One of the best times of the year: the mark of the beginning of the holiday season, the November sales, and my favorite traditional Thanksgiving meal. Makes myheart expand just by thinking of it.
In preparation for Thanksgiving, here are a few quick and easy favorites to read up on. Enjoy!
Traditional Turkey Stuffing
- One bag of plain croutons
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 4 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 small cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine, and cook until evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- To vegetables in bowl, add bread, parsley, and eggs. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to combine. Mix in half of broth. Continue to add in more broth just until stuffing is moistened but not wet (there should not be any liquid in the bottom of the bowl).
- Just before roasting turkey, stuff it with 4 cups stuffing. Spoon remaining stuffing into a buttered 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with buttered aluminum foil, and refrigerate. When turkey is removed from oven to rest, place covered baking dish in oven, and bake until warmed through, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
- 1 package of fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Heat the sugar and water until boiling.
- Boil until cranberries burst open, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low. Let the cranberries simmer. They should start to shrink.
- Make sure that the berries do not stick to the bottom of the sauce pan.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Then chill.
Note: Cranberry Sauce can be made several days ahead. Reheat & serve.
Paula Deen’s Infamous & Easy Pumpkin Pie
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
- 1 piece pre-made pie dough
- Whipped cream, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.
- For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.