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47. Thanksgiving Sampler-4


-Holiday Mulled Wine
-Spiced Pumpkin Orange Muffins
-Date & Pecan Pumpkin Bread
-Old-Fashioned Soda Cracker Stuffing with
Onions, Carrots & Mushrooms
-Candied Sweet Potatoes with Orange & Cinnamon
-Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
-Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with
Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche


Holiday Mulled Wine

I like mulled wine with the flavor of apple.  Cranberry juice can be substituted  for the apple cider.

            1         quart apple cider
            1         bottle (750ml) burgundy or port wine
            1/2      cup light brown sugar
            2         cinnamon sticks
                       peel of 1 orange and 1 lemon
            12       whole cloves
            6         whole allspice
                      orange slices and lemon slices studded with whole cloves

In a 4-quart non-aluminum saucepan, place all the ingredients.  Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick as a stirrer.  Yields 8 cups or 16 servings.


Spiced Pumpkin Orange Muffins

            1            egg, beaten
            1/3         cup oil
            1            cup sour cream
            2/3         cup sugar
            3            tablespoons grated orange (1/2 medium orange)
            1            cup canned pumpkin puree
            2            cups flour
            1            tablespoon baking powder
            3            teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together all the ingredients until just blended.  Do not overbeat.  Divide batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on a rack.  Yields 12 muffins.


Date & Pecan Pumpkin Bread

This is a little variation of my Apple & Orange Pumpkin Bread.  While it only varies slightly, it does have a totally different taste and character.  Thought you would like to have it as an alternative.  These freeze beautifully, wrapped in double thicknesses of plastic wrap and then foil.  Remove wrappers to defrost.

            2            cups light brown sugar
            2            eggs
            1            cup canned pumpkin puree
            1/2         cup butter, softened
            1            teaspoon vanilla

            2 1/2      cups flour
            2            teaspoons baking powder
            2            teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
            1            teaspoon cinnamon
            1            cup pitted dates, chopped
            1            cup pecans, chopped

Beat together first 5 ingredients until blended.  Stir in the remaining ingredients until blended.  Do not overmix. 

Divide batter between 4 greased and lightly floured mini-loaf pans (6x3x2-inches), place pans on a cookie sheet and bake at 325° for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester, inserted in center, comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes and then, remove from pans and continue cooling on a rack.  Yields 4 mini-loaves.


Old-Fashioned Soda Cracker Stuffing with
Onions, Carrots & Mushrooms

This is another marvelous stuffing filled with flavor and goodness.  This stuffing can be prepared exactly the same, substituting bread cubes for the soda crackers.  The combination of vegetables, garlic and herbs is truly wonderful.  Stuffing can be baked separately in a 10x3-inch round baking pan.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.

          9            cups coarsely crushed soda crackers   (about 12 ounces)
       1/2            cup melted butter

            3            onions, chopped  
            2            stalks celery, minced
            2            carrots, grated
            4            shallots, minced
            6             cloves garlic, minced
            1/2         pound mushrooms, sliced
            1/2            cup melted butter

            2            teaspoons ground poultry seasoning (or more to taste)
            2            tablespoons minced parsley leaves
                        salt and pepper to taste

            2            eggs, beaten
            3            cans (10 1/2 ounces, each) chicken broth.  (Use only
                              as much as needed to hold stuffing together.)

In a large bowl, place crackers and melted butter and toss lightly until crackers are evenly coated.

In a skillet, sauté together the next 7 ingredients until vegetables are soft and most of the liquid rendered is evaporated.  Stir in the seasonings and parsley and cook and stir for another 2 minutes.  Place vegetable mixture into the large bowl with the crackers and toss lightly until blended.

Stir in the eggs.  Now, add only enough broth to hold the stuffing together.  Stuffing should not be mushy or dry.  This will fill a 15 to 18 pound turkey. 

Note: -When stirring ingredients, I have asked you to toss lightly to blend.  This is to keep some texture to the crackers and not to allow them to get soggy and mushy.


