‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and my dad and I were starving, so we headed to a little teeny tiny speakeasy-style bar called Dillinger’s. Actually it’s about the size of my studio apartment hehe. I had never been there before but my dad said they have good food and a Seattle-like atmosphere. Both statements are true.
I started with an amazing tangy crisp salad – sweet lettuce, cilantro dressing, sauteed pumpkin seeds and shaved Manchego cheese all for only $6.00 (Happy Hour).
Along with my salad, we shared their garlic roasted white bean hummus with herb toasted flat bread. Also very good!
My well-dressed pops!
As an entree, dad selected some sort of quesadilla (I can’t remember what kind!) but it had meat so I didn’t try it.
Also to share we got the artichoke ravioli with a delightfully cheesy cream sauce.
And I saved the best for last, dessert! It was a tough choice but I went for the dark chocolate pot de creme (Or maybe just a pudding? or is that the same thing?) Ha ha I’m not sure but I do know that it was incredible! It was rich but not too sweet. The caramel sauce took it to the next level, the crunch of the almonds gave it good texture and neutrality of the whipped cream kept it at the no-sugar-coma level.
As part of my Thanksgiving dessert preparation, I picked up some fresh, locally-grown cranberries. I love the colors of these!
Following Sally’s Baking Addiction instructions to sugar these cranberries, I dumped one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pot and brought it to boil then whisked until the sugar dissolved (aka when the water is clear) and then removed the pot from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Next you pour the syrup over the 1 cup of cranberries in a bowl (I did more like 2 cups and it still worked but that is a lot of cranberries!) and let it sit overnight!
I also plopped some pie pumpkins in the oven to bake. I bet you know what I’m gonna make now!
While the pumpkins baked I started on the pie filling. I made two pies so it was a HUGE bowl of filling! Once again, I used the wonderful Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe, and she adds black pepper to her pie so I did to! I didn’t really taste it in the pie but the pie was pretty delicious so the pepper certainly could have been a contributing factor to that.
I sipped on this delicious Outrageous Ginger Ale while I cooked. It’s kind of sweet but really tasty!
I started these baking shenanigans at about 9pm the night before Thanksgiving and it took a while to bake the pumpkins, prep the cranberries, make the filling and to make the crust – and I also made pumpkin bread! So I decided to prep everything and bake the pies in the morning!
On Thanksgiving, I woke up and sugared the cranberries (drain berries from syrup, then dump one cup sugar and mix with berries and then lay out on parchment paper for at least 2 hours to dry).
Next, I rolled out my dough which was in the fridge overnight (used this recipe from AllRecipes.com) and made a quick walnut, brown sugar and butter mix for a little extra crunch on the bottom.
They were pretty ugly little pies…!
I loved the leaves that Sally’s Baking Addiction put on her pie so I made some for mine too with a ravioli (?) cutter.
Don’t forget to brush them with a little egg and milk mixture so they brown up real nice!
I may have left them in the oven a bit too long!
Once I decorated them I went a little overboard taking pictures but I don’t make pies very often so I needed to capture the moment! So sorry for the picture overload 😉
The two pies:
For the pumpkin bread I used a great recipe I have used many times before called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread on allrecipes.com, it has not failed me yet! I ran out of veg oil so I actually used some olive oil and it turned out so moist! I recommend not using the full cup of oil though, I used about 2/3 cup and that was plenty – bordering on too much! Please read the review suggestions before listening to me though!
My dad and I went to his friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, dad was in charge of carving the turkey!
Pretty place setting! I had some peas and onions, scalloped potatoes, roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes and some roasted Brussels sprouts! Also a little of this tuna spread that was for the turkey, I know, tuna on turkey? But it was actually really good!
My dessert plate: some of my pie, pumpkin bread and some amazing creamy pumpkin cheesecake brought by another guest.
Let’s take a closer look…
The next day I headed to my mom’s house for our new post-Thanksgiving tradition, Christmas cookie baking party!
I made edible versions of my boyfriend and I. His head fell off shortly after this photo was taken (and I ate it) ha ha!
Hours passed and we were suddenly hit by extreme hunger, luckily mom had one of my favorites, Amy’s Mac and Cheese in the freezer!
Cookies and pie galore!
I really wish I had a better camera than my phone, what kind of camera do you use and like?
Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry instead of dried? I never had until last week and, although bitter, I liked them!
When do you make Christmas cookies, if you do?
THANK YOU for reading this extremely long post! I hope you enjoyed it! And thank you Jenn for hosting.