Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ideas for YOUR Feast

The most common complaint, or at least comment, that I hear after Thanksgiving or other food related family gatherings is "I'm so full I can't eat another thing", and then we bring out the dessert and everyone finds rooms for just a little more. Why do we do this? Well the essence of hospitality in many cultures is to provide far more than enough food when you entertain.

Now that we have clearly entered the time of year when the groaning board is expected, anticipated with delight, and set up proudly by hosts and hostesses, here are some ideas from past posts to help you exceed expectations and create an even more festive holiday meal.

Some of these are simple but satisfying, like the pear-cranberry crisp. Some are quite traditional, like the Stuffing recipe from my Family Food cookbook. Some are over the top like the Pumpkin Pie Spectacular...your family and friends will be very impressed...and grateful...if you make it.

No matter what you serve, here's wishing you and yours very happy holidays!
XO Elle

Holiday Recipes from Soup to Nuts:

Soups -Butternut Squash Soup - Very seasonal, smooth and delicious!- Pumpkin Spinach and Rice Soup - Simple to make and very warming, plus the flavor combination is great!

Salad - This one is perfect for this time of year - Paula's Winter Salad has greens and oranges and raisins and it's a composed salad so you can make it ahead.

I'm not going to do a roast turkey recipe because Butter Ball does such a great job with that. I will, however, give you my favorite STUFFING recipe! Click HERE.

Side Dishes - The all time favorite, and one which is requested often, is a savory combination of wild and brown rice with the tang of cranberries. It goes REALLY well with roast turkey, but is great with pork roast, roasted chicken and roasted duck. Click HERE for a great seasonal side dish.

Still in the cranberry frame of mind? Try Cranberry Pear Sauce with your meal. It uses fresh cranberries which are plentiful most places this time of year. It's a bit like a chutney since it has some vinegar to offset the brown sugar.

It makes a great condiment with left over turkey, too. Click HERE for the recipe.

Looking for a healthy veggie side dish? Try Chard and Spinach with Onions, Currants and Lemon Zest. The flavors are clean and lively which is a nice counterpoint to the richness of other dishes on the groaning board. Find the recipe by clicking HERE.

Now it's time for my favorite part of the meal...dessert!

If you really want to WOW everyone, make Pumpkin Pie Spectacular with Gingersnap Crust. It takes pumpkin pie to the next level and really isn't too much more difficult than regular pumpkin pie. Click HERE to find the recipe.

Maybe you want to go with something seasonal but a little less rich? Try Pear Cranberry Crisp, maybe with a scoop of frozen yogurt added to each bowl when served. The crisp recipe is HERE.

With pomegranates all the rage, you might want to try a tart that uses pomegranate juice to make a fruit curd for the filling and is also used to poach pears for the topping. It's unusual and delicious. Click HERE for the Pomegranate Lemon Tart with Poached Pears.

Last, but not least, HERE is a recipe for a Mosaic Nut Tart (see, nuts came at the end as promised and the photo is at the top of the post) that is similar to pecan pie, but just a little different. Dollop on some whipped cream and enjoy a sweet slice...maybe as you watch the last Bowl game of the day?

If you enjoy any of these recipes and have the time, come back and let me know, OK? Always fun to share and rewarding to know that others liked 'em.


  1. Some great ideas and all the desserts look wonderful

  2. What a feast! Thanks for sharing all those beautiful recipes. I think I gained 5 pounds just by looking.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Elle!