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Thanksgiving holiday without the bird

(post, a aaa)

Every other year, we eat out for Thanksgiving.  It is refreshing to wake up on Turkey Day and know that I don't have to do anything or adhere to any kind of a schedule.  In fact, this year, we braved the rain and headed to the movies.  That evening, we dined at Andina in the Pearl.  Our meal was FANTASTIC.  I had a quinoa dish that has inspired me to make it at home for my family.  And the tapas...they were fantastic.  I have been dreaming of a Tapas Party, but fear the effort of making it happen.  Maybe THAT will be my New Year's Resolution:  have a Tapas Party!

Saturday, I did cook a bit but not one dish was made with leftover anything.  We were having a dinner party for eight.  At the last minute, I ditched my attempt at homemade Ringers when the cake didn't cooperate (although I am definitely coming back to that recipe).  Instead, we went with a Chocolate Orange Cake from the local bakery.  It was a hit, and I didn't have to shed a tear!  The rest of the meal turned out splendidly.  We started out with my standby Pan-Fried Onion Dip courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa.  It is incredibly easy, can be made the day ahead and consistently draws rave reviews and recipe requests.  The second appetizer was the Goat Cheese Finocchiona Crostini that has become my latest addiction.  I cannot get enough of this slightly spicy salame, especially when it is topped with pecorino and a drizzle of Oregon White Truffle Oil.  

For dinner, we served marinated Tri-tip, Baked Shrimp Scampi (thanks again Barefoot Contessa), Boursin Potato Gratin, roasted green beans dressed with a bit of Basil-Garlic Grapeseed Oil (thank you Sokol Blosser Winery for creating this nectar), and a spinach-avocado-orange salad with a citrus vinaigrette.  You know what?  I don’t think there was one person there who missed the bird!