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FOOD // my canadian thanksgiving feast

FOOD // my canadian thanksgiving feast

I will admit, I've never been the biggest fan of Thanksgiving mostly because I really don't love turkey (there, you heard it here first!). It's way too filling, often too dry and just so bland. 

I loved more the social gathering and meaning of what Thanksgiving is about, which is really the important part, right? The food is just the icing on the cake and an excuse to get together, eat, drink and be merry.

But when I became an adult and bonafide cook (beep beep, toot toot), I felt like I could finally do it the way I wanted to cook this holiday meal. I love to cook and if this blog (or my Insta-stories) hasn't illustrated that to you then you need to take a closer look.

Also, I have finally gotten over the fear of not being so traditional in the foods that I cook. Who says you need to have turkey? Why not chicken? Or ham? Or if you're a vegetarian, some version of a tofurkey?

Alas, my Canadian Thanksgiving feast idea was born and it was delicious! I love to experiment in the kitchen and this year I was in full-on experimentation mode. The family was busy working and Nathan was knee deep in studying for his exam, so it was just us three. Quiet and small, which made me extremely happy.

Today, I share with you the full menu of what I cooked and if it offers you any sort of inspiration (or a copy cat) well then that would put a smile on my face. Most items are fairly easy, some are more adventurous but they are all DELICIOUS!

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Thanksgiving Menu

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Happily Eva After's Thyme and Sausage Stuffing
Food & Wine's Buttermilk Brined Roast Chicken (this was amazing! I highly recommend trying this)
Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots
Blackened, lemony, parm Brussel sprouts
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Jo Cooks Soft Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

For the items above that do not have a link to the recipe, I've provided the recipes below.

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Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots

This is as simple as it gets, but most of my recipes are ad-hoc and really don't have a formal recipe (sorry!).

4-5 medium sized carrots, cut in 1/2 and then quartered
EVOO
Salt & pepper for seasoning
1/4 Maple Syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a cooking tray with parchment paper. Cut the carrots accordingly or anyway you like them to be but 3" in length is about right. Toss the carrots in a big bowl with EVOO, salt and pepper, coating them evenly. Toss them onto the lined cooking tray and cook the carrots for approx 25 min, tossing occasionally until they get slightly browned. 

Take them out of the oven and drizzle the maple syrup on them. Place them back in the oven and continue to cook for another 20 min or so until the carrots are tender and a fork can go through easily. The flavour should be subtle but sweet.

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

3-5 Baking potatoes (depending on the size of your crowd, use more or less but this makes a lot)
1/2 C cream cheese
1/2 C sour cream
1/3 C butter
1/2 tsp salt & pepper to taste
1/2 C cream
1 bulb of garlic, roasted (Click here to find out how)

Roast the bulb of garlic well in advance so it isn't hot when you have to squeeze the cloves out.

Peel, and chop potatoes in 1/2, then place in a big pot of boiling water with salt. Boil potatoes until tender (you should be able to easily put a fork through them).

Strain the water from potatoes and return to pot. Add the butter and let melt for a few seconds. You can either mash the potatoes with a potato masher or a hand mixer (or if you're a pro, a potato ricer which you will have to do before you add the butter). I find a hand mixer is faster and easy when you start adding all the ingredients, plus it gives the potatoes a nice whipped texture.

Start whipping the potatoes, adding all the remaining ingredients until creamy and smooth. Add a bit more cream if they aren't creamy enough and adjust seasoning depending on taste & preference.

You can easily prepare these in advance, but not too far ahead otherwise I find the potatoes can lose their creaminess and become chunky.

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Blackened, Lemony Parm Brussel Sprouts

These are not your ordinary, boiled Brussel sprouts your grandmother cooked. These have so much flavour and once you learn how to cut back the bitterness of them, you'll want more!

1/2 lb fresh brussel sprouts
Juice from 2 lemons
1/4 C white wine (cooking wine is fine, nothing expensive)
Pinch chili flakes
Parmesan for topping

Heat a medium-sized saucepan to medium-high. Cut the stems off each brussel sprout, then 1/2 them. Adding only a bit of butter to the pan once its reached temperature, add the brussel sprouts. Saute the sprouts until mostly blackened (don't worry, you won't burn them). This will take about 10 min or so. 

Once the sprouts have blackened enough, add the wine and let the alcohol burn off. Then add the lemon juice. Turn the heat down, add the chili flakes and let simmer for about 5 min. Put them in a bowl and top with fresh, grated parm.

Note: if you prefer the sprouts more crunchy with a 'deep fried,' texture you can flash fry them if you have a proper deep-fryer. Or you can flash fry them in a frying pan with enough vegetable oil to cover the sprouts. 
 

 

my favourite go-to cookbooks

my favourite go-to cookbooks

are you there dream job? it's me andrea.

are you there dream job? it's me andrea.