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Thanksgiving 2011

9 November, 2011

Taking a break from my regularly scheduled nothing to present you with this:

Thanksgiving 2011

Breads and Little Bites

Zanahorias in Escabeche – pickled carrots, onions and peppers

Pico de Gallo

Guacamole Taquero

Homemade Tortilla Crisps

Cheddar Jalapeño Corn Sticks

Homemade Pepper Jelly

Cumin Rolls

Chopped Salad with Corn, Avocado and  Honey-Lime Dressing


Adobo Turkey

Red Chile Gravy

Cranberry and Roasted Pineapple Salsa

Cornbread, Green Chile and Pine Nut Stuffing


Roast Mixed Vegetables with Ancho Butter

Camote – Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Syrup

Corn Pudding

Potato and Poblano Chile Gratin


Cranberry, Tequila and Cream Cheese Tart with Cornmeal Crust

Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Lime Cream Frosting

As you can see, I’m going strictly New World this year. A lot of Mexican and Southwestern flavors coming together for what I hope will be a superstar amazing family dinner. What’s your Dinner shaping up to be?


Thanksgiving 2010

13 November, 2010


Blue Cheese Shortbread with Cranberry-Chive Roulade

Scallion Cheese Puffs

Hazelnut and Blue Cheese Spread

Crudité and Relish Tray


Savory Herbed Sour Cream Muffins

Black Pepper Biscotti

Dinner Rolls


Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries, Red Onion and Toasted Hazelnuts


Herb-Brined Roast Turkey with Pear-Port Glaze and Pear Gravy

Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Shallots


Pear, Prosciutto and Hazelnut Stuffing

Carrots with Shallots, Sage and Thyme

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Brown Butter

Yukon Gold Potatoes Mashed with Rogue Smokey Blue Cheese

Scalloped Onions, Leeks and Shallots


Pear and Hazelnut Tarte Tatin

Hazelnut Praline Cheesecake

Pear-Cranberry Jellies


Obligatory End-of-Year Blog Post

31 December, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can’t say I’m completely sorry to ring 2009 out, but it has been a year of food revelations and yummy treats. This went from all-purpose blog to food blog to food blog I forget to update for enormous stretches of time. Our family went from eating out of bags and cans (figuratively – we use plates…most of the time) to filling bags and cans with food!

We made our own cheese, canned tomatoes, pickles (and more pickles). We made mixed berry, blackberry, cranberry, jalepeño and basil jams. Brandon became a master baker of many, many pies, and he made killer ketchup.


Most surprising of all, Adventures In logged nearly 11,000 visitors this year! I’m shocked, befuddled and amazed. I’m humbled and more than a little confused.

I’m pleased as hell. So thank you. Even if, like almost half of my readers, you only dropped by to learn about some really big pizzas.

Thanksgiving 2009

2010 holds great promise, and among my resolutions is “better blogging” – so many of our adventures go unreported…and I know people are dying to know EVERYTHING! We’re looking forward to more baking, canning and cooking, but also to renew our DIY spirit…which for me drifted away a bit in the fall. More needlepoint! More sewing! More crochet! I’m hoping to get the older boy in on more of the activities, and am expecting great things from Mr. Adventures In in the coming year.

And I hope you, whoever you are and wherever you are, have a marvelous 2010 full of amazing adventures of your own.


The Thanksgiving Menu

23 November, 2009


Rogue River Blue, Beecher’s Cheddar, Washington Havarti and Wisonsin Portobello Jack Cheeses

Assorted Home-Baked Crackers and Scones

Home-Made Apple and Pumpkin Butters

Neufchatel with Home-Made Cranberry and Jalepeño Jams


Pumpkin, Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Pecan Vinaigrette

Squash Muffins


Cider-Brined and Herb Dijon Roasted Turkey

Caramelized Onion Gravy

Pomegranate Sauce

Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

Side Dishes:

Mashed Red Potatoes with Sage and Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cranberries

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots


Pear and Cranberry Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Apple Pie with Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar Crust

(We’ve got a lot of cooking ahead of us!)

The PieMaker

11 November, 2009

This is the fabulous Mr. Adventure making that apple/cheddar cheese pie I wrote about a few days ago:

Oh how I love this man!


Quick Update

31 October, 2009

1. I am decidedly not dead. I am, in fact, undead.

2. Working on finding a balance that will have me blogging regularly again soon. That balance also includes making opportunities to do stuff to blog about.

Mr. Adventures In has been busy!

4. That is Pie! It’s apple and pear season and we’ve been taking advantage by making lots of pastries and getting our winter weight on! Pictured above is apple pie with Tillamook Aged White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese baked into the crust. Mr. Adventures In made it. It was fabulous.

5. Another fall favorite – one that I actually made – is pear turnovers. I make my own faux puff pastry dough and fill little triangles with pears sauteed in butter, cinnamon, sugar and a little balsamic vinegar and…(this is the good part) Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue Cheese. To make them easy, you can buy puff pastry at the store and follow the package directions. These are, hands down, my favorite fall treat/snack/breakfast/food.

6. The Adventure Boys have also been doing a lot of DIY crafts – salt & flour playdough, cornmeal moon sand and – my favorite – cornstarch goo. Recipe: put some cornstarch in a bowl & add water (slightly less water than cornstarch seems to work best) … move your hand slowly through the goo and it’s like pudding; poke it with your finger and it’s like silly putty. Honestly, I think I played with it longer and with more enthusiasm than my kids did. Very cool stuff!

7. I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo. I have no idea what I’ll writing about. I’ll figure that out today…or sometime next month, I suppose. I have no idea what that means for the blog (which really has a life of its own – thank you, people who read the big burger and big pizza entries!) or for me or for you or for anyone, but I just wanted to put that out there. I’m writing a novel! Yay for me!


24 August, 2009

Yesterday I finally put those Ball jars I bought a couple of weeks ago to good use.  I canned – albeit on a very small scale.

Canning requires a little bit of equipment:

1. An absurdly tall pot. We found ours at Target for $16

1. An absurdly tall pot. We found ours at Target for $16

Okay, that was pretty much it for equipment. Except for the jars. Of which I have no pictures.

You’re also going to need something to can. Like tomatoes.

I used a variety: heirloom orange, Russian black and Beefsteak.

I used a variety: heirloom orange, Russian black and Beefsteak.

I did a “hot pack” method, which means I cooked to tomatoes before I canned them.

Pretty AND Yummy!

Pretty AND Yummy!

Then I fought them into the jars. I could really use a wide-mouthed funnel. (The list of “required” equipment is short, but the list of “recommended” equipment is a touch longer). I had enough for two pint jars of tomatoes.

Then it’s time to process! The reason for the absurdly tall pot is that the jars need about an inch of water above their tops to do their thing.

The jars in their bath. Note the cookie cutters I used in lieu of a canning rack in the bottom of the pan.

The jars in their bath. Note the cookie cutters I used in lieu of a canning rack in the bottom of the pan.

I love that picture. If you’re so inclined, take a look at a larger version. The wisps of steam coming off the water, the clarity of everything. I want to take all of my pictures through a water bath now.

Where was I? Oh yeah, depending on  the recipe and the type of thing you’re canning, you let the jars boil, lid on, for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. I did these tomatoes for about 25 minutes.

Here they are all done!

Here they are all done!

I also made jalepeño carrots, but forgot to take pictures of the process.

But I did take a picture of the finished product!

But I did take a picture of the finished product!