Race virgin no more!

Guess who survived his first race!  Way to go, hubs!

(Over my shoulder: “Is that going on your blog?”  And then, looking closer: “Did you like…draw on it?  You are such a dork.”)

Watch it, hubs.  I’ve got MSPaint and I know how to use it.

Obviously, I am extremely proud of him.  He’s never been much of a runner but has started going out pretty regularly the last few months and is logging 15-20 miles a week consistently these days.  We ran together the whole time and finished just over 44 minutes.  Instant PR for the hubs, and a nice morning run for me!

Anyway.  I know that blogland is overrun right now with people posting pictures of turkey and yammering about their Thanksgiving recipes.  But I worked really hard on this meal.  So I’m going to jump on the bandwagon.

Have a seat!

Chow time.

Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Marshmallow, Crumbled Pecans and Fried Sage

Yams make a velvety-smooth soup, but you could sub pumpkin or squash.  And melted marshmallow in the center is pretty and fun. I followed this recipe from Food Network, then added a toasted (in the oven) marshmallow, sage fried in butter until crispy, and a bit of crumbled candied pecans.

Autumn Salad with Pumpkin Bread Croutons and Maple Vinaigrette

This small, flavorful salad was a great warm-up.  Greens, candied pecans, goat cheese, dried sour cherries and pumpkin bread “croutons” in a maple vinaigrette (apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, a little spicy mustard and olive oil).

Turkey, of course.

I’m not a briner.  Or a bagger.  I am a butter-er.  And this turkey was slathered with it – along with tons of finely chopped fresh herbs and salt and pepper – before roasting.  Moist, flavorful and delicious.

Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Pancetta

This is one of the dishes for which I did a trial run last weekend, and I’m so glad I did!  This recipe (from the Pioneer Woman episode of Throwdown) seemed promising, but came out a little dry when I made it the first time.  The second time around I added a pound of pork sausage, a cup of milk and a about a half cup more chicken broth.  It was very soggy-looking when I put it in the oven, but after baking for an hour, it was absolutely perfect.  Certainly the best stuffing I’ve ever made – and declared to be the best he’d ever eaten by one of our dinner guests. 🙂

Zinfandel Cranberry Sauce

Followed this recipe pretty faithfully – except I nearly doubled the actual cranberries.  It was perfect!

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Inspired by this recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen, but I didn’t really follow a recipe for these.  I just made normal mashed taters (Yukon Golds with the skin left on, milk, butter) and then added a bunch of onion rings that had been cooking with butter over low heat for almost an hour.  They were deep golden brown and added a wonderful texture to the potatoes, especially alongside the bits of skin.  Yum.

Roasted Haricots Verts with Browned Butter and Crispy Shallots

Remember when I was all hating on green bean casserole the other day?  That stuff is an injustice to green beans everywhere.  Simply roasting them with butter and salt, and tossed with some caramelized shallots (I cooked them right alongside the onions for the potatoes) is much better.

Maple Pecan Tartlets

Who wouldn’t love a palm-sized pie?  I followed this recipe but instead of making a normal tart/pie crust, I pressed the dough into the cups of a mini muffin pan.  (Cooking time was more like 15-20 minutes.)  With a side of vanilla ice cream, these were fun to eat and still delicious on Thursday night, even though I made them on Tuesday.  (I am actually surprised they survived that long, as the hubs was constantly trying to swipe them!)

So there ya have it.  Hours of planning went in to that meal, and it was worth every minute.  At the risk of sounding like a self-congratulatory jackass, I’m going to say that this was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I’ve ever had.  With a killer food coma to match it.  (Still working that one.)

How was your Thanksgiving feast?  Have you come out of your food coma yet?

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17 responses to “Race virgin no more!

  1. WAHOO!! Glad to hear my virtual running partner had a successful 8k 😉 And, seriously, that sweet potato soup looks fabulous. We might be crashing on your Thanksgiving next year.

  2. major congrats to the hubster! we had sweet potato soup too. and i stole all the leftovers 😉

  3. Ooh, I love those mashed potatoes! And I’ll have to try the mini pecans, too cute! 🙂

  4. Congrats to hubs on his first race… may there be many more…

    BTW- I love, love your blog…

  5. One advantage of not going home is not having the leftovers. Sure they’re amazing… but I know it’s better I not have a huge bowl of stuffing in my possession. I did some SERIOUS stuffing damage last night. Awesome.
    And yea for the husband!

  6. Beautiful food; so glad everything turned out great after all your planning and prep! I’m also amazed you managed to run in the midst of your cooking marathon. Congrats to you both on the race. I’m still in a food coma, 2 thanksgiving meals plus lots of leftovers and sweets does that to a person I suppose 😀

  7. LOL! the things we do for the blog sometimes 😉 paint skills are to be TREASURED! congrats to hubs; hope you had a happy thanksgiving!

  8. Seriously, that looks amazing. Well done! 🙂 And a big congrats to your hubs on his race!! My sister and I came out of our first food coma yesterday just in time for round #2 with leftovers. I heart Thanksgiving – hope you have a great weekend!

  9. Congratulations to the hubcap! I ran an 8K too. It’s like running five miles, but less, which is a confidence boost, eh?

    I can’t decide what I’d want to eat most from your meal. If the stuffing didn’t have pancetta, DEFINITELY that. The mashed potatoes are also enticing. Anything with caramelized onions (as long as you don’t say carmelized) makes my heart go aflutter. But, you know, I also enjoy instant mashed potatoes, so it doesn’t take much.

  10. Oh, I really want those green beans. My thanksgiving was entirely devoid of greenery, partially because it occurred in the dark and partially because the closest thing to a vegetable was the turkey.

    Congratulations to the hubs!

  11. Damn, that’s a lot of food – how many people did you have over?

    I don’t like cranberry sauce (or thanksgiving food in general) but I want to try the sauce you made. Intrigued by the wine.

  12. Wow! You went all out. Everything looks delicious. What turkey recipe did you use?

  13. Super congrats to the hubs on his first race – after all this time!!! And those mashed potatoes look amazing; that is a recipe we need to have. I’m not sure there is any more satisfying food than potatoes almost any way you make them. Except maybe dark chocolate!

  14. That looks amazing! I am SO impressed. Congrats to hubs too!

  15. yay, hubs! bravo. what a successful first race, followed by an amazing meal. seriously – that’s awesome you got all those foods prepared *and* raced, even if it was more of a training run for you. i am especially mesmerized by that soup. i love sweet potato anything. mmmhmm.

  16. Your Thanksgiving dinner looks amazing! I wish that my family was flexible enough to try new foods on Thanksgiving! They are super set in their ways, it is ridiculous.

    Awesome that you got your hubs to Turkey Trot! The burning question is “Will he race again?”

  17. Wow what a feast! Everything looks so delicious. Love the pics too. i cooked Thanksgiving for the fam too and just finally got the post up.

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