The Dads’ Thanksgiving Reflection

We hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving! It’s been a couple of days now, and we’re finally starting to recover from the holiday fun and exhaustion!

Here is a list that we put together last night, reflecting our Post-Thanksgiving thoughts:

1. Wow, we’re exhausted!

2. Having all the family together is so heartwarming and feels good right down to the bone.

3. Sheesh, you can never do enough advance planning and preparation. When everyone arrives, it’s difficult to get anything done! You want to stop and listen to every story and be in every room with everyone, but you can’t.

4. Everyone wants to be with you, which is great; your kitchen however isn’t large enough to work efficiently with everyone underfoot.

5. This was our first year trying to film while cooking and having guests; wow, was that difficult. You just have no idea how much time filming and editing eats up. Suddenly your perfectly timed schedule is blown out of the water!

6. How did our parents do it when they had so many to feed every day and not just holidays? It looked so simple!

7. In our dream-home, the kitchen would be the largest room in the house; We’d even have a large fireplace so everyone feels comfy and cozy.

8. What to do with all the leftovers?? Lots of ideas but no appetite as we’ve all cheated so much on our diets! The biggest challenge are the desserts as they are the most tempting!

Like many of you, we carry on the tradition of having all of our guests go around the table and say what we’re most thankful for this year. Did you and/or your family do the same? What are you most thankful for?

Have a great holiday weekend!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

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1 Day Left!

1 more day!

After quite the adventure, Melissa, her husband and their 2 friends, finally arrived last night. The heavy rain and holiday traffic caused their bus to show up 2 hours late, leaving them to wait outside in the freezing rain with hundreds of people. We hope your holiday guests aren’t having similar issues!

We finally made the Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie! Additionally we made 2 batches of our Pecan Tassies, but of course as soon as the kids came home, they ate about 10 of them!

Today we’ll be making the floral centerpiece. Since we made the crusts for the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie and a Lemon Meringue Pie, we will be baking them as well.

Dave’s sister Carol has been staying over the past couple of days and has been a big help. She’ll be making her traditional Sugar-Free Trifle today, for those with diabetes and the diet conscious. Perhaps, we’ll have to have her give up the recipe and share it with you!

Finally, we’ll be making our smoky salmon ball tonight.

Believe it or not, this year we will be having the least amount of guests for Thanksgiving in years. Typically we have around 20 guests. But this year we’ll only have 12. We had to downsize this year because we have been building an addition to our outside porch. So, with all of the construction, we just couldn’t have that many guests over this year.

Tomorrow’s main cooking event begins at 6:00 AM to start smoking the bird! What time will you be starting?

All the best,
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

The Dads Pecan Tassies

Our Pecan Tassies that we made last night!

2 Days to Go!

Here we are, 2 more days to go until Thanksgiving!

Yesterday consisted of house cleaning, fixing antique dining room chairs, dropping off clothes to the homeless shelter, setting up a bookcase for the guests to have a place for their toiletries, running errands, and more. Was any cooking or baking done as hoped? Did we get to the Pumpkin Cheesecake yet? Nope!

Yesterday, Harris was able to pick up our kosher turkey. He also purchased some smoked white fish, lox, herring and bagels for a special breakfast while our guests are here.

Then, we were off to the butcher’s to grab a Prime Rib Roast for our Wednesday night dinner. We were also able to find some Kishka to serve up with Wednesday’s dinner. It’s hard to resist the urge to eat it before!

After all of that, our boy, Jacques, even made it to his groomer, Carissa, so that he is ready to greet our guests properly when they arrive!

Whew!

We had such a full day that we didn’t get to do any of our Thanksgiving cooking, but we’re hot on the trail today! As we write, it’s about 11:00 AM and we already have 2 pie crusts done! Oh, and we made the cornbread for the stuffing. It needs to be baked a couple of days ahead so it dries out a bit, making for much better stuffing!

Below is a photo of the flowers Harris picked up. He will be making our holiday centerpiece with these beauties!

