Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hapy Thanksgiving! And a giveaway :-)

UPDATE:  I had to end this giveaway a little early as I am going out of town tomorrow.  Thank you to all 36 entrants!  The random number generated gave me lucky number 6 and Sharon won.  And her favorite part of winter?  

Snow! (But I have to visit to experience it ...I am in the South.)  Summer, I love the tropical flowers!

Thank you everyone and happy holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans!  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year.  I love the whole idea of spending the day with people who are close to you and sharing food (and drink and football).  As I've gotten more and more into cooking over the past few years, too, I've really enjoyed making more and more of Thanksgiving dinner from scratch.  I am still very intimidated by baking bread and making stuffing seems like a lot of work, but everything else this year is homemade, about which I'm very happy!  I've really enjoyed sitting on a kitchen stool in my mom's kitchen, chopping up vegetables, chatting with my mom and sister, and breathing in all the spices.

Does anyone have a fabulous Thanksgiving recipe they'd like to share?  I haven't yet tasted my pumpkin pie, so I don't know how good it is, but I'm a fan of this cranberry sauce I made, which combines the traditional sauce with pineapple and chilies.  I also added in pomegranate, just because we had some and, er, it matched.  Actually, last year I made a very well-received cranberry sauce with wine that I loved.  It's just that I wanted to try something different this year.

And I guess in general, I like to try new things in the kitchen rather than stick with something I already know is a success.  Sure, I like making the same things over again sometimes, but I also think it's fun to switch it up a bit.  So while we have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with the turkey, the stuffing, the sauce, the potatoes and the pie, I like to vary the approach we take with each of those recipes.  For instance, this year, we brined our bird again, but included apple cider in our brine instead of just salt water.  Hopefully that turns out well!

What kind of holiday chef are you?  Do you tend to stick to the tried-and-true, well-loved recipes that everyone spends the whole year looking forward to?  Or do you experiment and try to switch it up?

I hope those who celebrate it have a fabulous Thanksgiving!  As many know, Thanksgiving is the official start of holiday buying season.  I personally go to Black Friday sales every year, even though I don't celebrate Christmas.  I just like the sales :-)

But for those of you who perhaps do not enjoy braving the shopping malls and the crazy drivers and the angry customers, perhaps instead you would like to do your shopping online?  With an $80 gift certificate to CSN Stores?  If so, enter your information in the form below and I'll enter you to win the gift certificate!  This giveaway will be open until next Wednesday, December 1st.  Good luck and happy holidays!


  1. I'm the kind of holiday chef who stays out of the way until it's time to sneak a taste and set the table. ;-) My family tends to stick with the tried and true, though. We like the tradition of seeing the same stuff on the table every year, I guess.

    My food contribution to today's festivities is splitting the cost of a big turkey centerpiece made out of chocolate! A new tradition, I hope!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. We're eating at my mom's house, so I'm making just a couple of things to contribute to the feast. Mashed potatoes (hubby's fave) and candied yams (my fave). The yams are a traditional recipe in my family, baked with brown sugar and orange juice--not the smooshed up kind with marshmallows. I love yams my family's way. My mom has a great cranberry salad recipe that was once an experiment but has now become part of our traditional dinner.

    I hate shopping on Black Friday and won't do it. I get a bit nervous in large crowds, and Black Friday shopping is nothing but large crowds. Strangely, hubby hates shopping most of the time but somehow enjoys going out on Black Friday because of the deals. I guess the deals trump his dislike for shopping. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. This Christmas will be my first time as holiday chef so I have no idea how I'll manage! The older women in my family have always cooked, the generation before my mom's, and so we've actually never had to host Christmas or Thanksgiving at our house. I'm unfortunately in the wrong country for this holiday, but for Christmas I'll be cooking for the very first time. No idea how it will go - I hope well though! It sounds like your holidays are fantastic.

    Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

  4. For the first time ever, I cooked my Thanksgiving meal by myself. I was so lucky/grateful/happy that it came out perfectly! I think it's something I'm going to start doing from now on. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving :)
    No celebration over here

  6. Hope you had a nice day Aarti, we did. I tend to stick to old recipes, but this year I tried a new rice dish. Funny everyone stuck to the old favorites it seemed.

    thanks for the nice giveaway.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! I honestly don't do any cooking in general. Jason does all the cooking for us, and he loves to play around for Thanksgiving. I prefer the tried-and-true traditional stuff (as well as storebought stuffing, which I prefer to homemade for whatever odd reason), so we generally have a mix of stuff made traditional for me and some crazy stuff that Jason likes to put together. :D

    btw, I have no idea what CSN stores are...

  8. Anonymous11/26/2010

    Happy happy Thanksgiving! I had a lovely one, with a different set of relatives than usual. We had all the classic stuff, and lots of unbelievably delicious sweet potato muffins. I am not a holiday chef at all. My long-term plan for holiday food is that I will find family members to cook for me, and wash dishes each year so they won't get frustrated with me. :p

  9. I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.

  10. Aarti, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your bird and fixings were delicious. This year we went to my father's house and I was responsible for the desserts and starters. Last year I made a really good pumpkin cheesecake, but this year I just did a chocolate cream pie and a pumpkin pie. A friend of mine brined his bird this year, and it was just wonderful! I am thinking of doing Thanksgiving at my house next year and using the brine as well. Also, I hope you got a lot of great Black Friday deals. We were up early and hit the mall as well, and got some really good stuff for the kids!


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