Thursday, November 22, 2012

When Artists Cook

Hi, Jennifer McLean here and I'm Canadian. Yep, that means we already had our Thanksgiving, in early October, if you were interested. We tend to have a quieter celebration than the ones I hear my American friends have. Our day is usually just a few family, no dressing up or extra preparation, just turkey with all the fixings and a few rented movies. It's kind of nice, a holiday that isn't hectic. 

Mom and I have even started tweaking recipes so they can be made a day ahead of THE day, taking the pressure off even more, allowing everyone, including the cook, to relax and enjoy themselves.  The one thing I still do every year is count my blessings. I try and think of just how lucky I have it, what I'm thankful for who I love. This year I made a little visual that helps me see the things on my mental list.
My Thankful Chart
  1. Family - I've been reminded this year just how fragile family can be as I get older. Loyalty is always a good thing.
  2. Friends - I'm incredibly lucky to have the extraordinary friends that I do. I just wish I lived closer to them. They're worth every effort to stay in touch, they are all beautiful people and I'm a lucky girl.
  3. Health - I work on this daily. This year I've seen some real strides toward where I want to be. Yay!
  4. Love - This is the most important thing. Love one another, it's good for you.
  5. Peace - I try to be kind to everyone, hoping that in kindness, as it stretches from person to person, there is always a glimmer of a truly peaceful world.
  6. Hope - With the bombardment of all the negative things I hear on television and the internet, I fight to remember to keep hope alive.
  7. Joy - I try everyday to increase it. Even if only to remember to smell the proverbial roses. 
  8. God - Although in a small bubble, not small in my life. Only something very personal, something I don't talk about in public. I feel no need to talk about my spirituality, it's between me and the Universe.
  9. You - My blog friends. I feel lucky to know you all and to share with you, back and forth, our love of art. It adds immensely to my daily happiness.
As I mentioned above, mom and I have been tweaking family recipes to find a way that they can successfully be made the day ahead so the one cooking on Thanksgiving day isn't overwhelmed. We found some serious success with this potato recipe. I call it Rustic Romanoff because we have a fancy potato recipe that has been a family staple for most of my life. But this tweak is easier to make and better if let to sit in the fridge for 24 hours before baking it off. Here it is, ENJOY!!
Rustic Romanoff Potatoes

  • 3 large russet baking potatoes
  • 1/2 - 1 cup sour cream (or light sour cream)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup mayonnaise
  • garlic powder to taste (or minced fresh garlic)
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 - 6 oz old cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 4 green onions (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  1. Wash, poke, wrap in foil and bake the russet potatoes until done, approx. an hour.
  2. Let potatoes cool completely then dice up into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Sauté the bacon until tender/crisp then break into small pieces.
  4. Mix up all the ingredients together in a large bowl with the diced potatoes and bacon, reserving some cheddar to sprinkle on the top.
  5. adjust spices to taste.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9" x 12" pan and spread generally smooth. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  7. Bake for approx. 1/2 hour at 350 degrees or until hot and bubbling. Serve immediately.
  • amounts are general, use the amount needed to make the mixture creamy.
  • the recipe can store in the fridge before cooking for a minimum of 24 hours and can also be reheated as leftovers with great success.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!