Saturday, November 15, 2008

"My Kind of Town, Chicago!" Thanksgiving & Round Up!

Every year, we take time out to give thanks for the many blessings we have. For us, one thing we are very thankful for is our group of friends who share the same food passion as we do. As a result, we hosted our annual Thanksgiving party with friends we've made from our group, What's Cookin Chicago. Rather than feasting on classic Thanksgiving fare, we graced our table with Chicago inspired dishes and friends brought dishes that were enjoyed in previous events we've hosted.

It was a successful party with over 50 guests celebrating with us. It really made me feel warm & fuzzy to see folks enjoying themselves and knowing our place is here in Chicago. Chicago is really our kind of town and is definitely home. :)
For our "My Kind of Town, Chicago" Thanksgiving, I prepared an appetizer buffet & dinner buffet which included the following:

Baked Buffalo Wings platter
served with ranch & blue cheese dressings,
baby carrots & celery sticks

Baked Parmesan & Romano Wings platter

served with marinara sauce
Dip Trio:

Spinach & Artichoke, Chili Cheese, Jalapeno Popper Dip
served with crostini, crackers & tortilla chips
Cocktail meatballs

Warm Pumpkin Walnut Brie

served with crackers

Cranberry Praline Spinach Salad

Lou Malnati's Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas
ordered from Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
Chicago Hot Dogs
served with all the fixins
Italian Beef Sandwiches

served with pepperocini peppers
(unpictured unfortunately)

Tilapia DeJonghe
(twist on Chicago's Shrimp DeJonghe)
served with brown rice pilaf

Palmer House Brownies

Our guests also brought dishes to share including the following... and so much more that weren't pictured!:

Howard's Bacon Wrapped Dates Tricia & Barney's Mac & Cheese Chanese's Chicago Chicken Vesuvio
Kurt's Thai Chicken Salad Spread
Robert's Fava Bean Stew
Teresa's Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
served with new potatoes
Teresa's Zucchini Salad
with Miso dressing Emma & Rich's Tabbouleh Salad Tricia & Barney's Italian Pasta Salad Jen & Wayne's Gingerbread Cupcakes
with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting Bethany's Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Jenn's Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake
Laura & Mike's Pear Crumble
Susan's Coffee Toffee Pie
Paulo's Papaya Flan
Linda's Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tart
John's White Cheddar & Caramel Popcorn

To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted recipes specific to their hometown, city, region, and/or country. As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event's winner is Courtney of Cook Like a Champion! Courtney has won a package of Chicago specialities including spices from The Spice House and local foods. Congratulations Courtney and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers...

Spicy Living
from Connecticut (India)
Appam & Thenkuzhal
Spicy Living joins us to share some specialities of India - Appam & Thenkuzhal. I loved this entry because I learned about new ingredients, cuisines and dishes! Check out Spicy Living's blog for recipes and information on specific Indian dishes!
Jen of Beantown Baker
from Massachusetts
Boston Baked Beans
What food comes to mind when you think of Boston? For me, it's Boston Baked Beans and Jen shares with us her recipe. Even better is that this recipe is made in a crockpot! Check out Jen's blog and give these a try, even if it's an excuse to use your crockpot!
Courtney of Cook Like a Champion
from Florida (Alabama)
Fried Pickles
I recently met Courtney and what a sweetheart! I learned about her Alabama roots and her many travels before she settled in Florida. As a native of Alabama, Courtney shares a recipe of Fried Pickles. Fried Pickles is common in the south and most folks may be familiar with it being prepared with pickle chips. Courtney's entry is made with pickle slices and is one of her faves at a local Alabama restaurant. Check out her blog for the recipe and get a taste of the south!
Jayasree of Experiments in Kailas Kitchen
from Kerala, India
Kappa Cutlet
In Jayasree's corner of the world, tapioca is a staple ingredient and as a result, she shares a recipe for Kappa (Tapioca) Cutlets. This is a great recipe to try tapioca that isn't from a box! Check out Jayasree's blog for the recipe and how she got her hands on a real tapioca plant!
Karen of Loves To Eat Weblog
from Florida (Michigan)
Apple Betty
Although currently living under the Florida sun, Karen is from Michigan and celebrates her roots with her entry. She shares with us her mom's Apple Betty recipe made with Michigan apples. Michigan is well known for the wonderful apples they produce in the state and Karen loves to prepare them in various ways. Check out her blog for the recipe and give this a try with the many apples available this season!
Harini of Tongue Ticklers
from India
Dal Khichdi
No one likes getting sick... but I'll admit being sick may be worth it just to give Harini's Dal Khichdi recipe. Harini shares with us this comforting dish that's common in India to give to babies as an early food or to coax a cold. Perfect for the fall weather, this is a great recipe to try. Check out Harini's recipe and make this on a cool fall night to warm up to!
Shayne of One Bite At a Time!
from New Jersey
Dirty Jersey Disco Fries
Who doesn't like fries... even as a little indulgence now and then? Well Shayne has shared her recipe for Dirty Jersey Disco Fries and boy, talk about indulgence! This happens to be a popular way to serve & enjoy fries in diners of New Jersey & New York. Oven roasted fries, topped with a bechamel sauce and gravy, then garnished with crisp bacon - YUM! Check out Shayne's blog for a great step by step recipe and get dirty with these disco fries!
Cathy of Cathy's Kitchen Journey
from New York
New York Style Cheesecake
with Strawberry Topping

One of the first foods that comes to when I think of New York is cheesecake! Cathy represents New York wonderfully with her recipe for New York Style Cheesecake. I've had New York Style Cheesecake on a previous trip to NYC and I'm anxious to try Cathy's recipe. You should too so check out her blog for the recipe!