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:

IMG_5126 IMG_5080 IMG_5103 IMG_5117 IMG_5115 IMG_5110 IMG_5123 IMG_5107

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

Thanksgiving Gratitude 2014

Better Late than never….



I love Thanksgiving! It is truly my favorite meal to make of the year, not because we have the same traditional things, but because it’s tradition to be together with my family. I am so glad we get to keep this tradition alive and thriving with my nieces. This Thanksgiving was also my brother’s birthday, so it was an extra-special occasion.


My sister and I braved the grocery stores on Wednesday morning so I could get all the ingredients for a meal that pretty much fed us for what seemed like a week, but that’s the best part of Thanksgiving–cook for a day or two and then either just reheat and eat or think of something else to do with the rest. I’m glad my sister came with me to the grocery store because I really dislike having a cart and having to maneuver one when the stores are super crowded, so she took care of that for me, which was a great help! Thanks, Keek.


So after a few stops and various places with enough groceries to just pack the fridge almost to explosion, I had a good idea of what we were going to enjoy. I’m not the type of person to ponder the menu a month or even a week in advance, I just looked at the ingredients and made things, which is my favorite way to cook. I’m grateful I have a family that pretty much let’s me have full reign over what we eat for Thanksgiving, trusting and knowing I’ll make those traditional dishes that they like each year while incorporating some new ones.


So here it is, Thanksgiving 2014 from Unrivaledkitch. I hope your families and friends feasted over great food, good company and tons of togetherness and gratitude. I’m grateful for all of you who take a gander at my food musings, for all the support, and I wish you a very happy holiday season.


Here are the past 4 years of Thanksgivings documented on I love that these memories are here for me to look back on.

2010 2011 2012 2013  003020 012  026 028 029 030 031  043 045 050

019 061



Thanksgiving 2014 Menu


Celery Root Soup with Spicy Sausage, Crispy Pancetta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Herb and Citrus Brined Turkey with Roasted Vegetable Turkey Gravy

Celery, Scallion, Olive, and Zucchini Turkey Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Candied Yams with Bruleed Marshmallow

Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Mushroom Medley with Fresh Thyme and Garlic

Red Potato Gratin with Button Mushrooms, Roasted Leeks, Kale and Parmesan Mozzarella Bechamel

Granny Smith Apple,Green Anjou Pear and Melted Date Cranberry Sauce

Crookneck Yellow Zucchini, White Zucchini and Green Bean Casserole with Celery Root Cream and Sausage

Hot Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Raisins and Granny Smith Apples with Brown Sugar Caramel Cream Sauce, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Whipped Cream


Mom, Dad and Grandma’s Contributions

Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Deviled Eggs

Spinach Dip, Pimento Cheese, Green Onion Dip and Vegetable Platter and Crackers

Bachan Jello

Pumpkin Pie

Carrot and Banana Muffins
What a delicious feast! Thank you everyone for sharing in this gratitude filled holiday.



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!


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

IMG_4127 IMG_4128 IMG_4129 IMG_4135 IMG_4140 IMG_4141 IMG_4143 IMG_4146IMG_4147cheers


Hanukkah 2012

Holiday time is upon us. I’m sure that everyone’s kitchen is so busy this time of year—I know mine is. Maleeya celebrated her 2nd Hanukkah this year and I decided to whip up a few delectable dishes to make lighting the candles a little more special. I think I need a little more practice on my matzo balls, but the soup itself was rather flavorful. My brisket was very tender, which I was grateful for, and my latkes came out crisp and delicious. No matter what wonderful holiday you’re celebrating this year with your families, I hope it is warm and bright with all the love and happiness possible.

IMG_1966IMG_1981 IMG_1987 IMG_1988IMG_1972



Potato Latkes with Homemade Apple Sauce

Matzo Ball Soup with Braised Chicken and Fresh Dill

Braised Beef Brisket with Onion Gravy and Broccoli


Happy Hanukkah to everyone celebrating the festival of lights!

IMG_1995   Cheers


What We Ate on Thanksgiving

Here we are, giving thanks for this extreme bounty of food and great times. I’m so lucky to have so much love in my heart. This is the menu I prepared for Thanksgiving day. I hope you enjoy the photos and had a magnificent feast yourselves.

Seasons Greetings :)

Menu prepared by yours truly

Roasted lemon and herb sweet brine turkey
Roasted zucchini, scallion and olive pork stuffing
Braised sausage with red Swiss chard and kale potato gratin
Roasted asparagus with garlic, red pepper flakes and crispy pancetta
Green bean casserole with soaked “buttermilk” fried onion strings
Beef and tart apple dressing with roasted carrot shreds
Homemade cranberry jelly
Roasted shallot cream corn
Bacon and gorgonzola shrimp
Mashed potatoes
Fall aromatics and roasted giblet gravy
Garlic bread sticks
Basil, spinach and green olive tapenade
Arugula and spinach salad with roasted spicy baby bellas, feta cheese, tomatoes and avocado in honey balsamic dressing
Brown sugar and marshmallow candied yams

Additions brought by family members and friends included dips, snacks, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, carrot cupcakes and ham. Some of my dishes weren’t photographed.

Over indulgence to the max. I could probably do with running a hundred miles, but I won’t.

Time to finish my menu for my brother’s 25th birthday party. I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.



My Mom, My Grandma Ruth, My Bachan… and My Sister’s first mothers day… Feast

These women are the core of my heart. They have taught me more then I could ever imagine. My family is created of these die hard matrons who make everything in their lives about their families. These are the people who taught me my love for food and to whom I owe so much of my life to. This mothers day I created a simple feast of favorite and new additions to thank these loves of my life.  I love you all!

This was my sisters first mothers day. A very special occasion to uphold. I prepare most of the food at my house and packed it up to take it to my brothers. His wives family enjoyed the occasion with us.

