Tag-Archive for » Dinner Parties «

A Very Thankful New Years

One of the perks of Chris working for NATO is the annual opportunity we have to order real Butterball turkeys for Thanksgiving every year. The only thing is, we have to order them a few months in advance and you can only order in a size range (e.g. 10-15 lb or 16-20 lb, etc) so it’s kind of a crap shoot how much turkey you will actually get. Chris and I had talked about having a bunch of friends over for Thanksgiving, so we played it safe and ordered one in the 16-20 lb category back in September. And, since Chris REALLY likes leftover turkey, he played it extra safe and ordered an additional 10-15 lb turkey thinking we could have a smaller one just for leftovers.


Then as the months progressed, Chris’ little brother decided to get married around Thanksgiving so we bought plane tickets home instead of planning Thanksgiving dinner in Norway. Then the turkey shipment came in and we were given a 19lb turkey and a 14lb turkey! So we spent the holiday in the US with the Hills with two giant turkeys waiting for us back home. Yikes.


We had to do SOMETHING with the turkeys because as much as Chris loves Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, 33 pounds of turkey is a bit more than even he can handle. Since Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Norway anyway, we decided we could celebrate our own Thanksgiving whenever we wanted to! So we picked New Year’s Day and had a bunch of our friends join us for a Thankful New Year’s feast!

We were lucky to be able to book the NATO boat house for the night, since we were still table-less and couch-less at our apartment. Eating Thanksgiving on the floor with 20 people just seemed like a bad idea…
I’m still on my quest to make the PERFECT Thanksgiving turkey. You know, like the ones on the cover of Martha Stewart Magazine with the perfectly even brown skin and juicy insides. I got pretty close this year! It looks a little charred in the photos, but in person it wasn’t far off. I think next year might just be the year I finally get it!
The group shot
Chris photobombing his own photo.
We spent the evening enjoying good food, fun games, and fantastic company! We couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2014!



It’s Sunday, and a bit past the time of Thanksgiving for most of you, but we celebrated our Thanksgiving yesterday instead of Thursday so it’s still pretty fresh for us :) Chris doesn’t get American holidays off of work, so we opted to do Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday instead of trying to fit it in on Thursday after work. It was a good thing we did too because I ended up getting 5 last minute cake orders so I was up to my neck in frosting on actual Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving was definitely a different experience for both of us this year. For one thing, we BARELY managed to squeeze 13 lbs of turkey into our tiny European oven! We did it though and luckily it still turned out! It was also a little sad not being home for Thanksgiving this year. We definitely missed the family gatherings and all the fun that goes with them and we discovered that it is A LOT of work to prepare Thanksgiving dinner with just 2 people cooking! We had lots of fun doing it together though, and to compensate for the lack of family we had a bunch of friends over instead :) It was a mix of Americans, Norwegians, and a Dane and it was fun to be able to share our traditions with our Norwegian friends since they’ve been sharing so many of theirs with us!


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Skittles helping pick out Thanksgiving treats.

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The Pie

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The Feast

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The Food

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The Friends

It was an adventure coming up an entire Thanksgiving menu all on our own for the first time! We came up with lots of ideas…and had way too much food. But leftovers are half the fun of Thanksgiving right? I tried to use as many local ingredients as I could from the farmers market downtown and for the most part I was pretty successful!

Here was the lineup this year:

Garlic-Rosemary Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

– The. Best. Turkey. Chris (a turkey fiend) has requested that we never ever use another turkey recipe. It was delicious! Definitely make sure to brine it if your turkey doesn’t already come pre-brined. It makes for a super moist, fall-apart turkey!

Chive & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Rutabaga with Caramelized Onions and Apples

Butternut Squash Crumble

Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Casserole 

 – You can NEVER go wrong with Paula!

Maple and Rosemary Glazed Carrots

Stuffing from Food Network Magazine.

-I wish I had a link to a recipe, but it was a “Mix & Match” feature in the magazine. We used wheat bread, leeks, onions, celery, bacon. Comment or email me if you want a more specific recipe, because it was yummy!

Josh’s Mom’s Pineapple Bread – Gluten-free version brought by Josh

Plain ol’ normal salad

Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Hello Month! How did you pass by so fast??

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Eating Rudolph

A little while ago, I was over at my friend Jen’s house (an expat with the oil industry) and she introduced me to her friend Vanessa.  Vanessa is a French-Canadian who married a Norwegian and is now expecting her first little viking baby! The three of us were cooking dinner together for a little ‘girl’s night in’ and Vanessa mentioned that her husband LOVES to cook.

A Norwegian that likes cooking? I thought, Whoah Norwegians aren’t typically known for their love of the culinary arts. Jen and I were clearly doubting her, so to show us how into cooking Eirik really was, Vanessa invited Chris, Jen and I over for a dinner party at their house on Saturday night along with 4 of their (hilarious) Norwegian friends. And what a dinner it was! Vanessa wasn’t messing around. Eirik served up a 5 course Norwegian meal of some of best food we’ve had since we got to Norway!

Course 1: Bruschetta with liver pate from Spain

Course 2: Scallops and lobster with a vanilla bean cauliflower pureé

Course 3: Lobster-seafood soup

Course 4: Reindeer with winter vegetables and red wine reduction sauce

That’s right. Reindeer. And you know what…it was delicious!

A fun factoid about Norway we learned that night: Norwegians don’t raise beef cattle. All the beef here comes from dairy cows that are past their milky prime, and because of that the beef is…well…quite sad :'(

So when Americans eat big juicy steaks, Norwegians eat big juicy reindeer. And as long as you think about it like THIS:


and not THIS:


it really is as delicious as steak! Chris and I both loved it!


The final course of the meal was the BEST creme brulée I have ever tasted. Absolutely amazing!


Thank you again for a wonderful night Vanessa and Eirik!