There’s less than an hour left in 2018’s Cyber Monday countdown, and I for one can’t wait for it to be over. Spending Thanksgiving up at our Adirondack cabin with limited wifi made stepping back from the frenzy pretty easy. But if you’ve been shopping the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and scoring the bargains that are going to make your holiday season easier and more affordable, cheers to that!
With everyone’s wifi access limited to my lone hotspot, it was easy to step away from my laptop on Black Friday and drive to Lake Placid with my husband Chris. It was a spectacular day — if a bit (just a bit!) chilly at 12 degrees. But we were dressed for the frigid temps and enjoyed a lovely, after-lunch walk around Mirror Lake, then a nap once we’d made it back to the cabin. April and I did our part to support Small Business Saturday by shopping at our two favorite local stores, Dartbrook Rustic Goods in Keene and The Birch Store in Keene Valley. Both their websites have an array of unique gift ideas.
We celebrated our 5th Adirondack Thanksgiving up at our cabin. Our oldest son Pierre and his girlfriend April, along with our youngest son Chanler, were there. We missed our middle son Spencer who had to stay in LA, because he couldn’t take any extra days off from work. Luckily dear friends opened their home to him. We still set a place for him at our table!
I added quite a few new recipes to the menu, which ended up being overly ambitious on my part. Thank goodness everyone stepped up for table setting, chopping and other prep, not to mention turkey grilling. Yup, that’s how we do our bird. Grilling takes way less time than roasting and frees up the oven for other dishes. This year, we used our “beer can chicken” roaster (on sale!) and it worked like a charm, If you have a griller in your family, it would make a great gift!
We did have a very special visitor, a gorgeous doe, who showed up two mornings in a row. After some quick online research into what deer like to eat, we treated her to a holiday feast of celery, chestnuts, parsley, and an apple. She was absolutely amazing looking, with a thick healthy coat, bright eyes, and the cutest ears! By day two she even let us pet her a little. Bowie was not happy about this and chased her off, so it remains to be seen if she’ll be back the next time we’re up. Sure hope so!
I brought these cute caps for some weekend fashion fun: a plush snowman for me and plaid ear flap version for April. There’s an adorable penguin one, too. They are on sale (of course) and would make great stocking stuffers! My LOVE beanie is no longer available, but there’s a great Tory Burch merino wool option that comes in ready-for-the-holidays red.
Organic Turkey & Organic Gravy (Whole Foods)
Smashed Sweet Potatoes (Earlier recipe here. This year, I definitely went with baking versus boiling — better taste and texture. I also swapped out brown sugar and used our local Black Rooster Maple Pure Adirondack Syrup instead. It’s simply the best, and there are lots of great gift ideas for your favorite foodie or pancake maker on their website. And since we don’t call them “Smashed” for nothing, I was pretty generous with the Black Fly Bourbon, our favorite ADK spirit. Again, another great gift idea.)
Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans (Delicious and Vegan-friendly recipe courtesy of Cookie & Kate.)
Brioche Chestnut Stuffing (While I worship the NY Time’s Melissa Clarke, at the team’s request I added 3/4 lb of browned sweet Italian sausage to this crowd-pleasing recipe.)
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
2 12-oz bags of organic cranberries
1 cup organic sugar (We like it tart, but if you crave sweeter add up to another 1/2 cup.)
3/4 cup filtered water (Add more by Tbsp if sauce needs thinning.)
Juice of one lime and 3 clementines (or one orange)
Zest of one lime
Bring all ingredients to boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the cranberries burst, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to heat-proof bowl to cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to one week (for a super easy make ahead side).
Berry Apple-Butter Pie (Not gonna lie…a bit more work than your traditional apple pie but so worth it! Recipe here.)
Pecan Pie Cookies with Butter Pecan Frosting (We’re not pecan pie fans, so this was the perfect alternative. Thank you, Half Baked Harvest, a favorite food blog. Might be a little hard to tell, but I managed to dig up turkey and leaf cookie cutters as well. Sinfully delish recipe here.)
Cranberry Thyme Spritz (‘Cause a Life’s a Spritz Thanksgiving has gotta have a Spritz! I halved the ginger beer and subbed in some sparkling water instead. Picture perfect recipe here.)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Now…it’s time to work that feast off!
Photos by MP & Pierre Allegaert and April Cross.