It is that time of the year, y’all! When the holiday music starts playing, people get their “cook on”, and cocktails start flowing with festive flavors. Our Kemo Sabe crew is getting ready to put on their Hats, kick up their boots and get in the kitchen. It’s party time y’all.
In a year that has been filled with obstacles, there have also been many silver linings. We have bobbed and weaved during quarantine while making the best with what we could. So, we are grateful this year for many things; some of which are shared below alongside our favorite go-to recipes. Brussels Sprouts? Check! A strong cocktail? Check, check!
Our resident vintage connoisseur, Arna Einarsdottir, swears by Garlicky Brussels Sprouts With Chorizo. In Arna’s words, “This dish had been my go-to — it’s pretty darn amazing I’ve made it the last two years and it’s so yummy.. I am not a turkey fan but I love the side dish ..”. The yummiest additional side dish, she says? “… jalapeño corn soufflé.. yum..”
Megan Orvis shares Arna’s love of a brussels sprouts dish. Her go-to? Simple roasted sprouts!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- Cut ends off washed Brussels sprouts
- Cut in half
- Put in a bowl and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of EXtra Virgin Olive oil over them. Then sprinkle 2 tablespoons Curry powder over them and 1 teaspoon salt. Use a big spoon to stir the sprouts , making sure they are well coated.
- Spread sprouts in a cookie sheet and place in heated oven for 20-25 minutes
Her tip? “Enjoy!!”
Tautiana Borba shares the ultimate roasted carrot recipe.
ROASTED CARROTS WITH CANDIED PECANS AND GOAT CHEESE
* 2 pounds carrots – peeled
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter- cut into cubes
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 4 ounces goat cheese – crumbled
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves to garnish
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 cup roughly chopped pecan halves
* 1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
* Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar and evenly distribute the cubes of butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
* Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the carrots are just fork tender. During baking, turn the carrots 3 or 4 times.
* While the carrots are roasting, prepare the candied pecans by melting the butter in a small pan on low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans. Stir about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens.
* Remove the candied pecans from the heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Set aside.
* Once the carrots are cooked, put them in a serving dish. Sprinkle them evenly with the candied pecans and goat cheese. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.
Randi Trowbridge is always in charge of the turkey. Her trick is to “cook it upside down, breast side down. All of the juice will flow right to the breast, and it will help keep it tender and not dry out.” She also brines the turkey over night, a brine kit she gets from the local grocery store to make life a little more simple. Great tip! She then stuffs the bird with, “sprigs of herbs, some salted butter and put thin slices of butter under the skin through-out the Turkey. No one is counting calories on Thanksgiving, right? Haha.” Randi said.
Randi’s method in the oven? “I cook it upside down, cover the top in foil. For the last hour, maybe an hour and half, I flip the Turkey over (at least a two man job) and let the breast skin crisp.” But, “warning”, Randi said–“you will dirty the oven mitts.”
Brea Clarkson’s fondest Thanksgiving memories were made at her Grandma’s house in Flint, Michigan. “The best way to describe holidays at my grandmas would be pure chaos, but in the best way! The whole family would pile into the house and prepare food all day!” Brea said. Every area of the house was filled with people I love. My grandma would take out her vintage amber glassware that lived in the hutch for the other 364 days of the year and we would all eagerly wait for our favorite dish to be set out on the table! The dish that I always looked forward to the most was stuffed mushrooms. I can’t say for sure who started this tradition in our family, but there is still never a gathering or event where we’re not making stuffed mushrooms!
- Mushrooms (I prefer smaller mushrooms, like cremini, for easy bite size portions)
- 16 oz. Breakfast sausage
- 8 oz. Cream cheese
Cook breakfast sausage, breaking into small pieces until golden brown. Drain any excess grease and set aside. Wash mushrooms thoroughly and remove the stems from the caps. Set caps aside, and chop stems into small pieces. Mix room temperature cream cheese with sausage and chopped mushrooms stems. Use a spoon to stuff mushrooms caps with mixture. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is slightly browned on the top of each mushroom! Let cool and enjoy🍄
Diana Short loves Thanksgiving and bakes an epic Pecan Pie.
