Our Thanksgiving Table

We’re in full scale planning mode for Thanksgiving over here! Hubberman has purchased the turkey, I’m gathering ingredients for our side dishes, and I’m putting the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving decor around the house.

I thought I would share our Thanksgiving “tablescape” (and the little helper I had as I was arranging things.)

Autumn Table

Autumn Table

Autumn Table

Cat Centerpiece

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week!

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Pumpkin Pie

It’s the final day of Thanksgiving Prep Week, and what better way to finish things off than with dessert! This is a classic pumpkin pie recipe that I have had in my collection for at least 20 years. I tweak it a bit for my hubberman’s tastes (he hates nutmeg with a burning hot passion.)

Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell
  • 1 (16 oz) can of pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I usually leave this out)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except the crust!) and mix well. Place pastry shell in pie plate and pour pumpkin mixture into pastry shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool and serve.

No-Cook Cranberry Relish

Welcome to day three of Thanksgiving Prep Week!

This recipe goes back a long way. It was 1994. I was engaged to Hubberman (I guess he was “Fianceman” then,) still living with my folks, planning a wedding, and preparing for life as a married woman. One night, in a particularly frenzied display of neuroticism, I came to the frightening conclusion that I didn’t have nearly enough recipes in my personal arsenal. All of a sudden I was panicking – how would Fianceman and I survive if I didn’t have a recipe box bursting with recipes?? I began frantically pouring over every home and cooking magazine I could get my hands on, clipping like a mad woman. This recipe was one the fruits of this neurotic labor.

Sure, my fears were unfounded and a wee bit over the top. What I didn’t realize then was that it takes time and effort to accumulate a collection of tried and true recipes. All of the recipes I clipped back then are still in my collection, but many have never been prepared. This one is an exception.

I made this recipe that very same year on a trip to New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with Fianceman’s family. I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve made it enough years now that Thanksgiving just isn’t the same for me without it.

No Cook Cranberry Relish

No-Cook Cranberry Relish
Adapted from a recipe clipped frantically from Good Housekeeping Magazine

  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 1 can halved, peeled apricots in heavy syrup
  • ½ cup(s) (about 4 ounces) pitted prunes
  • ¼ cup(s) sugar or sweetener of your choice (I have used agave and honey with great results)
  • 1 teaspoon(s) grated peeled gingerroot (sometimes I use a 1/4 tsp of ground ginger in a pinch)

1. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend cranberries until coarsely chopped (or with knife, coarsely chop cranberries on cutting board); remove to medium bowl.

2. Drain syrup from apricots into bowl with cranberries.

3. Place drained apricots and prunes into the food processor and blend until smooth. Add to bowl of cranberries.

4. Stir apricots, prunes, sugar, and ginger into cranberries. Cover relish and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (it’s even better if it sits overnight.) Serve relish with roast poultry or baked ham.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Welcome to day two of Thanksgiving Prep Week!

My sister-in-law shared this next recipe with me. I was immediately smitten with the alternating stripes of pecans and marshmallows. Guests can go for a portion that’s topped mainly with pecans, one that’s more marshmallow-y, or go for a mixture of both! The sweet potatoes underneath those yummy toppings are some of the best I’ve tried. After preparing this recipe for the first time, I knew it would have a permanent spot in my home’s holiday cookbook.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes until tender.

2. Peel and mash the baked sweet potatoes after they are cool enough to work with. Add sugar, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter and maple syrup. Mix well and transfer into a greased 9×13-inch dish.

3. Mix the brown sugar, flour, melted butter and pecans in a separate bowl. Crumble mixture evenly over sweet potatoes in diagonal rows.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Add mini marshmallows to alternate rows and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Three Cheese Corn Casserole

Welcome to Thanksgiving Prep Week! All week long, I’ll be posting tried-and-true recipes well-suited for the Thanksgiving table. Some of these recipes are recent finds, while others have had a place of honor in my recipe box since I was a newlywed. I hope in these recipes you’ll find just the right addition to your Thanksgiving (or any holiday!) menu. So let’s begin, shall we?

This first dish is a relatively recent addition to my personal cookbook. My mom shared the original recipe with me (actually, I think it was my dad that found and baked the recipe, but my mom was the one who extolled its cheesy, comfort food virtues.)

This is a fluffy, sweet and savory bread pudding-like casserole with little pockets of cheesy goodness baked throughout. It will make a decadent addition to your holiday table. Hopefully, you’ll be so woozy from the tryptophan in the Thanksgiving turkey that you won’t have the energy to quibble over the fat grams. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Three Cheese Corn Casserole

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
  • 3 cups fresh (or frozen, defrosted) corn kernels, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces each of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 (4-oz) can diced green chiles
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter (or use cooking spray) on a 2-quart rectangular casserole dish.

2. In a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup of the corn kernels with melted butter and eggs.

3. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except Parmesan. Add pureed corn mixture and mix well. Pour into casserole dish, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake for 40 minutes, or until set and golden (check on it at 30 minutes – you don’t want it to dry out, but you want it to be completely set in the middle.)

This dish can be sliced and served in small squares to feed a crowd. Enjoy!

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