Posts Tagged ‘ our favorite thanksgiving recipes ’

Sweet Potato Casserole

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

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I have been making this dish myself since I was about 8 years old…it was always my big culinary contribution to the festive meal, in addition to my need to decorate the table with acorns, leaves, and pine cones.  So if your children are aching to help out in the kitchen, this is the perfect "dump and pour" recipe that truly cannot go wrong!

Ingredients:
Potato mixture
4 extra-large cans of sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of sugar   
3 eggs, beaten   
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 stick of butter or margarine
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/2 cup of orange juice (the original recipe called for milk, but we prefer the citrus element over the dairy one.)

Topping
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 1/3 cups chopped pecans
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
Orange zest (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes. Then, add sugar, eggs, salt, margarine, orange juice and vanilla.
Spread into a 3-quart casserole dish.
Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over potato mixture. 
Bake 325 for 30 minutes.

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Grandma’s Pecan Pie

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

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This pie is ridiculously easy to make and ridiculously scrumptious. It’s pretty much your basic pecan pie recipe, but because it was passed down from Grandma it just tastes better somehow. If you can resist a second (or third!) slice, you’re a better person than I am.

1 uncooked pie crust
1 stick butter
1 cup light carrow syrup
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped pecans
a few whole pecans for decoration

Preheat oven to 425 F. Melt butter (make sure you don’t let it brown!), and set aside. Mix all other ingredients with exception of whole pecans. Carefully add cooled butter to mixture. Pour into pie crust, and decorate with whole pecans. Cook at 425 F for 10 minutes and then turn oven down to 325 F and continue baking for 40 more minutes. Serve with ice cream, and enjoy!

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Mom’s Stuffing

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

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I *really* love green bean casserole the absolute mostest, but every can of green beans comes with that old standby recipe. So instead I’m here to say: Step away from that box of pre-made, freeze-dried instant stuffing! It’s easy to make your own from scratch—and way tastier.

Bread (I use half a loaf of white and half a loaf of wheat) If your local grocery store bakery sells dried bread cubes—big fresh ones—you’re totally in luck and you get to skip a step.)
1 can chicken broth
2-3 celery stalks
1 medium onion
1 1/2 sticks butter
Salt
Pepper
Dried sage

Preheat oven to 425° F. Cut bread into large cubes. I use about one full loaf (really I eyeball it) but half white and half wheat. Spread bread cubes onto a baking sheet (you’ll probably need several sheets) and toast until lightly browned. This is tricky so you really have to watch—it probably won’t take more than 5 minutes or so. Let cool. I like to do the bread the night before, which saves time on Thanksgiving—and your bread crumbs have more time to dry out, which is good. If you store overnight, cover them with a paper towel—if you seal them up they’ll collect moisture and get gross. Learned that the hard way.

Set oven to 350° F. Dice onion and celery, and saute over medium heat in butter until the onions and celery are tender (make sure you don’t burn!).  Add 1/2 can chicken broth to butter mixture and stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

Put bread crumbs in a big (big!) pan or bowl and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sage. You can also use celery salt, but make sure you don’t make it too salty. Stir to evenly coat.

Pour butter mixture onto bread crumbs, adding in the rest of the chicken broth if all crumbs aren’t evenly coated. Smash into a buttered baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes. (I usually end up baking for more like an hour sometimes—but I like those yummy crusty edges.)

Enjoy! (PS: What to do with that leftover bread? Use it for post-Turkey day leftover sandwiches piled with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. Yum!)

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Chocolate Malt Ice-Cream Cake

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

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Every year my mom and I find at least one new recipe to whip up for Thanksgiving dinner. If it doesn’t turn out exactly as we’d imagined, it helps us appreciate our long time favorites that much more. But every now and again we stumble upon a new recipe that ends up making it into the the "Thanksgiving Recipe Folder" (which means it was a smash hit and may even bump another dish off the menu the following year). A few years ago my mom found this recipe while she was standing on the checkout line at the supermarket and now, well, I’ve adopted it and adapted it so it’s not only a Turkey Day tradition, but an anticipated treat at birthday parties and family gatherings too!

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup chocolate fudge topping
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
 (I sub Moose Tracks or Peanut Butter Swirl)
2 cups malted milk ball candies, coarsely chopped
(I use Snickers Pop’ables instead, but you can use any of your favorite candies)
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
(sub Cool Whip to save on time so you don’t miss out on post-Turkey conversation)
Additional malted milk ball candies, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and side of springform pan (9 x 3 or 10 x 2 3/4 inches) with shortening; lightly flour. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir vigorously about 1 minute or until well blended. Immediately pour into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Spread 1 cup fudge (you’ll probably use more, so buy extra) topping over cake and sprinkle chopped candies on top; freeze about 1 hour or until topping is firm. In a large bowl, mix ice cream and coarsely chopped candies (if you use ice-cream with candies already mixed in (ie: Moose Tracks), skip this step); spread over cake.  Freeze about 4 hours or until ice cream is firm.

In a chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (yes homemade whipped cream trumps Cool Whip hands down, but amid all that gooey chocolate and ice cream, no one’s going to notice – promise! – so do yourself a favor and step away from the mixer). Remove side of pan; place cake on serving plate. Top with whipped cream. Melt 1/4 cup fudge topping; drizzle over whipped cream. Garnish with additional candies. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pastry Chef’s Note: The chocolate cake is so yummy and easy to make (from scratch!) that I love serving it sans ice-cream too – just top with icing or sprinkle on some powdered sugar!

Original recipe via Betty Crocker

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Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

Friday, November 16th, 2007

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Granted, just saying the name of this pie will put a little more junk in your trunk. But trust me: It’s so worth it. I shared the secrets of this sure-to-impress recipe with a coworker last year, and she loved it so much that she made a bunch to give as Christmas gifts to her friends and family.

Best part is, this pie is not only simple but fun to make. You’ll see.

Please remember to enjoy pie responsibly.

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Pumpkin Apple Bread

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

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This is so soft and yummy that even older babies and toddlers love it.
Since it goes so fast in my family, this recipe makes two loaves.

3 cups flour (make it healthier by substituting whole wheat flour for half)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable or olive oil
½ cup water
2 apples peeled and diced (I put them in food processor)
1 cup yellow raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda
and salt in one bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugar, and water in
another bowl and mix until smooth. Combine contents of two bowls. Stir
in apples and raisins. Pour into two greased/floured bread loaf pans
(9-10”). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Irish Cream Cheesecake

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

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I never celebrated Thanksgiving until I came to NY from Ireland 13 years ago and quickly learned that I had to bring something to the table so I started making my mom’s cheesecake. Hope you enjoy!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. cold coffee
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and margarine. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Soften gelatin in water, stir over low heat until dissolved. Blend in 3/4 cup sugar and beaten egg yolks; cook stirring constantly, over low heat, 3 minutes. Combine cream cheese and cocoa, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add the gelatin mixture and coffee mixing until well blended. Chill until thickened, but not set. Beat the egg whites until foamy; gradually adding the remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites and whipped cream into cheese mixture and pour over crust. Chill until firm. Garnish with chocolate curls.

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Butternut Squash Bisque

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

As a foodie, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. It’s such a simple concept: Be with those you love and eat a huge amount of food. There’s no need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on things no one really needs. I don’t hear Thanksgiving music on the radio in October. And no fat old hirsute man comes and breaks into your house in the middle of the night, unless you live near a weird relative who sleepwalks.

My wife and I usually go to my parents’ house for Turkey Day. My mother cooks a huge amount of food. I personally think she goes to the supermarket and clears out their entire vegetable section. So, instead of fighting with her on what sides I can bring, I’ve become our family’s Soup Man.

One of my favorite soups to make is a wonderful butternut squash bisque. It’s a great autumnal dish, smooth in consistency and rich in taste. You can do some of the prep ahead of time, by puréeing the squash beforehand, so it’s a time-saver as well! This is a rather rich soup, so don’t over-do it with the portions. Besides, the soup is nothing but the beginning of the eating marathon; best to keep to a jog at first. Get the recipe after the jump!

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