Friday, December 07, 2012

Holiday Family Extravaganza

It’s been a busy few weeks! November sort of flewby. Thanksgiving was great. My sisters and their families who live out of state all came in for the weekend and it was a wonderful time catching up with family. It’s so great to see our family expanding mA. We now have 8 grand kids in the family with 2 more on the way. By next year’s Thanksgiving reunion we’ll have 6 kids below the age of four all under one roof. Needless to say we’ve become quite accustomed to the rowdiness!

This year was the first time I contributed a few items to our Thanksgiving dinner. I love cooking in general but in my family full of amazing cooks I’m pretty much the baker. It doesn’t help that I have a chocolate loving husband either! So this year, the dessert table was all my responsibility. I made: pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cream cheesefrosting, apple crumb pie, and 7 layer magic bars.

For dinner my mom made roast leg of lamb along wthe turkey (both of which were AH-mazing!), but I helped with the side dishes.We all LOVE a good green bean casserole topped with fried onions so that was definitely on the menu. This year I also tried to spruce up the usual boring ol’ mashed potatoes by making what I call Cheesy baked mashed potatoes. It was pretty simple and just a bit more fattening (by a bit I mean A LOT), but tasted great! My 14 year old nephew who is well on his way to becoming Top Chef also prepared a pasta dish for us using his own b├ęchamel sauce. By now I’m sure you can tell we are big foodies and take our Thanksgiving meal seriously. Everything turned out fantastic and we were stuffed turkeys by the end of the night. 

But to continue the never ending eating marathon, Friday morning I put my newly purchased waffle maker to use and made Belgian waffles for everyone (using my own recipe for the batter too!), we went out to downtown Princeton at night, saw their newly lit Christmas tree then headed out to an amazing Pakistani restaurant in the area called Taste of Punjab. It's a no frills sort of place but their food is yum-may! It was a weekend filled with tons of chatter, eating and very little sleeping but it’s one weekend out of the year that we’re all able to be together so we thoroughly enjoy it! 

All our little munchkins minus one!

The Fab Five!

Yes I do enjoy dressing up him up like the little man that he is!

Below are recipes for our thanksgiving weekenddishes:
Pumpkin cupcakes(this recipe doesn’t include it, but I just added in semi sweet chocolate chipsinto the batter because we are chocoholics!)

I used a store bought crust because honestly Ijust didn’t have time to knead out dough. But I will say, I wasn’t too satisfied with the crust’s thickness (Pillsbury brand). Maybe next time I will have to attempt making my own! Also, I followed this recipe for all the ingredients, measurements and cook time, but I chose to make my own crumb topping rather than doing a lattice crust.

For the crumb topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp butter

Mix flour, brown sugar and the butter gently in abowl until it takes on a thick breadcrumb consistency add in choppedwalnuts/pecans/almonds to your preference and sprinkle on top before poppinginto the oven!

I added extra butter to make them extra creamy.These were definitely a hit!

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