I know Thanksgiving was almost 2 weeks ago now, but I cannot move on with festive Christmas posts until I tackle Turkey Day. And I barely took any photos at all, so this is an entirely food related replay.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mother- and stepfather-in-law came over from the UK to celebrate with us, and we also had my mom, my brother, his fiance, and his 4-year-old daughter. I loved it, I had a great day. But let it never be said that I cannot admit to this one thing: I am a tyrant in the kitchen. I don’t like to share, and I demand total control over everything I cook (and the way the dishwasher is loaded, and the way the refrigerator is organized…).

I’m terrible about this, I know. I am not a communal cook, I wish I were. But I honestly don’t understand how other people can cook by committee. Adam always carves the turkey & makes the mashed potatoes, and this year he handled a vegetable. This is our 8th Thanksgiving together and the first time he’s gone near a vegetable…I’m that bad. If I need help with something I’ll definitely ask you, but if I don’t ask it probably means I’d prefer you to sit on the couch enjoying the parade. And what’s so terrible about that? Let me host you, I say. I’ll go out of my way to make sure you have a wonderful time…until you put my vegetable peeler in the wrong drawer, and then it’s on like Donkey Kong. We all have our thing (I do not DARE touch Adam’s wiring around the TV or attempt to program the remote), and I think by this point my family has learned to keep their sense of humor about it.

I relied on classics this year but did introduce some successful new stuff. Those cupcakes above are filled with stuffing. That was an idea from the Nov. ’11 Rachael Ray Magazine, once again I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I heavily used the Nov. ’11 Food Network Magazine this year, too. That stuffing was from the “Mix-and-Match Stuffing” article. I mixed paesano and pumpernickel bread, pears, and onion–no meat. I tore the bread with my hands so it was nice, big pieces. It was delicious, and it baked up in those muffin cups in about half an hour. Next year, though, I will nonstick spray the muffin cups first. I wasn’t expecting the stuffing to hold together that well, and the bottoms did slightly glue to the papers. But those were a hit, and they made the buffet look festive.

I also used the “Mix-and-Match Turkey” article from Food Network, but I cooked the turkey the way I always cook turkey. But I swapped out the butter I usually use for the Lemon Rosemary Butter from that recipe. I also bought a dry brine from Williams-Sonoma that I thought I’d try this year, since it’s been so warm I was afraid to stick my usual liquid brined turkey in the garage overnight (the turkey-sized stockpot definitely doesn’t fit in the refrigerator). That worked out perfectly because the turkey could spend the night in its roasting pan in the fridge where it was nice and cold.

The green beans were from the Neelys recipe with bacon. It isn’t Thanksgiving without bacon somewhere, I’m sure the pilgrims believed that. Adam made broccoli, practically its own food group to my brother. And then there was the CAKE, which is worthy of its own post another day. I’m making notes so I can remember next time it’s my turn to do Thanksgiving, because I really loved everything about this year.

And next year, there will be a Hannah!