Okay, so who besides me, is completely astounded by the fact that it’s already November? Come on now, everybody raise your hands! It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my birthday, and now here I am, planning my Thanksgiving menu! When I was a little girl, I remember Mami and Abuela talking about how fast time flew, and I couldn’t understand that for the life of me, because it always seemed to me that the holidays took forever to get here! Well, now I find myself in the same boat, thinking that there are not enough hours in the day or days in the year to do all that I have to do!
My trip to Puerto Rico was phenomenal, and the Sam’s Club Al Gusto Competition gave me the opportunity to make some new friends (hola Rosana, Yanisabel, Chef Claus,Chef Agusto, and the culinary students of Universidad del Este!) taste some really wonderful food, and turn Carolina on to the wonder that is mofongo! I was home for a few days during which I fit in the 2009 FDNY Cook-Off to benefit the Fire Museum, and I was lucky enough to be on a panel with friends Lynda Dias from New York City College of Technology, Chef Susan (Suzy!) Lifrieri-Lowry, also from NYCCT, chocolate guru Chef Jacques Torres, and Ted Allen of FNTV’s Chopped. Needless to say, much hilarity ensued and tons of delicious food was devoured! I wrapped by my whirlwind tour with an event in Miami at the Arscht Center for their Celebrity Chefs Series where I met the delightful Chef Lorena Garcia, and shared a stage with Ingrid Hoffman. I also managed to sneak in a visit to Michelle Bernstein’s fantabulous Michy’s, where I shared an incredible meal with my buddies Violette and Carolina.
October was chock full of fun.
Since then, I have been busy in the kitchen working my little fingers to the bone (I know, I know!!), and have come up with a few new dishes that will be gracing my table for this year’s Thanksgiving alongside all my favorite standards (Pavochon, anyone?). In my house, each one of the kids has their own personal favorite side dish or dessert, so I have to make sure that all of those are included in the menu as well, or risk mutiny! Marc asks for cranberry sauce, Erik petitions the Truffle Scented Shaved Brussels Sprouts, David demands Papa’s Famous Sausage Stuffing, and Angela is all about the Pumpkin Pie! I’m happy with the pegao from the bottom of the Arroz con Gandules pot, but that’s just me. The most important thing at my table for Thanksgiving is a room full of family and friends!
Thanksgiving 2008 at Casa Daisy (see any familiar faces?)
One of the great things about playing in the kitchen is that you never know where your inspiration will come from or take you, and I’ve come up with a recipe that is sure to find its way to your table this Thanksgiving. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous, but the flavor is out of this world. Try your hand at my Cream of Calabaza-Coconut Soup, and trust me, your friends and family will be begging you for this delicious recipe! It’s creamy, but has no cream in it, and the warm spices and pretty vanilla specks make this soup nothing short of spectacular. So this holiday, you can share in my Thanksgiving celebration by serving the same first course as I’ll be serving…then you can let me know how everyone gave you a standing ovation!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Friends!