Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo

Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Gumbo

This Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo is a very popular recipe in my family. My brother in particular requests this one every year. The good news is that aside from being a crowd-pleaser, this hearty stew is a great way to use up any extra turkey you have hanging out post Thanksgiving feast. I always make a great big pot of this Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo, since I usually have lots of lovely turkey stock as well and it freezes nicely for some ready to serve weeknight meals. And while I typically serve it with rice, if I convinced you to make a rice stuffing like my Rice and Peas Thanksgiving Style off my Caribbean Thanksgiving Menu, you can easily serve it over that instead as another great way to use up any leftovers you may have. It’s full of lots of kinds of vegetables and loaded with flavor. And keep in mind that if you made a turkey like my Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey you want to keep an eye on the salt, because there will be plenty in the stock and the meat from all of that delicious bacon. But no matter how you make your turkey each … Continue reading

Rye Crust Apple Custard Pie

Rye Crust Apple Custard Pie dallop of creme fraiche

I love everything about this Rye Crust Apple Custard Pie, except perhaps the fact that it requires a deep-dish pan and it’s a bit of a pain to make. The dense, savory, buttery crust goes so well with the cool creamy custard. Then the tart but caramelized apples bring bushels of fall flavor and provide texture and balance to the vanilla custard. It is playful and unexpected all the while fulfilling my love for old-fashioned dessert flavors. This Rye Crust Apple Custard Pie is oh-so-worth the extra effort this recipe may require, and I have broken it into a two or three day process to make it feel less arduous when I make it. Simply make the pastry one day, roll it out and bake it another, make the apples a day or two ahead and refrigerate them. When you’re ready to bake it, it will be a matter of throwing all of the ingredients together, rather than the make and wait all-day process this looks like. That said, if you’re having a busy, multi-tasking full-meal sort of cooking day, you won’t notice the challenge at all because the steps are straightforward and you can use the downtime for other … Continue reading

Scandinavian Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Scandinavian Thanksgiving Decorations tablescape

Scandinavian Thanksgiving Table Decorations were all about letting small lights reflect off of coppery metal and etched glass. The party started with late afternoon light slanting in through our West windows bringing lots of attention to the glassware and it’s shape and texture. But the centerpieces popped and came alive as the sun slipped low over the city. The copper baskets and balls were ablaze with tiny lights and the glass balls and Christmas lights on the rafters created a gentle glow. It was bright enough to leave the lights off, but dim enough to create an elegant dinner party atmosphere and hide the creases on the tablecloths. What can I say? I just never made it to the ironing. Over the years I’ve collected lots of flatware, china and stemware, and I love that it all sort of goes together, sort of is mix and match and it was a definite focus of these Scandinavian Thanksgiving Table Decorations. I prefer pairing the antique striped French wine glasses I have with tall etched glass water goblets and polka-dotted champagne coupes. The different heights and styles of glasses create lots of visual intrigue. And check out the vase filled with a … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Invitations for Scandinavian Menu

Thanksgiving invitations Scandinavian on cork

I want to share with you my Thanksgiving Invitations for Scandinavian Menu. The decoration scheme for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving was all about earth tones and metallics. I used copper baskets and lights, moss, gilded eucalyptus leaves and seeds, and brown and green glass milk balls to set the scene for my Scandinavian Fall flavors theme. Long before guests arrived, my planning was underway. I started menu prep in August, as I always do. Testing started in September and then of course it was time to make the invitations. I used stamps and wrote out by hand the custom invitations and sent them out weeks in advance to try to ensure maximum attendance. The muted paper let the acorns and oak leaves pop on the page and the blue oak leaf was my little nod to the Swedish influence. I love taking the time to make homemade invitations every year. It’s usually a rainy afternoon’s work, but I love letting my guests know that they’re being invited to a very special event. Of course, if you’re not up for all of that, even using a stamp on the back of the envelope of a store-bought envelope can set it apart and … Continue reading

Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish

Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish for Thanksgiving

One item that I absolutely cannot have Thanksgiving without is a version of my Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish. If you check out a couple of my menus you’ll see that I make Cranberry Relish a little differently every year, based on the direction I’m taking the menu. For the Mexican Thanksgiving, I added a little tequila. For Caribbean Thanksgiving, I added lime and dark rum. This year, for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving menu, I’ve added elderflower and lingonberries. So why is Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish so critical to Thanksgiving? Well, the tart flavor cuts through all the salt and fat to balance each dish and is an essential part of a perfect bite for me. I also love it for leftovers. It’s a great condiment on a turkey sandwich and with the Juniper Brined Turkey I made for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu those sandwiches are more tender and flavorful than ever. If you’d rather go with the classic relish, just skip the elderflower and lingonberry preserves, but I must say this Lingonberry Elderflower Cranberry Relish brings a little something extra to the Holiday table this year that I think you and your guests will notice and enjoy. … Continue reading

Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt

Carrot Wheat berry Salad with Yogurt

This Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt is a perfect fall salad that works well as a meal or as a first course if you like. It’s also a fun one to prepare for guests, because it’s just a little unusual. This Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt makes a great meal because it’s chock full of good things and is served on filling wheat berries. I served it in small portions for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu, but we were really glad there were leftovers so we could eat it for dinner for the next few days. And I continued to make it all winter long since it feels fresh and light while still being easy to make in the winter. And it’s fun to swap out the root vegetables or mix them up. It’s great with parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, etc. But don’t take my word for it, try out this Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt and make it to your exact preference. Full disclosure, this recipe is based closely on a food and wine recipe. I made it because of its Scandinavian pallet and I was thrilled that it went so well … Continue reading

Lemon Toasted Caraway Seeds

Carrot Wheat berry Salad with Yogurt lemon zest caraway seeds

Believe it or not, these Lemon Toasted Caraway Seeds are a simple and delicious snack that makes them worth keeping around just for the sake of delicious and healthy snacks. I make them ½ to 1 cup at a time, and munch on them when I want something satisfying but healthy. Seeds are typically lower in calories and fat than nuts, but they pack the same crunch. The other reason I make these Lemon Toasted Caraway Seeds? I routinely use them to brighten up a boring salad- or even really exciting ones like my Kale Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and my Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Yogurt. Even if you’re not feeling them as a snack, you’re going to want to make them for salads, and you certainly don’t have to make them in bulk; they’re still easy to make and totally worth it even if you’re just working on a couple of tablespoons. The oil and zest don’t need to be exact, so just cut it down to your liking. But once you make these Lemon Toasted Caraway Seeds once, you’ll probably want to keep them around. The fragrant lemon, the hint of oil that brings out the caraway, and … Continue reading

Leek Soup with Fried Sage

Leek Soup with Fried Sage

This Leek Soup with Fried Sage is velvety, savory, smooth, and delicious. It’s easy to make in the large quantity I have it scaled for in this recipe. This way you can eat what you like and the freeze the leftovers. This Leek Soup with Fried Sage freezes really well, like many soups, for that matter. In fact, I made this soup a couple of weeks before I needed it for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu and simply pulled it out of the freezer and reheated it the day of the feast. I love cooking ahead for big deal meals; it’s so helpful for stress management a.k.a. hanging out with your guests drinking Rhubarb Lillet Rose Aquavit Spritzers, which is really what you should be doing anyway when you have a big party, right? The good news is that you can make the garnish ahead of time as well. The pretty green sage provides some visual interest and awesome texture, but this simple soup is still delicious without it if you want to keep it really simple or sage isn’t your thing. I think it would be great to try this Leek Soup with Fried Sage with other fried herbs. In … Continue reading

