I love my job.

I love the work I do. I love the location I work in (right by the beautiful campus of the University of Toronto, my alma mater). But most of all, I love the people I work with.

Kind, intelligent, dedicated and helpful, most days it’s a pleasure to sit at my desk. But I think what I love most of all about my coworkers, is that they are all, ever last one of them, gourmands.

Let’s just say the people in my office like their food! The proof is in the pudding and I have photographic evidence. This past Monday, we had our second annual Thanksgiving potluck (Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday). Held in our largest boardroom, the tables were fairly groaning with the weight of the most incredible  homemade dishes. I could go on and on waxing poetic about it all, but that would be denying you a chance to absorb it all. Instead, I leave it to the pictures. Enjoy!

The Appetizers

Dscn3275_2 Cheddar Crisps

These lovely treats were a pleasure to try.

Made with cheddar, they were crispy on the outside, but chewy and delicate on the inside. They had a strong cheddar flavour.

Judging by how quickly they went, everyone enjoyed them immensely.

Herbed Goat Cheese Balls

Dscn3283_2It was a happy coincidence that these lovely little herbed goat cheese balls were sitting right by the cheddar crisps. They went together wonderfully! Mix garlic, sundried tomatoes, herbs of your choice and goat cheese and then form them into little balls.

Finish by rolling the balls in chopped, roasted and salted almonds. Delicious!

Dscn3273_2 Spiced Nuts

I can’t count how many times I’ve tried spiced nut or made them myself. And yet every time I see them I’m thrilled because they’re just so delicious. These nuts were no exception. Sweet and ever-so-slightly spicy, they were perfect to munch on before turning our attention to the main course!

Dscn3299_2 Hummous in Endive Spears

I’m quite certain that I could make a perfectly acceptable dinner out of a bowl of hummous and some pita bread. It’s just too delicious. This particularly hummous was thick, and flavoured with wonderful garlic. Eating it with the endive spears provided a nice contrast and the dish looked so pretty!

The Salads

Dscn3302_2 Celery Root Salad

Who in the world could resist such a colourful salad? Not me! I had two servings! Crunchy, refreshing, juicy … it was wonderful especially with some of the more spicy dishes that were presented.

I almost stole the leftovers!

Dscn3295_2 Broccoli and Tangerine Salad

I have a confession to make. I’m not used to eating fruit in my salads, especially when the salad is composed of broccoli. But this particular dish was eye-opening. I loved how the tangerine contrasted with the broccoli and the creamy dressing and sunflower seeds were the perfect additions.

Who knew eating your broccoli could be so much fun?!

Dscn3313_2 Avocado and Apple Salad

Made at the last minute, this was an incredible dish! You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photograph. I was so excited to try the salad that I couldn’t take the picture fast enough. Thinly sliced avocados are combined with the apple of your choice. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sliced almonds, you have a most elegant dish!

The Main Dishes

Roasted Eggplant Soup with Goat Cheese and Herbed Bread

Dscn3308_2This soup was back by popular demand. It made its first appearance at last year’s Thanksgiving Potluck and it was most definitely the a hit. We begged and lucky us we got to try it again. A warm and soothing bowl of roasted eggplant soup is topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Add some fresh herbed bread and you have the perfect fall soup!

Dscn3279_2 Slow-cooked Honey Spareribs

As I was setting up for the potluck, I was treated to tantalizing whiffs of these unbelievably moist ribs cooking away in a crockpot. I had to stay as far away as I could in order to avoid eating them all up before the potluck started. When I finally had one, the meat literally fell off the bone. I think I’m going to have to put a crockpot on my Christmas wish list!

Dscn3282_2 Lasagna

There is a kindred spirit in my office. A woman who makes her own pasta, and then rolls it into the most incredible lasagnas. Believe me when I say that I had to snap this picture as fast as possible. This dish didn’t last very long. Homemade pasta, homemade sauce and the addition of ground chicken. It was mouth-watering!

Dscn3293_2_1 Smashed Sweet Potatoes

You can’t have a Thanksgiving Potluck with out a sweet potato dish. These particular potatoes were mixed with butter, brown sugar and spices like cinnamon and ginger. They represented the best of fall and were a colourful and most welcome addition to the table!

Dscn3286_2Couscous with Chickpeas and Raisins

Every time I eat couscous I always think that I don’t eat enough of it. And that’s precisely how I felt when eating this dish. It was wonderful with chickpeas and raisins. I wanted to just take the whole bowl to my office but that would have been wrong …

Dscn3309_2 Chinese-style Spareribs

I love ribs so I was happy to see that we had a second rib dish. This was a wonderful contrast to the honey spareribs.

These ribs were cooked slowly with soy sauce and were served with an incredible rice wine vinegar sauce.

Dscn3307_2Pureed Squash

As with sweet potatoes, it just isn’t Thanksgiving unless you can enjoy a squash dish.

This particular dish was creamy and sweet and so lovely to look it. It was a nice accompaniment to the ribs and turkey dish that were also on the table. Gotta love the squash!

Dscn3303_2Vegetarian Chili

This was my contribution to the potluck. I usually make a sirloin chili but wanted a vegetarian dish that I could bring to the table. It’s the first time I tried this one and I loved it! It was thick and full of incredible vegetables. I served it with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

The recipe is from www.epicurious.com.

Dscn3305_2Roast Turkey Breast with Maple Cranberry Glaze

I almost didn’t try this one! By the time I finished photographing everything it was almost all gone and I would have been very sad if I hadn’t been able to try it.

The breast was moist and perfectly cooked and the glaze was mouth-watering!

It’s a wonderful alternative to roasting a whole turkey.

The Desserts

Dscn3272_2Shortbread Cookies

If our office had an official cookie, this would be it. These little beauties make an appearance at every special event and we’re thrilled! Buttery, crisp and sweet, they’re the perfect shortbread. The only problem is that we have to share them with each other!

Dscn3291_2Chocolate Rice Krispie Cookies

Another office favourite, these are impossible to resist. It’s also impossible to eat just one. The recipe is a simple combination of semisweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanuts and rice krispies. Those four simple ingredients combine to make one heck of a cookie!

Dscn3270_2Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

These were a new addition to the dessert family in our office. And we welcome this newest family member with open arms.

These were fantastic! The chef who prepared these got the recipe here. They were like a chocolate pecan pie in bar form. Delicious!

Dscn3265_2_1Pumpkin Cupcakes

Last but not least, we concluded the potluck with these incredible pumpkin cupcakes. Spicy and moist, they were topped with an unbelievable cream cheese frosting.

What a wonderful way to cap a most enjoyable potluck!

Once the eating was over, we rolled ourselves back to our offices and spent the afternoon in food bliss!

Ciao!