Tag Archives: butternut squash

Mashed Butternut Squash a la Weight Watchers

3 Oct

Weight Watchers Mashed Butternut Squash 5

Since I’m Italian, I get to tell Italian jokes. So there’s an old joke that goes something like this:

A Frenchman, an Englishman, and an Italian are lined up at the pearly gates to get into heaven. When they approach the gates, St. Peter says to them, “To gain admittance to heaven, each of you much pass a spelling test.”

The Frenchman, never daunted, goes first. “Spell ‘house,'” says St. Peter. “House. H-O-U-S-E. House.” The gates open and he enters.

The Englishman comes next, cocky bastard that he is. “Spell ‘goal,'” says St. Peter. “Goal. G-O-A-L. Goal.” The gates open and he enters.

Guiseppe walks up next and St. Peter asks him, “You’re Italian, right?”

“Yes.”

“Spell ‘onomatopoiea.'”

I felt like this a few weeks ago when I and my student partner were dismissed from the podium for my misspelling of the word “cromlech” (pronounced crom-lek) in my first spelling bee since I was probably ten. “Cromlech,” you see, is a word that describes prehistoric megalithic structures. Stonehenge would be an example of a cromlech. And of all of the people that could have been asked to spell it in that room, I would guess that I would be most qualified to do so correctly; I majored in English, my specialty is medieval and Renaissance British literature, I watch archaeological documentaries on ancient Europe whenever I can find them (I remember at least three focusing on Stonehenge, no less), I am an anglophile to the hilt. I actually touched a cromlech in Ireland, I later learned.

I spelled it “c-h-r-o-m-l-e-c-h,” and was thus stripped of a potential trophy for a good cause (“ch” at the end, so it should be at the beginning, too, right? No. It’s Welsh, and therefore makes little sense linguistically). What’s worse is that the team after us got the word “hoary,” as in hoarfrost, or the lichen and mossy stuff that hangs off of old trees. It’s also used to describe old, grizzled people, like Gandalf. Hoary I read regularly. It’s actually one of my senior English class’s vocabulary words because it’s so common in British literature. Cromlech vs. hoary? What the fuck. It’s my beard they distrust, I know it.

So how does this figure into a recipe for mashed butternut squash? I think that when I first started the Weight Watchers program, I would sincerely pine for certain items, mashed potatoes being one of them. How can there be a substitute, a worthy substitute, for buttery, starchy goodness? I was biased against them at first, saying to myself, “Those can’t possibly be good. And they’re hard to make, I bet. Too much work,” etc. In essence, I was treating the substitutes as the Italian at the pearly gates and I at the podium were treated: I didn’t give them a fair shake. And if I continued to be slanted against those recipes, I surely should have gone to hell, just like the whore-y female announcer, the one who picked “cromlech” for my team and “hoary” for the next team, should and will.

This recipe will have your cockles tingling. It’s got some substance, it’s unbelievably tasty, and it works well with roasted or grilled chicken. It screams “autumn,” which can get annoying when I’m trying to cook. I got it from a website called skinnykitchen.com and didn’t mess with it much. Each 1/2 cup serving is a 2 on the old Weight Watchers system (PointsPlus and 360° can go fuck themselves).

Mashed Butternut Squash a la Weight Watchers

Serves 5 or so, 1/2 cup servings (2 points on old WW)

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds peeled and cubed (if you want to know how to do this, go to the bottom of this recipe: https://dinnerwithjonny.com/2013/02/15/pasta-e-zucca-squash-and-pasta/)

2 tbsp. brown sugar

3 tbsp. lite margarine or reduced fat butter, melted

a dash o’ cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt or to taste

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup low-fat milk (I use 1%), heated a bit

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the cubed squash in a big bowl and sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Pour on the melted margarine and toss this all together well.

Pour this onto a cookie sheet and spread it out evenly. Make sure you pour out all of the liquid over it, too. It’ll look runny, but that’s ok. Put this in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing them with a spatula after about 20 minutes.

