Monday, November 28, 2011

A slightly different take on T-Day

Anyone who spends time with this gal (either in real life, or "imaginary") knows I'm not a fan of Thanksgiving. You know the drill: family obligations, boring food "traditions", blah, blah, blah.

But this year, by escaping to my mother's best friend's house we got out of the family bit, and I decided to (slightly) shake up the menu.

For dinner, I contributed the "green" side-dish, which I based on a Catalan recipe for fruited spinach.

I did sub pecans for pine nuts, because that's what I had on hand. (or as the real story goes I forgot to buy pine nuts during my shopping trip)

This was an incredibly easy dish to throw together. Saute the apples and shallots until tender, then add the rehydrated raisins and chopped, toasted, pecans. 

Deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry, plus the juice of 1 lemon, and add 1lb of fresh spinach. Remove from the heat as soon as the greens start to wilt. Garnish with lemon zest and serve immediately!

Pretty, no? Nothing like bringing a touch of Spanish flare to the hum-drum pilgrim feast.

Speaking of hum-drum? Let's talk about the fact that I've been making the same "Libby's Classic" pumpkin pie since I was 9 years old. (and let's NOT do the math on that one, ok?) This year I took a page out of one of my co-worker's books, errr cookbooks, and made Pumpkin Pie Cake instead.

I know, I know, this doesn't sound like that big of a stretch, but trust me, this pie/cake/hybrid is even tastier than the classic and oh so easy to make!

First, make a standard pumpkin pie filling:

1 12oz can pumpkin
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp "pumpkin pie spice" (or if you are like me, generous dashes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, because who actually finishes a container of pre-mixed pie spice? Keep the real stuff around, friends)

Add the hand blended pie "filling" to a 9 x 13" baking dish.

Top the filling with 1 box of (dry) yellow cake mix. No really, it sounds weird, but sprinkle-sprinkle to your little inner fairy godmother's contentment.

Then ditch the fairy godmother act and channel your inner southern grandmother this time, by scattering 1 cup of chopped pecans over the cake mix and then drizzling 1 stick of melted butter over the whole mess.

Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.

The finished product isn't pretty, nor is it healthy per say, but it is damn tasty.

And really, isn't that how all Thanksgiving dinners could be described? Family gatherings and rich foods only come around a few times a year, and while they aren't all that "healthy" I am thankful for every tasty moment.

Love to all,
~the little "turkey bird" gal, Jess


Twittikat said... Best Blogger Tips

I have made an Italian version of your wilted spinach dish before with just the spinach and garlic. Yummy! I'm going to try and not think of how delicious the second one sounds...

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