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Posts Tagged ‘yams’

Orange things I ate yesterday:

Carrot-orange juice:

Yellow beet-apple-ginger juice:

Pumpkin butter (I’m in love with it on Greek yogurt mixed with cranberry sauce):

Pumpkin-chia pudding:

Yams (roasted, mashed with extras, then baked with marshmallows on top):

Pumpkin pie squares (photo is terrible because we were in a hurry to get to dessert):

Pumpkin gingerbread trifle:

Yes, it’s Thanksgiving, the time of year when we give thanks for orange food. But we celebrated more than orange yesterday! Our meal also contained colours like green and red, the full spectrum of the harvest. Our menu included:

turkey + cranberry sauce
nut loaf + miso gravy
rustic bread stuffing
brussels sprout slaw
yams + marshmallows
scalloped potatoes
cornmeal muffins + pumpkin butter + butter
spinach salad with pears and cranberries

pumpkin pie squares
pumpkin gingerbread trifle
bittersweet chocolate and pear cake

It kind of looked like this when put together:

Of course, that’s my plate, so it’s heavy on the veggies.

The turkey was brined overnight and the carnivores tell me it was delicious.

I enjoyed the salads a lot. This is one of my favourite ways to prepare brussels sprouts – I’m not big on (over)cooked vegetables in general.

The nut loaf is a classic amongst our friends – and considering that it consists mainly of cashews and oil (with some bread, onions and spices thrown in), it’s easy to see why it’s delicious. We served with a miso gravy recipe from the Fresh cookbook.

The cornmeal muffins are my standby recipe. They’re always a hit and easy to make. We served with pumpkin butter and butter that I had made fresh the night before… ahem, after overwhipping some cream. Lemonade out of lemons. At other times of the year they’re extremely good with raspberry jam.

The yams and marshmallows are an old family recipe – yams mashed with mace, eggs, sour cream and salt, then baked with marshmallows on top. Last year, because I had finally acquired a KitchenAid mixer and wanted to try something fancy, I made homemade marshmallows for them. They are so much better (lighter, fluffier, more flavourful) that I’ve made it a new part of the tradition.

As for dessert, we ended up with three this year because I wanted to try some new recipes. My sister brought pumpkin pie squares, which we’ve been making for quite a few years. (Shortbread crust means no pie crust to make.) I actually prefer them without the cream cheese icing as it overpowers the pumpkin flavour and makes them too sweet for me.

The new recipes were a pumpkin gingerbread trifle and a pear chocolate cake. The trifle I had high hopes for – pumpkin and gingerbread are two classic flavours that pair well together and the recipe had tons of good reviews. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had thought I would. The pumpkin mousse was excellent, and I would make it again to serve on its own as a somewhat lighter (low-carb at least) fall dessert. But the gingerbread cake they used was a very light cake and I prefer a much denser, darker gingerbread that’s halfway to a brownie. And much more gingery. Next time I might experiment with using fresh ginger as well as dried. (The glazed pecans are from the brussels sprout recipe, minus the pepper.)

The cake was an experiment, because it was a new way of preparing cake (you start by beating whole eggs for five to 10 minutes, until they are very fluffy and light). The flavours were certainly good but overall I was underwhelmed. I should note here that in general I’m not a cake person so it takes a phenomenal cake to make me happy (whereas I’ll happily eat a cookie from Tim Hortons). I think it would have been better served warm so the chocolate would still be melty.

Overall, it was a great meal, and I ate far too much. But I eat vegan and fresh food so often these days that I found it very heavy. I think next time I’ll lighten things up even more in the meal and cut back on the heavy stuff.

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My parents were in town for Thanksgiving last week, and together with my sister and her boyfriend the six of us put together a pretty fantastic Thanksgiving meal – although unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of everything. We enjoyed it so much (and had so many recipes we wanted to make but couldn’t) that we’re thinking of doing a second Thanksgiving next month.

I let a turkey in the house this year, ordered from Fiesta Farms – at $60 for 9 pounds, it seems expensive, but when you consider that it served dinner to five people, plus leftovers for many sandwiches, plus the makings of a few litres of turkey soup, I don’t think it costs much at all – per portion, certainly less than a turkey sandwich or soup at Tim Hortons. You may have been following the articles on thestar.com by Margaret Webb about the perils of organic turkey farming in Ontario – if not, here they are for your reading pleasure. Good luck to the farmers.

But it was the side dishes that really shone. To start with, we did our standard baked mashed yams (spiced with mace) topped with marshmallows. But this year, to make it more of a foodie affair, I made homemade marshmallows, which were divine and puffed up and melted far better than the bought ones. They’re actually quite easy, too, if you have a couple of mixers on hand. (I used my stand mixer for the main mixing and my handheld for the egg whites.) I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, of course, and here’s a close-up of the marshmallows post-baking.

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We also did a couple of recipes from the November issue of Bon Appetit: a brussels sprout slaw with mustard dressing and maple-candied pecans that are to die for, and a beautiful butternut squash kale bread pudding from the kitchen of Orangette. (I’m not always the biggest fan of brussels sprouts, but the ones my sister picked up at St Lawrence Market were divine – both green and purple and full of flavour, and no bitterness.)

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And here’s a close-up.

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And for dessert, a butternut squash pie with a ginger cookie crust courtesy of Canadian Living. I used ShaSha cookies for the crust, and tripled the spices in the filling. This is the second time I’ve made this and I’ll make it again.

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What did you make for Thanksgiving?

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