I hope all you wonderful mothers out there were with the ones you love and kicked your feet up and relaxed.

Herb encrusted Pork Tenderloin stuffed with sourdough, cranberry, and fuji apple stuffing.
Roasted chicken breast
Baked salmon with Chardonny, dill and roasted lemon
Baked salmon with soy, mirin, scallion sauce
Butter mashed Potatoes
Roasted green beans with almonds
Roasted Broccoli with chili, balsamic, and soy glaze
Steamed Broccoli
Mixed salad with roasted mushrooms, naval oranges, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and Parmesan cheese
Banana Pudding Vanilla Waffer Pie


Twitter and Foodbuzz and RSS FEED

Easter Dinner

Easter was really wonderful I hope you all had a beautiful day with loved ones or just a relaxing day of rest. I know not everyone is allotted that time but i hope you were or if not you get a day like that soon.

We had family over for Maleeya’s 1st Easter. It was the cutest little thing ever. Everyone was flashing their cameras and fussing over her. My dad and mom really helped out with the dessert and meat and I made some side dishes for us to enjoy. Here are some photos of our Easter dinner. I love my family so much, my moms Easter bunny rice crispy treat was amazing shes so fun and creative now you see where I get some of my skills from :)

I made:
Roasted Zucchini casserole with crunchy onions
Green bean, mushroom and celery casserole with crunchy onions
Three cheese scalloped potatoes with broccoli
Roasted Corn on the Cob with black pepper compound butter and sea salt
Spinach Prosciutto and salami salad with mixed vegetables and Parmesan balsamic vinaigrette
Lemon and herb poached shrimp with lemon horseradish cocktail sauce
Veggie platter

My mom and dad made:
Roasted Ham
Tri tip
Bunny Rice crispy treat
Easter bundt cake
Chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows

Bachan and grandma made:
triple layer jello
deviled eggs

My sister in law and my sisters mother in law:
chips and Hawaiian sweet bread
and cheese ball and crackers

Have an amazing week!

Twitter and Foodbuzz

Happy Hanukkah

As you all know by now I’m interested in all things food. Especially holiday food… I love the laughter, togetherness, and honest good will the holidays have to offer and I’m very fortunate to be able to share these times with my family and friends and even show them off a bit to people less suspecting. I show my appreciation for people in different forms of food. Nothing I make doesn’t have my soul in it… But I feel like that wasn’t always true…I remember mindlessly trying to keep my mind in things that I couldn’t love every day like sandwiches. slicing deli meats, and scooping store bought gelato but I tried every day. I would wake up in a daze of something and try for the life of me to make a difference every time I made something. But it got tired and even if you love something more than anything there is no way that some how you have to have a break from it. I got to that point I needed a break. I needed my creativity to live inside me once again. And by powers unbeknown to me I’ve been able to show what I love to myself 1st and foremost and then to others. I love cooking more than anything but unfortunately sometimes you end up resenting things that you never knew you could. I’m glad I’m away from that environment. Anyway I woke up this morning well seeings as I don’t sleep till 5 am, this afternoon… I decided that I wanted to make some kind of 1st night of Hanukkah dinner. Which was good because I came to find out that we were supposed to be going out to dinner with my mom and dad and grandma anyway so they could just come over for dinner instead. I’m not Jewish just so you know. But I grew up with plenty. So I’m familiar with some of the customs but not all of them and i can’t really say at all that this was a traditional anything because I’m not traditional at all but I googled some stuff and i saw some recipes that I thought I could make pretty tasty and this is what came out.

Menu… Homemade Three apple sauce Potato,carrot, and zucchini kugel Sweet pea, mint, and chive with roasted tomato Spaetzle Lemon thyme roasted whole chicken Potato Latkes with horseradish Avocado, Cucumber, and sliced almond mixed green salad

So anyway to say the least the meal was put together last minute, there were lots of lovely apples at the store. So apple sauce seemed natural. Though I’d have to say I could of blended it much less but i was pulling something out of the oven and forgot about the blender… opps… I used golden delicious, fuji and granny smith cinnamon stick and some brown sugar. Kugel! which I can only describe as potato stuffing kinda I don’t know I thought it tasted nice with a little extra love in it. I’ve made Spaetzle before but in a kinda Italian way with meat sauce. So I thought the peas were really interesting kinda strange pasta dish haha I think so did everyone else. But I’ll eat it… I love peas and mint. That’s one of my favorite raviolis…   I’m pretty good at roasting a whole bird. This one was really tender and lovely. I love lemon and thyme. Latkes are wonderful. I made them pretty crispy but they were still really tender in the middle i like that contrast and I love horseradish anything. so all together I would say a successful 1st Hanukkah dinner put together by yours truly

My Thanksgiving

I believe in over indulgence on thanksgiving and I don’t really make any excuses on this day.   The dishes on holidays are so intense. My kitchen is immaculate which is insane because it was a complete disaster all day. Lots of family lots of food…

Menu… some stuff not pictured cause I was busy… Apps- maple bacon shrimp, spinach dip, roasted red pepper pimento and scallion spread on crackers Main Dish Brown sugar and marshmallow yams, Spiced rum and orange candied pineapple yams, Mashed potatoes, Sweet sugar brined Herb roasted Turkey, Roasted carrot and Onion giblet gravy, Honey Baked Ham,Fresh Green Bean Casserole, Slow cooked spinach and Broccoli gratin, Wild Mushroom and caramelized onion rice, Herb Red wine vinegar Cucumber salad, Cranberry Jelly, Mac n Cheese and Smoked turkey and roasted giblet, zucchini, and pork Stuffing. Dessert Carrot Cake, Lemon Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, and Pumpkin Pie

Turkey process Mid roast \