Thursday, November 04, 2010

"Dire" News & Free Advance Copy!

Okay, first to the "dire." I have early-a.m. walking buddies. Yesterday morning, after a brief recap of election news, Lisa said, "You know what this means, right? We're onto Thanksgiving."


I mean, I don't know that I'm ready. I just threw a Halloween bash on Saturday night. And I'm the Thanksgiving hostess for my family. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I'm just not ready! (FYI, it was 90 degrees yesterday in SoCal.) But I can't deny that I had to flip the calendar to the month following October. I'm looking at the big Turkey Day three weeks from today.

Maybe I need a new menu item to put me into the holiday mood. I admit, I make the same items every year: turkey, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes (make it early, my walking friend Lisa's recipe with cream cheese), green bean almondine, cranberry sauce, fresh sliced pineapple, and a platter of carrots, celery, and olives. We finish with my grandmother's chiffon pumpkin pie. I always have dozens of snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies on hand because my brother, nephew, and sons count on me providing them too.

So...does anyone have a favorite selection I should add to my table? A lucky commenter will win an advance copy of the second in my Three Kisses trilogy. Then He Kissed Me stars middle sister Stevie...and the man she meets on New Year's Eve. (And is that an appealing cover or what?)


Jane said...

I like your menu for Thanksgiving. My cousin likes to make a non-traditional dessert in addition to the traditional one(apple, sweet potato or pumpkin pie.) One year we had cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust and another year we had key lime pie.

chelleyreads said...

umm... i know it's not very thanksgiving-y but how about sweet potato fries (my fave snack of the moment) to munch on during after (or before) dinner conversation? after everyone's had time to digest and are ready for more food.

Beth T. said...

Your dinner sounds very similar to ours-when I cook. In the years past, I have worked on Thanksgiving, so I'm happily at the mercy of others. I think one of the most favorite things we've had at our Thanksgiving table was an added guest, (not that they were edible)... but it always seems to spice things up a bit! Last year we went to a buffet, and asked a friend of ours along. He was a physician who was on call. The men sat at one table, the women sat at another- and it was one of my favorite Thanksgivings. The food was delicious too-and there were no dishes. Add something unexpected, and it will be fun to see if your group is thankful for it!

Laurie said...

We change up the vegetable either a combination of fresh steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots arranged with the whole head of cauliflower in the middle and surrounded by broccoli and carrots, all topped with bread crumbs lightly melted in 2 tbsp of butter or margarine.
cheesy broccoli or cheesy zuchinni cassserole. take fresh zuchinni and cut up in round slices place in large pyrex casserole dish ,cover with 1 can of cheesy broccoli soup, crumble Ritz or Club crackers on top, bake 1 hour at 300* EASY!! may substitute 2-3 bags of frozen broccoli around 36 ounces.

We also make stuffed chickens as turkey can be dry. Chickens are smaller and take less time to bake. We make 3 7 lb roasters (Perdue).

Dessert we have pumpkin, apple and pecan pies along with chocolate chip cookies.

We make the Knorr* spinach dip for an appetizer. DELISH!

Cat Schield said...

I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year. I'm approaching it with mixed emotions. On one hand, it will be fun to host, on the other, everyone is expecting my mother's recipes and I'll have to figure out a way not screw them up. Challenging.

Your menu sounds wonderful. Maybe I need to hit for some inspiration.

KylieBrant said...

I have a similar meal although I added a cornbread and corn recipe a few years back. I'm the Thanksgiving maven too and I'm trying to get more people to come this's boring to cook for under thirty, LOL!

Meljprincess said...

Since this is American Indian Heritage Month I think you ahould fix an authentic NA after dinner drink. Forget coffee. Try:

Pinole (Hot Corn Drink)

2 c blue or white cornmeal
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Brown the cornmeal in a hot 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes by spreading
in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, stirring several times to prevent scorching. Add
sugar and cinnamon and use like cocoa in about the same proportions, stirred into
hot milk and simmered for 15 minutes.

Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

Christie Ridgway said...

Great ideas, everyone! I'm hungry and I haven't had my early a.m. walk yet. (Sweet potato fries for breakfast?)

And pie...I could go for some pie right about now.

krisgils33 said...

love the cover, can't wait for the book!

for every holiday that I am the hostess, I make the same thing:
antipasto (real stuff, not just lettuce), a homemade chicken w/ capiletti pasta soup, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce (my husband does this and it's world famous!), apple pie, pumpkin pie (which can be store bought because I don't eat it, so I don't care!). I'm on vacation as of Sat, which leaves a scant 2 weeks to prepare. I'll never make it!!!

april said...

I love Thanksgiving food (mostly because I rarely have any of it any other time of year).

I would go spiced mulled apple cider - spiked or not. It makes the whole house smell delicious. I made some last year in the crock pot.

I love the covers of this series. That's what drew me to the first book. Can't wait for this one.

ArkansasCyndi said...

I love Thanksgiving. Without a doubt, my favorite meal of the year.

I'd love the ARC. I'll even review it (plug it!) on my group blog!

Helen Brenna said...

Love the cover, Christie!

And your Thanksgiving menu sounds like mine, except we always have sweet potatoes or squash, too. We had an extra large group one year and we ended up having two turkeys, one traditional and one deep-fried. Man, that deep-fried one was amazing! See if you can get surfer dude on that board! lol

Amy Kristine* said...

Sounds yummy! I'm totally ready for Thanksgiving!! My current fave recipe is Pepper Jack Sweet Potatoes Gratin - layers of gooey pepper jack cheese with a bit of cream and thinly sliced sweet potatoes. Topped with walnuts. Amazing textures and flavors!

Christie Ridgway said...

Love the food ideas. That NA drink sounds amazing. & sweet potatoes keep coming up so I think I'll have to do a dish with them...that one with pepper jack cheese and walnuts looks great.

Stacy S said...

We usually have the same stuff. My mil always makes a cherry cheesecake. I think we will have a broccoli cheese casserole this year.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Love the cover, Christie! When can we start looking for THEN HE KISSED ME?

Meljprincess, absolutely on the American Indian contributions to the TG. Corn and potatoes are essential. My family loves my scalloped corn, which is a Southern recipe from the cookbook Mama got when she got married, gave me a copy when I got married--"Recipes From Old Virginia." And, of course, a sweet potato dish is a must.

I saw a fascinating documentary on the potato recently--either History Channel or Discovery. That's right, a FASCINATING documentary about the lowly potato. We all know that it originated int he Western hemisphere, but the part about Inca farming and the varieties they developed and how the Europeans didn't get it, so the Irish only grew one variety and we know what that brought about...fascinating!

Wait. What was the topic again? Oh, yeah, cooking for Thanksgiving. I get scolded by the fam if I don't give them what they grew up with. When everything else is so uncertain--and when is the world anything but?--we take comfort in our traditions.

Anonymous said...

I have a great recipe for Cranberry Mousse. It's a great way to squeeze a cranberry dish into the mix with a bit of an unexpected twist--kind-of dessertesque!

Jill said...

We usually have a family potluck, so I don't have to make too much. I love to make stuffing, and my rule is to never put egg in it because it gets gummy. Butter and chicken/turkey stock hold it together--I also put butter on top before I bake it :).

CrystalGB said...

Your menu sounds good. We usually have sweet potatoes in some form on Thanksgiving.

Leanne said...

Great cover, great menu, great book I'm sure!:) We overdo it every year. Everything you said PLUS squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top and two jello salads,oh and always a chocolate dessert option. We are CRAZY.

Sally said...

I really love the squash casserole they make at Boston Market - you can google the recipe. It has green and yellow zucchini, onions and Jiffy corn muffin mix (along with a variety of other ingredients). My kids just snarf it up.

runner10 said...

