2005: This was my first year to host Thanksgiving, and I knew I couldn't handle an entire bird. I settled on an herb-roasted turkey breast. The popovers were inspired by my favorites in the Neiman Marcus tearoom; you can find the recipe in this cookbook. The Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles, which have become a holiday tradition in our home, were adapted from Michele Anna Jordan's version in The New Cook's Tour of Sonoma.
2007: I scaled it back this year, but tried a butternut squash and maple syrup ravioli from Putney Pasta that was fabulous; try to find it in your local market!
2008: I was pregnant with my second daughter; in survival mode with my oldest's then-terrible twos; and, at work, in the middle of my busiest research publication year to date. I was also coming off a marathon master bath remodel. In short, I was too tired to execute a complicated Thanksgiving meal. The result was a simplified version of previous efforts. The "spicy parmesan green beans and kale" side dish came a Giada de Laurentiis recipe and was very yummy.
2009: I cheated a bit this year and took a little help from the store (Costco's cheese palmiers and pumpkin pastry kisses) and The Cheesecake Factory (the two cheesecakes, obviously), but no one complained.
2010: Pregnant with my third daughter, exhausted from parenting a toddler and a precocious pre-schooler, nearing a big deadline at work, and recovering a major home remodeling project, I was determined to restore normalcy with a well-executed Thanksgiving meal. I gotta admit, this one turned out pretty well! I especially recommend the recipes for the phyllo-wrapped asparagus and brie and the rosemary and gruyere bread sticks.
What are your Thanksgiving hits and misses?
(Sharing with Savvy Southern Style)