Thanksgiving Day turned out awesome and I had a great time making all the food.
I woke up to snow covered cars (a nice surprise!). Simone was up early that morning and then fell back to sleep which gave me a good amount of time to cook without her under my feet.

I was definitely a little nervous cooking all that food around her since she has life threatening food allergies, and almost all the things she is allergic to were present, minus the tree nuts and peanuts.

Everyone pitched in to keep her safe especially as things went out onto the table.

Dom was fast asleep since his shift didn’t end until almost 5:30am Thanksgiving morning, Noah was busy feverishly washing pots and pans and other utensils for me since I need to use double the amount of utensils and things in order to prepare food for a food allergic child and avoid cross contamination.

Hannah was excitedly waiting at her house in Albuquerque, calling every 20 minutes and saying “are you coming yet?” LOL The house was buzzing with activity and the aromatic smells of the upcoming feast filled our home as only a feast can do!

The turkey was only 12 lbs since it was only going to be the six of us this year, and as much as I would have loved to stuff the turkey, I couldn’t because of Simone’s food allergies.

Stuffing that has been placed inside the turkey tastes so much better to me since all the juices from the turkey penetrate into the stuffing making it moist and heavenly. (Can you tell I love stuffing?)

So how do you make a stuffing that is to die for that hasn’t touched the inside of a turkey?

Add Italian sausage or turkey sausage to the stuffing.

What I did was cook the sausage first until almost fully cooked, then cut the sausage up into smaller pieces, and add onions and celery and continue cooking.

The celery and onions pick up the flavor of the sausage. I didn’t drain the fat of the sausage but instead let the onions and celery simmer in it.

When the onions are almost fully cooked, I added about four thinly sliced cloves of fresh garlic and about five minutes later added chopped apple to the mix.

I then added a half a can of chicken stock to get everything cooking together, threw in some fresh mushrooms and let that simmer a little longer.

Some sea salt was added at the last moment before I poured the sauteed mix onto my cubed dry bread. As I mix everything together, I poured the rest of the can of chicken stock onto the stuffing mix…then I needed one more can.

I put it into the fridge for a few hours until I was ready to bake it, and the moment of truth came when I’d find out what everyone thought of this new stuffing of mine. It’s very different from what I have made in past years. Everyone loved it. Success.

Vegan roasted red potatoes, beets, onions and carrots. Marinated overnight in olive oil, 8 cloves of garlic, sesame seeds, rosemary, sea salt and fresh crushed black pepper.

Spinach balls and stuffed mushrooms. Spinach balls were prepared with sauteed onions, finely grated mozzarella cheese, sour cream, bread crumbs, lots of fresh garlic and Romano cheese.

The stuffed mushrooms were prepared with sauteed onions, fresh garlic, sea salt, lemon, chopped mushroom stems and bread crumbs. Each were baked and topped off with a drizzle of garlic butter. Yum!

We also had of course the sweet potatoes with marshmallows, vegan lentil soup, a special stuffed portabello mushroom dinner for Hannah, dinner rolls (I used all the butter up LOL so no butter for the bread!) glazed carrots, fresh cranberry sauce, salad, apple pie and pumpkin pie.

Here are a few more photos of our day: