Thursday, November 20

Thanksgiving Recipes

Favorite recipes for the most important meal of the year

I think favorite holidays change as we get older. As a kid it was all about holidays with presents, but now that I'm older, Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite celebrations of the year. I love the traditional foods, breaking out special wine, and spending the long weekend with friends and family. This year, my husband and I are going back to his hometown in Minnesota to spend Thanksgiving with his family. Because I work in advertising for online retailers, I am especially grateful that I get to spend this time on vacation while so many others are staying up all night in anticipation of Black Friday. I'm going to spend my time staying indoors to avoid the cold and help my mother-in-law with the Thanksgiving feast. I'm in charge of a few dishes and look forward to contributing some of my favorite recipes to the Thanksgiving table. 

*Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board.

Thanksgiving Recipes:


Already thinking about the leftovers? Check out this guide to make the most out your leftover turkey.

Wednesday, November 19

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon-Scallion Vinaigrette

A rich potato puree with a tangy and salty bacon-scallion garnish

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon Scallion Vinaigrette

This recipe from Food52 is the kind of comforting meal that's great to make on a cold day when you want an excuse to stay inside and read a book while you let the pot simmer. The potato soup is a simple base of mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery), russet potatoes, and chicken stock that simmers together and then gets blended with low-fat sour cream until smooth. It's rich and creamy and is thick enough to coat your spoon and keep you full for awhile. The best part is the tangy bacon-scallion vinaigrette made with crisp bacon bits, sliced green onions, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It adds a ton of flavor, and more importantly, acid, to brighten up the soup and add complexity.

More Soup Recipes:
- French Onion Soup Gratinee
- Lemon Tahini Carrot Soup
- Butternut Squash, Sage, & Apple Soup

Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon-Scallion Vinaigrette:
- 2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 7 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 c. low-fat sour cream
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt
- pepper

  • Add the bacon to a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and fat renders. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and keep the fat in the pan.
  • Add in onion, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add in garlic and thyme and cook for another minute, then add in the potatoes and stock.
  • Season with another large pinch of salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Puree with a hand blender, blender, or food processor until smooth.
  • Check the soup for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • Just before serving, combine the cooked bacon with scallions, vinegar, and olive oil.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the bacon-scallion vinaigrette.

Serves six-eight

Tuesday, November 18

Chicken Pot Pies

Individual chicken and vegetable pies topped with a buttery, flakey crust

Chicken Pot Pie Smitten Kitchen Recipe

We do dinner with another couple nearly every Thursday night and alternate cooking at our prospective apartments, which are luckily just a few blocks away. Since I've been traveling so much during the week, we switched it up and invited them over for dinner this past Sunday instead. They've eaten my cooking so often that they know my style and what to expect from me, but throwing a weekend into the mix changed everything. I had a whole day to cook instead of a couple of rushed hours post-work, and I wanted to make something comforting and labor-intensive - the true epitome of a Sunday supper. I settled on this recipe for chicken pot pies, which is a Smitten Kitchen adaptation of a Barefoot Contessa recipe. The chicken simmers in a luscious gravy sauce alongside the usual carrots and peas, then is ladled into individual serving bowls and topped with a flakey homemade crust. It takes time and effort, but the result is one of the best pot pies I've ever eaten. If you're making these for company, you can make the filling and crust separately and then just assemble the pies before baking.

Related Recipes:
- Kale, Onion, & Potato Pot Pies
- Chicken & Mushrooms Pie
- White Chicken Chili

Chicken Pot Pies:
- 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks (16 tbsp.) cold butter
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. cold water

- 2 1/2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 3 c. low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 c. sherry
- 1/4 c. whole milk
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 leeks, white and light green part only, diced
- 1 c. carrots, diced
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. room-temperature butter
- 4 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- salt
- pepper

For Crust
  • Pulse all-purpose floursugar, and salt in a food processor.
  • Add in butter and pulse to the size of peas, then stir in cold water until it forms a ball.
  • Flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to 1/4" thick and cut into circles slightly larger than the rim of your pot pie bowls.
For Pot Pies
  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven over high heat.
  • Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the pot.
  • Cook half the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Remove the first batch and repeat the process brown the rest of the chicken.
  • Add 1 more tbsp. olive oil and the onion and leeks, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.
  • Add in the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan, then pour in the chicken stock, milk, and thyme.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken, let cool slightly, then shred the meat into bite-size pieces and discard the skin and bones.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Meanwhile, mash together the butter and flour into a paste. Skim any fat off the top of the gravy, then stir in the butter mixture.
  • Simmer the gravy for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add in the carrots and simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the chicken and peas and turn off the heat.
  • Ladle the filling into four-six oven-safe bowls (depending on size) and top each with a pastry lid.
  • Crimp down the edges of the lid and cut an "x" slit into the top of each to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush the top of the pastry with a little milk and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Serves four-six

Individual Chicken Pot Pies