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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weekend Cooking- Preparing for Thanksgiving

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

The biggest foodie holiday of the year for most of us is quickly coming up- Thanksgiving. This year we  will be upstate at my sister-in-law's where we always have a fabulous meal. There will be a lot of us there- maybe 25 people, and that takes a lot of preparation and mobilization of resources. Luckily, our captain Brigette is in charge.

This year I volunteered to make the stuffing and bring desserts. My mother makes the best stuffing ever, and she doesn't use a recipe, but it always turns out fantastic. After watching her make this year after year, I have inherited her ability through osmosis to make a pretty mean stuffing myself.

Mom starts with loaves of white bread torn up and put in bowls to set out overnight. (I always remember how much fun it was as kids to tear up the bread.) The next morning, when the bread is hard, she adds milk, eggs, lots of poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and diced onions and celery that have been sauteed until soft. And then she mixes it up with her hands until it is just the right consistency and has just the right amount of seasonings. Somehow she just knows when it is perfect.

You can put it in the turkey or in a separate pan to go in the oven. (We do both.) The only change I have made is to add browned sausage because my husband loves sausage in stuffing. I have to admit, it is better with sausage.

We are also bringing desserts, and I have so many choices living in New York as to what to bring it can make you dizzy. Of course I will order Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pecan Pie from Two Little Red Hens. And I can't leave there without getting two of their best known desserts- Red Velvet Cake and Brooklyn Blackout Cake.  Everyone there is so friendly and they have quite the sophisticated system for pickups on the day before Thanksgiving. Their website is here.

They also make an amazing cheesecake, but if I were bringing cheesecake (and I am not because Brigette is making her scrumptious Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake), I would bring Junior's Cheesecake, a NYC tradition for good reason. I like that I can order a cheesecake to send anywhere in the US, and if you are ever looking to send someone a food gift, I highly recommend them. Their website is here.
Junior's Cheesecake- from their website

Momofuku Milk Bar also has an interesting Pumpkin Cake, and that can be sent anywhere in the US as well. I haven't tried it yet, but I love their Compost Cookies, with pretzels, oats, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and potato chips. The website is here.
Momofuku Pumpkin Cake-from their website

If I were bringing little treats, I would get some mini black and white cookies from William Greenberg. You can get any color combination you like, making them perfect for graduation parties and their Red Velvet black and whites are always a big hit. (We had some this week- I couldn't help myself, they were on the way home from my doctor's appointment.) William Greenberg's website is here.
William Greenberg Mini Black & Whites- from their website

I could also pick up some "schmall" cookies from Schmackary's near Times Square. They do an assortment of 20, 40 or 60 cookies and when I brought these last year upstate they didn't last long. Schmackary's website is here.
Schmackary's "schmall" cookies- from their website
Are you cooking for Thanksgiving this year? What is your best Thanksgiving recipe? Let me know in comments below.


  1. This is going to be our first gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner, so we'll be trying some new recipes and revising some old favorites. I am drooling over your bakery photos, all of which would be off-limits for us this year!

    1. We have two nieces who eat gluten-free due to Celiac's, so I would be very interested in hearing about your Thanksgiving; good luck with the new recipes!

    2. Now I'm hungry for homemade stuffing. Your recipe sounds almost like my family's traditional stuffing. One of my favorite things about the holidays!

  2. Love that cheesecake. Wishing you a great Thanksgiving. We don't do it here in NZ so our next big feast is Christmas. Cheers

  3. These all sound amazing! If you are ever looking for gluten free items for your nieces, I really like Pip's Cakery on 1st and 90th and also Tu-Lu's on the LES (I think its on 11th). They both make great GF treats!

  4. I got a sugar high just reading your dessert choices.....that Brooklyn blackout cake is intriguing me.
    Yeah, turkey day calls for lots and lots of planning!

  5. That pumpkin cake is interesting-I am not sure about potato chips in a cake. It does look good.

  6. I make a lot of stuffing this time of year in my bread machine. What I'll get at the in-laws on Thanksgiving is, umm, sub-par. I used to overeat it anyway (that's how much I love stuffing), until I realized a few years ago that I could satisfy my desire for stuffing this time of year with my own version and leave it alone on Thanksgiving.

  7. Yummy! Everything looks so good!

    My son is vegan, his wife and kids vegetarians. They're making Thanksgiving supper for us this year, and will be bringing a real turkey for us. We did try their "fake" turkey last year and it was a lot better than we expected.

  8. In Canada, we celebrated thanksgiving a few weeks ago. WE had a gluten and dairy free meal. my sister made gluten and non-gluten stuffing. I made the pumpkin pies, I did purchase a box of gluten free pastry mix and it was quite good. I used almond milk in place of cow milk. The pie was excellent. We topped it with the whipped cream from a can of full fat coconut milk. Every thing was tasty and no ones tummy's hurt afterward from eating the wrong stuff.

  9. It must be wonderful living in NY with so many fantastic bakeries and restaurants to try!

  10. I was out of town until today, which is why I couldn't comment over the weekend.

    Pretty much every week I think about how lucky you are to be living in New York! I adore black and white cookies; they say the city to me.