Thanksgiving 2011

smoked salmon with caviar
I was very excited to spend my first Thanksgiving in the United States last November amidst family and friends.

Our dinner was mostly made by my cousin La, aka Chinese Martha, and Sharon and lots of dishes brought by the guests. I had one contribution too.

La made the first three appetizers. Granted that the smoked salmon and brie were store bought she did a commendable job in the presentation. Everyone raved about the 2 kinds of bries. She also made cream of squash and apple soup which I don’t have a picture of.

La topped the brie with fig jam and pecans and wrapped the whole thing in store bought frozen puff pastry. Simple yet impressive and delicious.
baked brie in puff pastry with fig jam & pecans
baked brie in puff pastry with fig jam & pecans

Thanksgiving 2011-12
brie with mushroom & caramelized onions

Chris brought these stuffed mushrooms which everyone popped into their mouths really quickly.
pancetta stuffed mushrooms
pancetta stuffed mushrooms

Thanksgiving 2011-1
me and my cousin Mark

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me, La, Kueifang, Sha, Audrey and little Ady

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La’ wine offerings

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Can you believe this plate and flatware are plastic? Amazing!!!
Thanksgiving 2011

Audrey made this really pretty and colorful mixed salad greens topped with duck confit, mandarin oranges, raspberries and pecans. I loved this salad!!! I just wish there were more duck.
duck confit salad
duck confit salad

La made Ina Garten’s smashed sweet potatoes recipe.

smashed sweet potatoes with apples mashed potatoes

smashed sweet potatoes with apples,   mashed potatoes

I think my most favorite were these ham and cheese scones that La made. She made it the day before and froze it. She just baked it an hour before dinner. The scones ended up tasting more like biscuits but either scones or biscuits I love them both. Luckily we kept some scones in the freezer and had them for breakfast for the next few days. (what Cohen diet? ;p)
ham and cheese scones
ham and cheese scones

May brought these huge stuffed peppers.

stuffed peppers stuffed peppers

stuffed peppers

Kuefang brought mashed potatoes and the Thanksgiving favorite, green bean casserole topped with fried onion strips. This was my first time for me to try this dish and now I understand why it was the only dish that was demolished that night. Even the kids attacked this dish even more than the mashed root veggies. It was really rich and creamy and the oven crisped French’s onion rings was perfect with it.
green bean casserole
green bean casserole

My one and only contribution was the stuffing for the turkey which was inspired by MarketManila’s post. I will post the recipe tomorrow. It was a big hit! I personally really loved it.
wild mushroom bread pudding
wild mushroom bread pudding

La bought the cornbread and cranberry compote from Whole Foods. This started my love affair with cornbread. Luckily regular cornbread either by pan or by slice was always available in Whole Foods and I was able to buy several during my stay in Virginia. (another Cohen no no!)
cranberry cornbread
cranberry cornbread

I was surprised that La bought a really small container of cranberry compote. She guaranteed me that it will be more than enough. I couldn’t believe that it since I love cranberry jelly which is what we can get in Manila. When I tried this compote it was really, really sour. No wonder nobody ate it. I’m sure if we served canned cranberry jelly it would have been wiped out.
craberry compote
cranberry compote

Sha made this huge 18 pound turkey. Too bad she miscalculated on the time and it the turkey breast was dry. Everyone enjoyed the dark meat instead.
roast turkey
roast turkey

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Chinese Martha outdid herself with the rosemary roast beef. It was perfectly cooked and so tender. We only had 2 proteins and tons of carbs. That’s the perfect Thanksgiving mix, right?
roast beef
roast beef

roast beef

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Adrian and May

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Keifang’s nieces & mom, Chee

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La, Kueifang, Ramon, Sha and John

Thank goodness the pies were store bought and didn’t provide temptation to me. I did try a couple of pastries Sha bought in Cairo. Surprisingly they weren’t too sweet.

apple and pecan pies Egyptian pastries

apple and pecan pies,  Egyptian pastries

Sha made this luscious dulce de leche cheesecake from scratch. Both my cousins are really great cooks!!!
dulce de leche cheesecake
dulce de leche cheesecake

Kueifang’s nieces made these chocolate creme brûlée which I wasn’t planning to eat until I took a little bite and loved it. I immediately got one for myself.
chocolate creme brûlée
chocolate creme brûlée

The part of the evening I enjoyed most was when the guests beelined to the cabinet where La stored her take out containers and helped themselves with the leftovers. Some were so methodical in their packing that I just stood there and gaped in awe. Thankfully there was enough left for us to enjoy for a few days.

I loved my first Thanksgiving experience. The food and company was great and hopefully I get to go back again in November. Maybe Christmas and snow next time?
Thanksgiving 2011-35

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2011

  1. That was a wonderful family Thanksgiving indeed. Right now everybody brine the meats and turkeys over night or two before roasting.  You ended up with the most moist meats ever. Martha Stewart showed it on her show also.


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