Cast Update, Cold Weather and a Thanksgiving Recipe

November 18, 2014


Some news on our Hummingbird with the broken wing–she was a bit disappointed that her new hard cast went all the way up and over the elbow, but she cheered up when the doctor told her that she could probably switch to a shorter cast in a few weeks.

This cast is decidedly un-Seussical, don’t you think? I must say, when it comes to color, Miss M. doesn’t hold back!

It’s still chilly here, although we sent our truly arctic weather over to Wisconsin and Michigan–sorry about that, folks, but I’m sure glad to be rid of it!

When the snow first started falling last week, Mozzy was beside himself with excitement and awe. I think Mozz-man had forgotten about snow. He couldn’t stop staring out the window and begged to go outside. Of course, once were out there, he realized how butt-ass cold it was and wanted to come back inside. But then, 30 minutes later? Begging again to go out. He nearly drove me to madness those first few days.

The snow is still on the ground, and now that it’s not so frigid, Mozzy is in heaven. He feels the need to jump in every snow drift he sees (dragging me along with him) and roll around in giddy abandon. I sure wish snow excited me that much. I don’t understand how he can hang out in those drifts without freezing his little pee-pee off? Yikes! Mozz is made of stronger stuff than me.

I’m still craving warm, comforting things with this weather, but again, I need to keep things somewhat healthy–especially since snow and cold mean the abandonment of my daily 3-mile walks. I really miss them, and my thighs do too. I’ve been trying to do productive things like clean out the kitchen pantry, but that’s not really a calorie-torching activity…

I also started planning our Thanksgiving menu last week. If you remember, I’m not real keen on the traditional Thanksgiving fare, as I ranted about here. What we’ve been doing for the last few years at Chez T. is picking a theme for Thanksgiving–one year, we pretended we were in Greece, the next Spain, and then off to France.

This year, our theme is Pan-Asian, and I’m excited! Here’s the menu, if you’re interested:

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Garlic and Soy Marinated Roast of Pork with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

Mashed Potatoes (maybe with wasabi, maybe not…still unsure)

Braised Bok Choy

Snow Pea Salad with Sesame Dressing

Assorted Dessert Sorbet


Hopefully, some of these recipes will pass muster so I can share them with you. Even without the traditional Thanksgiving fare, we’ll manage to stuff ourselves silly.

I’m going to share a veggie dish with you today that would be a terrific addition to a Thanksgiving table–if you aren’t worried about pushing the envelope a little.  It’s actually tasty enough to serve as an entree for vegetarians who might be gracing your table, too. These mushrooms are cheesy and satisfying and oh, so delicious.

Good luck planning out your Thanksgiving, readers, and I hope you know how grateful I am for you. You rock my socks. The girls have the entire week of Thanksgiving off school, but I’ll be popping in every so often just to see what you’re up to (and eating)!

Marinated Portabello Mushrooms with Asiago
from Weber’s Way to Grill
serves 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 large portabello mushrooms, each 5 to 6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups grated Asiago cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red chile flakes (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or paper towel. Remove and discard the stems. With a teaspoon, carefully scrape out and discard the black gills from the mushroom caps. Place the mushrooms, caps sides up, on a rimmed plate and brush them with the marinade. Turn the mushrooms over and brush again with the marinade. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat or heat a grill pan on the stove on medium-high heat.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the parsley and red pepper flakes, if using.

Grill the mushrooms, gill side down, over direct medium heat (if doing this on the grill, keep the lid closed) until the mushrooms begin to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Brush the cap sides with some of the remaining marinade from the plate, turn over, add 1/4 cup of cheese on top of each mushroom,  and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 4 to 6 minutes. During the last minute of cooking time, place the bread crumb mixture evenly on top of each mushroom. Remove from the grill, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

*If grilling indoors, you can alternatively pop the mushrooms under the oven broiler after you add the cheese topping.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

S in AK November 18, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Ooh! This is perfect. Eric loves to grill so I always love to hand something off to him. Thank you. Before I got married, I regularly turned Thanksgiving (and sometimes Easter) into Chinese food feasts–more fun, less stuffy. (Oh, how nice, a real, honest-to-goodness pun!) Unfortunately, my husband loves meat and gravy, neither of which are my favorites. (He’s such a carnivore, he’s even managed to work the boys into being sick of eating ribs. Boys. Sick of eating ribs. Can you imagine?)


