We Are Thankful…

For 12 years in a row our extended family has shared Thanksgiving at our cabin, Loon Lodge. Our family has grown in numbers and size to the point where we have been forced to “borrow” our next-door neighbors’ cabin in order to provide more beds and space. But no one has outgrown the uncles’ sarcasm and humor, the constant noise of 25 people in one house that causes everyone to yell to be heard, or the smell of juicy turkey and sweet apple pie that only come with this day. We have so much to be thankful for. We are thankful for…

…our family. This year we all wrote down one thing we are thankful for and hung it on the birch tree in the living room. It turned into our “thankful tree.”

…crazy family shenanigans which are likely to turn into long standing traditions. This year our uncle brought a piñata. It was a “hit.”

…hobo bonfires. Our family keeps it classy.

…turkey.

…turkey with all the fixings. The balsamic glazed brussles sprouts and cinnamon roasted sweet potato cubes were our contribution. Our favorite side was Grandma Patty’s stuffing…so buttery, fluffy, and comforting.

…still being designated to the “kids’ table.” Although this year we upgraded the title to “young adults’ table.”

…pumpkin pie with homemade crust of course. Grandma went all out and added some Thanksgiving flare to her pies…a cut-out Turkey and maple leaf made from pie crust.

…Aunt Heidi’s famous apple pie. We wait ALL YEAR for this pie! The flaky, buttery crust is really indescribable. The gooey, soft apples loaded with cinnamon and sugar are the perfect end to the Thanksgiving meal.

…reveling in the excitement of the first snow of the season, and watching our youngest cousin eat it up…literally.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy double dipping!

 

 

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Roasted Beet and Arugula Citrus Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Tis’ the season of potlucks and holiday dinners. This past week K had a Thanksgiving potluck at work (she brought maple glazed sweet potatoes with chopped walnuts) and has another holiday lunch coming up in December. E has a “Home for the Holidays” gathering every Thursday afternoon at work where treats and good cheer are exchanged. And tonight we went to a potluck dinner at a friend’s apartment. There was extra pressure on the double dippers to bring a tasty dish. So we brought a roasted beet and arugula citrus salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette topped with goat cheese.

This salad is the perfect holiday side. Note the colors here people: red and green. The beet red and green arugula shout “it’s the holiday season!” Note the flavors: the citrus from the orange slices make you feel light and merry with cheer, while the peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese give you a pleasent surprise, much like the surprise of unwrapping the box you’ve been eyeing for weeks under the Christmas tree and realizing it’s the Vitamix blender you’ve been dreaming of…hint hint ; ) The raspberry vinaigrette gives a finishing bitter sweetness, similar to the end of the holiday season…when all the anticipation has passed and the cookies are gone (the bitter part), but all you’re relatives have finally gone home (the sweet part). 

Happy double dipping!

Ingredients

  • 4 large red beets, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 ½ cups baby arugula
  • 1 medium orange, cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Dash of pepper
  • ¼ cup goat cheese

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. raspberry jam

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and peel beets, and slice into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Place beets on baking sheet or roasting stone and roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Remove beets and let cool. In a bowl mix beets and arugula. When ready to serve add orange and goat cheese, and top with vinaigrette.
  5. Serve as the perfect side to any potluck dinner and enjoy!

Roasted Turnips and Butternut Squash with Maple Five Spice Glaze

Caribou’s Fa La Latte is here and Pumpkin Spice is now a thing of the past. Your cupboards may still be overflowing with Halloween candy, but according to magazine ads you better start making room for Holiday goodies. We can’t stop singing the jingle to Target’s new holiday ad urging us to get prepped for the madness that is the Christmas season ( are you ready get set, are you ready get set, are you ready get set, get ready! ). It did snow today (well more of a light dusting, but white stuff none the less!), but wait just a second! Where did the holiday between Halloween and Christmas disappear to? When did the Grinch decide to steal Thanksgiving? That is not allowed on our watch. So tonight we made this dish to remind everyone that it is still November which means get ready, get set for Thanksgiving!

Turnips and butternut squash are a match made in food heaven. The turnip has a hint of horseradish, complemented by the sweetness of the butternut squash. When tossed in ginger, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and maple syrup the two flavors come together in a harmonious dish that will have your taste buds singing sweet melodies!

Happy double dipping!

Recipe – adapted from Eating Well Magazine November 2012 Edition

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium turnips (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground star anise

Method

  1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
  2. Slice turnips and squash crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 3/4-inch-wide strips or “sticks.” Toss with oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well coated. Divide between 2 large rimmed baking sheets and spread into an even layer. (Set the bowl aside.)
  3. Roast the turnips and squash for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer back to the bowl. Gently stir in onion, maple syrup and spices to combine. Return the vegetables to the baking sheets; roast, stirring once halfway through and rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.
  4. Serve as the perfect side to your meal and enjoy!

Sage Goat Cheese Popovers and Turkey Bean Chili

It’s story time. It’s 1993 and the dippers are three years old. The little dippers, Mom and Dad are sitting at the dinner table for Dad’s favorite meal, spaghetti…again. Everyone seems to be enjoying the meal, slurping up the noodles, sauce splattering on the table and clothes (Dad has a napkin tucked into his shirt to prevent extra spillage. He’s learned from past stains). One dipper (the “senator” as she is endearingly called) is talking talking talking and babbling some more. So no one seems to notice that the other little dipper is unusually quiet, until a splash of Prego sauce flies up in the air and a squish noise draws all the attention to her…face planted in her spaghetti. No, the dish wasn’t poisoned and no, she didn’t choke. It was just passed this little dipper’s bed time. And apparently the meal was too boring to keep her awake.

But the meal we made tonight would keep any sleepy head awake! The turkey bean chili has a kick from the spices and exciting variety from the white beans and red kidney beans. We added an extra twist with the cocoa powder which gave the chili a sweet note.

And we made popovers! But not just any ordinary popovers, we used spelt flour to give them a nutty flavor, and filled the middle with sage and goat cheese to make them savory. Last time we made popovers they didn’t pop. But after some research we discovered the science behind making the perfect popover. Take note: you must combine all ingredients together in a food processor or blender to make the batter light which will make your popovers pop!

This meal is not boring spaghetti, it’s a flavorful transformation of classic chili.

Happy double dipping!

Sage Goat Cheese Popovers – adapted from the Byerly’s Cookbook Volume II

Makes 6 popovers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spelt flour (can substitute whole wheat or all-purpose flour as well)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped

Method

  1. Using butter or non-stick spray, grease popover pan.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor; process until thoroughly blended.
  4. Fill popover pan 1/3 full. Next, layer goat cheese and sage over batter. Pour remaining batter over goat cheese and sage, so that each cup is 2/3 full.
  5. Bake popovers for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake 15-20 minutes longer.
  6. Serve with Turkey Bean Chili and enjoy!

Turkey Bean Chili – a Double Dipper Original

Ingredients

  • ½ pound ground turkey breast
  • 15 oz. can navy beans (or other white bean)
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup water

Method

  1. In a pan over medium heat, brown turkey.
  2. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, and cook on high heat for 3-6 hours.
  3. Serve with Sage Goat Cheese Popovers and enjoy!