Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our first ever (small) Thanksgiving dinner!

Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone! I know it`s late and you probably are still full of the good food from the big dinners, but I hope me sharing our tiny turkeyless Thanksgiving dinner experience with you won`t give you headache.
Both my husband and I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving tradition and people in Japan don`t celebrate it either, but I`m really keen on the idea of devoting a day in a year to remember what we should be thankful for. Our togetherness and healthiness, me still having a job(s), him passing tests and getting the scholarship, and us enjoying and living our lives are only a handful of countless good things we are actually blessed with. And with the earthquake we`ve experienced before, I just couldn`t feel grateful enough with what we have now. This is, of course, not to say that I don`t feel thankful in my each day because I surely do, but I think sitting together with your loved ones to have a special dinner to celebrate it is a very heart-warming gesture.
At first I was worried if he would be reluctant to the idea of us having the Thanksgiving dinner, but when I asked him about it, he quickly replied, "Nice! Chicken!". I should have known that with meat, I could easily make him do anything. So, last night we finally had our first ever, belated Thanksgiving dinner (we couldn`t make it on Thursday) with a very simple but super delightful menu! No step-by-step pictures this time, but I hope this will still bring out the festive moments we had.

We had vegetables salad dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, black peppers, and salt and garnished with chunks of boiled eggs I easily made with this method.

So here comes the bird. Chicken, not turkey. The star of the night: Mediterranean grilled chicken! I got the fabulous recipe from Katerina of Culinary Flavors and the first time I tried it, I fainted with joy. Thank you, Katerina! 
I wasn`t familiar with the use of yoghurt and mint in roasting/grilling chicken, but I`ve learned that trying new things can bring more deliciousness in my life. And you bet I was right! The chicken was moist and succulent and the flavors coming out were just incredible. I love leaving the mint leaves on the chicken as I think it gives a lovely hint for the flavor. Another great thing with the chicken is it`s very easy to make! Please visit the link I provided above to get the recipe and give it a try.

And for the carb, I cooked a simple potato dish by shallow-frying boiled potato with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Rosemary and garlic. Beautiful. I fainted twice last night. I have no idea why I didn`t use rosemary more often in my cooking rituals, because I clearly should! If you want to see the step-by-step preparation, I`ve made a similar dish a while ago, although with different ingredients.
For desserts, we had store-bought ice creams, although I have prepared another batch of chocolate mint cake too and this time with almond flour and no icing. I`m so addicted to this cake. 

I guess we both smiled when we went to bed and I was very glad that we had that lovely dinner!

I know people, and maybe you too, are already planning for Christmas and New Year`s celebrations, so enjoy preparing the next feasts and big dinners!


  1. I don't grow up celebrating Thanksgiving either and people in Germany don't do it too, but I like the idea, maybe I should celebrate it too next year ;). The chicken looks super tender, love it!

  2. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving either, but now reading your post I see it's not only American, but more universal idea to be grateful for the good things which happened during the past year.
    Your dinner must have tasted heavenly! I have never cooked chicken with yogurt and mint either, I must test it one day. Thank you for the idea!

  3. What a BEAUTIFUL post--I'm thankful to have seen it! Wonderful recipes, sharing the joy of fellow food blogger's talents, sharing a special day with your beloved. You guys got Thanksgiving so right!

  4. I've never celebrated Thanksgiving until I came to the US (and back then in Japan, I didn't even hear about Thanksgiving at all). Even after I came to the US, thanksgiving wasn't a big holiday to me since I didn't have family here... finally now I have my family I started to enjoy this holiday. Your chicken looks YUMMY!!!! Can't wait to see what you are going to cook for Christmas! ;-)

  5. CG: Starting a new tradition can be a lot of fun! The yoghurt and mint combo in chicken dish is something I`ve never tasted before, especially in Indonesia. You should give it a try, CG!

    Sissi: I too thought that it was more like a cultural tradition, but if it`s all about expressing our gratefulness, why not? After all, I need a serious break from complaining things around me :D

    Jenn: Thank you, Jenn! I`m very thankful to have a supportive and sweet friend like you!

    Nami: You must have had a dinner blast with your family there! I envy those who had roasted turkey on their tables :D I don`t have any plan (yet) for Christmas, but now I wonder what`s on the menu at your kitchen :)))

  6. I am so glad you liked the chicken Arudhi and thank you so much for putting a link to my site. One of the fun things of blogging is that we get to learn new things and try new recipes from all over the world. This fascinates me and brings joy to my whole family!

  7. Thank you for the lovely recipe, Katerina! The chicken was a big hit in our house and I`m sure I will make it again and again. I agree about how exciting it is to try recipes from many countries, especially places where we`ve never been to! :D

  8. Arudhi, this is a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Such a nice gathering and thinking about what you are thankful for. We have just my aunt and uncle around here in Florida, the rest of the family is north in Michigan. At Christmas it is often myself, husband and aughter, just the three or we have friends from South Africa that doen't have family around either. We will have our own yours! The chicken looks amazing. I will have to check out Katerina's blog.

    Thanks for a lovely post!

  9. Thank you, Lyndsey! I do believe that a small number of people can still make a celebration meaningful as long as we can enjoy the togetherness. Hope you have a great Christmas party this year!
    And you should try Katerina`s recipe because the chicken is really good!