SOUP, featured here last March. While some soups and stews are made from scratch ingredients, there are just as many made with a few goodies found ready to go or leftover in your kitchen.
I admit to a longtime fascination with healthy homemade granola; the blog bears me out. I make it about once a month and it’s the only breakfast cereal in my kitchen besides the whole oats I keep for oatmeal. We eat granola on yogurt with or without fruit, in a bowl with milk, as a grab and go snack, with ice cream, on vegetables, sprinkled over eggs and pancakes…the list goes on. It’s so simple to stir up and bake a batch that I invited Alaena and Josiah(above) over to make some to take home for their own breakfasts and to see what THEY might do with granola. (One of their thoughts was with carrots. Yum!) Continue reading →
As my family well knows, there comes a day in November (December is just too late) when I do nothing but bake cranberry bread. We have it for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, take a loaf or two to friends, and then have one squirreled away in the freezer for Christmas morning as well. I make a fun production out of the day (no other activities, favorite music on, microwaved lunch) and have nearly an assembly line in the kitchen so that loaf after loaf is mixed individually and baked on the center rack. It does require a number of pans, but I’m good at finding extras at Good Will or splurging on a great pan with a Williams-Sonoma gift card. I also bake this bread in coffee cups for large size muffins or in tiny pans as little gifts for special folks.