Thanksgiving in Florida

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite American traditions – as a self-proclaimed food aficionado and general lover of eating there is not much better than a holiday which revolves around these things! Since I’ve been outside of the States for more than six years and living away from home for another six, I’ve only spent a handful of Thanksgivings with my actual family, as tradition dictates, but have enjoyed a number of “Friendsgiving” productions that have been quite successful! Last year’s was particularly nice – with a number of people congregating at the Italian and my apartment in London. This year, however, I was lucky enough to fly back to the US to spend the holiday with my family – in Florida!

Sarasota, Florida was a nice meeting place this year for our family that is spread out amongst a number of cities. My aunt lives in Sarasota, and this fact paired with the sunshine and the beach made it a very attractive Thanksgiving destination location! My mom, sister and brother and I all stayed in a rented apartment one block from the beach and with a nice big dining table. We spent Thursday morning cooking our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. All the classics were there, and we also had a really nice green bean dish with Teriyaki sauce as a veggie side. My mom calls them “Fancy Green Beans”. J I’ll include this recipe as it was something new on our Thanksgiving table and it was very delicious!

Overall it was a wonderful Thanksgiving and we even got to end the holiday with a walk on the beach – a bit of a departure from our usual family get-togethers in Colorado where there is more snow than sand!

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Fancy Green Beans

  •  2 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
  • ½ cup whole cashews
  • ½ cup red bell pepper (julienne)
  • ½ cup thin onion wedges (purple or white onion)
  • 1 ½ lbs fresh green beans
  • 2 T Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T olive oil

Combine together the Teriyaki sauce, honey, and melted butter and put aside.

In large pot boil water, add 1 T lemon juice and 1 ½ lbs fresh green beans. Cook 3-4 minutes.

Drain beans and plunge in ice water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.

Saute the red pepper and onion in 2 T olive oil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Combine everything together. Can refrigerate and microwave before serving.

IMG_0464.JPGOur antipasti of cured meats, olives, and cheese.

IMG_0468.JPGThanksgiving cocktails! Sparkling wine, white wine, pomegranate juice, orange juice, and fruits.

IMG_0484.JPGSweet potatos with pecans and brown sugar.

IMG_0490.JPGThe main event – Turkey!!!!!

IMG_0487.JPGStuffing – yum yum

IMG_0488.JPGCranberry sauce

IMG_0492.JPGOur Thanksgiving table

IMG_0502.JPGAnd my Thanksgiving plate! So good.

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