We have had a hectic few weeks – I’m so sorry for ditching you for one of the “foodiest” of all holidays! We had three Thanksgivings and loved every minute of each of them. What I did not love was how tight my pants were afterwards. Oops.

We hosted our “small group Thanksgiving,” which is always a fun day. Our menu  consisted of the following:

  • Pumpkin soup – this was delicious. I toasted the pumpkin seeds on top, which added a nice crunch. Recipe to come.
  • Chopped salad – a friend made a delicious salad with cranberries and feta and walnuts.
  • Beer butt (local and happily-raised) chicken – always delicious and so easy too.
  • butternut squashTwice-baked butternut squash – this wasn’t my favorite, but Grant loved it.
  • Cornbread stuffing – I tried a make-ahead recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine‘s November issue, but it was a little dry for me (always a danger with stuffing). The original called for bacon, but I left it out because we had a vegetarian at the table. I think I’ll try it again with bacon (duh!), and I’ll report back if it’s a keeper. It was nice because I made these four days before the meal, so all I had to do on the day of was defrost them and toast them a bit.
  • Mashed potatoes and kale (mostly cauliflower) – one of my goals in hosting “Small Group Thanksgiving” is to get some of our less adventurous eaters to try some healthier stuff, so I made this with about
    ne quarter potatoes and three-quarters cauliflower. It was yummy, and no one seemed to mind me being sneaky.
  • Mushroom and brown rice casserole – this was so tasty, and I predict it becomes a regular on our Meatless Monday rotation. It makes a great main course for a vegetarian eater for a holiday meal.
  • DSC_0004White cheddar muffins – these have become a staple at our house. I make them in big batches and keep the extras in the freezer when we need a little something extra to add to soup/salad meal nights. Recipe below.

Oh and cinnamon ice cream for dessert (recipe to come). Now I’m hungry.

I’m a terrible food blogger because I took very few pictures. I did take some on the prep days, but, on the day of, I was having too much fun hanging out with our friends and stuffing my face to stop to take pictures. You’ll just have to trust me that things were tasty and mostly pretty.

Whole Grain white cheddar biscuits
Adapted from Curvy Carrot

2 and 1/4 cup whole grain baking mix
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 and 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingers, add the butter, pinching and mixing it thoroughly until the dough becomes crumbly. Add the white cheddar and stir to combine. Add the buttermilk and garlic salt, stirring well to combine.  Drop the dough onto the baking sheet, spacing each biscuit about 2 inches apart. Bake the biscuits for about 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.

*My trick for buttermilk is to add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup, and then add milk (preferably whole) until the mixture reached the one cup mark. Then stir it and let it set for a few minutes before using. So few dairies sell authentic buttermilk these days that I’ve found this method much preferable to buying something with lots of additives (plus, I rarely use more than a cup or two).