24 November 2007


Over the past few years I have developed a love of cooking. A combination of fresh vegetables from the farmers markets, Stephanie's talent, and Sunday night dinners have inspired me to become a better cook. Plus, I find it relaxing. Now, I really only cook two nights a week, but I spend time reading magazines and looking for new recipes to try. So, after hosting many friends for dinner over the past two years I was not hesitant to host my first Thanksgiving dinner. I had the most fun collecting recipes for the menu.

Afternoon Snacks
Apple Brie and Pecan Quesadillas
Oven-Roasted Canned Tomatoes on Toasted Baguettes

Spinach salad with blue cheese, cranberries and pecans
Squash pull-apart rolls
Mashed sweet potatoes and goat cheese
Herb and Sausage stuffing
Orange-Sage Roasted Turkey and orange sauce

Apple-Cranberry Walnut Crisp
Vanilla Ice Cream

My parents joined us from Minnesota to see the new house and spend the weekend with us. Another Minnesotan friend, Alison, joined us for dinner. We also had Theo, my mom's new puppy. He is a service dog - in training. And we had Miles, Steph and Reid's dog.
Our small house was full.

I was thankful Mom was here to help with everything. We cooked Wednesday afternoon and most of Thursday. Everything tasted delicious. Hosting our first Thanksgiving was a success.

Theo and Miles wanted some turkey too.

Now that the occasion is over, my thoughts:

1. Cooking a turkey was fun and actually not too difficult.

2. There is really too much food on the menu to enjoy it all.

3. Thank goodness for leftovers.

4. It's too much for one person to do (or a novice and her mom). I think our Sunday night dinner crew has it best. The host is in charge of the main meal and guests bring the rest. Next time I am inviting more guests!

5. I respect all those who host Thanksgiving so much more now that I have done it myself. So, thank you mom and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends who have hosted my Thanksgiving dinners of the past 25 years.

I am thankful for new experiences, family, beautiful fall weather, friends, good food and puppies.

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