Rhubarb Lillet Rose Spritzer

rhubarb aquavit lillet rose spritz

While I absolutely love savory cocktails, not everyone does; some people prefer something a little sweet, like this Rhubarb Lillet Rose Spritzer. So when you’re serving a drink like my Celery Aquavit Spritzer for your big, fancy schmancy Scandinavian Thanksgiving menu, it’s best to make two cocktails for a large group. After all, two cocktails is better than one anyway, right? When I was making aquavit, I wanted to make some Northern, Scandinavian flavors and rhubarb was at the top of my list for pairing with holiday flavors. I also finally procured a bottle of lillet rose, which can be surprisingly tricky to track down and wanted to feature it and it’s lovely pink color. The rhubarb aquavit fit this Rhubarb Lillet Rose Spritzer in that dimension as well since it is also a beautiful pink shade. I have to admit, this isn’t a particularly complex cocktail; it’s light, smooth, and easy to drink. But that’s perfect when you have a huge menu with many courses and lots and lots of awesome wine pairings. In fact, this simple and easy Rhubarb Lillet Rose Spritzer it perfect when it needs to pair with three very different appetizers, like a gjetost fondue, … Continue reading

Swedish Gjetost Fondue

Swedish Gjetost Fondue with sliced fruit and crisps

This Gjetost Fondue is another great easy to make ahead hors d’oeuvres that’s perfect for any Thanksgiving, but I served it as a started for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu for good reason. It’s chock full of lovely Swedish cheeses, which are actually rather easy to find, particularly if you live near an IKEA, where they stock all of the cheeses required for this Swedish Gjetost Fondue. But even if you can’t find many of them, the only two that are absolutely essential are the French Gruyère and the Scandinavian Gjetost. The Gjetost in particular cannot be substituted because it is a very unique caramelized goat’s milk cheese. Yes, you heard me, caramelized goat’s milk cheese. But, caramelized milk sounds crazy to describe cheese. It is, you’re right. And while Gjetost on it’s own tends to be a love or hate it food because it’s a little sweet and extremely dense and creamy. It is also absolutely the element that makes this Swedish Gjetost Fondue so special and one of the crowd favorites at Thanksgiving last year, even amongst people who said they didn’t normally like Gjetost. It’s also a cheese that I grew up with at breakfast, served on toast, … Continue reading

Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower

Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower appetizers

I absolutely love, love, love, this Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower recipe and I wish that I could credit myself with it, but instead, credit where credit is due, it comes from Food and Wine. It could easily have been overlooked in the magazine. The photos aren’t stunning, but the flavors, oh, the flavors. I have to say, these Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower are probably my favorite pickles to date. They’re sweet, they’re spiced, they’re a touch spicy, they’re so flavorful and they make cauliflower, what is in my opinion one of the most boring vegetables, absolutely come alive with flavor and texture. I can’t rave enough about these Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower. So while you may have to make a run to the store for some of the spices, I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. And since they’re a quick pickle, this recipe is actually really straight-forward and fast. And the Sweet Pickled Carrots and Cauliflower are so delicious that you won’t need to worry about long term-storage for them- they’ll be long gone before you could even begin to think about them going bad. Even if nothing else from my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu inspires you, … Continue reading

Celery Aquavit Spritzer

Celery Aquavit spritzer

I find that a good cocktail, while not essential, is a great social lubricant to get a party started off right, and this Celery Aquavit Spritzer certainly set the right tone when paired with a Rhubarb Lillet Rose Spritzer at the beginning of my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu. It’s light, bright, and very dry, which goes well with the Gjetost fondue, pickled carrots and cauliflower, and salmon mousse, as well as the fact that Thanksgiving is a long night with lots of courses! It’s also another fun excuse to use the Celery and Caraway Aquavit I made. I love serving savory cocktails, like this Celery Aquavit Spritzer because they’re a little unexpected by guests, which makes them all the more fun. And this Celery Aquavit Spritzer is great for improvising and trying new things. It makes a great martini shaken and served up with a lemon twist (and no club soda). I think a tiny bit of dill, or even a dill simple syrup in place of the celery would be a great variation as well but I haven’t yet tried it out. And whether this Celery Aquavit Spritzer is shaken or stirred, it’s a delicious drink that will get any party … Continue reading