WOW. Last night was pretty awesome. SO MUCH FOOD! We shook up this year’s menu a bit from last year’s. Like I mentioned on Wednesday, we aimed for a little more of an American Thanksgiving. I feel bad saying it but I try really hard to Americanize our food and household. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t because my culture is important to me and it’s something I want to keep going but I can’t help it.
Anyway, the table was pretty much half our traditional menu and the other was American.
On the menu we had:
Turkey, obviously! (regular green salad in the bottom right corner that literally no one ate. Thanksgiving is not the time for “healthy” things)
Parker House Rolls from Bon Appetit. So fluffy and so good! Spotlight may be coming soon!
Macaroni and cheese. SO AMAZING. We added bacon and made the full recipe. This is that one time I am SO happy we have leftovers!
Pastelón de viveres. This is my mom’s ~thing~; I don’t eat this at all. It’s basically a starch heaven casserole made with two kinds of taro root, green bananas (not to be mistaken with plantains but those can be used too), and kabocha squash. In the middle, there’s a layer of cooked pork. If you’ve ever had Dominican (or Puerto Rican? I’m not sure) pasteles en hoja, this is similar to that minus the leaves and the boiling part. It’s a weird culmination of things but my mom likes it and has been making it for the holidays lately, so I guess it’s here to stay.
Salads and rice. On the left is my mom’s yellow rice with peas, below that is our potato salad, and next to that is macaroni salad.
The potato salad contains boiled and diced potatoes (duh) and carrots, diced hard boiled eggs, mayo, white vinegar, chopped cubanelle peppers and onions. The macaroni salad is almost the same as the potato salad; instead of potatoes, carrots, and eggs, it’s just tri colored macaroni.
Behind the salads was my sister’s mashed potatoes. She made this on her own, without a recipe! Very proud of her efforts, and they were delicious.
Pastelitos or empanadas! These were filled with ground beef and diced hard boiled eggs. Some were just cheddar cheese. Crowd favorite!
For dessert, we had this Apple Cranberry Torta from Cooking Channel TV. I made several changes to the recipe but it was a moist and delicious little cake. I feel like it was maybe a cross between a pie and a cake. I’m still trying to edge that in, obviously! Recipe will be posted below.
Overall, we had a tasty Thanksgiving. I can see mac and cheese in my future! I’m ready to get my tree up and move on to Christmas! Can’t wait to see what’s on the menu then 😉
Apple Cranberry Torta – adapted from Giada’s recipe on Cooking Channel TV
Makes one 8″ round cake
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liquer)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 orange, zested
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups of diced apples
- In a small saucepan, heat the orange liqueur just until warm. Turn off the heat and submerge the dried cranberries and golden raisins. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the four eggs and add the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix in the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
- Gently stir in the apples, cranberries and raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for up to 30 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan before inverting to peel off the parchment. Serve slightly warm.
- I took the walnuts out of this and replaced it with golden raisins because half my family is allergic to nuts.
- I used one large Granny Smith apple but use any kind you’d like.
- I also soaked my dried fruit for quite a while, which helped them sustain the orange liqueur flavor.
- Technically the recipe didn’t state to line the pan with parchment but I don’t trust recipes that rely on just buttering the pan. /skeptic