Thanksgiving Recipe Research

For Thanksgiving this year, my incredible parents are flying in from Michigan, and I am cooking them a vegetarian feast. I decided that I'm bored of the traditional holiday side dishes like green bean casserole, plain old stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Don't get me wrong, they're good, but I am a woman of short attention span when it comes to from-scratch cooking so I'm constantly reinventing and improving on current recipes. Boyfran sent me a New York Times blog (here) that contained links to some of the most yummy-sounding side dish ideas that I've seen in a while. But why wait till Thanksgiving to try them out? I am a huge fan of test runs to ensure that the food I'm serving up is as good as it can possibly be.

Last night, I took a crack at the Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Brown Butter and Sage Salt (recipe here). It turned out really well, but (as usual) I made a few small adjustments. I only made 1/4 of the recipe since it was just me eating, I also cut down on the overall  amount of oil. Lastly, instead of roasting the cauliflower, I sauteed it in a pan over high heat. I did this because I didn't feel like waiting for it to roast and also because I adore the color and aroma of pan-fried cauliflower.

The verdict? WIN! I loved making the butter sage sauce, it smelled toasty and made me feel extra autumnal, then adding the lemon and the zest was the absolute perfect addition to the already full taste of the cauliflower.

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I also tried out a recipe I'd been dying to make from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World - the Brooklyn vs. Boston Cream Pie cupcakes.

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I ended up turning them into lower-fat cupcakes by using applesauce and a combination of brown sugar/agave syrup rather than oil and white sugar. And for the custard-style filling, I used pure almond extract rather than vanilla extract to sneak a subtle fall flavor in there! Turned out fantastic. I brought them into work today and they're currently being gobbled up.

Nom nom nom...looks like I have two keepers so far! Let the research continue: even more ideas.

Also, in celebration, i dressed like Fall today.

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P.S. You may have noticed the format change of my blog?! I'm super pumped about it. I can now have larger, better quality photos. Hooray!