Warning: This post is ALL about food! If you’re anything like me, as Thanksgiving approaches you’re dreaming up beautiful ideas of creative meals to cook up. My “friendsgiving” dinner party was no different. Though it was a potluck, I couldn’t help trying a new recipes. Risky, sure — especially since 20+ folks testing your food for the first time can be quite frightening. Luckily for me — and the party guests too, the turkey roll, goat cheese truffles, and apple cider sangria were delicious!
This recipe was absolutely the easiest to prepare and also had the biggest impact flavor wise! I love goat cheese more than I should, so I had to incorporate it into the appetizers. The best part of this super easy recipe is that you can substitute the cajun spices for other seasonings, from garlic to greek to latin.
- Goat cheese (8 oz log)
- Cajun seasoning
- Slice goat cheese log into 12-16 sections
- Roll each individual section into balls
- Toss in bowl of cajun seasoning
- Refrigerate until guests arrive
Apple Cider Sangria:
Since Sam was the “official party bartender” and responsible for the seasonally appropriate apple cider sangria, I asked him to share his take on the recipe:
- three apples (honey crisp work the best, but don’t be afraid to get creative, maybe substitute a red delicious for more sweetness or a granny smith for more tartness)
- three pears (I used Bartlett)
- one bottle of Pinot (don’t get an expensive bottle! Yellowtail will do, people.)
- 2 1/2 cups of FRESH apple cider
- 1 cup of club soda (gives the concoction a good carbonation)
- 1/2 cup of ginger beer
- You want to chop the apples and pears into small pieces.
- Put the sliced fruit in a large pitcher, and start a-mixing! It doesn’t matter the order of the ingredients, just make sure you mix it well!
- After combining and mixing all of the ingredients, let the sangria sit in the fridge for at least one hour. Remember, the longer it sits, the more alcohol soaks into the fruit, which makes for an excellent snack AFTER you finish your cup
- 2lb boneless turkey breast cut (I used 2, 2lb breasts, but thats unnecessary unless you’re serving a huge group)
- 1 can Cranberries
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 yellow onions
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- Baking twine
- In one bowl, mix cranberries, diced onions, diced celery, seasonings and rosemary. In separate bowl, mash sweet potato (by the way – sweet potatoes are easily softened after 5 minutes in the microwave).
- Meanwhile, “butterfly” the turkey breast by slicing/scissoring through middle of turkey breast (hamburger style) and leave the breast connected in the middle, as pictured above. Flatten the turkey breast to 3/4 inch thick by hammering away with a meat mallet… or in my kitchen – improvise with a full can of beans. Season with salt & pepper if you’d like.
- Time to roll the turkey! Take mashed sweet potatoes and lay in a stripe along the breast. Lay a line of the cranberry/onion mixture next to the sweet potato mixture on the turkey. Carefully roll turkey breast into itself, like a Little Debbie Swiss Roll. Tie tightly with bakers twine every 2 inches.
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or longer, until meat is done.
My apologies that raw meat is not the most attractive thing to photograph, but I pinky-promise that the turkey was beautiful after her time in the oven.
The food at the dinner was amazing, from the sangria and goat cheese to the turkey and Natalie’s baked brie. It was all delicious. It may be a few weeks before I get over the painful memory of washing so many dishes, but I see another dinner party in my future for sure.