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TANsgiving

When you’re a bachelor living in the Gulf, it’s astonishing how quickly your friends become your family.  And no time is this more acutely felt than during the holidays.

I love the holiday season.  LOVE.  In bold caps lock.  I have come to the habit of putting my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  But to avoid the Doha crush of holiday parties that begins in a few days all the way through Epiphany, I decided to have friends around for Thanksgiving and to gussy up my flat a.k.a. Santa’s grotto for the event.

I can’t cook for a crowd.  But I can certainly bake for one.  550 cookies.  200 cupcakes. 78 guests over nine hours later, and I’d say it was a most exhilarating open house.  The roasted turkey and chickens were gone in hours, but the sweets kept emerging to the very end.  The menu at TANsgiving 2013:

 

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Mexican Wedding Cakes — my all-time favourite holiday treat, the ground pecans melt in your mouth while the icing sugar leaves a trail of happy on your lips and all over your clothes.

 

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Chocolate Peppermint Brownies — well, served in a hand-held cup.  There’s crushed peppermint on top and crushed mint cookies inside.

 

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Cashew Sandies — modified from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe many years ago, I normally make this sandy, crumbly cookie with almonds but tried a new nut this year.  Quite enjoyable indeed.

 

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Open-Faced Mince Pie — a taste of Christmas in your hand.  Less hassle than individual pies but all the satisfaction intact.  I added cranberries to the mince and loved the added tartness.

 

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Pina Colada Cupcakes — banana, pineapple and coconut with an orange cream cheese frosting. That’s four servings of fruit.  Bam.


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Strawberry Cheesecake — a no-bake version that takes just minutes to prepare, thanks to gelatine and bagfuls of ready hulled strawberries.

 

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Chocolate Cranberry Bars — admittedly, they looked disastrous but tasted a dream.  One guest even called it the dessert of the evening.  Shocking.

 

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Orange Cranberry Cupcakes — I can’t get enough of these.  Classic Christmas combo, in my books.  Made a raspberry buttercream to mix things up.

 

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Tipsy Trifle — lots of my friends are Brits, and what’s Christmas without a trifle to make you tipsy.  Angel food cake soaked in a triple sec and raspberry coulis with custard, pomegranate and strawberries.  Learned a new method of pouring hot jelly (jell-o) onto the cake pieces.  VERY fascinating effect.  It’s a keeper.

 

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Chocolate Mousse — not the best picture, but a GT signature regardless.  I can’t bear the thought of raw eggs, so made a chocolate custard before adding the meringue.  All 70 mini pots vanished.

 

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Italian Nut Balls — a staple in the family’s holiday cookie basket, these were filled with a fruits of the forest jam.  Finger lickin’ fantastic.

 

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Date Crispies — shredded coconut rolled with dates and rice puffs I got from Nepal.  My friend arranged them to look like a Ferrero Rocher advert… quite the hoot.

 

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California Rangers — as a thank you, I sent everyone home with oatmeal and raisin cookies that my family calls California Rangers for some reason.  Gotta love tradition.

Happy TANsgiving to you and yours!  Hope it was delicious.

 

One Response to “TANsgiving”

  1. Momowei

    This is magical~!! I can feel myself at your party by just looking at the photos~!

    I miss the chocolate mousse~!

    Reply

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