Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes

My mom makes Thanksgiving dinners. I've been going home to my mom's for Thanksgiving for as many years as I haven't lived at home. As a child, we traveled, I assume. I don't have clear memories of celebrating Thanksgiving, honestly. My mom makes a darn good Thanksgiving dinner. The menu isn't always exactly the same but it's chock full of all the traditional comfort foods- turkey, potatoes in some form, veggies of some sort, Stove Top, and plenty of desserts like cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and if I'm really lucky- maybe even a chocolate cream pie.

I like to make a little something each year. When I was first out on my own, I knew I wanted to add to the celebration but was unsure as to what I could possibly add. There was one thing that was never part of our Thanksgiving meals. Cranberry sauce. Not a can of jellied stuff could be found. No red, round cranberries on our table. I don't know why for certain. It just wasn't part of our tradition. But around the time that I got my first apartment, I discovered (thanks to Boston Market) that I actually really liked cranberry sauce. So I knew that the dish I could add to the family table was cranberry sauce- but I didn't want to just bring a can of jellied stuff. I found a recipe and it was a huge hit! I mean- HUGE. So big... that my college living brother asks me to make him a container of it for him to take back to school. My aunt always asks for it to be there. I make it for Thanksgiving and for Christmas and possibly even Easter. And I'm going to share my recipe with you. I don't mean to not give credit if credit is due- I don't read this recipe and make it anymore. I make it from memory every time.

Take a can of jellied cranberry sauce and dump it into a sauce pan. Start heating it up. Add it a small jar of Simply Fruit orange marmalade. Let it heat up and simmer while you chop (or use a food processor) a bag of fresh cranberries (you find them in your grocery's produce section). Add the cranberries and let them simmer until the bright white meat isn't so white anymore. When you first notice some of that color change, add in a small bag of chopped walnuts (I like to run the chopped walnuts through my food processor to make them finer). Let it all simmer, stir and stir. Then put it in a container, let it cool, and refrigerate.

Although it is tasty warm, too.

Another recipe I started bring is a dessert my friend Collette turned me onto. It's called Pumpkin Crunch and it is mighty tasty. I've also heard it called Pumpkin Dump Cake. But it's a great little twist on that same old pumpkin pie.

This year, I've come across a lot of veggie side dishes that I am very, very intrigued about.

Green Beans with Blackened Sage and Hazelnuts

Butternut Squash with Pepita Dressing

Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds

Or maybe I will take a salad...

Spinach Salad with Apples and Pomegranate Seeds

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic Reduction

Or maybe just my personal favorite salad- broccoli slaw with a tahini dressing and slivered almonds. I bet I could dress that up a bit.

And I'm not a huge stuffing kind of gal... but this is a very intriguing recipe: Pear, Prosciutto & Hazelnut Stuffing

Do you have fantastic Thanksgiving recipes that you pull out just for big family dinners and holiday meals? I would love for you to share them! I don't know what all I will make to take to my mom's. I know I will be making a dish or two (or three) to take to my in-law's on Sunday for that Thanksgiving gathering, too. So I need plenty of options to choose from! Oh! And if you use one of those recipe I linked or shared above, let me know how it turns out!!

Happy Thanksgiving cooking!!



Garret said...

I love cranberry sauce right out of a can. Mmmmmmm. Funny, I only eat it 1-2 times a year. It's that whole stigma about it only being for holidays.

I don't like whole cranberries. I don't like walnuts or any kind of nuts in my food although I do like to eat them separately. So, your cranberry recipe seems icky but that just means more for those who love it. Save me a can.

Collette said...

Hey Liz!
My recipe is a little different than that one...I don't use pumpkin pie spice or salt. I just perfected it with my own soy milk version of evaporated milk too so I don't have to get a migraine from it! yeah!

Katherine said...

I always make cranberry sauce from scratch for Thanksgiving. It's my trade off for making stuffing from a box.

I am going to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My mother in law makes a cranberry salad every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She REFUSES to share the recipe.

I think she fears I will make it every week and it will no longer be her special dish.

For the record-I'd only make it to oitch in at ther Turkey day and Christmas gatherings...I'd love to share it with my family as well as friends...but I digress.

I've found several recipes that sound similar to it, but have never attempted to recreate it until this year.

I know she uses some kind of canned I bought jellied and whole. It also has pineapple and apple chunks in it, along with pecans and I believe raspberry Jello. I could be may be Cranberry Jello, but I think after 8 years of taste testing it is actually raspberry,

So...I'm making my own version of her cranberry salad this year to take to my grandmas house. If it turns out right, or even close, I'll be posting the recipe for sure!

I always look forward to oyster dressing because it is rare that anyone makes it anymore.