The Diva That Made Thanksgiving 2012

What’s that TV show where they give you surprise ingredients and you have to come up with a dish made from them? Oh, wait, that’s my life…

My boyfriend loves to shop for food. He is a total impulse buyer. You have to slap his hands in the check out line and put things back that mysteriously wind up in your shopping basket. When he shops alone, he often brings me things that I did not ask for… this time from Costco. I don’t shop at places like Costco because I don’t need bulk. I live in New York City, we have no room for bulk.

Recently, he brought me three pounds of whole almonds, one and a half pounds of pine nuts, two pounds of roasted pistachios and a meat tray of hot salami, hot cappocola and regular salami.

After getting excited about making Italian pine nut cookies for the first time for the annual food blogger holiday cookie swap, I spent two weeks shaking my head, thinking, “How can I get rid of these things at my Thanksgiving dinners?”

I always throw two Thanksgiving dinners. One on Thursday for my family and one on Friday for my friends who work in the restaurant business or who spend the holdiay with their families. Same meal so I just prep enough for two days.

After much deliberation, I made an almond, pistachio, raspberry and blueberry nougat, a browned butter, pine nut, apricot and cherry frangipane tart and a Salumi’d Spinach’d & Shallot’d Potato Stuffing.

Here’s the menu I made for Thanksgiving.

Yes, it’s kinda big, but it follows a family tradition passed down by my Grandma who was an incredible cook. She always cooked huge meals her objective was no one should be able to move after one of her meals. She never sat down to eat with us. She always made sure all her guests had food to eat the next day. She claimed that she ruined a dish or two, but they were always PERFECT!

My tradition is still a ridiculously large menu and comatose guests, but I don’t believe in cooking for four days straight and then not sitting down. Leftovers are never forced on guests, but I like to accommodate any requests. I’m critical of my own cooking, but find most things that don’t work out just need to be “renamed”. Although, I did completely murder a dessert this Thanksgiving. What was supposed to be Elderflower Delight (similar to Turkish Delight) did not work out. Totally NOT delightful. A couple of people the first night liked it, but it grossed me out. I composted it.

I love and am thankful for this holiday most of all! It’s my favorite! I love the planning, cooking, hosting, eating the leftovers and then basking in the memories. Can’t wait to do it all again next year.


  • Pork Stuffed Sticky Rice Rolls with Scallion-Ginger Condiment & Chili Soy Sauce
  • Peanut & Sesame Crusted Vietnamese Beef Balls
  • Yuzu Smoked Salmon Tatare in Cucumber Cups with Nori Flakes


  • Turkey (Dry Brined = amazing!)
  • A Foursome Of Mushrooms Stuffing
  • Giblet Gravy
  • Jax Mac n Cheese
  • Apple Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Apples & Cranberries
  • Salumi’d, Spinach’d & Shallot’d Potato Stuffing
  • Grandma’s Rice
  • Lemony Asparagus
  • G’Roots: amaranth, millet, quinoa & buckwheat topped with roasted rutabagas, turnips, carrots and garlic chips
  • Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Fennel, Zucchini & Eggplant


  • Maija’s Maine Picked Cranberry Sauce
  • Tangerine Cranberry Sauce




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