Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Cooking and Recent Outfits

During the week preceding Thanksgiving, everyone had turkey on their brain.  All around the hospital people shared their plans of cooking, travelling, and taking time off.  As her roommate approvingly listened in, one of my patients told me her recipe for stuffing.  She said that even her daughter's boyfriend, a chef for a prominent restaurant, praised it.  I asked if she would write it down for me. No need, she said, it's super simple.  She listed the ingredients, no measuring cups, just instinct.  Never the same each time but always a Thanksgiving highlight for her family.  Luckily, I discharged her from the hospital in time to work her kitchen magic.

Vegetables dusted with spices.

My patient's stuffing recipe developed into my first Thanksgiving dinner, cooked by me! Hosted by me! I had to emphasize the fact that I cooked since it rarely happens except for on this blog, where it seems frequent due to publishing bias.  But note that I haven't posted for a month and during that time I definitely was NOT cooking.

Hey look, what's that?! You guessed it---MATZO BALL SOUP.  Yummie.
 Please refer to this post for the recipe and similar pictures (minus the Cutco knife and new polypropylene cutting board).
On this particular early Thanksgiving morning, I used chicken wings and drumsticks, you can see them peeking out
from underneath the lovely veggies.

Believe it if you will, I woke up at 6:30 AM as if it was any other work day and set out to chop celery, carrots and onions with my new Cutco Chef Knife.

Ok, then I baked an unplanned cake.  But you know, I had to bake something since I am the proud new owner of a Kitchenaid Mixer.  I had to bake something impressive.  No credits to me please; that Mixer is the Boss.

Extra points if you spot the cookies.
They are special Arrested Development cookies.
I had made the batter for them in a massive quantity earlier that week

I only own 1 cake pan so I had to wait before baking the 2nd cake.  But this provided time for the cakes to cool and prepare themselves for

nb: cake made with shortening, icing used margarine in lieu of butter

One day, I'm going to tell the gory tale of my buttercream icing failures.  In my misadventures, I learned about emulsifying oil-based and water-based products.  I learned of the importance of using metal/glass bowls over plastic bowls.  I learned about the bain-marie.  I learned about the sugar ball in water test.  I learned that there were Italian, French, and American schools of buttercream frosting.  In spite of all this knowledge, my buttercreams had a paltry success rate....that is until the Kitchenaid Mixer intervened.  That and I patiently let the stiffened egg whites sit in the fridge for a good 1 hour until their temperature equilibrated with the butter.  Let's just say that there were now 10 egg yolks leftover between the cake and the delicious perfectly-executed decadent phenomenal exquisite buttercream icing. 

And then it was time for the Famous Stuffing:

Is it weird that writing about the stuffing caused me to go prepare myself some leftover stuffing?

And onto the dinner party.....!

Mike made the matzo balls! They are buoyant and delicious.  The soup was light and flavorful with lots of veggies.

My friends endured my cooking and agreed to spend Thanksgiving evening at our humble little home, complete with 2 card tables pushed together to become a dining room table + a sheet masquerading as tablecloth.  Alas why am I so honest?

Clockwise on my plate: turkey breast, cranberry sauce then mashed potatoes made by Shana, mashed yams by Mike, stuffing.
I am thankful! And full!

Not too full for a little cake.
See the baked pears? Mike made them!

And as promised, a smattering of recent outfits! **Thanksgiving hostess outfit

1. Top: JCrew, JCrew pixie pants, Bandolino shoes
2. Sweatshirt: JCrew, Tshirt: from Gabe's, JCrew pixie pants, shoes: from Vietnam
3. Top: unknown gifted, Skirt: Anthropologie, Necklace: gift, Devil Horns for Halloween
4. Top: Free People, pants: from Vietnam, shoes: Banana Republic
**5. Tank top: F21, Sweater: KensieGirl, Skirt: from Vietnam.  

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