Up until a few weeks ago, it had been a really long time since I had eaten at a California Pizza Kitchen. We had some family in town, which meant a girls only shopping trip was in order! We were probably 20 minutes into the outing when lunch became the next inevitable step. When your shopping has barely begun and the food court kinda sucks you can always count on a CPK to be attached to the mall somewhere. And side note: I have mentioned my love for food courts before on this blog, so when you hear me call one disappointing enough for me to ditch it, you know it’s bad. I think my love for food courts has diminished significantly since moving back to Colorado from Boston though. Boston food courts were the bomb! Anyway, this trip to CPK was the first time I didn’t get a pizza and boy was I pleasantly surprised (I replicated my salad too – coming soon!). My mom had the turkey avocado egg rolls for her meal and was nice enough to share because they were so good that everyone needed to experience it. I decided right away to try these at home even though I felt pretty unsure about how well I would be able to replicate the presentation. Really, the most challenging thing was figuring out how to roll them up properly, but after a quick google session I had it down. This turned into a bit of a hybrid recipe where I used this as a guide for proportions and for folding the wrappers, but I did a bit of a different sauce and fried them because, duh. You could of course bake them though! For my sauce I actually used one of those packets of ranch powder in a spicy flavor because for a reason unknown even to me, I hate buying bottles of ranch dressing. If I absolutely need it for something I’d prefer a one-use option. These egg rolls are such an awesome party food/appetizer that tasted even better than the original, in my opinion. They are similar to the guacamole wontons that I made a while back, but with all of the salad like fillings, it could be substantial enough for a full meal if you’d like (I did!).
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Our meal was great and we had a lot of fun experimenting this year. I had the genius idea to stuff the turkey with sausage, apples and onions. I love anything with sausage, so I’ll try to add it to whatever I can. Of course, I was all for the idea, but wanted to make sure everyone else was down for something that could possibly end in disaster. This was my first turkey, which made it even more risky. Eventually, we all got pretty excited to see how it would turn out and thankfully it was a success!
I brined and grilled the turkey even though I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to stuff grilled turkey, but it added to the fun! Plus, we didn’t need to worry about the sausage getting cooked through, so it wasn’t really a problem. The sausage was super moist and added a little spicy kick to the meal, which we all loved. I’m thankful that I didn’t ruin our turkey and even more thankful that we all got to have fun cooking and eating together!
:: I made way too much of my favorite potato and carrot gratin ::
I’m home! Our Thanksgiving prep started today and I’m officially in charge of the TURKEY! I am pretty pumped and have something very special planned for it. And maybe slightly weird, so I’m not going to give too much away now…but I will say that he is all tucked in to his brine for the night. We got most of our planning and shopping done this morning and then took it easy. Even though it has been beautiful and close to 70 degrees, we kept cozy with hot chocolate and crafts. Plus a few outdoor play sessions with the puppy. I can’t wait for tomorrow and I hope you are all enjoying time with your loved ones before the craziness begins!