Diana shared what she loves about the holiday. In her own words” Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a holiday where expectations aren’t based around gifts but giving time to one another. It’s about food and drinking and great conversations. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always held at my mom’s house. My aunts, cousins and grandparents would pile in their cars and drive from NYC to Vermont. The whole day I would sit at the door in anticipation of their arrival. This was before cellphones when you wouldn’t get updates on their exact location, just the “we’re leaving now, see you in 6 hours” call as they rushed out the door.
I vividly remember the chaos of their arrival. Hugs and kisses and laughing and crying. The travelers needing space from each other and my grandparents arguing about how my grandpa had found the perfect spot to pack the pie… sideways between the suitcases.
Between playing cards by the fire, the cousins were responsible for helping chop wood, stoke the fire and polish the silver. There would always be some sort of comedy skit performed by the kids while the adults indulged in too much wine.
I am an adult now married with 2 young boys and in the process of creating our own traditions. While this year will be much different than past years, I am so incredibly grateful for my family. Watching the excitement for the upcoming holidays in my 3 and 5 year old brings back so many wonderful memories of togetherness.
My favorite Thanksgiving item is pecan pie. Here is the recipe I’ve used every Thanksgiving since I was about 7 years old:”
From the Silver Palate
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. dark brown sugar
- ¾ c. light corn syrup
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ c. melted sweet butter 1 t. vanilla extract
- 2 c. shelled pecans, chopped
- 9 “ unbaked pie crust
- ¼ c. shelled pecan halves
Pre-heat oven to 400o
- Line pie pan with pastry
- Beat eggs well in large bowl. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, melted butter and vanilla to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans in pastry-lined pan. Pour egg mixture over pecans. Arrange pecan halves around edge of filling next to crust for decoration.
- Set in middle rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for 25-30 minutes longer or until set.
Other than turkey, mashers, canned cranberry sauce, these are my must haves at the thanksgiving table:
Cream Cucumber Salad:
2-3 Thinly sliced cucumbers
½ (or more if you wish) Thinly sliced red onion
1 cup miracle whip
2-4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
*put onions and cucumber in a salt bath for 10-15 mins
*combine miracle whip, apple cider vinegar, and white sugar in a bowl, mix
*drain onions and cucumber
*mix onions, cucumber and wet ingredients in a medium bowl
*salt and pepper to taste
*refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving
Lindsey Benninger spends her Thanksgivings surrounded by great family friends as well as her husband and kids. the holiday is chock full of traditions. “We would start the morning off at our friend Bobby and Nikki’s house. We would have a buffet of breakfast items (of course Nikki would prepare). After food and drinks (of course morning mimosas for me) we would venture out to help them find the perfect Christmas tree. We would search around, sometimes on our snowmobiles or just in our trucks. There would be some lunch items and we would always find the perfect sled riding hill to relax for a bit. This was for the kiddos to sled ride, but it is extremely funny seeing an adult on a tiny sled going super-fast down the hill!!! Sometimes we would walk around in snow up to our knees to find the best tree. Finally, when the tree is chopped down we head home to finish cooking for dinner. At night, Thanksgiving dinner would be at whoever’s house was the host for that year. We all would bring a favorite dish and of course drinks. Then eat until we were all tired. Sometimes it even included a spontaneous food fight, well, just because. It would always end in laughter, wonderful stories of all the great memories of the year or previous years, and of course VERY full belly’s,” Lindsey said.
Sweet Canned Yam Casserole:
- 1 -2 large can of yams
- 1 ½ stick of butter < melted
- ½ cup of milk or cream
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 2 cups of mini marshmallows
preheat oven to 400 degrees
mash the can of yams
add melted butter, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon and ¼ cup of mini marshmallow to mashed yams mix in casserole dish
sprinkle rest of marshmallows on top
bake for 25 mins until marshmallows are golden
Grammy’s Famous Cheese Ball
Kelcey Proctor has learned a lot from her Grammy. “My Grammy taught me how to make her favorite cheese ball when I was very young and I would help her make it every year. Since she passed a few years back I make it for all of our Proctor family functions. We are pretty traditional with our Thanksgiving dinner. Our newest tradition over the last 5 years with my husband has been a fried Turkey!”
