i am thankful

This year I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends and the love that they bring , my fiance Taylor for his unconditional support and love, Henry, the big green egg, fresh fruit and vegetables that have nourished my body through my first farm season, Cassie’s cranberry daiquiris, a body that can run 13 miles the day after Thanksgiving, my childhood home whose door is always open to strangers and old friends, my mom and dads kitchen, awkward pictures of my youth, the smell of a toasty fire in our living room, and a house full of people I love sharing a warm meal.

Thanksgiving at my parents house is always the event of the year.  Since a child this has always been my favorite holiday.  There is just something extremely special about getting everyone together and cooking all day and enjoying a wonderful meal together.  It also helps when we have ping-pong tournaments going on in the garage and dancing happening in the kitchen.  We always manage to break a sweat before the big meal.

This year, one of the highlights of our Thanksgiving was smoking the turkey on the Big Green Egg.  Remember the Big Green Egg? We have never smoked our turkey before and this turned out really good!

While the men worked on the turkey the ladies got working on the side dishes.

We say this every year, but the food this year was the best!

Wondering what all those lemons are for?

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Cassie’s cranberry daiquiris.

What I love about Thanksgiving at home is that it is a group effort.  Everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets chopping, sauteing, mashing, and taste testing!

The kitchen really starts smelling good early on.

Brussels sprouts from Hutchins!

Things start coming together really fast!

Group effort.

The turkey looks burnt but that’s what it looks like after smoking for 4 hours on the green egg.  It was to die for!

Thank you everyone for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The two recipes that I want to pass along to you all are the cauliflower and fennel gratin and the cranberry daiquiris.  Maybe they will make an appearance on your Thanksgiving table next year.

Cranberry Daiquiri (for 6 drinks) Bon Appetit November 2004

*1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 cinnamon stick and 1/2 tsp grated orange peel; bring to boil.  mix in 1/2 cup cranberries and cook until cranberries begin to pop.  cool; discard cinnamon. Pour mixture into jar; add 1/2 cup light rum. Chill.  Strain syrup into pitcher; reserve cranberries.  Add 6 tbs each dark rum, light rum, cranberry juice, and lemon juice to pitcher.  Chill.  Serve in martini glasses that have been filled with crushed ice.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower and Fennel Gratin (To die for!)

1/4 cup butter

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 2 pounds)

1 large fennel bulb, cored, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch slices plus 1/2 cup chopped fronds

2 tbs all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2cup whipping cream

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded gruyere, cheese

2/3 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 450.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add cauliflower, and saute 4 minutes.  Add fennel slices, and saute 4-5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with flour, salt, and nutmeg; add fennel fronds, and lightly toss together.

spoon into a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.  Pour cream over mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until top is browned and crispy.  Enjoy!

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10 Responses to i am thankful

  1. Carrie says:

    Really great pictures, Andrea! Going out with lizzie on Wednesday – can’t wait to hear all the stories. Let me guess whose hand that is holding the flippin’ salt!

    • drealieberg says:

      Can’t wait to see you in January! The flippin’ salt is the gift that keeps on giving. lizzie can’t get enough! Have fun on Wednesday. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. xxoo

  2. Karen Anne says:

    I assume you are bringing home some turkey slices for Henry 🙂

  3. Pat Reichert says:

    Andrea….I love the pics of your thanksgiving. Your Dad has been telling me about your thanksgivings for many years – the pics brought it to life for me. It’s amazing what pictures can do. Even the brussel sprouts (which I really don’t like) looked delicious. Keep up the great work!!! Love, your Montana aunt, Patty

    • drealieberg says:

      We will have to get you guys out for for Thanksgiving one of these years!!! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday up in MT! XOXO

  4. korinda says:

    What a wonderfully lovely Thanksgiving! I’m having people over on Friday pre-company-Christmas party and I can’t wait to make the Cranberry Daiquiris for them!

    • drealieberg says:

      The Cranberry Daiquiris will knock your socks off!!! So festive and fun! you can always double/triple the recipe! Thats what we do!

  5. Ceci says:

    Looks FABULOUS! Nothing better than Thanksgiving in Oregon! My family is a transplant as well. My mom’s fam is in Canby & Salem. If you ever run into a Hamilton they belong to me! Best holiday ever!

    • drealieberg says:

      Thanksgiving in Oregon is the best! I love Canby Oregon. We used to take the tiny ferry out there when I was a kid. Such a cute area! I’ll keep my eye out for the Hamilton’s!

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