Food + Drink Holiday Thanksgiving

A Southwestern Style Holiday Meal

Ok. Here it is: a week after Thanksgiving and I’m just now getting around to showing you how we spent the holiday…in food form. Stuff happens. I’ve been busy. But I DID want to share our meal with you because it wasn’t an ordinary holiday meal. This year, my mom and I decided to do a twist on the traditional fare…with a Southwestern flair!

We wanted to keep the components of Thanksgiving dinner the same, but jazz it up a bit. One thing that DID stay traditional though was the table – it had to look presentable! And we’ll take any excuse to break out the mercury glass decor in any way. And the paper table runner? We scored a big roll of it at Ballard Designs – you just cut it to fit your table!

Let’s start with the turkey. We decided to go with a turkey breast instead of an entire bird, since there were only four of us at dinner this year. Instead of the traditional preparation of brining or basting…we did a spice rub! We prepared the turkey according to the packaging instructions, but rubbed it with this blackening rub beforehand. It added a nice spice kick to the meat!

Sweet potatoes need to go on the holiday table, and our version for this meal was the Southwestern Style Sweet Potatoes that I’ve showed you before. However, instead of doing them twice baked potato style, we simply scooped them all into a baking dish (and omitted the cheese this time). YUM! And since we already had the chipotles in adobo open for the sweet potatoes, we drizzled a tablespoon or so of the sauce from the can into our gravy to make a little bit of chipotle gravy. Um: that should be an added ingredient every time we make gravy: it was so good.

Mashed potatoes are absolutely necessary during a holiday meal, if you ask me. And these ones…oh the twist on these babies were so ridiculously good. We roasted some poblano peppers on the grill, removed the skin, sliced them open to remove the seeds, and stuffed them with mashed potatoes (mixed with goat cheese). We sprinkled some salt and pepper on top (and some extra goat cheese crumble) and finished them off in the oven.

Oh, and then we realized that we could spice them up even more…with bacon. Because everything is better with bacon. Amazing. The tang of the goat cheese with the smoky flavor of the poblanos and the saltiness of the bacon was heavenly. I HAVE to make these again. Very soon.

And of course, you have to have cranberry sauce. Not just any cranberry sauce though. For this meal, we made a jalapeno tequila cranberry sauce. Yeah. It was barely any extra steps to make than a traditional cranberry sauce, so we loved that. And the kick of jalapeno with the tart cranberries was a nice contrast.

Even though we were full from dinner, we had to make dessert. No pumpkin pie for us this time: we decided apples were what we wanted. My mom whipped up an easy and yummy apple dessert with puff pastry, apples, cinnamon, and sugar. After it was baked, this treat looked so gorgeous! We sprinkled it with some powdered sugar, added a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and even some whipped cream. Yummmm.

And then I was in a food coma for a day or two.

What is your favorite holiday meal item? Do you have any twists on traditional fare that you like to use?


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