The students have all closed their novels and packed up their supplies for Thanksgiving Break, so it's time for me to take a deep breath and relax -- until the baking begins tomorrow, of course! Because I enjoyed reading Jillicious's list of things she's thankful for this year, here are a few of my own:
- Jesus, who made the greatest sacrifice for me.
- My family -- they're crazy, wonderful, and so supportive.
- Mike, who has never disliked anything I've ever cooked, whether overseasoned, underseasoned, burnt, or weird.
- Friends, for joining me in ridiculous escapades.
- My students, who make me laugh every day and (usually) make me feel like I'm making a difference through my teaching.
- Byrd and Squirt, my poodle and red-eared slider. One is fluffy and hyper, the other is scaly and . . . frowny; nevertheless, they're both the sweetest pets anyone could ask for, and have made my little apartment a home.
- My snuggie. Shut up; it's comfortable!
- Food, which is one language through which history, family, culture, and emotion has been communicated to me. I love joining the conversation.
On that note, here are some dishes that have warmed the pages of Willow Bird Baking in the past months that would be lovely on your Thanksgiving dinner table. May you enjoy the sharing of mirth, love, and calories with your family this year!
Mini-Pies: Pumpkin, Peach Crisp, and Sour Cream Apple -- Add some variety to your Thanksgiving pie choices! Everyone gets to choose their own flavor. The pumpkin and peach pies are especially scrumptious.
Jack-O'-Lantern Whoopie Pies -- These cakey cookies are hearty, moist, spicy, and addictive. Whoopie pies should be part of every family's Thanksgiving tradition.
Peach Crisp Pie -- Delicious, gooey peaches and crispy oats fill a tender, flaky crust. This is my favorite pie of all time!
Best Ever Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Easy Caramel Frosting and Spiced Apples -- This moist, dense, finely-crumbed cake is heavenly with or without some spicy cinnamon apples on the side. "Best Ever" is not an exaggeration!
Chocolate Tart -- Tired of pumpkin? If you're a chocolate lover, this tart is a must-eat. Rich, indulgent chocolate fills the buttery tart crust, and a pile of freshly whipped cream accompanies each bite. This post also includes a bright and tangy Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart.
Overnight Yeast Rolls -- These fluffy, delicious, buttery yeast rolls are part of my family's annual Thanksgiving tradition. When I realized I was old enough to make them myself (and at any time of year, too), it was one ecstatic day in the kitchen!
Cardamom Pumpkin Macarons -- Having an elegant Thanksgiving? These gluten-free cookies combine cardamom with traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin. Macarons are the perfect bite: crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside.
Barefoot Contessa's Carrot Pineapple Cake -- Looking for a big, beautiful cake to adorn your Thanksgiving table? Barefoot Contessa's Carrot Pineapple Cake is brimming with hunks of pineapple, carrot, walnut, and raisin. With cream cheese frosting slathered on in a thick layer, it's an elegant and decadent Thanksgiving dessert.
Green Chile TURKEY Enchiladas -- Okay, these don't quite fit on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but maybe you find yourself wondering what to do with all your juicy turkey leftovers? These Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas can be transformed into turkey-filled treats, and what a great way to spice up leftovers. The recipe is so seductive, yet very simple -- it won't take up all of your Black Friday!