I think I have mentioned that I love the holidays.  Valentine’s day we make lots and lots of candy, Easter, we decorate eggs and love a good Easter egg hunt, Passover we become a macaroon factory, Fourth of July it’s all about the red, white and blue accents, New Years it’ all about the cocktail, and Thanksgiving – it’s all about the sides, the table decorations, and the annual Salzman family turkey “football” bowl.

I started collecting Thanksgiving recipes all the way back in the late 70’s.  Even before Miguel and I were married (25 years ago!), I enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner.  The more guests, the merrier.  I love to feed a crowd and Thanksgiving is that one holiday that makes feeding a crowd really fun.  I love to mix the flavors, the colors, the savory with the sweet.  And I especially love Thanksgiving because it is that one holiday where nothing is expected.  No gifts, no candy, no gestures.  It is just a way to get everyone together, be grateful, and simply say “thanks”.

This year, I am sticking with some old favorites, but introducing some new hopefuls!

Family Favorites
My mac ‘n cheese coins
Parmesan -White Cheddar Straws
Artichoke-Olive dip
Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce
Pumpkin Soup
Squash Gratin
Mom’s Turkey
Mom’s Gravy
New Additions:
Rustic Herbed Stuffing
Rustic Apple Galette
Brussels Sprout Salad
The balance of the meal; sweet potatoes, more veggies,etc, will be made by other family members.  I promise to share a recap of our holiday feast, after I have digested this meal.  Which may take a few days.  So be patient!
This cranberry recipe was my dad’s favorite.  He would eat it with a spoon.  Now, my son-Eli, has taken on that role and requests this cranberry sauce all year around. I always made a double recipe, one for our table and one for my dad to take home.  I will set a place for him this Thanksgiving holiday and be grateful for the 46 years that he was in my life.
Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce
yield: 4 cups
1 lb. fresh cranberries
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2  cup sugar
1/2 cup orange marmalade
10 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
• throw all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  pulse until chunky.

• refrigerate.  can stay for about 1 month.

Brussels Sprout Salad

There is a restaurant in my neighborhood (The Six) that is a great place to grab lunch or eat an early dinner before a movie.  The menu constantly changes and uses mostly seasonal, fresh ingredients.  I look forward to their shaved brussels sprout salad and am always disappointed when it is not on the menu.  Inspired by The Six, I decided to create one of my own.  It’s delicious, if I do say so myself!

1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
2 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbls. sugar
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

candied pecans:
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbls. unsalted butter
3/4 cup pecans, chopped + toasted

1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

• preheat oven to 325*
• bring a pot of water to boil
for the candied pecans
• in a heavy duty pan, melt butter with sugar.  bring to a boil.  boil for one minute.
• remove from heat and add the pecans.
• spread mixture onto a silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
• cool completely
for the dressing
• make dressing, combine all ingredients and mix well.  taste for seasoning. set aside
• once the water has boiled, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  add brussels sprouts and cook for
5 minutes or until tender.
• drain, rinse with cold water.  cool on paper towels.
• using a food processor fitted with the 1/8 or 1/4″ slicing disc, slice brussels sprouts.  transfer to a large bowl.  cover and chill.
when ready to assemble
• toss brussels sprouts with enough dressing to coat.  let marinate for 30 minutes.
• top with candied pecans and pomegranate seeds.

Rustic Herbed Stuffing
adapted from Bon Appetit
yield: 8-10 servings

Stuffing is never my department.  My mom has always made the stuffing (another one of my dad’s favorites) and she ALWAYS stuffs it in the bird.
It happens to be really delicious and really moist and has a very distinct flavor.  But as my mom gets older, it becomes harder and harder for her to do tasks such as these.  So, this year, we are veering off of tradition, just a little, and I am making this rustic herbed stuffing.  We did a trial run.  Eli ate half the pan and gave it two thumbs up!

11 cups (16oz.) country style french bread, cut into 1″ cubes
10 Tbls. unsalted butter
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped celery
3/4 cups chopped, fresh italian parsley
1 Tbls. chopped, fresh oregano
1 Tbls. chopped, fresh sage
1 Tbls. chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped coarse (12 cups)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup chicken stock (I used homemade)
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
2 oz. grated Gruyere cheese

• preheat oven to 375*.  butter a large casserole dish.
• spread bread cubes on a large sheet pan.  bake until very dry, 15 minutes.  cool.
• melt butter in a heavy large skillet over high heat.  add green onions and next 8 ingredients.  saute until celery is tender, 6-8 minutes.
• add Swiss chard and saute for 3 minutes.
• place bread crumbs in a very large bowl.  add warm veggies and toss to coat.
• whisk eggs and 3/4 cups broth(i used a 1/2 cup more) and add this to the bread mixture. mix in Parmesan.
• transfer to prepared dish. cover with buttered foil and bake for 30 minutes.  remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until golden.

*will post photos and recipes after Thanksgiving

I wish Thanksgiving was a week long holiday.  If it were, I could then make all the dishes that I desire. Here are some amazing recipes that have inspired me: