Thanksgiving Files: Preparing for Thanksgiving

There will be no travel, no large gatherings this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have good food. I’ll be pulling more of my favorite recipes and reposting, some with updated Instant Pot adaptations when possible.

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Cornbread Stuffing Photo by JeffreyW

Reposted from Nov 2014.

Bixby and I are hitting the road for the holiday, as long as the weather stays nice. I’m planning on arriving early so I can help with prep, because I like¬†love to cook. Bixby is growing fast and you can see his latest photo here, along with a quick update. I hope he does as well in the car as he did last trip.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July. Food, family, friends…and leftovers. I compiled some favorite recipes for tonight’s recipe exchange. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Recipes

 

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Wanted to take a moment and makes sure you could find any of our Thanksgiving recipes easily. This link to the Thanksgiving Files should get you there, but you can also search on a specific ingredient or dish to find a recipe.

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The box is at the bottom of this page and it will take you wherever you want to go.

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JeffreyW has even made a Turducken:

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All photos are from the JeffreyW files. ūüôā

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! – TaMara

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Thanksgiving Non-Traditional Side Dishes

JeffreyW's Roasted Brussels Sprout and Potato Gratin

JeffreyW’s Roasted Brussels Sprout and Potato Gratin

This is the time of year when we get a lot of blog visits from people looking for side dishes. And I have a lot of recipes for the traditional holiday sides, desserts and instructions on the various ways to cook your turkey. JeffreyW has a ton of mouthwatering photos. All of that can be found at at this link.

I thought it would be nice though, to focus on some non-traditional sides for tonight’s recipe exchange. In case you were looking for something different to showcase this year.

Soups make a nice starter at for any meal and tonight’s featured recipe is a savory winter soup. I also have a nice Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, (click here)

JefferyW favors brussels sprouts and came up with this wonderful recipe, Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin pictured above. (click here)

Roasted Brussels sprouts are pretty easy, and leave it to Emeril Lagasse to “kick it up a notch” with his¬†Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Grilled Onions.¬†(click here)

I’m not big on the whole candied sweet potatoes, so I went looking for alternatives and found three I like, ¬†African Sweet Potato Salad, Cajun Sweet Potatoes¬†and¬†Sweet Potatoes and Apples,¬†click here for all the recipes. You can also just roast them in the oven, and I found two really good recipes here (honey roasted) and here (thyme roasted).

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you doing the cooking or does someone else have the honors? And most importantly, what are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

The Thanksgiving featured recipe is one that works great as an appetizer:

Need to keep everyone out of the kitchen while you finish up dinner prep?  Set up a buffet table with a raw vegetable tray and dip, a bowl of nuts (in their shells) along with a couple of nutcrackers and this soup in a slowcooker to keep it warm and that should keep your guests occupied while you cook.

Winter Squash Soup

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3-1/4 pounds butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, quartered
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 ¬Ĺ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Chopped chives (for garnish)

Large sauce pan

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the squash, onions, carrot, celery and garlic; sauté until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken broth, apple juice, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from stove. Puree the vegetables until smooth with a hand blender or in batches in the food processor or blender. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if desired.

***Soup can be made to this point 1 day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.***

Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer. Add the sherry and simmer about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, sour cream and nutmeg until well combined. Place soup into large soup tureen and garnish with chives. Place on appetizer table with small bowls & spoons and let everyone help themselves.

That’s everything this week. There won’t be a recipe exchange next Friday, but next week I’ll be featuring more recipes for the holiday. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. – TaMara

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake

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I ordered a¬†DSLR camera today, on a whim. Probably mostly because I was stressed, coffee and sleep deprived. I’ve been looking for one, this was a great price and had good ratings, so I suppose it wasn’t a totally bad decision.

Harley is home and getting better…he’s just not himself yet, so I’m still guarded on his prognosis.

There was no time to put together a recipe exchange today, between work issues and worrying about the cat, but I did have the cake recipe in the back of my head and figured I should post it.

I was staring at a can of pumpkin, thinking I should make another batch of pumpkin bars, when instead it seemed time to try a recipe that had been bouncing around in my head for a while. Taking the basics for the gluten free torte that I’ve made with different flavors (chocolate,¬†fruit, clementine,¬†chocolate-raspberry) I wondered if pumpkin would work or if the moisture content would be too high to create a good cake.

In the end, it is more like the Clementine cake than the chocolate cakes, moister and denser. But the flavor was excellent and while it won’t replace pumpkin bars for me, if you need gluten free, it’s a nice alternative.

Pumpkin Torte

  • 15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp of pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform baking.

In a blender or with a mixer, beat eggs well. Add sugar, blending until the mixture turns thick and pale yellow. Add pumpkin and melted, cooled butter, blending slowly until combined. Add spices, mixing well and then add the baking powder, mix until just combined. Pour into springform pan, tap pan on the counter to release air bubbles. 

Bake for 40 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  I always bake on a baking sheet to avoid any spillage. Cool on rack until completely cooled. Serves 12 small portions

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Pumpkin Patch Edition

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I made pumpkin bars by request a week or so ago for a friend’s birthday. You should always have whatever sweet treat you want on your birthday. That recipe is here.

It put me in the mood for more pumpkin. I don’t go crazy and want everything pumpkin flavored during the season, I generally stick to pumpkin donuts (Dunkin Donuts are my preferred and difficult-to-acquire style), pumpkin bars and the occasional pumpkin pie. I prefer the Pumpkin Cream Pie that is the featured recipe tonight, to a traditional custard style pie.

That does not mean I don’t have a bunch of pumpkin recipes at my finger tips. To see everything, click here¬†and it will take you to the pumpkin patch, er, page.

Last week when I mentioned tonight might be pumpkin week, several people sent me links to recipes and these two caught my eye: ¬†from Mnemosyne:¬†Mini Pumpkin Pies¬†(recipe here) and a savory, Roasted Pumpkin Soup from Emeril –¬†click here¬†–¬†(sorry I couldn’t find who sent this to me).

Friend of blog, Tes from TesatHome.com posted a good looking and definitely unusual, Pumpkin and Coconut Curry (click here).

And on a non-pumpkin note, this week’s menu of Lemon-Nut Pork Chops and Raspberry Poppyseed Cake is here.

There you go, a nice mix of sweet and savory for your pumpkin cravings. So what are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes?¬†And what’s on the menu for this beautiful fall weekend, food or otherwise?

We’re not done yet…there’s still pie: Continue reading

Pumpkin Bars

In honor of the season, I’m making pumpkin bars to take to work.¬†¬† To make the Monday morning meeting a bit easier to deal with.¬† These are so easy to make and are very, very rich.¬† I cut them into small pieces – they look pretty on a plate.¬† They also freeze well and can be tucked into a lunch bag and be thawed by lunchtime for a treat.

Pumpkin Squares

Cake:

  • ¬†4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup oil or butter
  • 15 oz can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

mixing bowl & 13×9 baking dish, greased

Beat eggs, sugar, butter & pumpkin together, add dry ingredients, mixing well. Spread into baking dish, bake at 350¬į for 25-30 minutes. Cool & frost (frosting below). These are rich, so I would cut them into at least 24 squares.

Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups powdered sugar

mixing bowl

Mix together cream cheese, sugar & vanilla. Mix until smooth.

You can frost & freeze in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.  Enjoy.