Thanksgiving 2016

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I hope everyone enjoyed a very wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. I am so grateful that I was able to spend so much time with my family and cook this very special meal for everyone.

We have so much to be thankful for with my third niece Adelyn’s first Thanksgiving! My brother had to work but we were able to celebrate with him this weekend for his 30th birthday. There have been so many wonderful celebrations happening that its been so important for me to pause and be grateful for these special opportunities to connect and spread loving kindness with the ones I love and beyond.

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I have so much to be grateful for and I know that gratitude helps me so much in my life to be happy where I am and accepting of what is, while looking towards the changes and strides I want to make going forward. This year cooking was wonderful as always, this is my 7th year of Thanksgiving traditions on Unrivaledkitch and I am so grateful to continue this culinary adventure on my blog. I hope to continue for many years to come and also to continue the holiday season food updates.

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Here is the Thanksgiving menu for 2016.

Honey glazed Ham
Citrus herb brined turkey and turkey breast
Roasted turkey gravy
Mashed potatoes
Marshmallow yams with brown sugar caramel and marshmallow
Sweet lemon cranberry relish
Smashed Yam casserole with cinnamon spice crumble
Beet carpaccio with roasted almonds, arugula, blue cheese, lemon zest and cracked pepper
Roasted mushroom and sausage cornbread kale stuffing
Beef and pork Zucchini, celery and black olive stuffing
Green bean casserole
Roasted Cauliflower and broccoli
Mac N Cheese
Croissants

 

Cheers

-Unrivaledkitch

Thanksgiving 2015

I have 6 years of Thanksgiving blogs on Unrivaledkitch, which to me, shows my commitment to being there for my family and I am truly grateful that I have been able to take on this tradition for the ones I love and to share these awesome moments with the people who mean so much to me. Thanksgiving, as I’ve said before, is one of my favorite meals to cook. This year I was pretty ahead of schedule with cooking and cleaning, so big thumbs up for me, because, of course, that can be a challenge with an overly ambitious menu. Our Thanksgiving meal has some staples that we always enjoy and then the rest is open to my interpretation, which is the fun part for me.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Brandon joined us for Thanksgiving this year and I asked him to sit out for the cooking. He cooks all year long and sometimes someone else cooking for you is just the thing you need. I know, when I was cooking, that’s how I felt. My mom and grandma brought a bunch of snacks and sweets and we all made a beautiful meal together. I am so grateful for my family and all the sacrifices and success we have had, and to our extended family, friends and beyond, we hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving with the ones you love! And here is what we ended up with this year:

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Menu
Brined Turkey with Roasted Aromatics, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
Roasted Turkey Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Hassleback Red Rose Potatoes
Bacon, Leeks, Sausage and Roasted Wild Mushroom Cornbread Dressing
Zucchini, Celery, Scallions and Black Olive Stuffing   
Roasted Cream Corn with Turmeric and Bacon
Creamed Spinach, Broccoli and Green Beans
Roasted Yams with Brown Sugar, Marshmallows and Cinnamon
Sweet Potato Casserole with Agave, Granola, Brown Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice Marshmallows
Pomegranate & Guava Cranberry Sauce
Green Bean Casserole
Steamed Corn
Roasted Green Beans and Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
Honey Baked Ham
Bachan Jello
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
Rice Krispies Treats
Spinach Dip
Pimento Cheese
Deviled Eggs
Cheers,
Unrivaledkitch

Thanksgiving 2013

 

After a week of working hard, teaching yoga and witnessing the effects of the holidays on children in my classes, it was really interesting to see the shift in their attention and mood, as well as in their parents’ or caretaker’s moods. When the holidays come up, energy is either very low or extremely high and temperament can be extremely unpredictable. It’s been a good beginning of the holiday season, as I remember to carry a heightened sense of awareness, a commitment to staying with change and constantly reminding myself to embrace the present moment in my teaching, practice, and life.

 

I am so grateful that I was able to take time to cook a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for my family. Sometimes we don’t really get to all spend very much time together but it’s always nice to share the holidays with my family because they mean so much to me. I took on the cooking. We had our traditional spread of dishes and mom and dad took care of some of the other big items so my oven didn’t have too much wait time between sides. Granny, Maleeya and my sister did an amazing job with decorations and clean up. It’s always a team effort with everyone and I’m so grateful for my awesome family. My brother and sister-in-law brought a delicious pumpkin pie for all of us to share.

