Pretty Ugly Food

Thanksgiving was full of beautiful food, flowers, and family. Other than my no-knead sweet potato rolls, this year Mom requested a signature cocktail. I think we really delivered using items she already had on hand.

The Thanksgiving Mimosa

The Thanksgiving Mimosa

The Thanksgiving Mimosa is champagne, pomegranate juice, and frozen cranberries. It couldn’t be easier, but feels super festive. You could make it with sparkling cider, or these cute cranberry skewers from Style Me Pretty.

Thanksgiving 2014

Sweet potato rolls. Acorn squash with pinto beans and chorizo.

These sweet potato dinner rolls are probably my family’s favorite thing I make all year. They are snapped up so fast that in almost 5 years of dating, E had never had one until this weekend. (I made him take the first one.) The recipe was first posted on The Kitchn back in 2008. They’re super easy to make, but do require a bit of time to rise.

The other recipe I brought to dinner a little something new. Did you know there’s a brand of chipotle peppers with adobo sauce that comes in a resealable jar now? I’m so happy. Normally I plan out a bunch of recipes before opening a chipotle can and still can’t work through it all before the peppers turn weird.  I first made this combo to celebrate my new jarred chipotle: Williams-Sonoma Roasted Acorn Squash with Chipotle and Food & Wine Spiced Pinto Beans with Chorizo using chipotle in adobo sauce instead of powder and skipping the pork rind garnish. Both recipes are great alone and they’re even better together. I’ve made is as stuffed squash with rice, as a casserole, and as this version that can be easily pulled apart by any picky eaters. We could also have kept squash separate if we have vegetarians present. This is by far the prettiest version.

And now for the ugly:

Pear Dutch Baby

I thought this was supposed to get crispy?

As my sister said, “That is Martha Stewart level“.

After spending a few days at my parents’ house, we returned to some over ripe pears and I thought I’d try my hand at a Dutch Baby. What better way to use up the remaining flour? I mostly followed the Bon Appetit recipe, adding a little bit of ground ginger and waaaay too much brown sugar on the pears. Cooking the pears and brown sugar made a syrup that the batter cooked in and it couldn’t crisp up like it was supposed to. Luckily it was still delicious, especially for breakfast with some maple sausage. That said, don’t fail like me. Go easy on the brown sugar.


A Paella Wedding Feast

A few weekends ago E & I hopped on a ferry to attend a friend’s wedding on Whidbey Island. The bride’s parents raised her in a community overlooking the Saratoga Pass, accidentally providing a completely perfect & personal location for the big day.

How perfect is that?

The part that caught my attention was dinner. The couple hired caterers to make paella at the party. It was a show in and of itself! The caterer started prepping the fire & enormous skillet before the ceremony, and had the food in full swing by the time the “I Do’s” were exchanged.

I was not the only one transfixed by the paella.

It was hands down my favorite wedding meal ever. Delicious. E & I shared a generous portion of seconds that we couldn’t finish. When I saw that the caterer was boxing up the other leftovers I approached him to see if I would get a doggy bag. To my surprise & delight, he handed me an entire extra box in addition to boxing up our food. I wish it had come with a card. Gotta bug the groom for the catering company name when they get back from the honeymoon.

Anyway. We had a great time playing yard games, having bubble wars, drinking beer from the kegs in the barn, and dancing until we were in danger of missing the last ferry home.

E & J played with the kids.

Dancing until dark


Now I really need to try my hand at paella.