Hi Friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
My Thanksgiving was fairly low key, but that’s just the way I like it. I had plenty of home cooked food. Some time with family and friends. A cold, foggy walk on the beach. And a crackling fire to warm my toes. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
After the Holiday, I took a much needed break from the blogging world to recharge my batteries. The days leading up to Thanksgiving were filled (overfilled, actually) with work projects and Holiday preparations. And I had some turbulent emotional ongoings as well (i.e. boy trouble) that was causing me some serious anxiety and heartache. By the time Thanksgiving was here, I was exhausted in every way imaginable. I could feel my rope starting to unravel from both ends. To be blunt: I was a hot mess.
So I needed to stop and slow down for a few days. Which admittedly, is a very hard thing for me to do. But it’s something that I’m working on trying to be better at. As my acupuncturist says, “it’s good you’re doing this stuff now, so that by the time you’re 50 you’ll have it figured out”.
Which is now my new life goal: get my shit together by the time I’m 50. Good thing I’ve got plenty of time until then to work on things.
In the meantime, I’m back with some comfort food. I actually don’t consider myself usually very good at making comfort food. It’s not really my thing. I’m more of a smoothie bowl and salad type of gal. But I think I nailed it this time with this cozy pot of Gnocchi and Winter Vegetables with Sage Cream Sauce.
I absolutely adore gnocchi and I need to remember cook with it more (I constantly seem to be forgetting about entire food groups). Homemade gnocchi is great – like soft, carbohydrate pillows of deliciousness. But store-bought versions are pretty good these days, and that’s what I’ve used in this recipe. The gnocchi cooks up in just a few minutes, which is a lifesaver on busy weeknights when you need dinner ASAP before you start mindlessly inhaling a whole box of Cheez-It crackers (not that I’ve ever done that). And when combined with some hearty roasted vegetables, like mushrooms, butternut squash and brussels sprouts, you’ve got a satisfying meal that’s perfect for the coldest of nights. I finished off this pot by myself in just two sittings, but you can stretch it to feed four people if you serve it with a salad and some toasty bread. And some wine, obviously.
I’m sharing this recipe as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series, where you can find other great recipes (links below!) that are perfect for fast weeknight dinners. Or for times when you’re just so damn hangry that you might demolish a whole box of Cheez-It crackers by yourself. Just saying.
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from Pumpkin ‘N Spice
Jamaican Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Sweet Peas & Saffron
Easy Falafel Soup with Tamari Croutons & Tahini from She Likes Food
Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with White Beans and Sausage from My Sequined Life
Creamy One Pot Turkey and Rice from Bake.Eat.Repeat.
This post was originally published here on November 17, 2014. I’ve given the photos and text a bit of a refresh. Enjoy!
Are you guys all familiar with that traditional green bean casserole that’s usually served at Thanksgiving? Yes? Well, I’m not. Because I’ve never eaten it in my life.
I’ll pause for reaction.
Yes, it’s true. Most people are shocked to find out that I’ve never had it. I think it makes me un-American or something. I don’t know. I guess when your family is made up of a bunch of farmers, dumping an entire can of condensed soup onto crisp, fresh vegetables is kind of a sin.
But I’d be down to try it. So maybe someone wants to invite me over for a Friends-giving someday. Hint, hint.
Casserole or no casserole, I still think Thanksgiving should have green beans. I usually do a simple side dish of sautéed green beans with slivered almonds. But this year, I’m changing things up and going spicy with these Harissa Green Beans with Spiced Chickpeas and Feta Cheese. I hope my family doesn’t revolt against me.
I used harissa paste, which you can buy in the grocery store or make at home (I’ve got a recipe here), to flavor the green beans. And a short list of spices to season the chickpeas. I roast the green beans and chickpeas separately to ensure they both end up perfectly cooked (just say “NO” to soggy green beans!). And only once they’re done do I combine them with a few crumbles of creamy feta cheese before serving. The end results is a healthy, well balanced dish that’s definitely worthy of your Holiday table. And a bit of an upgrade from the traditional casserole, if I do say so myself (not that I have any actual proof of that because I’ve never eaten it before).
Oh hey, want to know another weird Thanksgiving-related secret about me? My family doesn’t serve mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving.
I think that statement requires a second pause.
And now since many of your have probably fainted from the trauma of reading that, I propose that this is a good place to end this post.