Once they’re cooked, put the cooked squash, the pan liquids, and the heated milk in a food processor (a masher doesn’t work, kids. A blender? Maybe.).  Process this until the it’s pureed. Transfer it to a bowl and serve it hot. Bob’s your uncle.

Weight Watchers Mashed Butternut Squash 1

May you find a hoary cromlech on the road ahead of you.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino

p.s. This post is dedicated to the friend and colleague who got me to compete in the spelling bee and has been an inspiration in so many ways.

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T.J.’s Butternut Squash and Ravioli with Béchamel Sauce

21 May

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Bechamel 3

This seemingly over-indulgent and altogether gorgeous dish will beguile you. You might think that you can’t possibly eat this without guilt. Believe it or not, this dish, with shaved cinnamon-crusted Toscano cheese, béchamel sauce (pronounced bay’-sha-mel), butternut squash ravioli, and passion, is but 10 points on the old Weight Watchers Points system (Points Plus and 360° can genuinely fuck off).  When I tabulated the points, I was blown away myself.

Yesterday, Sunday, we took our kid to his first big league ball game at the Big A and watched the Angels actually beat the White Sox under the Southern California sun. Since it’s a 3 1/2 hour drive for us each way, we decided to take the next day off, drop the kiddo off at daycare, and ponder the niceties of life.  Like date nights, these simple days off once in a while are important for families and general sanity, I’m realizing.

For example, non-holiday Monday morning shopping at Trader Joe’s cannot be more peaceful. It’s insightful, really, to realize that just the space of no kid or regular public around can truly make you see another angle in this life-journey that we travel. The rigmarole of wrangling with a kid who doesn’t want to get dressed, putting the kid in the car as they remark on the cracks in the sidewalk and that there are wipies on the floor of the car, having inane conversations about the construction equipment lining the streets, acknowledging that, yes, the back seat window is completely covered with melted stickers, dealing with glutted small town traffic replete with old people braking when they see leaves on the street, getting the kid out of the car without s/he running rampant through the parking lot, and finally chasing the kid around Trader Joe’s as he aims for every Achilles tendon to maim with his kid-cart…these activities make us forget that there was once a time when shopping always seemed to be accompanied by the old Price is Right music when Johnny was explaining each item upon which to be bid. It’s still there. I promise. I heard it today.

And with it, I found this:

Trader Joes Butternut Squash Triangoli

Of course, homemade ravioli are always superior, but they’re a pain in the ass to make. Alternatively, these are pretty awesome in my opinion, and I think you’ll agree.

When I calculated the WW points, each portion is a 4.  I knew that I had a WW béchamel sauce recipe that turned out to be a 3 for 1/2 cup o’ sauce, which is a good amount of sauce, I might add. We also topped it with a T.J.’s cinnamon-coated Toscano cheese, of which we only took a few shavings for each portion. A 10? Could it be true? ‘Tis.

And then it all struck me in an epiphany. The butternut squash ravioli with a nutmeg-flavored béchamel sauce, topped with shaved cinnamon Italian cheese, there is no need to say more; it’s a nut-buster on every level. Moreover, it’s light. Lastly, to make it, it’s as easy as a cougar in a fit of whimsy with a new dress from Nordstrom Rack.

T.J.’s Butternut Squash and Ravioli with Béchamel Sauce

Serves 3

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup flour

3 cups 1% milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 white pepper

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 package Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli

shavings of Toscano, grana, or parmesan cheese (again, the cinnamon coated Toscano cheese totally works with the squash and the nutmeg; it’s a match made in the heavens)

Makin’ It:

Note: You need to constantly whisk the sauce, kiddo, no joke. So give yourself 20 minutes or so to do it. If you don’t whisk it constantly, you will have a burnt milk mess on your hands. I’m just sayin’.

Get a big pot o’ water boiling for the pasta. When it’s boiling, add a few tablespoons of salt right before you put in the pasta. Get the sauce almost done before you start cooking the ravioli; timing is kind of key in all of this.

