Friday, November 23, 2012

thanksgiving sides

Thanksgiving is usually the one time a year you will find me in the kitchen for more than 20 mins. Kidding, (kind of), but I do take the holiday and meal pretty seriously. I try to make whatever I can from scratch and constantly consult foodnetwork.com for all of my recipes (my dad likes to make fun of my lack of skills, but the perfect mashed potatoes really do require a perfect recipe).

Unfortunately I had some studying to do this break which was a pretty big buzzkill, but I took time off to make my two favorites- garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

For the cranberry sauce, I used part of this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/cranberry-sauce-recipe/index.html. I say parts because due to a lack of time and partially just plain laziness,  I didn't follow this recipe exactly. I skipped over the nutmeg, allspice, and orange zest. Additionally, I felt that the sugar was a little too much so I just eyeballed what I thought would be enough. Lastly, I added some orange juice at the very end (~ 2 tbsp) just to keep the sauce from congealing and add a little extra flavor. Making your own cranberry sauce is one of the simplest and quickest things to do on Thanksgiving. It literally prepares itself, and the reward is so much better than canned sauce.

Drained and ready to be boiled

Simmering

As for the mashed potatoes, I just have one piece of advice: never tell a man to do a womans job, including making a very precise grocery list and then expecting exactly what is on the list to be purchased. Because of the odd mix of ingredients I ended up with, I had to combine these two recipes:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/garlic-yukon-gold-mashed-potatoes-recipe/index.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/creamy-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe/index.html

As with the cranberry sauce, I left out a few ingredients I thought were too time consuming (like using garlic powder to taste instead of mashing garlic cloves). I diced the golden potatoes and cooked them for about 30 minutes. In a separate pot, I mixed the half and half with herbs and garlic powder. After the potatoes were done, I combined the half and half with the potatoes and mashed. To top it off, I added some freshly grated parmesan cheese. It's important to freshly grate the cheese from a block instead of using shredded parmesan cheese because there is a wax coating on the shredded kind that results in it never ever melting unless you put it in the over. Weird and annoying, I know.

Boiling

Mashed and ready to eat!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

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