Monday, November 29, 2010

Scenes from a Holiday : Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25th - Thanksgiving 2010

Happy week after Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is holding up well after all the eating and family bonding. I spent the long weekend at my parents. I left work early on Wednesday and headed home to start baking immediately. The first thing I knew I wanted to make were scones. My family is big on baked goods for breakfast. A few years ago I started making scones for holiday breakfasts and it kind of stuck. I decided to make these Petite Vanilla Bean Scones after seeing them a while ago on The Pioneer Woman and drooling just a little. They were really easy to make and came out so tasty, crumbly and buttery. I've never used real vanilla bean before. It was an experience I'd like to repeat.
(My recipe edit: I did not make the icing. I put butter and honey on mine for breakfast.)
I woke up on Thanksgiving and made myself some tea to have with the scones. It was a great way to start the day. I relaxed around the house until I finally got up the energy to take Lua to the park and hopefully get rid of some of her energy before the rest of my family came over. It was overcast and started to rain while I was there. I didn't mind though, it was crisp and made me rush home to get back and help prepare for dinner. It also reminded me that I need to get gloves for walking Lua in the cold this winter.
When I got back to the house it was time to ice the cupcakes. I used a recipe I had found from Ina Garten's (aka The Barefoot Contessa's) House Beautiful feature. The Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting were a last minute addition to the baking plan Wednesday night. We were going to my brother's soon to be parents in laws (he got engaged a few weekends ago!) for dessert and my mom suggested it would be nice to bring something. I remembered wanting to try this recipe but not really having an occasion to make cupcakes. Plus, everyone loves a cupcake. 
(My recipe edit: I used a light olive oil instead of vegetable oil because it was what we had on hand. I used some of the pumpkin I roasted from scratch and filled in what I didn't have with pumpkin purée. The last difference was that I sprinkled the top with some pumpkin spice instead of adding any Heath Bar.)
My mom set the table, took the turkey out to rest, put the breads in the oven to warm, and waited for the rest of our family to arrive. I straighten up my room and myself and hoped that Lua would be on her best behavior. 
I made a cornbread as well this year. I used another Ina Garten recipe, Cheddar Dill Cornbread (minus the cheddar and dill). I always find her recipes very trustworthy, which is great if I don't have time to try different options and need to get it right the first time. It was an easy recipe to pull together and didn't require any machinery so it came together quickly. The end result was a thick bread with a distinct homey cornbread taste. Yum. 
(My recipe edit: I didn't add dill or cheddar. Instead I added a drained can of whole kernel sweet corn.)
Then there was the pumpkin bread. A few weeks ago while in Denver, Sarah was going on and on about her Nana's Pumpkin Bread and how perfect it was. I convinced her to make it for me and it was delicious. I decided I wanted to try to recreate it for the holiday. I knew I wanted to make my own pumpkin purée for this. I had bought a small pumpkin earlier in the week and threw it in the oven to roast as I put other things together. I think using the freshly roasted pumpkin might be why mine didn't turn out as orange as Sarah's did but it was just as scrumptious.  
(My recipe edit: I used a light olive oil instead of vegetable oil because it was what we had on hand. I didn't use as much water as her recipe because I thought it might have been an altitude adjustment. I sprinkled sugar in the raw over the top which gave it a nice sweet crust.)
Thanksgiving was a success. Everything my mom made came out perfectly and I was quite pleased with how all my baked goods tasted. Unfortunately my face wasn't as please with all the sugar and dairy that comes with that day of eating. I knew what I was getting myself into and I always make acceptations for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite meal after all. Of course Icebox Cake made an appearance for dessert. It's a staple for us on holidays. It was a lovely day with alot of food and relaxing family time. Everyone went to bed content and with full bellies. I hope everyone (who celebrated) had a great Thanksgiving! 
I was a little lagged from the long lazy weekend today. I was so tired I could barely function! One of the best things about Thanksgiving is that I don't have to do any grocery shopping this week. Our fridge is packed with leftovers. 



archives said...

wow. i want to eat your post! everything looks SO delish! im not a baker - at.all. so jealous of your skills.

i have, however, used vanilla bean many a time! isn't it the most intoxicating smell? last year for xmas i made homemade vanilla extract as gifts! a big hit that was so so so easy to make. hope you had a lovely thanksgiving! :)

Eleanor ~ Shopping The Closet said...

I have already been completely mesmerized by your blog, but this post made me love it even more!
I adore Ina Garten and you are completely right, her recipes are always can rely on them to come out great every.single.time.

Your Thanksgiving looks like it was just as this holiday was meant to be.
Family, friends, food and the kind of contentment more people should have in their lives.

Carys said...

This food all looks so good, and Lua is adorable! Beautiful pictures.
From Carys of La Ville Inconue

Lisa said... morgan, you are a serious baker! i would please like one of everything, as it all looks positively scrumptious. thx.

SarahAnn said...

YAY! You made Nana's pumpkin bread. :) She'd be so proud--especially since you roasted your own pumpkin!

veronika, tick tock vintage. said...

looks like you had a fabulous time! that pumpkin bread looks amazing.

Tieka, Selective Potential said...

Oooh! Everything in this post looks amazing!

Kate said...

This all looks so amazing & delicious! & funny, when you posted about scones, my mind immediately went a recipe for cheddar and dill scones I had saved in my favorites folder, only to see you then made cornbread MINUS the cheddar & dill.

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Stéphanie said...

Lovely pictures !

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