For the sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat Whisk in the flour and it will get cake-y and crumbly. No worries. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until it’s totally smooth and those lumps are gone.  Add in the salt, white pepper, thyme, and nutmeg. Get this to a simmer to thicken it, which will take about 10 to 12 minutes (or more), as you whisk. When it’s a creamy consistency and it’s boiling a bit, you’ve nailed it.

Drain the cooked ravioli and toss it with some of the sauce. Divide the ravioli between three plates and top each with 1/2 cup of the béchamel sauce. Top this with some shaved cheese, and then sprinkle a bit of dried thyme on there to keep it real. You’ll get this:

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Bechamel 1

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Bechamel 4

Say it loud alone, but obnoxiously in mixed company:

Acqua fresca, vino puro,

Fica stretta, cazzo duro.

Until later, eat drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash: The Perfect Side

19 Apr

Weight Watchers Roasted Butternut Squash (3)

When it comes to keeping a healthy weight, I think 95% of people have an Achilles heel that makes it difficult to maintain the ideal weight and figure (the other 5% are actresses, supermodels, men named Troy, and women invariably named Jenni, spelled with an “i”).  Through the years, I’ve noticed that many people’s downfall is sweets; when 9 p.m. rolls around, the ice cream beckons, the cookies croon, and the snack-size candy bars bare their chocolaty nipples (both male AND female candy, I might add).  I’m lucky in that I can take or leave sweets.  Every so often, I go through a peanut butter and chocolate kick, but it doesn’t last long and I remember that beer is much more fulfilling on so many levels.

No, my bad eating habit is primarily carbs.  I love them.  And I love bad carbs, too, like chips, French fries, bread, potato salad, more chips, and beer.  I have actually made a ham and potato salad sandwich for lunch, and added a healthy side o’ Doritos to round it out, and I had no guilt whatsoever because I was too busy marveling at my hill-billy ingenuity.

In Ireland, for example, when the pubs close, often a food truck waits outside for its progeny.  In this remarkable institution, they make something called a “Chip Butty.” It is basically a hamburger with French fries substituted for meat. I think I almost cried the first time I had it because it was like we were meant for each other and I had to go all the way to Clifden, Ireland, to consummate the serendipitous meeting.  *sigh*

Anyhow, when I started trying to lose the weight, I realized that the potatoes and carbs had to go, not totally, but mostly.  Whole grain breads and crackers (if any) are the norm for us now, and when I’m just maintaining weight (rather than losing), those Pop Chips or any baked chips do it for me.

But what the hell is a good substitute for potatoes?  For us, it’s butternut squash.  It’s high in fiber, counts as a veggie, is flavorful, and still has the “weight” of a carb-heavy potato.  I probably butchered 3 of these a week for a year. When I lost a lot of weight, I attribute it partly to eating hardly any potatoes and a lot of squash.  It makes a good mash (which I will share later), but to simply roast it with some spice is magic.  It’s a staple on my Thanksgiving table and I never have leftovers.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Makes 4 servings depending on the size of the squash; 1 cup is an old Weight Watchers 1

Ingredients:

1 good size butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed (see below)

1  to 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

2 tsp. chili powder (or cayenne (careful), paprika, or smoked paprika)

Cooking spray (Pam works, but the olive oil one is best)

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Spray a baking sheet with some cooking spray.

To peel a butternut squash, lay it on its side, cut off the ends, and then slice it into disks.  Peel each disk, spoon out the seeds of the disks that have them, and then cut them into 1″ cubes.

Make one even layer of squash on the cooking sheet and give it a good spray to coat all of the squash well.  Sprinkle on the salt and chili powder.  Mix this up by hand to distribute the spice evenly. Spray a little more spray on it for good measure.  Put it in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, tossing them after 20 minutes of roasting.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.  ‘Tis a piece of cake.

