Tag Archives: giada de laurentiis stuffing

Stir It Up: Thanksgiving Prep & Quick Purple Kale & Truffled Fig Tartlet

21 Nov

Stephen and Penny go rock scuttling

Thanksgiving is an amazing opportunity to give your families that extra special something, and every year, I knock it out of the park.

Whether I’m the guest or the host at Thanksgiving, by now, the whole fam knows they can count on me. A handful of crying jags, five to 10 panicked phone calls instructing folks en route to pick up five pounds of butter (there’s never enough!!), bringing up the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with family members with whom I do not share kindred partisan views and finally, chugging a glass of merlot and waxing nonsensical about current events (this year: Occupy Wall Street!) just as everyone’s relaxing and beginning to enjoy themselves, is just par for the endless Thanksgiving course.

It gets me warmed up for Christmas, when I really like to go on a tear.

Instead of admitting that my outbursts are due to a personality disorder and consulting members of the medical establishment, I choose to believe that my unhinged holiday behavior is caused by lack of planning. Surely, if I made a list of duties and let other people cook too, everything would be as smooth and flawless as perfectly whipped mashed potatoes (I just have to make sure whoever’s mashin’ em uses a ricer, and not, God forbid, a mixer, because that would be a red button excessive glutton-causing crises, we’d be dead in the water).

This year, I’m turning over a new leaf. I will withstand the pressure of 1,002 TMI updates on the status of various family members’ overactive sebaceous glands, and 52 straight hours of Fox News at full blast. I started cooking this week and I’m outsourcing half the courses.

My version of getting organized in the kitchen -- all cabinets open, the counters covered

My mom is bringing a salad, cheese, nuts, a pecan pie. Stephen is making cranberry sauce, his specialty. My dad will whip the potatoes when the time comes, and I won’t say a word if and when he whips out the mixer (which will never happen, because I’m going to hide it). All I have to do is brine and roast a turkey, make the stuffing and some of the fixin’s, and … enjoy myself.

The monastery looks like an abandoned station in the Dharma Initiative, straight out of Lost, minus the menace.

This weekend, Stephen and I walked in the woods, tinkered with the house, checked out the monastery around the corner, found a new favorite restaurant (The Terrace Club in Mahopac) and cooked up a storm.

We saw dozens of types mosses and lichens blooming from rocks on our walk


Thursday, I’m going to make riffs on Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentiis’s recipes for stuffing, this one for the actual turkey; I started chopping veggies and itemizing shopping lists on Saturday.

On Sunday, I whipped up bases for my country gravy (using a fantastic recipe in my Culinary Institute of America cookbook), my pie filling (I love Grace Parisi’s recipe), sable cookie dough for my brother in law (I seal the dough in the fridge and I’ll roll it out on Thursday morning; I’ll use my mother in law’s cookie cutters to shape the cookies), a basic truffle aioli (for dip and breadsticks wrapped with prosciutto), to make Thursday easier. Plus, some Stir-Fried Purple Kale and Collard Greens and a Truffled Fig and Goat Cheese Tartlet, to keep our engines revved while we worked.

Click on for the greens and tart recipe!

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