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Thanksgiving begins…

Planning our Thanksgiving… as a person who moved over to the US nearly 10 years ago, which believe me seems unbelievable, we were happy to adopt Thanksgiving as our own family tradition too, and now with our own two little Americans we celebrate it for them as well as for us.


I love my slow cooker, it is a must have appliance in my kitchen, for soups, casseroles and just cooking a joint of meat, I use it all the time and it is a Thanksgiving must have for all sorts of dishes.  This year I am going to make a warm soup to start of our meal, I want to use cozy Fall flavors, so I’m thinking a light Jamie Oliver cauliflower and coconut soup, cauliflower is a super food in our house at the moment, we are having cauliflower rice as a replacement for carb laden additions to meals and I just love anything with coconut added, so it seemed a perfect choice to add warmth and is sure to give me leftovers for the next few days.

My family are all huge ham lovers, so ham it is, with a little turkey on the side… I do not like handling meat so I will buy a pre-prepared turkey breast.  My plan this year is to cook the meats on the grill outside, it doesn’t matter the weather, snow, hail, rain I plan to fire up that grill, I had enough practice over the summer months cooking everything on the grill, without a kitchen, so it should be fun, and of course less mess in my new oven 😃

I’m a huge cheat when it comes to the potatoes for dinner, Costco do a fantastic tray of the lightest most buttery mashed potato, they even have a tray of sweet potatoes too, and they are both organic always a plus, 8 minutes in the microwave, stir, another 8 minutes in the microwave then stir again… serve, easy peasy. As for the other veggies, they have yet to be decided, it could even be a nice big warm Fall salad, one of my favorite meals when the weather turns chilly.


I will be making another Jamie Oliver recipe Gluten free cornbread, American style, I have become a huge fan of cornbread since moving over here, it’s easy and quick to make, you can add in anything you like for flavor and it all cooks in my cast iron skillets, making it perfect with soups, casseroles and my Thanksgiving  feast.

As for the stuffing and gravy it’s a must, I am a fan of making my own fresh stuffing but my children like the boxed kind, oh well it’s easy, so who am I to argue too much, but the gravy is always homemade, I will be using my own bone broth, and gluten free thickener this year so it should be interesting. 


I have been asked to make a salted caramel apple pie again this year for desert, so who am I to refuse, I’ll cheat a little again with buying a store bought crust and jarred caramel sauce, although both are easy to make, it’s just easier but the apples and crisp/crumble topping will be organic and homemade… perfection!


Finally Black Friday sandwiches have become a tradition in our house, many, many years ago we visited Portsmouth in England for a little shopping trip, right in the center of the Mall was a little stand that had roast meats perfected, they served them in warm bread topped with stuffing and homemade gravy, it was on that day many years before we moved to the US that the Black Friday leftover sandwich was invented, we just didn’t know it back then.  We have been having this sandwich on Black Friday ever since our first Thanksgiving over here, it is more important in our house than the dinner that precedes it, so I always have to make sure there will be enough leftovers which in our house can be difficult. These days this leftover sandwich is all over Food Network at this time of year, but I like to think I invented it way back when many years ago in the little sea town of Portsmouth in England… well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The Black Friday Sandwich my way…

Take all the leftovers, stuffing, meats and mashed potatoes, minus the veggies, drizzle with the gravy and place in a foil baking pan, for ease and no washing up, heat in a 400f oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  In the meantime cut your French baguette in half, ciabatta is also good for this too, once the leftovers are heated place it piled high into the bread, wrap each loaf with foil and put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes… take it out unwrap it, cut into wedges, wrap each wedge of sandwich in kitchen roll, good for handling and cleaning your hands after you’ve eaten, again no clearing up and serve with bowls of the warm gravy (sorry this will be your only washing up)… ENJOY 😋

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and crazy Black Friday (remember Black Friday is Friday not Thursday, give those poor people who work in retail a break and let them have time at home with their loved ones) ✨

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Is it Thanksgiving already?

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I am just not a cold weather person, I like lots of things about Fall and Winter, warm and cozy sweaters, all of the wonderful boots that can be worn, the warm comfort foods… But the cold dark evenings, the bitterly cold weather and snow, one dump of snow is pretty and a good excuse for a day in doors but after that I’m done, done and even more done and ready for Spring! So with the days getting increasingly darker earlier, the weather getting colder by the hour I am trying to be positive, thinking of warm days in the house with my needles, hooks and yarn for company but even that cannot seem to brighten my spirits, I just do not like this time of year!

But one day I do enjoy is Thanksgiving, it’s like Christmas Day without all the pressures of presents, it’s just about food, family and relaxation… My kind of day! I am absolutely amazed that we are at this time of year already, it only seems like yesterday we were celebrating Thanksgiving last year, and now we are about to do it all over again!

On the menu in our house is warm seasoned turkey, hickory smoked ham, homemade sausage, apple and sage stuffing, a cheats version of boxed cornbread stuffing for Blu, mashed buttery potatoes and green bean casserole… Of course turkey gravy and the cranberry and orange sauce I made and froze a few weeks ago… Black Friday has become famous in our house for warm left over rolls toasted in the oven, I think my children prefer this meal to the actual Thanksgiving day meal… Crazy, but it is oh so good!

Take all your left overs, and pile them into your bread of choice, this year we have my favorite ciabatta bread from Trader Joes, we will be having turkey in one and ham in the other, warm through the stuffing and gravy, pile this on top of your roasted meat, add cranberry sauce too if you like, close the bread securely wrap in foil and bake in a 400f oven for 10-15 minutes… Take out unwrap the bread, slice, serve and enjoy… Delicious Black Friday food! Maybe it will become a tradition in your house too!

Now before I move onto another leftover meal we will be having on Saturday, I will tell you about our Thanksgiving day deserts I will be baking today, firstly a recipe I tried out a couple of weeks ago to take to friends for dinner a salted caramel apple pie, now I changed this recipe, it wasn’t gluten free as I made a pastry dough for the base and this time I’m going to make a crisp/crumble topping… This pie was delicious and with warm caramel and whipped cream topping it, it makes a great Thanksgiving desert! Secondly I found a recipe on Pinterest last night that works well with my giant bag of coconut I bought from Costco and the whole fridge drawer I have of limes I need to use up, lime and coconut cream cookies, then of course with a family of chocoholics white chocolate brownies are a must desert for the day of indulgence!

Back to my second left overs day meal… traditional pea and ham soup , another recipe I found on Pinterest, but I like the look of this one because it uses fresh peas instead of split peas, I will be using Trader Joes frozen organic peas but I am really looking forward to trying this recipe, seved with the Pioneer woman’s pizza dough made into an olive oil and rosemary flatbread!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone… Enjoy!

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