Weight Watchers Roasted Butternut Squash (4)

The keys to losing weight are cutting the carbs, upping the fiber, keeping the portion sizes down, and walking a bunch.  It’ll work for you….and this recipe will make it more enjoyable for sure.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Butternut Squash and Pasta (Pasta e zucca)

15 Feb

Pasta e Zucca 2

Today’s recipe post is all about love.  ‘Tis Valentine’s Day, of course, so it follows that whatever I post needs to effuse passion and desire.  Squash and Pasta is it for me.  Out of all of the dishes with which I grew up, this is my favorite. On my birthdays, my mom would ask me what I wanted for dinner, and this is usually what I requested, even after I had moved away from home.

This is another dish that when I made it for my wife the first time, although I was a bit shy about serving it, she just stopped after the first bite and said, “Oh my god.” Now we both can’t wait for fall to begin so this can be on the menu again. I remember one time that we were expecting company and I thought about making this for guests.  I had called my mom that day for whatever reason and told her what I was making.  Her reply was, “Jon, you don’t make that for company.  That’s peasant food. It’s comfort food.”  And it’s true.  I think I’ve made it for one or two people and that’s about it. I don’t want to exaggerate, but this dish is me, pure and simple.  No matter the circumstances, this cheers me up and satisfies me to the core.

This is purely vegetarian, even vegan, come to think of it, but it still sticks to the ribs.  It’s also a fall/ winter dish and most Neopolitans will serve this regularly during those seasons.  Just like so many Italian dishes, it takes simple ingredients and makes them magical.  It’s also very healthful in that its only fat is olive oil, and you’re getting a good serving of veggies with it.  Although one might think it overkill to eat this with a good hunk o’ bread, that one person should fuck off because this sauce on warm bread is pure indulgence.

The recipe below is from Naples at Table by Arthur Schwartz, but it tastes EXACTLY like my mom’s, who learned it from my nonna.  Like I said, this dish is love, so make it for that special someone and thank me later for the shenanigans after the meal and wine.

Butternut Squash and Pasta (Pasta e zucca)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 lbs. butternut squash, cubed into 1″ pieces (see below) (you can also use acorn squash)

1/3 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. salt or to taste

5-6 cups water

1/2 spaghetti, broken into 1 1/2″ or slightly longer lengths (it’s peasant food, so it doesn’t have to be perfect, wise guy)

1/3 cup finely cut parsley, or 1 tbsp. dried

Parmigiano to serve

Makin’ It:

In a 3 quart or larger pot over medium-low heat, combine the oil and the garlic.  Cook the garlic until it’s soft and barely browning on both sides.  Press the garlic into the oil with the edge of a wooden spoon to get the flavor into the oil. Remove the garlic.

Add the cubed squash (again, see below) and the red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle this with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and raise the heat to medium-high.  Saute the squash, stirring fairly often, until it’s soft and starting to brown.  It almost gets gooey and stringy on the outside. This takes me about 12 to 15 minutes.  Some of the squash will stick to the bottom, which is okay, but don’t let it burn.

At this point, add the 5 to 6 cups of water, stir it well and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and get it to a rolling boil.

Stir in the pasta and recover it until it returns to a boil. Once boiling uncover it and cook the pasta according to your taste (10 minutes normally for spaghetti).  As it cooks, stir it once in a while and smash some of the squash cubes against the side of the pot to thicken the water .   You can do this a lot and make it like a stew, or do it a few times and make it soupier…whatever blows your hair back (obviously, there’s no draining pasta in this dish).

Stir in the chopped parsley, and it looks like this:

Pasta e Zucca 3

Pass the parmigiano.  Serve it hot, like this:

Pasta e Zucca 4

Note:  Reheating this is good, but in the microwave, cover it and stir it every few seconds because it will pop and crackle like a mofo.

Cubing a Butternut Squash:

Lay the squash on its side and cut off the ends.  Slice it into 1″ thick disks (or close to it…it’s peasant food, dude), like this:

007

Scoop out the seeds of the disks that have them, and then peel each disk, like this:

008

Then, slice this into cubes, like this:

009

Bob’s your uncle. Do I get exactly two pounds of squash?  No.  I get a good size one and use all of it because I like a lot of squash.

If you try this and enjoy it, let me know.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

©Jon Marino 2013

Baked Penne with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

26 Dec

Baked Butternut Squash Pasta

‘Tis the day after Christmas, and all through my home,

I felt bloated while cursing

My gut, quite the dome.

