Friday, November 25, 2011

Entertaining Tips Part 2

My sister, Joy, did such an amazing job for Thanksgiving dinner I had to take pics and share.
Here are my favorite parts of what we ate.

We save time by buying a container of pre-washed organic mixed greens and add cherry tomatoes (halved), red onion (diced) and cucumber (peeled, seeded and chopped). I made creamy garlic dressing from scratch (my family requests me to make this dressing quite a bit). It is so easy. We pre-dress the salad (no complaints so far about that). It's the kind of dressing that makes your mouth water when you think about it.
  • 1/2c mayo
  • 1/2c sour cream
  • 1/4 teasp dry mustard
  • 1/4 teasp dried basil
  • 1 clove (or two if its small) of minced garlic
  • 2 teasp white vinegar
Mix well and serve.

Presenting the main dishes:
My sister served turkey and beef tenderloin. I loved how she garnished the platters. The turkey was sliced and then surrounded by fresh rosemary and black grapes. The beef was sliced and framed with curly parsley and grapes. I get herbs from a produce store and they are cheap - I pay a buck for a decent size bag. Stuff the herbs in the turkey cavity and use what's left over as garnish. The grapes were a big hit with the kiddos so thumbs up for Auntie Joy.

Dessert Table:
My mom made a mascarpone pumpkin pie. It was awesome. Joy wanted guests to just be able to fill up their dessert plate. Once chilled, we popped it out of the pan and cut up the pumpkin pie into squares - topped it with freshly made whipping cream. Great make-ahead dish!

Ode to Spain:
Digestives are huge in Europe and are awesome after a big meal but not everyone enjoys them. Joy put a sweet twist on a digestive by making Brandy Alexanders (brandy is considered a digestive). She served them in her husband's grandmother's wine glasses, which made it special and elegant.
  • 1 1/2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz dark creme de cacao
  • 1 oz half-and-half
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 scoop of ice cream

 In a blender, with ice cubes, combine the brandy, creme de cacao, ice cream and half-and-half. Blend well. Garnish with the nutmeg (fresh is preferred).

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