Feather Free Thanksgiving

Photo by Jackie Sobon (Vegan Yack Attack)

It’s Thanksgiving week!! I LOVE to go home and spend Thanksgiving with my family, but I also love doing Friendsgiving! Do you do this too? It’s so fun to have more than one! I was so excited to be working with Dole Foods on Thanksgiving recipe content that I decided to make a whole night of it with the dishes I created for them as the stars! So here are my pics, Jackie Sobon’s pics (which are the gorgeous ones!!), and of course my recipes. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and when you post your pics on social media use the hashtag #FeatherFreeThanksgiving to enter to win a personal holiday gift from me 🙂

The campaign I am doing with Dole is called #ChainOfCheer Here’s how it works:

Toast to the holidays with Dole and share a photo of your favorite cocktail + recipe and tag your post #ChainofCheer. Make a toast and tag the people you are thankful for this year. Then have them do the same. Get it? Like an old fashion chain letter 🙂  The toast could be something you are thankful for, what you look forward to in 2016, or anything that will inspire. Ask your followers to “pay your toast forward” by making their own toast on their favorite social network with a photo, tag it with #ChainofCheer #Dole for a chance to win $100 Dole gift card. Cool right!?!?!

Speaking of cheering, here is the recipe for one of my favorite cocktails! A Pineapple Mojito with Cinnamon and Sugar! I made garnish sticks with the Dole Pineapple Chunks and froze them. That way your drink stays cold and cute!Dole Cinnamon Sugar Mojito

Cinnamon & Sugar Pineapple Mojito

makes 2

10 mint leaves

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 lime, cut in half again

4 oz. white rum

2 oz. Dole Pineapple Juice

club soda

for spice rim:

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tbsp. cinnamon

mix the cinnamon and sugar together and pour onto a plate. On a separate plate place a couple tablespoons of water. Dip the rim of your glass in the water and then into the cinnamon and sugar.

Place the mint leaves and sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle with a cocktail muddler or handle of a wooden spoon. Add rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and shake. Pour into 2 ice filled glasses with the spiced rim and top with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and pineapple skewers. Enjoy!

Those are a great way to get your party started!

Leslie Durso's Feather Free Thanksgiving

I decorated the table with all edibles. Why use flowers that you will throw away when there is so much beautiful Fall produce in season! I used squash, apples, pears, persimmons, oranges, and jelly jars with candles in them.

Leslie Durso's FriendsgivingPhoto by Jackie Sobon (Vegan Yack Attack)

Ok, let’s talk about the most important part: THE FOOD! I created a fun twist on a classic dish by making Autumn Fried Rice. Most of the prep for this dish can be done ahead of time and then put together quickly right before eating so it’s a perfect Thanksgiving idea.

Leslie Durso's Thanksgiving

Photo by Jackie Sobon (Vegan Yack Attack)

Autumn Fried Rice

Serves 6-8

1 acorn squash, halved and sliced

1 cauliflower head, broken into bite size pieces

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 8 oz. can Dole pineapple chunks

1 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari)

2 cups cooked wild rice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange the acorn squash on a foil lined cooke sheet and spray both sides with some olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the oven about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. (keep an eye on them, they go from tender to mush pretty fast) set aside to cool.

Using the same cookie sheet (why not?) arrange your cauliflower pieces and spray with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in the 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

In a large wok or frying pan, heat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil on medium high heat. Add in the onion and sauté until they are soft. Add in the garlic, can of pineapple juice and niblets, 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari), cauliflower, and the cooked rice. Sauté a couple minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Remove from the heat and stir in the pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and chopped parsley (saving a tbsp of each for garnish on top).

Arrange your acorn squash on a platter and pour fried rice in the middle. Top with a few more pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

For dessert, again I decided to put a twist on a classic and make a Pineapple Rum Upside down Bundt Cake! For those of your who follow me on periscope (if you don’t, get on it!) you got to see me create this recipe live for the first time!

Leslie Durso's Feather Free Thanksgiving

Pineapple Rum Upside down Bundt Cake

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cup sugar

4 ripe bananas, smashed

1/4 cup dark rum

1/2 cup pineapple juice from a 20 oz. can of Dole Pineapple Slices

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. butter substitute like Earth Balance

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

for the frosting:

1/4 cup dark rum

1/4 cup pineapple juice

8 tbsp. butter substitute like Earth Balance

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Sift your dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

In medium bowl, using a hand mixer, mix sugar, bananas, rum, pineapple juice, vanilla and butter. In batches add the dry ingredients and fold into the wet.

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray or coat with a thin layer of coconut oil.

Arrange the walnuts at the bottom of the pan. Cut your pineapple rings in half and arrange on the sides of the pan.

Pour your cake batter over the nuts and pineapple, slowly as to not disturb their placement.

Bake for 40 minute until you can pull a toothpick out dry.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting by melting all the ingredients together in a small pot. Bring to gentle simmer and reduce heat for 5 minutes. Let the cake sit about 2 minutes on the counter and then pour your frosting sauce over the cake. Cover with foil and let cool, 30+ minutes. When cool, using a plate, flip the cake over and remove the pan. Enjoy!!

You know it’s a good party when this is what your guests do when dinner is served:

Leslie Durso's Feather Free Thanksgiving

Want to know what else I served? Here’s the rest of the menu:

Cranberry Chutney

Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberry Soup (recipe coming tomorrow)

Spinach Mushroom Roll

There was a lot of instagraming happening! Make sure to follow these fabulous foodies for more fun:

Dawn McCoy

Jacqueline King

Lynn Chen

Amanda Goodfried

Jackie Sobon

Yvonne Ardestani

Fiona Gubelmann

Autumn Reeser

Happy Happy Thanksgiving!! I can’t wait to see your pictures! Don’t forget to use #ChainOfCheer and #FeatherFreeThanksgiving so I can see your posts!!