Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

My Butternut Squash Bisque, which I revisited for lunch the other day.

My family’s Thanksgiving is very traditional – we pretty much eat the same thing every year. For the past few years, I have been doing one “different” side dish to mix things up a little bit. If you’re looking to do the same, here is a list of my favorite recipes that would be a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving Table.

Rustic Herb Stuffing

P.S. If you cook something off Sweet Life Laur on Thanksgiving or any other time, I would LOVE to see photos! You can upload them to my Facebook Page, or email them to sweetlifelaur (at) gmail (dot) com.

Happy Thanksgiving preparation week!

Seared Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Vinaigrette

 

I hated, hated wasabi for years. When it accidently touched my sushi it would be a disappointment. When chefs felt the need to use it as a Frites dip I saw it as a waste. The taste of it ruined my life (dramatic? me?) until a sneaky sushi chef in San Diego hid fresh wasabi in my halibut sushi. It was life-changing! Such pure flavor, such a sinus-clearing heat! I finally saw the appeal of that wasabi business – people were just trying to make due when they couldn’t get the best (fresh wasabi, I have later discovered, is the best). And it turns out, there are actually some decent wasabi pastes out there, not that I care anymore because I love it all.

This little salad/appetizer embodies my declaration of love for wasabi. It is the fabulous Eric Ripert’s recipe, from the beautiful Avec Eric book, and I am officially adding it to my mental list of absolute favorite recipes.

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Cottage Cheese Muffins with Sundried Tomato and Basil

I made a major discovery. Instead of your typical coffee shop muffin (super-sweet calorie bomb), these “muffins” are more like a hand-held souffle. They are delightfully savory, with cottage cheese, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. They made a fantastic lunch (I’ll take two, please) as well as the easiest grab-and-go breakfast ever. Even better than their taste is the fact that they have less than 125 calories each. It’s actually kind of unbelievable.

These muffins come from the amazing Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks. As I have mentioned, my best friend of the same name (Hi, Heidi!) introduced me to Ms. Swanson’s work a couple years ago and I always do a quick search on her blog whenever I am looking for a healthy meal. I am beyond thrilled to be sharing these with you, and I hope you make them as soon as you can. This is one that just shouldn’t wait.

p.s. how do you like my makeshift muffin wrappers? I never remember to buy them at the store, but parchment paper made a great (and probably cheaper) alternative!

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Grilled Crostini with Fresh Chèvre, Tomatoes, and Basil

I hear that Labor Day is unofficially the end of summer. Technically, we still have 16 more days until Fall, so let’s stay positive here. I don’t think anyone has told my tomato plants a thing about this because they are turning out beautiful, ripe tomatoes like crazy! (I’m not complaining, I’m thrilled!). If you’re lucky like me, you are probably trying to find a way to use up all your end-of-summer tomatoes.

These crostini has been one of my favorite picnic recipes this summer. They are easy and pretty quick, but still tasty enough to seem like a treat, especially if you are using home grown or farmer’s market tomatoes. The smokey grill flavor makes the crostini extra-special, so I would recommend grilling if you can – but I did include the how-to for preparing the crostini in the oven.

Now go enjoy the last of the summer produce and weather!

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Stuffed Heirloom with Fresh Mozzarella

I love the New York Times. When I was a student at Drew, it was delivered to the dorms (for free!) on weekdays. My favorite Sociology professor used to bring in copies of pertinent articles all the time (his kids read the Opinion section every day…which I am still in awe of). These days, Tim and I have a Sunday subscription, and of course I follow a few of the departments on Twitter.

It may not come as a surprise that my favorite links usually come from @nytimesdining and its unofficial counterpart, @nytimesfood. The Times’s Mark Bittman recently did a wonderful feature on Heirloom tomatoes for the Magazine, and the interactive page with the recipes has been up in my Chrome tabs since. This was the first recipe I made from the selection, and I am eyeing that Salsa Borracha for my next one (salsa with tequila in it? yes please).

This stuffed, baked heirloom has an incredible amount of flavor – I was pleasantly surprised. It bakes up beautifully golden and the heat deepens the flavor and color of the heirloom. Definitely give this a try before summer is over!

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Ahi Tuna Tartare

I always think of avocado as one of my top summer foods. On wheat bread with goat cheese and tomato, alongside a quesadilla, on toast, or smashed with a fork into guacamole, avocados at their prime are just the best!

I have been obsessed with the combination of avocado, orange, and raw fish (this recipe may have started it). Usually, we keep the fish plain, with microgreens, avocado, maybe citrus, and a simple dressing, but I decided to take a stab at a tartare with this recipe. Now I’m not 100% sure if this technically counts as a tartare – it might have poke leanings (feel free to enlighten me!), but whatever it is, this Asian-inspired dish is the perfect appetizer for a warm summer evening!

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Rosemary Cous Cous with a Poached Egg

This certainly felt like a fancy breakfast! Runny egg yolk, fluffy cous cous – very decadent. The best part is, it took less than ten minutes to make, start to finish!

Poached eggs are the best breakfast. They seem so decadent and special, but once you get the hang of them it is quick and easy. The other plus about eating an egg is that they have good fats, only 70 calories, and paired with the right type of carbs they fill you up for hours.

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