Monday, December 3, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 + A Must Make Holiday Salad

Well, since I last blogged (way too long ago....) I went to NYC (the week right before the bad hurricane Sandy!) and also went to California and had a wonderful time visiting my Grandma. My husband had never been to my Grandmother's house and we had a great time as you can see:
My 88 year Grandmother is quite the joker!

She has a nice collection of mask that she brought out after dinner!

I don't cook a lot of meat and I have never cooked a whole turkey but my Grandma talked me through each step. It was a pretty wonderful experience having her do that. 

After we got back from our CA turkey Thanksgiving celebration, we had a great time at Jake's parents house with a vegetarian feast!

The spread included pumpkin cinnamon rolls, various casseroles and bread puddings, and a bunch of other yummy stuff!

Since this was a Thanksgiving brunch I decided to bring a sweet salad. I found this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis and thought it would be the perfect fit for our meal. Ever since I first tried panetone in Italy it has been one of my favorite holiday treats to buy. This recipe uses panetone to make croutons for a salad topper and the roasted fruit is delish as well! Take my word for it, you should really make this salad for the holidays!

Arugula and Roasted Fruit Salad with Panettone Croutons


  • 3 cups 1-inch cubes panettone (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes
  • 2 Bartlett pears, cut into 8ths and cored
  • 2 plums, cut into 8ths and pitted (I couldn't find plums in Utah so I just omitted them!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup (about 2 lemons total), plus 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces arugula greens


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the panettone cubes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until dark golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. The croutons will continue to crisp up as they cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Place the fruit in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with melted butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the sugar. Toss to coat and spread the fruit out in a single layer onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until the pears are tender and the fruit is beginning to brown on the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the honey, the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, canola oil, cream, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender. Run the machine until the ingredients are well blended. Set aside.
To assemble the salad place the arugula greens, roasted fruit, and panettone croutons in a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

After the Thanksgiving rush we got to celebrate one more delicious meal at my mom and dad's place. 

This meal included organic turkey, stuffing with chestnuts, stuffed squash with forbidden rice, sweet potatoes, and green beans. 

Followed by an amazing homemade pumpkin cheesecake and cookies.

My mom and I LOVE real whipped cream too much!

Other then stuffing ourselves with amazing food I have been busy and not busy all at the same time! Jake has been flying to CA a lot for some job interviews/promotions so there is the looming possibility of moving, which we are both excited about. I started rehearsing last week back at Ririe Woodbury to perform one piece in their December show which is already next week! I'll provide some more information on that later. I've been working a lot more hours at Sur La Table now that it's the holiday shopping season and teaching some yoga on the side. So yea, just a little busy. I've so missed blogging and so I told myself tonight after we watched two episodes of The Walking Dead (which I can't watch by myself and it really creeps me out but I have to know what happens next each time!) that I would do a blog post. Hope you all are well and I promise it won't be so long until my next post!



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