And just like that, the holiday season’s upon us! Trick-or-treaters have come and gone, seasonal shopping promotions have started, and, as I discovered yesterday, Christmas carolers are crooning away on SiriusXM. (And yes, despite the calendar and thermometer—it was 73 degrees!—I may have sung along to a few merry tunes. Because who can resist “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year” any time of the year?)
Though it’s barely November, if your family’s like mine, you’ve been discussing Thanksgiving for weeks. Who’s hosting where and when, what to make or bring, how many and what kind of pies to bake, how to fit in multiple meals at multiple destinations (both in schedule and belly)—the list of holiday hot topics goes on and on! In our house we also celebrate Harvest Dinner, an annual event hubby and I started six years ago. The week before Thanksgiving, we invite our mothers over for a special night of yummy food, excellent company, and low-key fun. Given how frenetic other holiday gatherings can be, we love having one that’s just about spending quality time with two of our favorite people. We all look forward to it every year, so much so that our mothers requested a second annual get-together. The inaugural Spring Fling Brunch kicked off last May, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Splendid Summer Picnic followed!
I love planning the Harvest Dinner menu, and with the entertaining evening only two weeks away, I’ve been flipping through cookbooks and browsing recipes online. As usual, I keep coming back to my favorite go-to savory source: Moosewood. This popular veg-friendly restaurant in Ithaca, NY has released several cookbooks over the years, and their recipes never disappoint. They’re usually chock full of veggies, which, as vegetarians, hubby and I appreciate, and often feature unique culinary combos I’d never attempt on my own. A perfect example is their Pumpkin Mushroom Lasagna. I mean, pumpkin? Mushrooms? In lasagna? Who’d have thought it? Luckily, Moosewood did! I made this deliciously decadent dish for Harvest Dinner three years ago, and it was a huge hit. Rich and hearty, it’s a great option for non-turkey eaters on Thanksgiving. The recipe’s featured in Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates, Festive Meals for Holidays and Special Occasions—and it’s also on their website!
I’m actually considering making the dish again for this year’s Harvest Dinner, because who doesn’t love revisiting a classic? If you’d like to give the unconventional yumminess a try, you can find Moosewood’s Pumpkin Mushroom Lasagna HERE. And be sure to check out their other amazing recipes and books!
Of course, cooking’s a messy business—and that’s a great reason to hit the sewing room before the kitchen! How fun would it be to do all your holiday basting and baking in a cute new apron made from some of your favorite fabric? Even better, how fun would it be to give handmade aprons to all the fabric-loving chefs and bakers in your life? These adorable gifts would be made with oodles of TLC, which is so much sweeter than sugar. 🙂
To celebrate this season of maker merriment, I’ve rounded up several FREE apron patterns and tutorials and shared them below. I hope you enjoy!