fat bottom

fat bottom

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

thanksgiving day memories past and present

ahh... i love this time of year... i get all dreamy eyed just thinking about the holidays... the sights, the sounds, and oh yea... the smells...

cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, peppermint, all the sweet and all the spicy goodness overflowing and tickling the senses... enough to make anyone fall into a happy, eyes half closed, silly grin coma...


so here's what i love most about thanksgiving time...

as a child it was getting up and staying in our pj's till noon, during which time we ate a yummy breakfast, watched the parade (couldn't wait to see santa!), and then watching Lorel and Hardy's movie "march of the wooden soldiers"... classic...

as i got into high school and college it was all about the wednesday night fun and frolicking at the bars on staten island's forest avenue... meeting up with old elementary school and high school friends (you are always running into people, whether you like it or not, ahh the drunken drama... love it!) then there's the getting up early the next morning to take the ferry into the city to see the parade with the family...the hot chocolate and doughnut always cured the hangover... then coming back to mom and dads to the sweet aromas that have taken over the house... relaxing on the couch with my brother and sister until the feast was ready, and then... YOU STUFF!
now that i'm older, its all about spending time together... having my husband and my son, soon to be 2 sons actually, and going to my parents house to a dinner and day i look forward to all year long... my parents are both amazing cooks, but my dad and i both share a love for cooking for the family, but i agree with my mom that sometimes a nice glass of wine and some grapes, cheese and crackers is satisfying enough... this year my husband and i decided to drive up thanksgiving morning, so i spent all day wednesday in my kitchen baking, about 60 regular sized cupcakes, and little to-go packages of mini cupcakes for all my relatives that would be coming by my parents house for dessert, little parting gifts you might say.

well it being turkey time, i opted to go for a pumpkin cupcake with lots of sweet spices topped with a cinnamon butter cream

i used a pumpkin cake recipe from martha stewart, but i beefed up the spice, adding more cinnamon, some fresh grated ginger, a solid punch of nutmeg, some real good quality irish butter, a little extra brown sugar and all natural maple syrup... i made a classic vanilla buttercream with a nice amount of cinnamon, and i let it sit and combine for a while, so the flavors would meld nicely... the result was a deliciously moist and buttery cake with a sweet spicy kick... DROOL... it was the crowd favorite... defiantly a keeper!

i also made a yummy caramel cake with a vanilla bean buttercream topped with toffee bits

i found the caramel cake recipe on a fellow bloggers site... actually a wonderful group of bakers used it this month as their "challenge"... i used a homemade salt caramel sauce to add to the cake, instead of using a store bought carmel syrup... and i think it was a great addition...

caramel cake recipe:

dry ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp coarse salt (i use my homemade vanillabean sea salt for this)

wet/fat ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup homemade salt caramel

1 cup whole milk

2 lrg. eggs


1. preheat your oven to 375, and prep your cupcake tins

2. in mixer, beat butter until creamy and gradually add 1 cup of the sugar to the butter, and beat until well combined and fluffy

3. add the caramel and beat well

4. combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl

5. gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk to the butter mixture (start with the dry and end with the dry)

6. in a small bowl whisk the eggs until foamy, then add in the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to them, and whisk until thickened

7. stir eggs into the batter until well combined, and then fill cupcake tins about 2/3 way full and bake 16-18 minutes

and finally i made a yummy rich chocolate cake (recipe in a previous post) with vanilla and chocolate kahlua buttercreams and topped with a coffee flavored malt ball

and here's some pictures of all the minis

all in all it was a wonderful day at mom and dad's... we had a amazing dinner, great conversation, followed by great company when a ton of the family showed up for dessert... and then when everyone left mom broke out the turkey, stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce and made us all sandwiches... now that's my favorite part of the day...

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