Saturday, November 29, 2008


These are just a few things we had for Thanksgiving dinner. Not included are the stuffing, sweet potatoes, stuffing, or pumpkin pie.

This was our turkey. We cooked it on the grill. It was seasoned only with salt and pepper -- that's it, and it was fabulous.

This was the roasted brussel sprouts with dried cherries and walnuts. I promise, even the people who supposedly hate brussel sprouts ate multiple helpings. I use canola and balsamic vinegar. Yum.

These are my decadent homemade mashed potatoes. I used half-and-half, butter, AND sour cream. Thanksgiving is not easy on the thighs.

This is my mom's recipe. It's cranberry-apple casserole, but my sister says we just call it that so we can eat i t at dinner instead of for dessert. It is awesome with turkey!

This is one of the Maple Apple Tarts -- the recipe is from a previous post. It's amazing with vanilla ice cream. My mom, who is not a foodie, was so impressed she took pictures. She also ate 4 of the 6 tarts I made. (My mom is not a sweets eater, so this is impressive.) They definitely do look impressive!

Our first challenge

My daughter, S, and I have joined the Daring Bakers. This month we had our first challenge, a Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting, created by Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater. This challenge was hosted by Dolores, Alex, and Jenny. The gluten-free bakers got their assistance from Natalie.

This was a particularly tough month to do the challenge because it is Thanksgiving here, and I stupidly (or brilliantly) opted to do this with S while we had 6 guests (so 10 people total) in the house. Because S, her twin, A, and their cousin, M, were all itching to bake, it became a team effort. I handled the hot sugar and the browned butter. They did most of the rest (that was the brilliant part).

I realize the icing job wasn't the most beautiful, but not bad for 2 4 year olds and a 3 year old! They LOVED this part.

You can see from this photo we kept the icing layer thin. Even this was a lot for me. But it was good icing, and EXCELLENT cake. We highly recommend the cake -- my dad had two pieces (skinny ones, but it's still a second portion). The kids highly recommend the icing!

The scariest part of the challenge was making the caramel syrup. Shuna isn't kidding about the sputtering. I JUMPED when I poured the water into the browned sugar syrup. But it was very cool to watch the process. The key is to trust that when she says dark amber, that's what she means. It's *not* burned.

I am looking forward to future daring baker challenges! S says,"Me too!"