Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Day of Thanks

Yesterday I was in full-on Thanksgiving prep mode.  I offered to bring both a side dish and dessert to the Thanksgiving celebration. Below are the recipes that I decided to make. 

Side Dish: Broccoli and Cheese Casserole (my mom's)
This dish is just amazing and now that I don't live at home, I only get to delight in this treat once a year. The base of the cheese sauce is quite versatile and can be used many ways.  It is especially great in macarooni and cheese.  It isn't the healthiest side dish out there, but Thanksgiving is a time to indulge. 
(The essentials - broccoli and aged cheddar cheese)
(The combination of the melted butter, flour and milk make the sauce thick and creamy)
(Adding the rich cheddar into the sauce)
(I cannot wait to dig in)
1 stick of butter 
1/2 cup of flour
8 ounces (more if desired) of aged, sharp chedder cheese, sliced into small pieces
1 1/2 tsp of dried mustard
2% milk, about 1 quart
whole wheat bread crumbs (if desired)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Trim the florets off of two bunches of broccoli.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling add the broccoli and cook until desired tenderness.
To make the Cheese Sauce: Melt the butter. Slowly add the flour until it forms a roux, meaning the flour melts together forming a thick paste-like consistency.  Next slowly whisk in the milk so that the roux becomes thick and smooth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  Then place the cheddar into the sauce allowing it to melt. Start with 8 ounces of cheese but you might want to add more depending on your love for cheddar cheese.  Add the dried mustard and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.  

Dessert: Pecan Pie
(The essential ingredient, pecans)
(A beautiful arrangement, ready to be eaten)

Pecan pie is one of those desserts that has the ability to leave you speechless. It has a gooey and nutty interior with a flakey crust.  I have tried quite a few recipes out, but I wasn't fond of heating the ingredients together, in particularly adding the eggs, which has the potential of leaving a sort of scrambled egg textured/flavor. I discovered this recipe and was really impressed. It was different than traditional recipes because it called for both dark and light corn syrup.  

I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I have many blessings in my life - my boyfriend, family, friends, our newest member of our family, Mickey and our beautiful apartment.   Happy Thanksgiving!

And a special Thanksgiving wish to my sweet sister Chelsea, who is serving in the Peace Corps in Guyana. I love you Chelsea and miss you so much. I can't wait for January:)

1 comment:

  1. The broccoli cheese casserole looks delicious! I have to say Micky looks like he had a little too much pumpkin pie!