Most people are spending Thanksgiving with their families, so I wanted to have a mini-Thanksgiving early for my friends. Thanksgiving food is my absolute favorite, so two Thanksgiving dinners gives me the chance to try out double the recipes! I wanted to make things that weren't standards so people wouldn't be eating the same exact thing a week from now. As always, I turned to the Barefoot Contessa.
Turkey Roulade with Gravy
This was great! The stuffing was delicious - I would make that again even if I wasn't making roulade. I omitted the pine nuts and they weren't missed. Rolling and tying the turkey wasn't too difficult and the end result was beautiful. Hilarious fact: Food Network has a video segment from the show for making the roulade -- but they heavily edited the part where Ina is trussing the roulade!! That is easily the most complicated and visual part of the recipe - why omit it, Food Network? I did have some trouble slicing the roulade -- need a sharper knife or more arm strength or something. I loved the flavor of the gravy and didn't mind the lumpiness caused by the onion bits, although you could use an immersion blender to get it more smooth.
It has the disadvantage of not being shaped like a can, but is still delicious :) It was *very* citrus-y from the orange and lemon juice and zest and not too sweet.
Chard Salad with a balsamic dressing
Since we were having stuffing, I wanted to pick a vegetable that wasn't too starchy. I also wanted something that didn't require the oven or stove top, so salad fit the bill. I substituted the dressing mentioned in the chard salad recipe for the balsamic dressing because I thought the flavors of that one sounded more interesting. I always love raisins and walnuts in a salad.
Pumpkin Pie Pudding with Pumpkin Fudge Cookies
I have never liked pumpkin pie, but I have slowly been growing to like pumpkin-flavored things. This pudding was enjoyed by other pumpkin pie haters, while the pumpkin pie lovers tolerated it (but wished they were having pie) :) I was lazy, so I left off the sugared walnuts mentioned in the recipe -- next time I'd like to make it with sugared pepitas. The pumpkin fudge cookies are a variation on one of my all-time favorite cookies -- I like the originals better, but this did taste very seasonal. It was a really good combination with the pumpkin pudding.