Candied Sweet Potatoes with Orange & Cinnamon

These are especially nice during a hefty holiday dinner, as they contain no butter, are sweetened with orange juice and are candied at the end with a light sprinkle of  brown sugar.  It is not very traditional but very delicious.  The entire dish can be prepared in advance, covered securely with plastic wrap and foil and stored in the refrigerator.  The crusty sugar may soften a little so don't think anything went wrong.

            2            cups orange juice
            1            teaspoon vanilla           
            6            large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick                                     slices.  Sprinkle with a little salt.

            1/2            cup dark brown sugar
            1/2            teaspoon cinnamon

In a 12x16-inch baking pan, place orange juice and vanilla.  Place potato slices in pan, overlapping slightly.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking for 15 or 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 

Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon and place in a strainer.  Strain the sugar mixture evenly over the potatoes.  Broil potatoes for 1 minute, or until sugar is melted ... but not burnt.  Serves 12.


Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

This is a variation of my favorite apple recipe.  It is especially nice because it does not contain butter and the orange juice and cinnamon add a great flavor.  This can be prepared in advance and heated before serving.

            6          large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices. 
                        pinch of salt.
            2 1/2    cups orange juice
            1          tablespoon grated orange zest (orange part of the peel)
            1          teaspoon vanilla

            1/4            cup cinnamon sugar

In a 9x13-inch baking pan, place sweet potatoes in overlapping slices.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Stir together orange juice, orange peel and vanilla and pour over the potatoes.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and continue baking until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Mash potatoes (add a little orange juice, if necessary) and place in a 12x3-inch round baking pan. 

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top and broil potatoes for 1 minute or until sugar is melted and top is lightly browned.  Careful not to burn.  Serves 12.


Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with
Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche

            1 1/2            cups graham cracker crumbs
            4            tablespoons butter, melted
            1/2            cup chopped walnuts
            4            tablespoons cinnamon sugar

            2            pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
            1 1/2            cups sugar
            5            eggs
            1            cup sour cream

            2            cups canned pumpkin puree
            2            teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
            2            teaspoons vanilla
            1/4            cup flour
            1            tablespoon grated orange zest (orange part of the peel)

To make the crust:
Combine crust ingredients and mix until blended.  Butter the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Press crumb mixture on the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan.

To make the filling:
Beat cream cheese until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in remaining filling ingredients until blended.  Pour mixture into prepared crust. 

Bake at 325° for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center is still soft and a cake tester, inserted 1-inch off center, comes out clean.  Do not overbake.  (Top may crack.  This is normal.)  Allow to cool in pan and then spread top with Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche.  Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Run a knife along the edgeto loosen.  Using the parchment paper to help you, carefully slide cheesecake onto a serving platter.  Serves 12 to 16.

Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche:
            3/4             cup sour cream
            1/4            cup cream
            2            tablespoons sifted brown sugar
            2            light sprinkles cinnamon

In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients and allow to stand at room temperature for several hours or until sugar is dissolved.  Can be refrigerated at this point for several days until ready to spread on cheesecake.


A Classic Thanksgiving Holiday Sampler

Holiday Mulled Apple Cider
Holiday Mulled Wine

Fresh Vegetable Platter with Imperial Emerald Dill Sauce

Puree of Honey Carrot Soup with Apples & Cinnamon

The Best Banana & Cranberry Bread
The Best Apple & Orange Pumpkin Bread
Spiced Pumpkin Orange Muffins
Date & Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Turkey & Stuffings
Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey with
Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing or
Old-Fashioned Soda Cracker Stuffing
Raisin Cornbread Stuffing with Apricots
Chestnut Pudding with Carrots & Raisins

Sweet Potatoes
Classic Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes with Orange & Cinnamon
Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Pudding with Raisins & Pecans

Cranberry Mold or Relish
Cranberry Tangerine Mold   or
Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Apricots
Cranberry Sauce with Apples & Apricots

Peas & Onions French-Style
Glazed Baby Carrots with Parsley
Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms, Shallots & Garlic

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche
Holiday Praline Pumpkin Pie with Cognac Creme Fraiche
Thanksgiving Apple & Cranberry Pie in a Butter Cookie Crust
Thanksgiving Southern Pecan Pie
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Easiest & Best Family Egg Nog





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