This is a strange week coming up; I am out almost every night, mostly for work, which is pretty unusual for me, so lots of cooking ahead and leaving for others to heat and eat.
Monday: cider cream pork roast, rosemary mashed potatoes (can't compete with the "should be a pie filling but we call it a side dish even with the marshmallows on top" dish on Thanksgiving, so I saved it to this week), brussels sprouts
Tuesday: Lego build, and my birthday, so no fast food--we're doing California Pizza Kitchen, whether the kids like it or not.
This year for Thanksgiving, we brought mashed potatoes (10 lbs--too much), chocolate chip cake, pizza dip, chipped beef dip, bugles, fritos, and of course the carrots. It was a good contribution to a sad celebration. We also made at home a side of Pepperidge Farm stuffing from the blue bag like my mother used to make, and my husband made an amazing turkey breast, just using olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, Montreal seasoning, and an iron skillet instead of a roasting pan. It was awesome. We all loved it, including young Mr. Picky.
As food penance the next day, I made Catherine Newman's lentil soup. I am teasing about that; I love lentil soup and it was part of Operation Cabinet Clean. It was good; not amazing but good. And I, who loves vinaigrette on anything, thought it was ok here but not amazing. The soup, though, was a great, easy recipe and I will keep that in mind for next time I crave lentil soup. We also were hoping cousins would come over to make the Cranberry Bliss Cookies that they found on Pinterest, but when they got busy, we did them ourselves. (Translation: I did them myself.) I love the cranberry blondies from Two Fat Als (listed on sidebar), but was willing to give these a try. The downside: they were an all-day project. They didn't have to be, but there was the mixing, the chilling, the baking... The good news: I had all day, the new oven had three-at-a-time baking capacity which made it go much faster, the chilling the dough made it much easier to scoop them in to a pretty size, and they were yummy. The seal-the-deal moment was when I saw they could be frozen with minimal damage. I was on it. The cookie exchange is soon, but not that soon. Then I saw seven layer bars that could be frozen too...bonus! So those will happen as soon as I get more aluminum foil. Final result: I would make these cookies again, but the add-in cookies are just as good, with less work, as are the blondies. Now, the blondies with the frosting from these cookies...that might be spectacular. Hmmm....
Now that Thanksgiving is over and it is less than one month to Christmas, it really is time to start getting ready. We only got out two turkeys this year, so taking down Thanksgiving won't be hard. Rounding up the Christmas spirit, on the other hand, is proving a little more elusive. We'll get there; we have to. We have kids and they need a holiday. So, rally we will. The number of magic holidays is finite and I don't want to miss any.
On that maudlin little note--happy Advent to all, and keep posting your favorites to inspire me, please!