Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yummies: Turkey Day...It's not just for turkeys any more.

Well, the truth is (looking at the title) Thanksgiving never really was for those poor turkeys was it? So, we say....try a Thanksgiving where the Turkey is not the center of attention.

And that is precisely the way, we the chic lil gals of Things We Heart like it...We super heart a Thanksgiving day that is not about the turkeys...

We prefer our day to be filled with family, friends, laughter and loads of amazing food...foods that are not turkey.
There are just soooooo many unbelievable sides and desserts out there that the poor turkey is sooo not necessary and to be honest it becomes...totally passe.

Now, you might be saying..."How good and satisfying can it possibly be with out the main dish?"...
And that's just it!!! The sides we are talking about are not your typical canned green beans and frozen peas that your Aunt Selma brings over....NOPE these are fun, fresh, new (but totally easy and very recessionista saavy) ways to eat the staples. Woooo hooooo!

So all aboard the S.E. (Sides Express)!!!!

Oh....P.S. We are skipping the whole dinner roll part...we looooove a good hearty roll too, so just grab what ever you like. Have you ever tried to make bread? Um...yeah. No bueno.

OK...chooo choooo...first up on the S.E. for T.D. (Turkey-less Day) is our all time fave Roasted Winter Squash Soup.
Ughghhhgghhg....just hearing it makes my tummy growl.

This is the easiest soup you will ever make! And the best part about it being sooo easy...and soooo delish? It's crazy good for you too!
We stole it from Ina Garten (well from our Bro and Sis but they stole it from her) so you know it is going to be hearty and ridiculously yummy.


  • 3 to 4 cups veggie stock
  • 1 quart Roasted Winter Vegetables, recipe follows
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups of stock. In 2 batches, coarsely puree the roasted vegetables and the stock in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pour the soup back into the pot and season, to taste. Thin with more stock and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree, so add more stock and/or water until it's the consistency you like.

Yield: 6 quarts

Roasted Winter Vegetables:

1 pound carrots, peeled

1 pound parsnips, peeled

1 large sweet potato, peeled

1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded

3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1- to 1 1/4-inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.

Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.

Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.

Now that we have you our prize worthy soup secret....let's dish up another! (Get it? Dish up? Side Dish?... Ya ya ya...it was stupid...but cute maybe..no? Oh well)

There was a time when you would say the word Brussel Sprout and we would turn up our noses...not anymore!
When you try Roasted Brussel Sprouts you will kiss us! Remember...no tongue, we are taken. (Unless you are EC or JB).

Here's how....

You will need-
Brussel Sprouts (Fresh! We like to use 1lb for every 3 people)
Sea Salt
Olive Oil

Turn the oven on to 500 degrees (you can cook them on the stove top too!)
Take clean and halved Brussels and throw into a large brownie pan and lightly coat with olive oil.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
Throw in the oven for 10 min...shake the pan and put back in the oven until BS are dark golden brown and easily forked.

Done and deliciously DONE!

What is a TD dinner with out potatoes and sweet potatoes? Yeah...exactly!
So our next 2 stops on the way to a full and happy tummy are in Potato Ville.

There are no words to describe how amazing Truffle Oil can make a simple dish...no words. It's soooo shmancy and rich tasting you feel jealous of yourself when you eat something cooked with it.
Now you can be the belle of the dinner with this crazy easy (and super inexpensive) recipe for Truffle Mashed Potatoes!!!!!!!!!!!!



  • Place potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches, salt well (the water should taste like seawater), and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain potatoes, return to the pot along with butter, and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Using a hand-held potato masher, smash potatoes until butter is incorporated, leaving some lumps. Add cream, truffle oil, salt, and pepper and fold together. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

P.S. Trader Joe's and Fresh n Easy both sell affordable and scrumdiddilyuptious Truffle Oil.
Yay...we are super savers! No one will know they are not fresh truffles...ssshhhhhh

Speaking of insanely good potatoes...our new favorite dish to serve and get the crowd giddy is Curried Sweet Potatoes.

Go here for the recipe...or make baked Curried Sweet Potato fries!!!!!

Now...the SE train has 2 more stops...but please buckle up because the next 2 are in the land of desserts!!!
Yeah...um...hi...nevermind that post from Sunday...well at least for Thanksgiving and maybe in December. Hee heee.

If your friends and family still aren't super impressed with your amazing new love for culinary creations (they will be...don't worry we just needed a good opener for this next part) then they for sure will be after they have their 1st Pavlova.

It is as good as it sounds. We looove the one from Nigella Lawson.
We made this one last year and the pies literally went untouched after everyone had a piece of this!
It's sooo light and delicate and the contrast of tart berries or pomegranate seeds on top is unbelievably yummy!

Don't be discouraged when you see the length of the directions...she just makes it super descriptive so you are comfy. It is really easy...we promise!

Just so your F&F don't leave saying.."Where the heck was the Pumpkin Pie in that amazing gourmet dinner" we have one for you...

Beware...this is a good one. Make sure if your guests don't finish it off that they take it home or you may be creeping into the kitchen at 3am for a few bites...not that we have ever done that. We just heard it happens.

There you go! A totally gourmet, delicious, satisfyingly yummy, healthy (well not the last 2) and chef inspired TD...and with out that poor Turkey! CONGRATS!!!

P.S. The best part about eating yummy sides for TD....no Tryptophan poisoning! You will be able to stay awake to play Rock Band karaoke.

P.P.S. MOOOOVE OVER MARTHA! The readers of TWH are coming!

P.P.P.S. Let us know how it goes!

xoxo t.w.h.

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