Holiday time is almost over. Year after year people tend to follow the same cycle…start the season talking about what they’re thankful for and then ending the year talking about how much they either loved it or how things will be different the following year. This Thanksgiving I was more thankful than I can express. The last couple years through now have proven to teach me so much. From getting pregnant with my first child, to owning my first home, to being able to have both sides of the family gather in my home for my boy’s first Christmas. It’s been great!
This year, even though I went to the in-laws, I could not resist being in the kitchen. So…I had to still throw down! Meat of choice was a turkey breast I slow roasted in the oven. The bird was brined for 24 hours and then taken out, patted dry, and seasoned to marinated for an additional 24 hours. Cavity filled with olive oil and the same seasoning, onions, celery, carrots, thyme, and a few other staples. The result = tender, juicy bird!
Then there are the sides – the best part. First was the greens. Collards were my choice. Cooked in a seasoned bath with smoked meat makes them so flavorful. Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen people make stuffing with regular sliced bread, with wild rice, even with biscuits. Personally, I prefer cornbread. So side #2 was a sausage cornbread stuffing. It’s so delicious you would eat it cold if no one was looking (or maybe even if they were lol). The third addition to the feast? Candied yams. If made right are a dream. If made wrong…potential disaster. The right balance of ingredients plays a huge role here. Brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all the gang caramelize together for the perfect glaze. But wait! What’s missing? I always lol forward to mac and cheese during the holidays. So rich… So cheesy… And with mine. It’s more like macaroni pie! Absolutely my fav! The top it all off with a scoop of cranberry sauce to bring it all together.
Then for dessert I made 2 cherry cheesecakes. One taken to the in-laws and one to stay home with our feast. It was the best way to end that meal.
I am grateful to have a passion for cooking. Grateful to have people to cook. And grateful to have a home to do it all in. This holiday season did you give thanks to all you were and are grateful for?