Love the cover!!
I'm not ready for Thanksgiving either. Cranberry salad is always good. Brocolli salad or some other refrigerated salad since it is warmer there.

lois greiman said...

Congrats, Christie, and way to go on your RT nod!

I've heard of people who have theme holiday meals...Hawaiian, Asian, Mexican etc. It wouldn't quite seem like Thanksgiving to me but it might be fun.

Angi Morgan said...

We'll be eating actual Thanksgiving at a restuarant in Chicago this year. First time ever.

But I'm hosting family Thanksgiving here the Saturday before. Normal fare...we do a sweet potatoe (pecan encrusted) caserol and my grandmothers six cheese Mac & Cheese. That particular recipe is one that my girls learned early so they could BRING it. LOL

Hill Country Holdup, on sale now

georganna said...

Since we always have an abundance of apples in the fall, my kids expect me to make homemade applesauce. I make it chunky and cinnamony - just the way they like it. But my other dishes are pretty much what you are making too.
Yes, that is a fabulous cover!

caliblonde637 said...

It doesn't feel like the
Holidays, it was 7osomething when I wan in San Francisco for the Giant's Parade yesterday, it isn't this hot here over the summer...

I'm the baker in my family and we usually have pumpkin, pumpkin chiffon and chocolate chip pecan pies for Thanksgiving!!!

Can't wait for the next book, loved the first in the trilogy!

Christie Ridgway said...

OMG, the food descrips here are making me drool. Love it. My m-i-l makes a cranberry mousse thing...frozen, like sherbet.

Kathleen: The book is out in January and now I so want to make scalloped corn.

My family will be amazed at all the new dishes I'm going to be presenting on Thanksgiving.

Michele Hauf said...

I don't know about a recipe, but after reading all the comments, I'm hungry! Will have to attempt a sugar-free stuffing recipe this year, which shouldn't be too hard. It's the cranberries I'll miss!

DWO said...

This the recipe my family demands for Thanksgiving: Corn Souffle
2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn
2 (14.75 ounce) cans cream-style corn
4 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons milk
4 eggs
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Combine the corn, creamed corn, sugar, flour, milk and egg yolks. Mix well. Beat the egg whites until fluffy then fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish.
3.Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Makes 8 servings

It is my number one request when I go to a potluck dinner also. You don't have to sepparate the eggs, but it makes it fluffier. You can add cheddar jack cheese too. Enjoy!

Playground Monitor said...

I think I might be having a turkey TV dinner by myself this year. :-( Doesn't look like my kids can get home. But I love cranberry-orange relish. Chop a bag of cranberries and one navel orange (peel and all) in a food processor. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and mix well. Voila! Simple and yummy.

I LOVED Crush on You and am keeping my fingers crossed I win the ARC for the next book.


Michele Benard said...

I bought my Turkey yesterday got a good deal on it. Can't wait for the new book. Ok here it goes two dishes that I make one I added last year It waas good and diffrent and the second is a recipe that I make and everytime I do it is aa huge hit it is more of a desert but yummy.

Sweet Potatoes with Apples & Cranberries

2 medium to large sweet potatoes (about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs total), peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced into small (3/4 to 1 inch) pieces
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
11/2 tablespoons butter
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teas1.
Combine all ingredients in a Medium Ziploc® Zip'n Steam® Bag.
Seal bag and shake gently to combine ingredients. Pat ingredients into single layer. Place bag in microwave.
Cook on full power for 9 minutes (Medium bag) or 8 minutes (Large bag), or until sweet potatoes are tender. If needed, continue microwaving at 30-second intervals until sweet potatoes are tender.
Allow bag to stand for 1 minute before handling. Shake gently to distribute ingredients. Carefully open bag and serve.
poon cinnamon

Caramel Apple Salad

5 medium apples (prefer Mac. or Jon)
6 full size snickers (or 24 fun size)
8 oz whipped topping
1 pkg vanilla pudding

Chop the apples and snickers into bit size pieces. The snickers will be less likely to stick together if they are cold.
Mix the DRY vanilla pudding powder into the cool whip. Add apples and snickers... you're done.

