Happy #Thanksgiving + Cranberry Salad #Recipe

Roasted Turkey On Harvest Table

Roasted Turkey On Harvest Table – c. evgenyb

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, largely because it involves so many of my favorite foods: turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. And as a history freak, I love that so many of the traditional foods we eat at Thanksgiving are native to the Americas.

The food supply expanded when Europeans “discovered” the New World. Prior to Columbus’s first voyage, there were no turkeys, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, cranberries or maize, i.e. Indian corn, in the rest of the world. In Europe, there was a cereal grain called corn, but it’s more like wheat, not like the ears of corn we’re used to.

holiday pumpkinAnd there was no chocolate! Chocolate is native to the Americas, so the Spaniards were the first Europeans to encounter it. It became popular at court after the Spanish added sugar or honey to sweeten the natural bitterness. From there, chocolate spread through Europe in the 1600’s and grew into the international obsession is has become today. My new favorite treat is the Ghiradelli Pumpkin Spice Squares.

Can you imagine a world without chocolate? I really wouldn’t like that at all!

Nor would I like a world without pumpkins or cranberries, two of my favorite ingredients for fall goodies. I even came up with my own recipe for a cranberry salad.

cranberry salad

Lyndi’s Cranberry-Blueberry Delight

Here’s my original recipe:

Lyndi’s Cranberry-Blueberry Delight

1 14 oz. can of Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 package of fresh blueberries (about 4 oz.)
1 cup of golden raisins

Mix, chill and serve. That’s it!

The recipe serves 8-10 ladies. (The attached photo doesn’t reflect the full recipe. It’s what is left over after a couple of days of snacking on it.) I’ve also spread it on turkey sandwiches in lieu of regular cranberry sauce.

Since it’s so simple, it’s easy to experiment. Add nuts for crunch or sweeten to taste, if it’s too tart. I’m thinking about adding some of those little marshmallows next time for color and sweetness.

I’ve been dieting for months and I’ve lost sixteen pounds so far, but I won’t be counting calories on Thanksgiving Day.

Wishing you all a Happy Turkey Day! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat?

Linda / Lyndi

Louvre, Part II #Tuesday Travels

Tuesday Travel buttonI’m picking up at noon of our day at the Louvre for today’s Tuesday Travels.

Before we left the Cafe Richelieu, I snapped a photo of the main entrance to the museum from the window. As you can see, the ticket lines are pretty short.
Louvre Ticket LineWe made one more detour to view the Napoleon III Apartments, located on the same floor as the Cafe Richelieu. I love decorative arts, and these rooms are beautiful.

For a little backstory, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, the nephew and heir of Napoleon, was born in 1808. He became president of the French Second Republic in 1848, and then Emperor of the Second French Empire, starting in 1852.

The rooms are quite impressive. Here’s a slideshow:

After leaving the Louvre, our plan was to head to the Opera Garnier for the 2:30PM tour in English. Unfortunately, we got lost trying to find the correct Metro station and missed the tour time. So we decided to head back to the hotel instead, with disastrous consequences.

Yes, I was treated to the full Paris experience: my fanny pack was pickpocketed on the Metro. The train was very full and I had to reach to hold onto the pole. I was also exhausted after not sleeping well the night before (still jet-lagged) and then walking all over the Louvre. To this day, I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but when I got back to the hotel, my wallet was gone. It had to be a professional job because I never felt a thing. Sigh. Should have taken a cab.

I reported my lost cards immediately and even arranged with Bank of America, bless them, to send a replacement card to me at the Paris Marriott. Fortunately, we were set to return to the hotel after our tour of Northern France. Even more fortunately, I had left my passport and some of my cash in the hotel room safe.

Next time I go to Europe, I will leave the bulk of my cash in the hotel safe, or if I’m in between hotels, in my money pouch around my waist and under my clothing. I also plan to buy an around-the-neck pouch to hold ready cash. All that will go in a fanny pack or handbag are my coin purse, tissue packets, maps, etc. Live and learn.

Next time, the Historic District of Paris, including Notre Dame de Paris.