A Toronto Thanksgiving Roundup

 

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It’s Thanksgiving weekend! Whether or not you are planning a traditional family feast featuring turkey and all the trimmings, or are opting for a vegetarian or vegan repast, or just looking for something to do by yourself, a lot of planning goes into this autumnal celebration, and today we thought we’d so a little round-up of ideas to help you get the most out of the holiday.

There is certainly no shortage of fun and exciting things to do around Toronto this Thanksgiving. Here is a great list of activities with the family in mind,  from fall fairs to harvest festivals and corn mazes.

 

1 Harvest Corn Trail 2

 

A celebratory feast with friends and family is usually what people think of when pondering Thanksgiving, For traditionalists, this can a no-brainer, and seasoned veterans have an arsenal of recipes at their ready. But not everyone is in a position to cook a huge feast, many of us are happy to let someone else to the cooking and entertaining, and here are some great places that are serving up fantastic Thanksgiving fare for brunch, lunch or dinner that would be happy to see you gracing their front door this weekend.

 

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If you are cooking at home, and haven’t decided yet what’s on your menu, why not consider some of our favourite recipes from Thanksgivings past. A few years ago we started serving herb bread instead of buns. This bread is really easy to make, and now whenever we host dinner, or attend a potluck thanksgiving dinner this is one of the most requested items. It is also in keeping with the spirit of the season, as most of us are now harvesting the last of our summer dill and parsley. This bread is a fantastic and delicious way to use them up.

 

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How about serving a stuffed squash as beautiful side dish or as one of your mains. Bacon-wrapped butternut stuffed with kale and bleu cheese adorns our table every fall. And you can mix things up too, using a different type of squash, or even small pie-pumpkins. And of course the bacon is optional, and easy to forego if you are so inclined. Here are two of our most popular recipes, one for the stuffed squash and another for maybe the best squash soup you’ve ever had.

 

Butternut soup with coconut milk

Butternut soup with coconut milk

 

Soup is always a great starter for dinner, and this super simple and quick butternut squash soup is a perfect fit for everyone at Thanksgiving, including those enjoying a plant-based diet, and is upper healthy to boot. But it’s actually the taste that makes it so popular, the combination of mellow, delicate squash, creamy coconut milk and a touch of cardamom is pure magic. Finally, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without some sort of pumpkin pie. These lovely little pumpkin tarts are always a hit, especially served with brandied whip cream, and make a lovely presentation too. However you celebrate, we hope you have a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving.

 

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Mini Pumpkin Tarts with Brandied Cream

(makes two dozen)

This is a great variation on traditional pumpkin pie and is perfect for those that want just a little bite at the end of a big meal. A serving platter with a couple dozen of these little beauties makes a lovely presentation, and the addition of brandied whipped cream on top appeals to both he traditionalists and those that want a taste of something new. You can use just the amount of pumpkin pie filling you need (freeze the rest, and using store-bought frozen tart shells makes this a stunning dessert you can whip up in no time at all.

24 frozen tart shells

2 eggs

1- 28 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp kosher salt

¾ cup evaporated milk

Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Arrange shells on baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture into tart shells, filling completely. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a tart come out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Serve with brandied cream.

Brandied Cream

(makes about 4 cups)

1 cup whipping cream (35%)

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ ounce brandy

In a mixing bowl, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold in brandy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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