Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Like any other food-a-holic, Thanksgiving is a great reason to binge. Because, well, food and thankfulness goes hand in hand in my book. The Book of Jasmine. I've been scouring the Internet for delicious recipes to add to my family's traditional meal. Yes, there is ham and a golden turkey (unfortunately no one liked my idea to bake a Tofurkey instead of a bird), but I like to add accompanying dishes to complete the meal. If the dish is good enough, it'll last throughout the years...like my sister's mashed potatoes. No one does potatoes like that girl. I promise, you'd think she was from Idaho. That's how good her mashed potatoes are. I'm talking about butter, cream, chives, and cheese. We don't do anything plain in my family.

In case there are any blog readers who'd like to overdose on their caloric intake with me this Thursday, I'm picking some of my favorite recipes to share. I'll be giving a full report on my findings and whether they'll be invited back again next year, so stay tuned.

Oh yeah, every Thanksgiving eve, I've have a nightmare that I turn into Violet, from the original Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory movie. Just as Violet finishes chewing the full-meal bubble gum, she blows up into a lifesize blueberry after eating the blueberry pie and the Oompa Lumpas roll her away. Every year, I fear having Oompa Lumpas having to roll me away from my dinner table. I sincerely hope y'all have such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal you fear the Oompa Lumpas lurking in the corners of your minds :)

Spiced Pumpkin Soup
~A medley of exotic spices plus coconut milk and banana add complexity and rich flavor.
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped ripe banana
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups canned pure pumpkin
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk*
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Transfer mixture to processor and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Add broth and all remaining ingredients except cilantro. Boil soup over medium-high heat 15 minutes to blend flavors. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate.)
Bring soup to simmer. Divide among 8 bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
* Canned unsweetened coconut milk is sold at Indian, Southeast Asian, and Latin American markets and at many supermarkets.

1. Cutting board: Peel and cut 8 large sweet potatoes
2. Boiling pot of salted water / strainer: boil 5 minutes.
3. Casserole Dish: add potatoes and dot with 6 tablespoons or 1 stick butter.
4. Mixing Bowl: combine these ingredients, then sprinkle over potatoes. If they don't combine well in bowl, melt together in saucepan with OJ concentrate, then pour over potatoes.
3 cups light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tsp. orange zest
5. Pour 1 cup orange juice (use the orange juice from concentrate, but don't add water!)
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

CRANBERRY COMPOTE (for those of you who don't like the canned cranberry sauce)
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 (16 ounce) cans whole cranberry sauce (not jellied)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
1 (6 ounce) can mandarin oranges
Shaved apples
Orange zest (not sure how much)

In a large bowl, mix together the pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and strawberries. Mix in orange zest. Cover and chill overnight before serving in glass serving bowl. The truth is, you can't screw this up. Just drain out the juice, or it will be too watery. And if you want more mandarin oranges in it, just add them. Everyone, EVERYONE, loves this, and it's so easy.

16 ounce bag stuffing cubes
16 ounces cornbread cubes (or use fresh, cube yourself and dry out in oven)
1 1/2 lb. sweet sausage, casings removed
4 cups celery, fine chop
3 cups onions, fine chop
1 cup water chestnuts, canned sliced
3 cups nuts (1 c. toasted walnuts, 2 c. pine nuts) coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped include stems
1 tablespoon dried sage, or 3 tbl. Fresh sage
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
3 eggs
5 cups chicken broth
4 ounces butter, divided *keep in mind 1 ounce=2 tbl.)

1. In a BIG bowl, add both bags of stuffing or bread mixtures.
2. Melt 4 tbl. butter in pan, add sausage, cook until it loses most of its pink color. Add fat and broken up sausage to stuffing mix bowl.
3. Chop the onions, celery, water chestnuts (coarse chop), toasted pine nuts or walnuts, & parsley and add to pan with butter, cook until onions are soft. Then combine with the stuffing mixes in the BIG bowl. Toss with hands.
4. Add sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper & toss again.
5. Break eggs into a smaller bowl. Whisk to mix until uniformly yellow.
6. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to eggs & mix.
7. Melt 2 ounces of butter & mix into eggs & broth (do not melt butter too hot or it'll cook eggs).
8. Pour eggs & butter broth into BIG bowl of stuffing mix & gently mix with your hands (No Smushing, just lightly, lightly fluffing).
9. Add enough additional broth to get an evenly moistened (not drippy or gloppy) mix.
10. Place in lasagne pans (goal - no more than 2 inches thick in pan).
11. Melt remaining 2 ounces of butter & mix with an additional cup of broth. Drizzle over pan of stuffing. Cover pan with tight-fitting aluminum foil & bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes covered & 15 minutes uncovered for a nice crust - adding more broth along the way to prevent drying out (but do not want mush either). Serve in enormous silver bowl, warmed.



Blogger A Precious Moment Photography said...

You are just like me! Right before Thanksgiving, I starting buying all of the magazines on the racks to get all of the yummy recipe. I would cook for at least 20 and I love to decorate the table and have a traditional sit down dinner. My favorite holiday of the year. A time to be thankful and to be around family.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

8:14 AM  
Blogger One Blank Canvas said...

Man, sounds like I need to come to your house!!! These reciepes sound amazing! I'm gonna be out in January hopefully to see my bro and his wife. I'm tryin to schedule a SB get together. Hopefully you can make it... I'll let you know when I know more.

Happy Thanksgiving girl!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Thanks for the well wishes...hope you eat a bunch and enjoy!


10:08 AM  
Blogger Tim Co. Photography said...

wow...I want the book of Jasmine!! Barnes and Noble? :-P

12:30 PM  
Blogger Liana said...

Jazzy, you are tooooo cute!!

Can't wait to catch up soon (my phone is still not fixed so I don't have your # or I'd give you a call).

Happy THANKSGIVING hon :) Miss ya already!!


1:13 PM  

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