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!

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Camembert Mashed Potatoes

If you’re on the hunt for a new, exciting mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving this year, look no further. Every bite of these mashed potatoes is infused with the special tang of Camembert cheese, and it’s a noticeable (yet mild) surprise for the taste buds. This recipe is unique because the Camembert (with its high fat content) adds all the creaminess that butter and cream would add – so all the mashers need is the cheese and a little milk and you’re set.

I just used a simple Camembert from the grocery store for this recipe, and while it turned out very well, I know a higher-quality cheese would have been even more amazing. A triple-cream cheese, such as Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam, would be lovely, and a fresh chevre would add a lot of extra tang if your family is more on the adventurous side.

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Greek Salad

When my best friend Kristin studied abroad in Greece the summer before our senior year of college, she came back obsessed with Greek salads. I never really got it, because Greek salads in America are all canned olives, sub par feta, and probably contain lettuce and some kind of funky dressing. Well…Tim and I just got back from Greece, and I totally get it now. I am obsessed, I can’t get enough, I’ve had Greek salad (and only Greek salad) for dinner three nights in a row.

While we don’t have a Greek market in Paso, I have found olives and feta at the grocery store, and they have been more than acceptable (though still subpar to their official Greek counterparts). The trick is, apparently, to just buy the most expensive olives and feta that you can find. I think this Greek salad habit is going to get pricey…

The Greek word for what we call Greek Salad translates into “House Salad,” and as such, we had it prepared in many different ways. With green peppers and without, Feta crumbled or sliced or cubed, with parsley or without, already dressed or served with oil on the side… The salad in the bottom right photo was topped with capers (still attached to their leaves) that the owner had picked and jarred himself – they were amazing!

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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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Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

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I did a guest post for the girls at Lovely at Your Side – all I’m going to say here is that you definitely need to make these mushrooms this summer! They are the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or steak…or let’s be honest, just by them selves. Check out the recipe here: Lovely at Your Side.

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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Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Fava Beans

The last time I had risotto was about eight years ago. I was somewhere in France with my mom and brother, and we found this cute little restaurant with dark wooden booths and dim lighting. I ordered a dish of mushroom risotto, and it was so incredibly rich that I was overwhelmed in just a few bites! I enjoyed what I ate it, but was left with the impression that risottos are rich and heavy and didn’t feel the need to order any for several years following.

That all changed during a luncheon at work. The Chefs made a spring pea risotto with fresh peas, pea shoots, and Creme Fraiche. The following weekend for lunch, our Sous Chef, Treaver, made a carrot risotto that tasted like the freshest carrots ever. After those two amazing risottos, I became temporarily obsessed and knew I needed to figure out how to make risotto on my own!

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