My kitchen is a place for me to be completely in tune with what ingredients, ideas and delicious dishes that are produced and I love that. Though I’m not cooking as much as I used to, Thanksgiving was a nice reminder of what I can still do in there. Dinner was ready in no time at all and all of us were able to sit down and eat without too much excess running around. It was Amaya’s first Thanksgiving and Maleeya had a great time feasting on pumpkin pie and everything else we normally save for special occasions. It’s so wonderful to have my little nieces here with us to celebrate our family traditions and make new ones for them to share in.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving with their families and friends. I am so grateful for everyone that has shared their time and love with me on Thanksgiving and to all of you! May the season of gratitude carry you into the rest of the holiday season and throughout the New Year!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Menu

Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Herbs

Granny’s Stuffing

Roasted Zucchini and Cauliflower Gratin

Roasted Asparagus

Sausage and Spinach Sautéed Kale

Candied Spiced Yams with Roasted Marshmallows

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Roasted Apple, Pineapple and Golden Raisin Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

Candied Yam Bread Pudding with Fresh Whipped Cream

Mom and Dad’s Contributions

Honey Ham

Green Bean Casserole

Pumpkin Muffins

Bachan Jello

Spinach Dip

Granny’s Deviled Eggs

Auntie Linh and Uncle Kyle’s Homemade Pumpkin Pie

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-Unrivaledkitch

Thanksgiving 2012

I’m so grateful that my family was all able to be together for Thanksgiving. I’m amazed by how much love and gratitude we have for each other. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, of course. There’s nothing better than bringing people you love together over a huge meal. I was very fortunate to have Brandon with me to help with the Thanksgiving traditions and not to mention my craziness in the kitchen. We all pitched in to make a great day for everyone—I think Maleeya really enjoyed herself. I’m still in a food coma after all the cooking and eating. I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving with some very special people. Enjoy the holiday weekend with lots to be thankful for all holiday season long.

 

My dad and mom brought:

Spinach dip, pimento cheese dip and ranch dip with crackers, sliced baguette and crudités (raw mixed veggies)

Two-layer Jello

Honey baked ham

Green bean casserole

 

Menu

Fresh Citrus and Herb Sweet-Brined Turkey with Roasted Zucchini, Black Olive and Scallion Stuffing

Turkey Breast Stuffed with Sausage and Mirepoix Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes with Irish Butter

Roasted Fall Aromatic Turkey Gravy

Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kabocha Mash

Candied Yams with Homemade Roasted Marshmallows

Roasted Haricot Verts

Herb Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Red Potatoes

Cranberry Relish

Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella and Smoked Paprika Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Marinated Vegetables and Buffalo Mozzarella

Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Zucchini Gratin with Spicy Sausage and Pancetta

Creamed Corn with Red Onions, Chives and Turmeric

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash and Crispy Pancetta

 

 

The Disneyland of West Hollywood Pancake Houses: The Griddle Cafe.

On a weekend morning, with the sunshine in full effect, the girls and I decided that pancakes were in order. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but the ladies (Stephanie and Bryn) are and they’ve been raving to me about the delicious offerings of The Griddle Café for long periods of time, so we hopped in the car and went over the hill. I would most likely never trek over the hill for pancakes, but this place may have just changed my mind. As you pull up to Fairfax and Sunset, there’s a Rite-Aid on the corner with convenient parking for The Griddle Café. As you make your way through the hoards of people waiting in Disneyland-length lines for the amusement park of pancakes, you have to know there’s something trendy, if not just downright delicious, behind the minimalistic charms of such a petite place.
As arrive, we find ourselves standing in lines that rival the Small World, complete with a waiting time of about half an hour. I caught myself thinking, “Can I get a Fastpass?”  Lucky for us, Bryn had arrived early so she was able to put in our name, while Stephanie and I  fought our way though Hollywood and finally found a parking spot. We were asked if the counter would be okay, and seeing as if  we would probably have an even longer wait  had we refused, we were inclined to sit diner-style at the counter, which sat about 20 people in a long U-shape.  After we were seated a very busy staff came over to take our orders for drinks, just water and coffee. The coffee came in a lovely small French press and we were asked if we would like light, medium or dark roasted coffee; I ordered dark roast.  The coffee was delicious and well-brewed, having a very dark roasted aroma and full, earthy body.
After perusing the menu, Bryn ordered ‘Tis the Season: a pumpkin pie-filling pancake served with whipped cream. The pancakes were so light and fluffy and the light flavor of pumpkin and subtle hints of pumpkin pie spices made for the perfect pancake. Stephanie ordered Saturday Morning Fever, which were pancakes made with Kahlua and Bailey’s liquor, in light and delicious buttermilk pancake batter; the liquor is very prominent and delicious creating lively and interesting pancakes.
I ordered Poached y Papas Benedict, which consisted of seasoned potato skins topped with poached eggs and a tender ham steak. I ordered it with avocado, adding a little freshness to the dish. The ham steak was tender and delicious. The eggs were poached perfectly with a runny center, making the whole dish extremely rich. My only issue was the hollandaise, which was a bit overwhelming with its ratio to everything else, but overall a very delicious savory item.
The atmosphere is fun and exciting while the kitchen is working harder than most places will ever have the privilege to work. The chefs/cooks are truly an amazing and eye-opening service to watch. With an open kitchen in the center of the breakfast house, their ability to adeptly adjust to the continuous tickets and the vast amount of batter and eggs that are being scrambled and cooked, is beyond belief. The Griddle Cafe is doing breakfast the right way.