Those things that I hadn't done in a while and that I did in November:
(1) Paint the Dining Room
I am so excited I decided to have Danny paint the dining room. The much loved/much hated red wall & yellow ceiling dining room is gone. For all the haters, you put up with it for nearly 15 years. For all the lovers, I'm with ya, but I'm sorry--I needed a change. In its place, a Benjamin Moore (Aura Paint-awesome!!!) Rooftop Garden Dining Room with a Silken Pine Ceiling.
Michael and I both love the new dining room. As paint often does, it changes color all throughout the day and night depending on the amount of light, kind of light, etc... Sammy called it Army green. Hmmm, isn't that kid supposed to be color blind? Sometimes it does look a lot like Army green :), other times, not at all.
Obviously you cannot see the ceiling in the above photo as I am highlighting the Thanksgiving table, which brings up the other thing that I hadn't done in a while: (2) have Thanksgiving at our house.
Not only did we host Thanksgiving, but we (3) had a Vegan at our Thanksgiving table. This made coming up with a menu very exciting for me. Thank goodness for Pinterest. I was able to gather recipes and ideas on my Thanksgiving Board, organize and edit them and come up with a final menu. Everything was delicious.
Obviously not Vegan. I used our home canned raspberry/strawberry preserves and slivered almonds. We served it with a sliced baguette.
(I made this Vegan by using Earth Balance margarine instead of butter on the squash)
I cooked one turkey whole and also made a separate turkey breast. I really like using the turkey breast and will do that again when we feel like fresh home cooked turkey. No one ever eats the legs anyway. We had just enough left overs to last about a week.
Using his amazing cooking skills, Joey made this vegan tofu main course, but we put it on top of sauteed red cabbage instead of brussels sprouts.
This is the most delicious cranberry sauce. I do not like canned, so I always make my own. This is the best recipe I have found. A big hit!!! (and Vegan)
I made these the day ahead and re-heated in the oven before serving. Perfection!
Tastes just as good as non-vegan. For the past couple years, I have been cooking my stuffing outside the turkey. Not because of safety issues, but because the turkey cooks faster and the stuffing tastes just as good. Just make sure to add plenty of liquid (in this case vegetable stock) and it will never be dry!
I like to make a cornbread stuffing from this recipe, but I add pancetta and mushrooms. I start by pan frying about 1/2 pound of cubed pancetta (Boar's Head is great). I remove the pancetta from the pan and then add the celery and onions. After the celery and onions are soft, I add about 1/2 pound of diced crimini mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid. Then I proceed with the rest of the recipe. Remember, plenty of chicken stock keeps it nice and moist.
This vegan version of the standard green bean casserole is BETTER than the original. I kid you not! This recipe is fantastic and it IS The World's Best Green Bean Casserole!
Because I LOVE avocado and I didn't want an old wilted salad for Thanksgiving, I made this chopped salad with avocado, cucumber, pistachios and green apple. Yum! The grocery store did not have fresh chives, so I used cilantro in the dressing. It might not be everyone's favorite salad, but I thought it was fantastic. My kind of salad!!!
Grammy brought the fresh & delicious Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Dinner Rolls
and the yummy sweet potatoes
because I don't do dessert without at least something chocolate
This recipe is so delicious. I cannot describe. With a little vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. Heaven!
and, for the grand finale... because we had a Vegan at the table, I broke down and made a Pumpkin Pie. I have never made pumpkin pie before. I do not really care for pumpkin pie, however, this is some really tasty pumpkin pie and totally vegan!
There is a link in the recipe to a vegan pie crust. I made the pie crust too! If you are vegan, or vegetarian, or lactose intolerant and even remotely like pumpkin pie, I urge you to try this recipe.
I am infamous for trying new recipes all the time and using dinner guests as guinea pigs. Thanksgiving was no exception. I had never made any of these recipes before. They were all delicious and turned out perfectly. What luck!