Hope you’re preparations are coming along well!

All the best,
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

Harris' Flowers

Pastry Rolling Sheet

Pastry Rolling Sheet

Whenever we make pies, we love to use the Tupperware Pastry Rolling Sheet!

As demonstrated in our White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie video, this measuring sheet comes in handy when rolling your crust. We’ve had the same one for over 10 years! It seems like it is indestructible!

It costs around $18. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Happy Baking!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

3 Days!

3 Days to go until the big festivities!

With Dave’s daughter Melissa, her husband and 2 friends coming to visit tomorrow, along with Dave’s sister Carol who just couldn’t imagine being left out, we have been busy multitasking cleaning and cooking. We have been organizing the bedrooms and clearing out the dresser drawers and closets to make sure there is plenty of room for our guests.

Additionally, we have begun to decorate the home with our holiday decor. We really love our turkey hand towels! Harris picked up some fresh flowers today while at the market. They are resting comfortably in water until the centerpiece can be created.

Last night we accomplished our Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Spiced Nuts. We still haven’t gotten to the Pumpkin Cheesecake as intended! But we hope to finally get that done tonight!

Our Rib Roast that we made in the crock-pot last night was amazing! Decadent, yes, but so delicious and worth it! We have been building an addition to our back porch, so Dave just sliced up some of the leftovers and gave some to our construction workers. They were delighted!

We forgot to mention that Harris made the Cranberry Confit last Friday. Hopefully in addition to the Pumpkin Cheesecake, we will also be able to make our first batch of our Pecan Tassies tonight!

Harris also was able to make a special stop at Goldberg’s Bagels. Definitely the best place for fresh bagels in the Baltimore area!

While cooking this week, Dave has been wearing his Mario Batali Crocs (yes, Crocs!) that Leah gave to him as a gift last year for the holiday. The great thing about these is that if the kitchen gets wet from cooking or cleaning, the grip on the shoes prevents you from slipping. They might not be the most fashionable, but they are really comfortable and easy to throw on quickly.

Hope your cooking adventures are going well! Let us know how its going for you!

Happy Cooking!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave

Rib Roast

Spiced Nuts

Recipe: Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts are a good snack to keep on hand around the holidays. Just put them in a candy dish when company comes by or wrap them in up with a bow as a gift. Check out Dave’s recipe for this sweet and smoky nuts.

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Ingredients

  • ½ t ground cumin
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • 4 C unsalted mixed nuts, such as walnuts,      pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds
  • 4 T unsalted butter  (substitute Earth Balance buttery spread      for Vegan version)
  • 6 T brown sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 T water

Directions

Heat the nuts in a dry large skillet over medium to medium high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes. 

Add the butter and cook, stirring, until the nuts begin to darken, about 1 minute. 

Add the spices, stirring to incorporate and coat the nuts. 

Add the sugar, again stirring to coat and combine with the spices. 

Add the kosher salt and water and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes. 

Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork. 

Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes.  If there is still butter on the foil under the nuts when cooling, use a paper towel to absorb.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

4 Days Until Thanksgiving!

4 days! Well, we ended up having a couple of friends come over last night, so unfortunately we were not able to get to making our Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Nuts.

Harris was still able to re-make his Jewish Apple Cake (since Sean insisted that we eat the first one Harris made!). So tonight, we will be making our Pumpkin Pie, a Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cranberry Sauce and Spiced Nuts.

One reader had inquired about good recipes using a crock pot since she works all day. Well, actually using the crock pot is also a great way to cook when you are busy preparing dishes for a future party. So, tonight we intended to make a Pot Roast in our crock pot. However, when Harris was at the grocery store, he found out that the Rib Roast was on sale. Since, Rib Roast is a better cut of the meat, he picked that up instead. We can’t wait to try the Rib Roast in our crock pot!

What meals do you like to prepare when you are busy multi-tasking other time consuming events? How are your preparations for Thanksgiving coming along? Let us know in the comments below!

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!
-The Dads: Harris & Dave