Dana Talusani November 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm

S in AK,

Daddy-o is sad about the demise of traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but he eats it at a restaurant the day before and is okay with it now. I do adore my gravy and potatoes, but the rest of the meal can suck it!


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me November 18, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Um, consider yourself pinned! That looks amazing. Too bad my Husband doesn’t like mushrooms…more for the rest of us!


Ayala November 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Happy to hear that she can switch the cast to a shorter one, poor baby :( thank you for the recipe , it looks great.


Naptimewriting November 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Seems to me you had an Asian menu years ago…maybe 2009? Sounded delightful. All I want for Thanksgiving is change. Anything new sounds good to me.
And everything you make sounds good to me.
Hope it’s delicious…and WARM.


Dana Talusani November 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm


We did do Chinese a few years ago–I think maybe it was the maiden voyage of the “alternative T-day” idea? I wanted some Vietnamese in there this year, and gravy sure isn’t Asian, so I decided to call it “fusion.” Wish I could have you and your two adorable boys with us at the table–I’d give anything. xoxo


Barbara November 19, 2014 at 5:48 am

I haven’t been keeping up with you! A broken arm? Poor thing! I feel for her, have been there too. (But didn’t get a cast as colorful)
Your Thanksgiving sounds like fun. I get out of cooking yet again this year. Yea!


Dana Talusani November 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm


At least tell me that you are bringing those amazing pumpkin verrines for dessert? YUM.


Shannon November 19, 2014 at 6:38 am

Wow. That is one snazzy cast! And is she teaching herself to write left-handed?


Dana Talusani November 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm


Her handwriting is fairly miserable as is; I joked to her teacher that, “now her penmanship is going to be twice as shitty!” She’s managing, but it isn’t good!


Dana November 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

Love the cast! So whimsical. Also, yes to wasabi mashed :) love your theme!


D. A. Wolf November 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Oooooo. Those marinated mushrooms sound fabuloso. (And not too far beyond my skill level!)

I love your going with themes for Thanksgiving. That’s way more interesting than what most of us do. (We go with country themes at Xmas though, as of the past few years. With hats. And cocktails. Hats & cocktails are within my skill level.)

Snow? OMG. That’s why I fled the Northeast back in the days when I was (ahem) taller, or possibly… a hem taller.

As for Turkey Day, we do the traditional route around here, but I will admit that we are ordering in this year, but I’ll do a big salad and dessert. We’re just too pooped to deal with cleaning AND cooking. Besides, Xmas comes with so many meals in so many variations (and boy-o’s come home and hang and all the friends come over)… well… ’nuff said.




Dana Talusani November 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm


Ordering in sounds wonderful! In fact, I do that often at Christmas with the Honeybaked Ham. It’s so nice not to have to fuss over the big centerpiece of the meal and just make some yummy side dishes to keep things interesting. By Christmas day, I am always an exhausted lump.


Tiffany November 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Love the cast! It’s sooooooo cold here in ohio!!


Alison November 21, 2014 at 4:10 am

I love that you don’t do traditional Thanksgiving food!
Sorry about the frigidly cold weather, brrrr.


Pamela November 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Good luck to the Hummingbird. If you are lucky she will get a short cast precisely when the stink factor comes in. Your thanksgiving menu sounds lovely!!! And so does that recipe.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I’m rooting for the shrimp dumplings!!


Barbara December 1, 2014 at 5:46 am

There would be major mutiny at my house if I varied from the traditional. Right down to that horrible frozen fruit salad my mother used to make!
Sorry about weather, though. I spend most of the winter happy I live in Florida!
That cast is monstrous!


Tiffany December 14, 2014 at 7:15 am

I love that idea! I’m struggling to come up with Christmas dinner ideas. Maybe I’ll do a theme!!


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