- 4, 4oz packs of cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
- Decent amount of chopped chives
- 1 can of chopped black olives
- 1 good sized bag of sliced almonds
Mix all ingredients by hand excluding the almonds. Roll in to a ball or shape of your
Kate Valdmanis knows a thing or two about relaxing…with a cocktail that is. Her go-to Thanksgiving cider is a must-have.
In her own words: : “Take a glass- rim it with cinnamon and sugar- add ice- add a shit ton of rum or whiskey- top with apple cider- repeat”
We will be repeating alright!
Courtney’s Roast Chicken
“This is my Roast Chicken recipe! It’s the perfect winter dinner for 2 people. This holiday season, I am thankful for my family and friends and working with amazing group of people.”
- One roast chicken about 5 lbs.
- 2 lemons
- Diced carrots
- Wash chicken and remove the neck inside
- Tie the legs together with twine
- Inside the chicken insert 1 lemon cut in quarters and thyme
- Coat chicken with one stick of butter and a lot of salt
- Put thyme leaves underneath the skin and also drizzle some butter under the skin for crispy skin
- Cook uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees (425 degrees in the mountains)
- Surround chicken with carrots and lemon quarters in the pan when cooking and it will mix with the chicken juice
- Cover with aluminum foil for 1/2 hour before cutting
- The breasts and legs will easily pull apart to serve
Amber Roper’s go-to? Having her husband cook, y’all! Our kinda gal…
“We love food at our house. My husband Bill, does majority of the cooking. Every group gathering always entails a cheese board and wine. One year when Bill and I had just gotten our entry level Somm certifications, (Bill now has his level 2) we brought an entire case of wine from different regions. Along our strewn together hap hazard folding tables, with various sheets and tablecloths, topped with flowers and candles and surrounded by two whole extended families, we did an informal informative wine tasting with everyone until we were all in a hazy tryptophan/wine stupor. It was lovely. One of our favorite recipes, that is fast becoming a holiday tradition, is Boursin scalloped potatoes. Not light! But delicious. Every year I am grateful for the friendship and love that I have with so many friends and family. That feeling of being connected and intertwining in each other’s lives is priceless. It will be difficult to not share those laughs and hugs this year, but knowing that no matter what, we love and support one another. Even at a distance or through a screen.”
“Here goes: The first time I made this dish, I used a more rigid recipe. Now that I’ve made it a couple times, I feel more comfortable eye balling ingredients and going with what feels right. This, of course, means that there is more cheese in the dish now. Here’s a breakdown of ingredients and quantities for a standard 9 X 13 casserole dish. I like to use a high sided one, like a lasagna dish, because this is so delicious I want to ensure there will be leftovers.”
- 4-7 Russet potatoes depending on size (peeled or unpeeled, dealers choice)
- 1 yellow onion
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 4 pkgs bourisin cheese
- 6-8 oz of gruyere cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- A mandolin will be very helpful for slicing your potatoes. It can be done by hand, but will be more uniform done on a mandolin. Slice all potatoes to 1/8 inch thickness. This is the second smallest size on my mandolin.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat with a table spoon of olive oil. Dice your onion and garlic. Sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. While onion is cooking, begin to arrange your potato slices in your casserole dish in over lapping layers. Be sure to get potatoes into all corners of the dish. Spread a bit of shredded gruyere cheese about every other layer as you arrange your potatoes. Be sure to leave at least a half inch of space between the top layer of potatoes and the top of your dish as it will rise a bit in the pan as it cooks.
- When garlic is cooked, add the bourisin cheese packages, all 4, and your heavy cream to the sauté pan and stir. The heat can be turned down to low at this point. You only want to heat enough to combine the cheese, heavy cream, onion, and garlic. Do not let the mixture boil. Once combined, taste and add salt or pepper to your preference. Stir once more to combine all ingredients. Next, pour entire mixture over your potatoes and allow to settle into pan. You made to do some shifting and jiggling to help the cheese sauce settle into potatoes. Spread remaining gruyere cheese over the top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven @ 350. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Check your potatoes for doneness, a fork should enter easily. Cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered to crisp up the top. (This can also be done in a broiler for a shorter amount of time)
“I love making Buckeyes every year. They’ve been a tradition since I was very little. Nothing healthy about this recipe!!!” -Jen
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Step 1 In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
Step 2 Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Step 3 Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
Step 4 Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.