OPTIONAL: add extra peanuts or drizzle caramel on the top.

This recipe makes enough for a small party. ( I usually make a double batch.)
This dish is best made the day of - after a day or two the apples get softer and the moisture pools in the bottom of the dish - not as appealing (but still tasty!)


Kathleen O said...

We (being Canadian) have already had Thanksgiving... But now we are gearing up for Christmas... so anything goes.. But we are not big on cassarole type foods in our house. It's the turkey, lots and lots of mashed potatoes, and all kinds of vegtable. A must in our house is Turnips, must be lot of mashed turnips..
Can't wait to read get this next book and I love the title.

Brianne Pendley said...

I can hardly wait for this book to come out. Love your books Christie!

Brianne P.

Brianne said...

At Thanksgiving my Aunt and Uncle bring some red jello with pretzels in it dish. I'm pretty sure no one eats it but them. :) We also make Grasshopper pie for dessert, mmmmm yummy.

P.S. The cover is super cute.

Jenn said...

I usually insist on homemade mac & cheese for Thanksgiving. And every other meal I can possibly squeeze it in lol.

MsHellion said...

I'm all about the homemade dinner rolls and pecan pie. Otherwise, I think your dinner sounds a lot like ours. :)

Johanna R Jochum said...

your menu sounds just fine! Very delish! I always serve two types of potatoes sweet potatoes and reg. russets mashed but I add sourcream and cream cheese and smother it with cheddar and green onions! I like to have several vegies too, a brocolli cassorole, green beans, carrots in a a mustard and brown sugar sause. and steamed asparagus sometimes. It's funny I'm not really a turkey fan so I concentrate on the sides!

catslady said...

Our family got too big for us all to get together so now I cook for just 6 but I realized last year that since I make the same foods it's just as time consuming for 6 as 20 - really lol. Of course there are more leftovers lol. I'm close to your dinner, stuffed turkey and stuffing on the side, steamed green beans with dried cranberries and some olive oil (very simple but everyone seems to like it), mashed potatoes and gravy, baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, rolls and pumpkin pie. I feel like I'm missing something lol. We use to always have ravioli or stuffed shells but with 6 I don't bother now.

Linda Henderson said...

My sister makes a delicious broccoli casserole that everybody loves. It's always requested for our family dinners.

Christie Ridgway said...

Caramel Apple Salad? Wow. That's a must try.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention I do gravy (tho my s-i-l actually makes it at the last minute) and often homemade rolls. But I do that jellied cranberry sauce out of a can. I know, I know, but it's what my mom, aunt, and grandma always served.

Val said...

I love my late Gram's stuffing but how about yams with the marshmellow topping. It is one of our must haves for T-day.

Michele Benard said...

Christie, the carmel apple salad won't let you down I bring to all gatherings I need to bring a adish and at first people think it is potatoe salad then they eat it and everyone is talking about it. and it is so easy

Anonymous said...

Hi Christie, Being a vegetarian and a carbo-holic I LOVE sweet potatoe pie, home made corn bread or rolls and stuffed artichokes. I hope you enjoy your dinner and I can't wait for the new book! Happy Holidays~ Michele

shelly said...

i make a blueberry cream pineapple pie that is sooo freakin yummy and its pretty easy

Kiersten said...

Give me some of those mashed potatoes and I am a happy woman. Yum! Though I'm thinking I'll have to check out that corn souffle recipe.

I go to my boss' house for Thanksgiving every year for the last six. She cooks up a storm and has gobs of people over so we eat, drink, laugh a whole lot, and then I kick the teenagers' butts in Rock Band. Sometimes it all even happens at the same time! Always a great time.

Good luck with the prep. You've certainly got a lot of options here!

Barbara E. said...

