i think the last week or so of such an eating marathon was probably hard on all of our stomachs/pant sizes. pretty well worth it though, i say. i cooked my best turkey ever (and my worst mashed potatoes of all time — really? i blame you, jim beam). i did my part to help consume about 65 meatballs and 8 bottles of wine… 5 lbs of carrots, 4 pies and even a box of Stovetop stuffing, which my husband insisted upon after my mother-in-law fell ill and was unable to bring her tasty homemade version. sigh. at least our long-standing tradition is to take the dog for a family walk after Thanksgiving dinner. so we pretty much negated our calorie intake (ha!).
i adore the days following Thanksgiving… firstly, leftover pie for breakfast, right?! secondly, turkey sandwiches. (i did ours with sourdough toast, mayo, melty jack cheese and gravy!) and my favorite, which is still to come: turkey. pot. pie. a delicious reward for cooking a bird that takes almost no effort at all! my grandma’s recipe! i can’t wait!
here are two things that can help you feel infinitely better after many days of heavy food and/or being on your feet in the kitchen for too long. meet my friends Salad and Cocktails! together? why not.
don’t get all bummed out. i’m not talking about a boring wilty salad. i’m talking about simple and super-fresh, colorful and tasty! i used to be against salads because a) i didn’t consider a salad an entree unless it was loaded with meat and b) nobody likes homemade vinaigrette. you know what i’m talking about… you read some science-experiment of a recipe that says to whisk oil and vinegar together AS IF THAT WOULD EVER WORK and you whisk and whisk, or shake the dressing inside a container, shake and shake as hard as you can but no matter how quick you are on the draw, the nonsense has separated again before you can bring the fork to your mouth. then you get the oil-coated leafy bites, while all the flavorful part of the dressing has slipped and slid down to the bottom of the plate.
i never understood this.
the problem is that whisking (hahaha as i was typing “whisking”, “whiskey” appeared instead. this is not a good sign) or shaking is not enough to get the vinaigrette to emulsify. and until it becomes an emulsion, it will keep on separating. this is a promise, and a threat. from science.
break out your blender! there is such a better way to do vinaigrette! and it is so easy and delicious and i promise you will never have to buy salad dressing again. you won’t want to. this little baby uses standard pantry ingredients and is a little thicker than the usual vinaigrette, so it really sticks. also it is good on everything! salads, sandwiches, crackers (i’ve done it. why not?)…
this feels like a Bill Nye episode.
honey poppy seed dressingadapted, hardly, from America’s Test Kitchen makes about 1 1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (i like to do half vegetable and half olive oil)
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients except the poppyseeds in a blender, and blend with the lid on until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary. Add poppy seeds and pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper and pulse again. Store in a closed container in the fridge and use for up to a week.
Serve this over your choice of greens with anything else you like… fruit, berries, crunchy bites. My mom mixes (she buys the nice stuff) super-melt-in-your-mouth blue cheese, toasted and chopped walnuts, sliced pears and fresh mixed lettuces. It is the best, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about it about it before! And you’ve got your protein in there… so congratulate yourself on making a healthful meal, heyyyy.
i promised a cocktail recipe, and i chose the Moscow Mule… equally tangy and refreshing on a 95-degree day in Brooklyn with my friends or on a 40-degree day in December at home, Christmas-tree-side.
A Moscow Mule is a great way to get comfortable mixing drinks at home. no fancy equipment required, it’s easy to drink, and has a wonderful spicy kick from the ginger beer. and, if you make this particular cocktail at home you will probably have a leg up on restaurants’ and bars’ versions… at least in our sleepy town, bartenders don’t keep ginger beer on hand, and instead make their Moscow Mules from ginger ale. this is a shame, don’t do it to yourself! if you’ve never bought ginger beer before, look for it with your grocer’s natural sodas or specialty sodas (despite it’s name, ginger beer is nonalcoholic).
Moscow Muleserves 1
- 1/2 ounce lime juice from one lime
- 2 ounces vodka
- 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer, chilled