(and English teachers, yes, I know it’s a forced rhyme, so piss off)

The first time I went on Weight Watchers, it was right after the holidays.  That year, I relieved myself of the guilt of overindulging in the festivities by promising myself that, indeed, once the holidays were over, I would seriously commit to losing some weight.  I followed through with it and, as I have mentioned many times, it totally changed my lifestyle.  But most importantly, it changed how I cooked and the range of dishes to which I became exposed.

The above dish is straight from Weight Watchers (http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=140421).  This is definitely in my top 5 WW recipes of all time.  It’s vegetarian (not vegan, though), but it still has some substance to it.  It’s filling, tasty, and the leftovers make excellent lunches.  I will admit, this recipe takes a bit of work (fun for me!), and your timing has to be on.  For whatever reason, too, you will use a lot of dishes making it, but whatever.  It’s worth it.

One change I make with any Weight Watchers pasta dish is that I use low-carb pasta instead of the whole-wheat stuff they always suggest.  The wheat pasta sucks, in my opinion, and the low-carb pasta at least is semblable to regular pasta.

A few years ago, some colleagues and I met at my house to work on a project, and I happened to be making butternut squash as a side dish for dinner that night.  While everyone was chatting, I figured I’d get some of the prep work done for dinner.  One of my colleagues, Brooke, wanted to watch me specifically butcher this butternut squash.  She said that it was one of her favorite vegetables, but she only used the already-cubed kind (found at Trader Joe’s or Costco).  She had no idea how to actually cube it herself.  I have had other people mention this to me a few times since then, so I figure I’ll explain the easy way here for posterity.  It takes 5 minutes, your squash will always be fresher than the pre-cut kind, and it’s cheaper.

How to Peel and Cube a Butternut Squash:

1.  With a big knife, cut the ends off of the squash.

2.  Lay the squash on its side, and slice it into 1″ to 1 1/2″ thick disks.

3.  With a soup spoon, scoop out the ganglia and seeds from the disks that have them.

4.  With a paring knife, peel each disk.

5.  Cut each disk into 1″ cubes.  Easy as a two-bit hooker.

Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

1 butternut squash cut into cubes (the recipe says 20 oz., but I use as much as I have)

1 lb. low-carb penne or something similar

1 1/4 cup low fat or fat free milk

2 tbsp. flour

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper or to taste (I like a lot)

2 tsp. dried thyme, or 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, if you’ve got it

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Makin’ It:

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and put the squash on it in one layer. Spray the squash with more spray and sprinkle it with salt and pepper, like this:

Baked Squash Pasta 1

Cook this for 30 minutes, or until they are tender enough to be mashed easily.  When they are done, put them in a bowl and mash them like potatoes.  Keep the oven on, wise guy.

Get a pot of salted water boiling before you get the squash in the oven so it’s ready when you need it.  Penne usually takes 10 minutes to cook, and you want the penne and the creamy squash sauce all done at roughly the same time, so keep that in mind. When you’re ready, cook the pasta according to the box, drain it, and return it to the pot.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, flour, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Get this to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking regularly so it doesn’t burn.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer a few minutes until it’s thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in half of the thyme.  Add this sauce to the mashed squash and stir it together well.  It will look like this:

Baked Squash Pasta 2

Then, add this mixture to the pasta and mix that well.  Take a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and spray it with cooking spray.  Transfer the pasta to this dish and make it all level, like this:

Baked Squash Pasta 3

Now for the fun part.  Spoon dollops of the ricotta over this (if you can’t tell, I use a bit more ricotta than the recipe, like a cup total, because that’s how I roll).  Then, sprinkle the parmesan, walnuts, and the other half of the thyme over it.  It will look like this:

Baked Squash Pasta 5

Bake this for about 20 minutes, until the top is browned and glistening and jovial as the day is long.  A serving is supposed to be 1 cup, which would make it a 5 on the old Weight Watchers system, but I divide this into eight.  I am guessing this is more like a 7 or 8 the way I make it and serve it.

