Thanksgiving for two

You know Thanksgiving dinner was good when there are no leftovers for lunch the next day. Nabol woke up at 6:00 am to finish all the leftover lemon orzo and most of the cranberry trifle. That makes me happy, even if I don’t get seconds.

We are still celebrating official Thanksgiving at my sisters’ in Wisconsin next Thursday, but we felt it was important for us to do our own thing at home this weekend. It’s our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. It’s our first year officially living in the wonderful city of Chicago. It’s also been 10 years since I moved to the States. There’s a lot to be thankful for. For the opportunities, the friends, the journey. All challenges aside, we have truly found our happy place.

We allowed ourselves to have fun with this one. Dinner wasn’t your traditional fair, but it was still very much about fall.

Table setting decorations featured seasonal winesap apples and seckle pears. Both were perfectly petite and chubby with a dark maroon blush. They look great next to our small flower arrangements of burgundy-colored solidago, fresh sage and long cinnamon sticks. 

To enhance the natural accents, we covered the table with different pieces of pattered fabric that helped put together this bohemian mix match style. All vases and serving bowls were also different, yet followed a color palette of greens, blue, yellows and browns.

We loved the idea of covering our crudité bowl in cabbage and adding a natural touch to our napkins by tying them with rosemary twigs and more cinnamon sticks. 

No reason why a dinner for two shouldn’t be fancy, right? Our dinner featured some of Verdelicias classics, including our white wine cranberry pomegranate sauce, our lemon garlic orzo and our lemon garlic roasted organic chicken. We also had a simple cheese plate with figs, walnuts and a really nice Gruyere we found at Pastoral in the French Market. Portuguese green wine was our option to wash everything down.

To finish up the evening, we enjoyed a nice cranberry trifle (recipe to be posted next week) and watched Sandra Bullock’s While You Were Sleeping, a great holiday movie based in Chicago. 

Up next, we include a couple of our recipes. Our lemon chicken didn’t make it in time for the pictures before sunset, but I promise you it’s delicious. Hope you enjoy some of these with your family and friends. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Lemon Garlic Orzo

4 cloves of garlic, sliced
¼ Cup of diced onion
1 Teaspoon of butter
4 Teaspoons of olive oil
1 Lemon
3 Sage leaves
½ Cup of chopped scallions
1 Cup of orzo
Salt to taste 

Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil until translucent. Add the orzo with two cups of water, the sage and a pinch of salt. Let it cook covered in medium heat for 10 minutes. Then, add the juice of the lemon and the butter. Mix well. Add an extra sprinkle of water if it’s sticking to the bottom. Cook for about another 5 minutes until done. Let it cool down before adding the scallions and another sprinkle of salt. You can also sprinkle some graded parmesan or even Gruyere if you like. It's that simple.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken

Medium organic local chicken
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ chopped onion
4-6 whole garlic cloves
2-3 rosemary twigs
Handful of sage
2 lemons

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Then, clean the chicken well and season it with olive oil, salt pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Season the inside of the chicken as well. Stuff the chicken with chopped onion, the herbs, the slices of remaining lemon and garlic. Tie down the legs with twine and place in the oven for about 2 hours, turning it twice. Crank up the oven to 400 degrees for the last 10 to 15 minutes to get a nice golden skin.

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  1. I love everything about your Thanksgiving! Very well done!

  2. Thank you do much Lisa! Have a great holiday!