You may have heard that Kerstin and I split up cooking-duty for the big meal. It worked out so well, I felt like I didn't have enough to do (aka was relaxed the whole day)! My cranberry sauce and apple pear crisp was cooked ahead of time. I cubed the butternut squash the night before, and did the rest leisurely the day of! I've had a couple of l-o-n-g days in lab and am way overtired, so I'll leave you to the pictures and recipes!
Maple Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce
adapted from Baking Bites
I loved the way the dried cherries plumped up in this. I made a double batch for Thanksgiving, and have even made it one more time as I wanted more :)
12oz fresh cranberries
1/2c maple syrup (I'd recommend Grade B)
3/4c brown sugar (mine was unpacked, but pack it if you'd like it a little sweeter)
1/2c dried tart cherries
zest of 1 orange
1/2t vanilla extract (I didn't measure and was a bit heavy-handed with this... again, adjust to your tastes!)
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until cranberries begin to pop, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cranberries have broken down (feel free to use a shorter amount of time if you'd prefer more whole berries).
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
recipe by Shannon
Some people prefer smooth, whipped potatoes, while others like it chunky, adjust the preparation as you see fit!
2 heads of garlic
3lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled if desired (I peeled about half)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-2T fresh chopped rosemary
Preheat oven to 350deg. Cut the top ends of the garlic off, so you're left with the tops of the garlic cloves exposed, but the head still intact. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and bake for ~1hr, until the garlic is browned and soft. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves (removing any tough parts of the outer skin). Set aside. Can be done ahead, and refrigerated until use.
Cut potatoes into equal sized pieces (mine were ~3/4"). Place into a large pot and cover with cold water. Place potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain, then return potatoes to the pot and back on the burner (which is now turned off!). Add roasted garlic and mascarpone and mash. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in some liquid to get the texture you desire and then stir in chopped rosemary and serve!
Maple-Braised Butternut Squash w/Thyme
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit
I slightly adjusted the amounts so I'll list those here, and send you to Bon Appetit for the instructions as I followed them exactly!
4T butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 4lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into ~3/4" cubes
1 1/4c broth (veggie or chicken)
1/3c pure maple syrup (Grade B)
1T fresh thyme, minced
1t coarse kosher salt
1/4t freshly ground black pepper
|There really was fruit under there :)|
Apple Pear Crisp
Recipe by Shannon
1/3c ground ginger snaps (I used ginger cats)
1c rolled oats
1/2c flour (AP or white whole wheat)
2/3c sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/3c chopped pecans
6-8T butter, softened (I used 6T Earth Balance)
1lb bosc pears, cored and sliced (~1/2" thick)
2 lb apples, cored and sliced (~1/2" thick), I used a mix of Honeycrisp and Macouns
1/2c evaporated cane juice
vanilla (I used vanilla sugar, but you could use a little extract or some seeds from a vanilla bean)
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/2c dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350deg.
Add the ingredients (except butter) for the crumb topping in a small bowl and mix well. Cut butter into small cubes, and then add to bowl. Mix together with a fork until it achieves a crumble-y consistency.
In a large bowl, toss together filling ingredients and pour into a 9x13 pan. Cover with topping and bake for ~30min, until apples are fork tender and the juices are bubbling. Let cool for at least 10-15min before serving. Can be done ahead of time and warmed up in the oven before serving. We had ours with pumpkin pie (hehe), but feel free to serve it with a scoop of butternut ice cream!
If you celebrated Thanksgiving, what was your favorite part of the meal this year??