November 23, 2011

Simple, Classic Thanksgiving Recipes

All this brownness makes for a delicious dinner but a dreadful photo!
Every year Thanksgiving gets more and more complicated in my family. While the interest in all things culinary grows for me, my mom and my son, my father and brother are slowly de-evolving into cavemen. Cavemen that would take meat and potatoes cooked the exact same way their poor cavewomen would cook for them every day – over fire and with little to no added flavors. Consequently whenever I visit and sign up (or am drafted by my mother) to cook dinner, my dad likes to ask “Are you doing to do anything weird to it?” By weird, he means anything other than salt & pepper. Anything.

So, you can imagine how the conversation goes the day before Thanksgiving. There are lots of questions about what we’re having and how it’s going to be prepared and none of the answers please the Cavemen. They whimper and mope. Fortunately for me, the first Thanksgiving included wine and that’s one tradition I don’t mess with. Unfortunately for my mom, she doesn’t drink. Not surprisingly, every Thanksgiving, she thinks about starting.

This year I smartened up. When my dad asked if we were having green bean casserole all I said was yes. I didn’t mention that it would be made with artichoke hearts, Cremini mushrooms and a homemade cream sauce. Imagine my delight when he ate it all. Every. Single. Bite. And he then he had some leftovers.

Turns out, victory tastes like homemade green bean casserole. And it’s freaking delicious.

Here’s what made everyone happy this Thanksgiving:

Simple Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy
Green Bean and Artichoke Casserole (I caved (cavemaned?) here and used canned green beans as my dad will NOT eat fresh ones.)
Southern Cornbread Dressing
French Apple Tart (A great alternative to full-blown apple pie. Tastes the same and soooo much easier!)

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