Your Thanksgiving meal sounds yummy, but no Thanksgiving is complete for me without sweet potatoes - whether mashed, in a casserole, baked, or some other recipe, I need to have my sweet potatoes. My family always had olives and sweet pickles as well, I even have the special dishes my mom always placed them in.

Christie Ridgway said...

It's you guys who made me raid the leftover Halloween candy this afternoon. And I'm writing a it gets part of the blame.

Maureen said...

We always stick to the basics and that's fine with me because we can have different things all the other days of the year. That is a great cover!

JOYE said...

I think a jello salad would be nice. It compliments the turkey with just the right amount of sweetness. I like to use red jello with banana slices in it.

JackieW said...

I like to have a Waldorf Salad to eat with my turkey and dressing. It is colorful, tastes good and is refreshing.

Christie Ridgway said...

Still loving the tips. And they've also inspired me to go get on my recumbent bike in anticipation of all the extra calories I'll be eating soon!

Kate said...

I'm a big fan of having pecan pie at Thanksgiving. I think most of the recipes you find online or in books are similar; what's important is to not overcook it! Burnt pecan pie can be truly inedible, but if you get it just right it is heaven. Last fall I tried a recipe that included chocolate chips, and that was fantastic (although a bit much for my dad). ^_^

I am very excited about your upcoming book!

Keri Ford said...

THANKSGIVING!!!!! I love this holiday!

We all pack in at my grandma's house and eat a full out meal of turkey, dressing and all the trimmings with ham and ect. I was just trying to explain this to son...but he just wasn't grasping how this was different than other times we eat at granny's and pawpaw's.

I'm bringing cake again this year, but not sure what of.

Beth said...

One year I made a trifle that went over really well. I used a huge vase ( I'm not sure it was a trifle bowl, it could have held a turkey). I layered angle food cake cubes, strawberries, cool whip, chocolate, banana, chocolate syrup and Heath toffee bits. It was pretty to look at, and easy peasy to make.

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, wow. That trifle sounds delish.

Keri, I make something my kids call "donut cake" which is really just a sherry pound cake. Easy, can be eaten as a dessert or breakfast treat.

Anonymous said...

I'd let you cater my Thanksgiving meal anytime! I make a quick, simple corn recipe. Mix cream cheese in with the corn, instead of butter or salt. For quick meals I just nuke. The recipe I was given said 1 package of cream for every two cans, but that's a bit excessive - I use about a 4th pcg for every can, depending on how creamy I want it. Works great and everyone seems to love it. Can't wait for the book, and yes, the cover is great - whimsical and sweet!

Christie Ridgway said...

Okay, I just ate, leftovers from my Halloween bash and I'm still salivating!

Cait said...

We always have those items as well. Plus a cheesecake, pumpkin roll, pecan and apple pies, cranberry/apple crisp. (One year I ate dessert first). My SIL makes Lemon Schwam.
As a different side, we have tomato souffle, made with trimmed bread, tomatoes cooked with onion, garlic, butter, and basil layered and baked in a souffle dish. It's made the night before, covered with plastic wrap, weighted and then baked the day of.
Happy Turkey day to all
ps,,We prefer to do chickens as well, as a T breast because - everyone likes
Chicken better.

Cindy Gerard said...

Congrats on the new release, Christie!
I just love the cover treatments you get. They're awesome!
and wow - such fun thanksgiving feasts!

CHRISTIE said...

Looking forward to Stevie's story! We don't do turkey!! We do ham--that in itself makes us different... Ham that is cooked in cola. I always make a cranberry salad that is very non-traditional and contains cream cheese. It is very pretty and oh so yummy! My family MUST have that salad each holiday. I also serve a butterscotch/chocolate poundcake that is to die for! It is a real "Fall" cake. That cake has always been a hit no matter where it is served. I've nevery had the recipe fail. Everything else is the "usual" Southern Turkey Day meal with dressing, vegies, mashed potatoes, HUGE rolls and gallons of sweet tea. Hopefully, one of my goodies sounds good to you! :)