I haven’t posted over the last few days as we have been out-of-town. The day after Thanksgiving we left to head back home to visit family and for my daughter to get her braces off! We were so excited by the last part. No more 550 mile, each way, trips every 6-8 weeks. A huge sigh or relief for us and our budget!
On our way home we stopped in Niagara Falls, Canada. We just learned that our son doesn’t remember going to the falls before. Because his sister is three years older I think some of the stuff we remember doing with them he was too young to remember even though she remembers it well. So, we took a little side trip on a cold, frosty day. In the picture below you can see the freezing mist rising over the water and the trees that are coated in ice. It was absolutely beautiful.
But, I wanted to post about our Thanksgiving Dinner. It was the easiest Thanksgiving Dinner I think I have ever made. Usually the days before hand are spent prepping all the ingredients and then Thanksgiving Day we start cooking at ungodly hour and continue all day until we eat.
This year I did do the prep ahead of time – chopping celery, onions and cutting the green beans. That was it! Then Thanksgiving Day all I had to do was start about 2 hours before we were ready to eat and everything just came together very easily.
I did not cook a turkey this year. This was an issue for my autistic son for quite a while before Thanksgiving. He was worried that we were the only people in America NOT eating turkey and wasn’t it a law that everyone has turkey? Then he wanted to appeal to the government because we weren’t having our usual Thanksgiving Dinner – turkey, corn souffle, corn bread stuffing, green bean casserole, baby glazed carrots, croissants, pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie. The list is just making me tired and making my stomach ache.
This year I went simpler. I don’t like turkey. There. I admit it. I like a good turkey sandwich but just a hunk of turkey on my plate is not appealing to me. So this year we had Pork en Croute, Green Beans with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans, Baked Sweet Potatoes, mixed green salad and pumpkin pie.
This was amazing. It had all the flavors we were looking for from a Thanksgiving Dinner without all the work. The only thing my family missed was that my daughter wished that I had made corn souffle. I told I could make it another night for dinner and she was fine with that.
We stretched the meal out by having a relish tray – red and yellow pepper strips, baby carrots, baby gherkin pickles, olives and stuffed celery, for an appetizer. Everyone could fill up before dinner on good stuff. Then an hour or so later we sat down and ate our green salad. I was trying to get everyone to eat a bit more healthy this year. I had nuts, greens, peppers, feta, radishes, celery and tomatoes in the salad. I made a balsamic vinaigrette dressing to go with the salad.
After large plates of salad we served dinner. I planned carefully not to have too many leftovers as we were leaving the next day but there was just enough that everyone could have a bit more the next day for lunch.
Here is the Green Bean with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecan recipe and I will post the Pork en Croute tomorrow.
Green Beans with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans:
- 1 1/2 lb green beans, cut into 2″ pieces
- 4 oz pecans, slightly cut up
- 1 cup butter
- pepper to taste
- Steam beans in 1″ of boiling water for 3-4 minutes until al dente.
- Drain water from beans and add ice-cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. Drain beans again.
- Set beans aside.
- Lay pecans on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in 350 degree for about 5 minutes until toasted. Be careful not to burn them or over cook them.
- Remove pecans from oven and set aside.
- Add butter to a large skillet. Over medium heat let butter melt slowly. As the butter cooks down it will begin to bubble turn the heat down to low and skim off any white foam that you see rising. After about 12-15 minutes the butter will start to turn a golden caramel color. Add your beans back into the skillet with the pecans. Continue to stir and warm the beans through about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove beans from heat and serve.