thanksgiving 2014

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, friends!

Since my kid (and husband) are Americans, we’ve decided to celebrate this holiday preparing a traditional American meal. Then on Christmas, we can cook some delicious and traditional Venezuelan recipes and on New Year’s eve we can prepare some traditional Argentinian dishes. In that way, the culinary cultural heritage of each member of this family can be present on a special holiday.

It was fun to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and one of our dear friends, Lorena. She also happens to be a great Bay Area photographer, you can see more of her work at ByLorena Photography. In fact, all the pictures featured on this post were taken by Lorena so I also want to say a big thank you to my friend who kindly shared with us these beautiful pics!

Now, let’s talk about recipes.

Deviled Eggs. For this appetizer I used one recipe that I’ve found at HelloTruelove, Katie’s cute, lovely and inspiring blog about city life, travel and cooking.  The recipe is delicious as it but I added a little bit of Valentina sauce, just to make it spicy and hot, so this is optional 😉

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I used this recipe for the sweet dinner rolls but since I don’t have a bread machine I just kneaded all the ingredients together using my Kitchen Aid. Once the dough doubled in size, I shaped them as buns and left them cover on a non-stick cookie pan for another 30 minutes. Then, I baked the buns for 30′ at 350F.

In fact, they were so good that I used the leftovers buns the day after for some Benedict Eggs that I made for breakfast (I threw them in the toaster for a few seconds just before serving).

20141128_Thanksgiving_byLorena_13 Specially delicious if you serve them warm.

Being honest, I didn’t want to risk too much with the main dish so I bought an already Stuffed Turkey Breast from Trader Joe’s. I just baked it and it turn out fine. I added a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of maple syrup on the last 5 minutes of oven to get a nice golden color and taste.

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Israeli Couscous. Ok, this side dish has nothing of traditional on this day but it still was a great one. I cooked the couscous as directed on the package (I got it at TJs) then, I mixed it with roasted brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, braised fennel and onions. I made a vinaigrette using apple vinegar, olive oil, salt pepper and a little bit of honey… It was delicious!

20141128_Thanksgiving_byLorena_6Hey you! On the right bottom corner… You’re not traditional! What are you doing here, Israeli Couscous? 😛

Now, I have to tell you something about the Pumpkin Pie. I’ve never ever tasted a Pumpkin Pie before in my life but anyway I tried to make one.

I headed to AllRecipes and looked for the recipe with most reviews… and I made a few changes. I used organic sweet condensed milk (available at Trader Joe’s) and a frozen crust that I got at the same grocery store and that I baked for 8 minutes before filling it.

I didn’t use cream to garnish it because, as you now may already know, I am not a fan of heavy cream but anyway, the pie turned out quite good.

Do you remember the jars that I used on Halloween on my coffee table? Well, they found a new role on my dining table. This time, I used some (popcorn) corn that I had, a candle and a new message on the chalkboard tags: “Give Thanks” and “With a Grateful Heart“.

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We haven’t bought new glass cups after moving from Brooklyn, so we used plastic ones. Marco enjoyed so much using the same cup that we did that I think this issue turned out great! (Of course, as the neurotic mom I am, I still kept the sippy cup on the table “just in case” he made a mess!)

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I’m so grateful for my family, I’m the happiest person I’ve ever been. I love Victor with all my heart. I love being a mom and I love my son so much that words are not enough!

I’m grateful for my friends. Moving to the other side of the country and already have some friends there, makes the new life much easier and comforting.

Even-though this is a non-religious holiday, as a person of faith, I cannot pass it without feeling and saying thanks to God for everything in my life.

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Our plates and hearts full. Give Thanks… With a Grateful Heart.

PS: You can also follow Lorena on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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