Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Our Thanksgiving Menu for Two

So much has gone wrong in 2020 – the dreaded virus, the wrath of Mother Nature, and the devastation in Artsakh and Armenia. 

Despite it all, we must keep our faith, count our blessings, and be thankful for what we have.

As Doug and I celebrate quietly together at home, we will pray that 2021 will bring us a brighter, healthier, more peaceful year.
We wish you and your families a Blessed Thanksgiving!


With all of this in mind, we're taking an easy approach to our Thanksgiving menu. Doug will prepare the entree on 'the day' while I do the sides and dessert -  a day ahead.  

(Recipes follow - except for the cranberry relish.)

·        Turkey Tenderloin with Vegetables and Pan Gravy

·        Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

·        Green Beans with Almonds

·        Stonewall Kitchen® Cranberry Relish

·        Drop Biscuits

·        -and- Skinny Crustless Pumpkin Pie


Doug's Turkey Tenderloin
StovetopTurkey Tenderloin with Vegetables and Pan Gravy

Serves 4-5


1 (1 ½ lb.) pkg. Butterball turkey tenderloin, cut crosswise into 2 even pieces

½ large onion, sliced

3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2” pieces

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces

8 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 

Herbes d’Provence, to taste (You can use your preferred dried herbs to coat.)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil

Chicken broth (about 1 cup)

2-3 Tbsp. Cornstarch or flour (to thicken pan gravy)


In a 10” inch non-stick skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Sauté the vegetables with a little salt and pepper until they begin to soften and become slightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Unwrap turkey tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Cut it into 2 even pieces. Lightly oil each piece and season with salt, pepper, and dry herbs to taste, coating all sides.

Heat 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil in a 12” non-stick pan on medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add the tenderloin pieces and sear for about 3 minutes on each side – without burning! Once browned all over, add about 1 cup of chicken broth. Cover the pan and cook gently over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Turn the tenderloin pieces and add the sautéed vegetables. Cover, and continue cooking for another 15 or so minutes.

Using a meat thermometer, check the turkey’s internal temperature. It’s done when it reaches 165°F. Remove the turkey from the pan, place on a platter and cover with foil so it rests and stays warm.

Meantime, dissolve 2 to 3 Tbsp. cornstarch in cold water until dissolved. Stir mixture into the skillet with broth and vegetables until it thickens.

Cut the tenderloin into slices; arrange on a serving platter with the vegetables and pan gravy on the side.


Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes             

Serves 4


3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½” inch chunks

1 sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish: Pomegranate arils and or chopped pecans, optional


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix sweet potatoes, onion wedges, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread in a lightly oiled shallow roasting pan.

Roast mixture in preheated oven, turning now and then, until the vegetables are soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Garnish with pomegranate arils and/or chopped pecans, if you wish, before serving.


Green Beans with Almonds (Photo credit: Whole Foods)

Green Beans with Almonds                  Serves 4


1 (16 oz.) package frozen green beans (whole, French cut or regular cut)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, pan-toasted

3 to 4 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest, optional

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a small skillet over low heat, toast almonds until lightly golden, but not too brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Place beans in a large saucepan and cook according to package directions until tender-crisp; drain and place in a bowl.

Stir in butter pieces, lemon juice, zest, if using, and salt and pepper, to taste. Top with toasted almonds just before serving.


Drop Biscuits (photo credit: Craig Lee for The New York Times)

Drop Biscuits (recipe by Samantha Seneviratne for New York Times)
Yield: 8 biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

¾ cup whole milk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons, if needed


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the texture of coarse meal with some pea-size pieces.

Using a fork, stir in the milk until just evenly moistened, adding up to 2 more tablespoons, if necessary, but stopping before the dough gets too wet. Scoop the dough into 8 rough mounds (about 1/3-cup each) and place them on the prepared sheets. Bake the biscuits until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

‘Skinny’ Crustless Pumpkin Pie (adapted from a recipe from Skinnytaste.com)

Serves 8


15 oz. canned pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/2 cup light brown sugar (unpacked)

1/2 cup fat free milk

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1 / 4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Add melted butter and mix well.

Using an electric mixer or wire whisk, mix in brown sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat until mixture is completely smooth.

Using vegetable spray, lightly coat the bottom of an 8"x8" baking dish; evenly pour filling into it.

Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve with whipped cream if you wish.


  1. We will be having a quiet party of 3 Thanksgiving and green beans with almonds is on our menu as well. Happy Thanksgiving Robyn and Doug.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving. I have loved so much reading your recipes and stories this year. It's been a bright spot for me.

    1. Thank you; I appreciate that. Happy Thanksgiving!