December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 Recap!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? As I mentioned earlier, I roasted a duck this year instead of a turkey. I tried to lighten up this year, so I used less butter and served a lot of veggies. 

I cooked the entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself, and this is my fourth year doing that. I don't like being brag-y (hello certain people at school!), but I think that's quite a feat considering I'm not even an adult yet (I'm 17!).

The duck I roasted was yummy. I followed the Hungry Mouse's instructions. The skin turned out crispy, and the meat wasn't greasy. The Hungry Mouse includes instructions for making a glaze for the duck, which I followed. I didn't think it added much flavor, but I guess it did add color. When I roast a duck again, I probably would make a different glaze.

Here's the corn! I love corn! 

And here's the stuffing. I realize it's a horrible, blurry picture. But who has time to take pictures when there's ALL THAT FOOD IN FRONT OF YOU? :)

Originally, I was planning to serve rice pilaf, not stuffing, but then I added to much liquid to the rice and made rich mush instead. So I cooked stuffing instead. 

Oh yummy! Roasted carrots! I added some rosemary too for added flavor. The color is so vibrant!

Side note: I absolutely love this plate. It's from IKEA (where I get most of my plates from), and I love the blue mosaic pattern. It somehow reminds me of St. Basil's Cathedral.

And how could we forget the green beans? I would have made green bean casserole, but cream of mushroom soup doesn't really appeal to me. And isn't Thanksgiving already calorific enough? So instead, I blanched them.

And the gravy! You see, I don't own a gravy boat (I don't believe in buying single-function appliances), so I used my trusty measuring cup instead. I even made the gravy from scratch! I've always been scared of making gravy because I've read all these horror stories online about lumpy gravy. But I overcame my fears and made gravy from the duck drippings. It was surprisingly easy - and no lumps too!

Look at those beautiful cranberry orbs! I put in orange zest and port wine to the cranberry sauce to make it more sophisticated. It's a bit tart by itself, but with the meat and side dishes, the tartness isn't as pronounced. 

And I'm really enjoying leftover cranberry sauce sandwiches these days. Yum! 

Above is an apple tart. I love the pattern of the apple slices, don't you? They remind me of a rose. 

And last but not least, above is the cherry cobbler I baked. It was my mom's favorite.

I think one of my favorite things about cooking Thanksgiving dinner is the logistics. Planning everything and making sure the timing is just right is so fun. Oh, and eating, of course. I like that too. But the planning makes me oh-so happy. (Is that weird?) I love writing out my grocery list and running everything through my head the day (okay, more like, the month!) before. 

Enough about food now. Let's get on to the real meaning of Thanksgiving. 

What are you guys thankful for this year? I'm thankful that it's less stressful this year. Senior year started out super-busy (college apps/school work/charity work/research), but things have calmed down a bit. But compared to last year, my work load is a lot lighter! I'm hoping to blog more (and I mean it!).


  1. Hey Amanda, thanks for dropping by Luxury Haven! It's great exploring your site with so many lovely recipes. The apple tart looks gorgeous! Looking fwd to sharing our love for food!

  2. I haven't had duck in forever! At 17 you are amazing, looking forward to all the great things you do. Especially how you use puff pastry this season.

  3. A roasted duck suits me very well, Amanda. You had a FEAST! The apple tart looks phenomenal!

  4. A teenager who cooks (so deliciously)!
    Love ducks!

  5. Hi Amanda, thanks for stopping by at The Ambassador's Table!
    Your Thanksgiving dinner looks amazing. Delicious and light, that's a real achievement during the Holiday season. We'll done!
    Love your mom's favorite cake, it looks so tempting.
    By the way: this IKEA plate is beautiful, love the color :)

  6. Hi Amanda, I love your choice of the delicious Thanksgiving spread! Roast duck is always a welcome in our home; regardless of the occasion...but for us turkey is always made for Thanksgiving. Love your amazing roast duck, and for dessert the beautiful and delicious apple tart!

  7. Whoa! That is such a fabulous meal! i love that you focused on the veggies and went the unconventional duck route!

  8. Hello.
    That is a beautiful spread of food. Your thanksgiving looks absolutely nice. Your mom must be so so proud of you.
    In response to your question, the spoons, I got it from William Sonama. Can you believe it, it was on sale and less than couple of dollars each.

  9. Ooh! What a delicious and healthy spread of food for thanksgiving. You are 17 and you cooked this by yourself. I am sure your mom will be proud to have a daughter who can cook like a chef.


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