Normally, a Thanksgiving at the Skinny Pig household consists of all the staples and trimmings: Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, corn, and some sort of pie. However, this year, due to unforeseen family crises (yes, plural), we had no choice but to opt for Boston Market takeout and Crumbs cupcakes for dessert. Kind of sad, but when I added a few special touches to it, it turned out to be not half-bad. Read on, if you dare.
I visited Crumbs bakery Thanksgiving morning, which was about the only bakery open in my neighborhood (and thank god, or we would have had Ludens coughdrops and chewing gum for dessert), so I decided to buy all cupcakes that were holiday-flavored: Chocolate Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and of course, Red Velvet. And you know Crumbs, their cupcakes are so big a hypoglycemic can go into anaphylactic shock from just looking at them, so six cupcakes was more than enough. I really thought the Apple Pie was delicious – it had chunks of apples inside with cinnamon-sugar dusting on the vanilla icing, and the cake was so moist. The Chocolate Pecan Pie was also good, but it was dangerously close to chocolate overload (and I rarely say that), even though it is cupcake of the month. Either way, we had every holiday "pie" represented, and how many people can actually pull that off for $21?
As for dinner itself, like I said, Boston Market is nothing to write home about (though I do enjoy their cornbread), but I made a stop at the supermarket earlier to add a few things to make it better. I also wanted to try out one of my Pestos with Panache recipes: toasted 9 grain bread topped with Pumpkin Chilpotle Pesto, caramelized onions, goat cheese and toasted maple pecans. I figured that would beat any appetizer Boston Market could serve up, and I was right. I also bought some bacon and shrimp, cooked them together and mixed it in with the mac and cheese from Boston Market. And any leftover maple pecans from my Pumpkin Chilpotle Pesto appetizers I threw into the green beans from Boston Market. A little creativity goes a long way when you're forced to eat take out on Thanksgiving.
The Pumpkin Chilpotle apps were a hit – crunchy, savory and sweet with a lot of textures going on (creamy pesto, soft goat cheese, crunchy pecans), everyone ate them up. Many thanks to Lauren, creator of Pestos with Panache for a great fall treat! Many thanks to Crumbs as well, for providing scrumptious, gargantuan cupcakes for dessert, and many thanks to myself and Boston Market, for joining forces to put together a Thanksgiving meal that made my family pretty happy (regardless of the dry turkey). Isn't that what the holidays are all about anyway? Togetherness? Yes, togetherness…and bacon.
Whether it comes from the oven or some plastic tupperware - no one complained and no one got food poisoning. And sometimes, that's all you need to be thankful for. Amen.