Baked Butternut Squash Pasta

Add a side salad or a veggie and you’ve got yourself a very healthy and tasty meal.

Note:  You might think to add chicken to this to give it some protein.  I have done it and, meh.  The chicken takes away from it a bit, in my opinion, but it’s still good.  The points would have to be adjusted accordingly.

So, as you contemplate your resolutions for the coming year, remember that good food can be had without adding on the pounds.  This dish is an example of it.

Until later, eat, drink, and peace out.

© Jon Marino, 2012

The Thanksgiving Breakdown

20 Nov

(My wife’s company grows most of the poinsettias for Costco throughout southern California, f.y.i. Imagine a few football fields of red and that’s what you got here.  This has nothing to do with this blog, of course, but I do get to show off my son Tony.)

Since I haven’t had this blog since last Thanksgiving, and I won’t start cooking my dinner for 14 people until Wednesday night into all day Thursday, I figure I will just list my planned menu for this feast o’ feasts.  Truly, if I went to someone’s house for Thanksgiving and Tommy’s Burgers were served, I would kiss the cook (or buyer) just for their irreverence.

The main recipes for my dinner are online and I do variations on them, to be sure, but sometimes those variations happen when 1) I’m feeling a bit o’ whimsy or 2) I’m a bottle of red into the evening and dinner isn’t even on the table.  One interesting note that both my mom and my Aunt Charlotte have repeatedly made to me over the years: Thanksgiving is an easy meal.  It’s the basic American fare on a larger scale.  So here goes…

Thanksgiving Dinner for 14

Appetizers around 2:35 p.m.-ish

Ham and Swiss Puff Pastry:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/ham-and-cheese-in-puff-pastry-recipe/index.html

  • This is ridiculously good and simple to make.  A place in Orange, CA, called The Hobbit has a similar appetizer called a French Sandwich, which is the same concept but with salami and pepper jack instead of ham and swiss (both with dijon).

Some good, crisp potato chips (like Tim’s Cascade or the Hawaiian BBQ/ Maui Onion ones).  Dip? Store bought packets of toasted onion dip (like Laura Scudders) mixed into sour cream.  Nothing like it.

Cheese plate: soft mild to medium to bleu-ish, served with nuts, dried fruit, and crackers.  Three cheeses, that is.

Drinks!  Champagne and cocktails; knowing my brothers, it’s Cuba Libre time.  For the kids, sparkling apple cider.

Dinner around 4:07-ish

2 Turkey Roulades:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-turkey-roulade-recipe/index.html

  • I made this the first time two years ago and I do not think I will go back to making a regular turkey for a long time.  This is easy, too, and the stuffing will have you cryin’ yourself to sleep on yer huge pillow!  Everybody loves this.
  • Make the stuffing a day ahead.

1 Ham from the store, poked with cloves and some sort of glaze put over it.  This is also a piece of cake.

Mashed potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash (this takes the place of yams at our table)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Cube up a few pounds of butternut squash (or buy the precubed from Costco or Trader Joe’s) and toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder until they’re coated.  Place in a single layer on one or two baking sheets (depending on how much you’re making, but don’t overcrowd them).
  • Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once, and make sure they’re browned and the edges are crisped.

Green beans or a green bean casserole (I haven’t decided yet)

Gravy from the packet (it’s good, so foodies, again, can piss off)

Cranberry Sauce from the can or maybe from scratch…haven’t gotten there yet.

Dinner rolls

Drinks! Water with lemon all around, and glasses for both white and red.  I am responsible for the meal part and everyone else is bringing the wine.  We live in the wine country, so you can imagine that this gets fantastic very quickly.  Kids get whatever their little hearts desire.

Dessert when it happens

It’s all store bought, to be honest.  It’s so easy and good.  Pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and some ice cream.

Drinks! Coffee and some liqueurs, perhaps Strega or Sambuca…we shall see.

If I get some coherent and representative pictures on Thursday, I will be sure to add them.

Happy Thanksgiving!  AND eat, drink, and peace out.