Thanksgiving at Ali in the Valley’s!

Happy Thanksgiving:

It’s that time of year to stop and be thankful for all our blessings! Yes, the year has flown by so quickly that we can barely catch our breath, but it’s time to stop, catch our breath and exhale. Then inhale deeply, close your eyes and be thankful for your health, your family, your life, your ideas, your stamina, your existence and your peace of mind. Sometimes we have it all together and other times we don’t but for this Thanksgiving, visualize your ultimate existence and bask in the joy. Keep this feeling close to your heart and meditate on it whenever you need a reminder to be thankful for all your blessings.

Thank you all for supporting and being a part of my online family here at  Ali in the Valley.

Have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Alison aka Ali in the Valley

My Thanksgiving Recipes from Ali in the Valley’s Vault:

Whole Roasted Chicken Infused with Clementines and Rosemary:


  1. 1 whole chicken

  2. 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  3. Ali’s Essence, recipe below

  4. 1 yellow onion, quartered

  5. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

  6. 6 clementines or tangerines, quartered

  7. 4 springs fresh rosemary

  8. 1 cup fresh clementine juice or tangerine juice

  9. 1 tablespoon honey

  10. Salt and pepper

  11. 4 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges

  12. 2 fresh rosemary springs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub the entire chicken with the butter. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Essence, including the inside of the chicken. Season with onions, garlic and clementines with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onions, clementines and fresh rosemary. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan.

Put the chicken in the oven. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour or until the juices run clear.

After the chicken has roasted for 20 minutes, baste the entire bird with the pan drippings. Baste every ten minutes. For the glaze, remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest, reserving the pan drippings.

In a sauce pan, add the pan drippings, clementine juice, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the sauce to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Place the roasted chicken on a platter. Arrange the roasted sweet potatoes and clementines around the chicken. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and garnish with rosemary springs.

ESSENCE Seasoning:


  1. 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  2. 2 tablespoons salt

  3. 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  4. 1 tablespoon black pepper

  5. 1 tablespoon onion powder

  6. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  7. 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  8. 1 tablespoon dried thyme


Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Mac and Cheese:


  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  2. 1/2 pound elbow macaroni

  3. 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  4. 3 cups whole milk

  5. 1 teaspoon salt

  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  7. Pinch cayenne

  8. 2 1/2 cups grated sharp and extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces) (half or each)

  9. 6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

  10. 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown.

Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 cups of the cheese and stir well. Add the noodles and stir well. Pour into the prepared dish.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese with the garlic and Essence. Sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Essence Seasoning:

  1. 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  2. 2 tablespoons salt

  3. 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  4. 1 tablespoon black pepper

  5. 1 tablespoon onion powder

  6. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  7. 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

  8. 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Herb Glazed Carrots:


  1. 18 ounces baby carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

  2. 2 teaspoons olive oil

  3. 2 tablespoons chicken stock

  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt

  5. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  6. 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  7. 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

  8. 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon


Cook carrots in boiling water for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add carrots, cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper, cook 3 minutes.

Stir in parsley, chives, and tarragon.

Garlicky Asparagus:


  1. 1 pound (1 bunch) fresh asparagus, bottoms trimmed if necessary

  2. 2 tbsp olive oil

  3. 1 tbsp water

  4. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

  5. salt and pepper to taste

  6. shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)


In a large sauté pan with a lid, on high heat, add the asparagus, olive oil, water, and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes uncovered, or until the water has almost evaporated. Toss the asparagus with tongs, cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and toss the asparagus again. Put the lid back on and repeat until the asparagus are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. The asparagus may brown slightly in spots, which adds to the pan-roasted flavor. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot.

This is delicious garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cranberry Sauce:


  1. 1 package fresh cranberries (12 oz.)

  2. 2 oranges, juiced and zested

  3. 1/4 cup sugar (more if you like it sweet)

  4. 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice add orange zest. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes) add generously ginger to your taste. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

#slide #thanksgiving2012



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