Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

We decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving feast and try out some new recipes. In addition to turkey, mashed potatoes, and biscuits, we had...

On the menu:
Cranberry apple stuffing
Cheddar cheese mushroom caps
Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sweet potatoes
Apple pie
Festive dessert pizza

Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Shannon made this yummy stuffing, and also the tasty mushroom appetizers.
Adapted from McCormick, Inc.

½ C butter
2 cups chopped celery
½ C chopped onion
1 tsp Thyme Leaves
1 tsp Rosemary Leaves
1 tsp Parsley Flakes
2 Granny Smith apples – cored and chopped
1 ¼ C dried cranberries
1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
4 C unseasoned dry bread cubes
1 C chicken broth
In a skillet, melt the butter. Add celery and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in next 5 ingredients and orange peel, if desired.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl; stir in fruit mixture. Add broth; toss to combine. Place in 13x9-inch baking dish. Cover and bake in a 325°F oven 35-40 minutes.

Cheddar Cheese Mushroom Caps

1 pound mushrooms
6 TBLS butter (unsalted)
½ C walnuts
½ C parsley leaves (fresh)
1 onion
1 cup sharp Cheddar* (coarsely grated)
½ C fine fresh bread crumbs
¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
*about 4 ounces
Preheat you oven to 350 degrees F. Next, cut off and chop up the stems from the mushrooms and set aside.
Then, melt the butter and with a pastry brush, gently brush the butter over the tops of the mushroom caps. You can then arrange the caps, with the cut stemmed sides up, on a large baking sheet.
Next you need to lightly toast the walnuts. When they have cooled, finely chop the nuts and then chop up the parsley and onion.
In a large skillet, sauté the chopped stems in the remaining butter over a moderately high heat until the stems have softened.
Next, remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Once the mixture has been thoroughly stirred, divide it among all the mushroom caps, making a small mound in each cap.
The best part of this recipe is it can all be done ahead of time. You can have all the ingredients ready to go and then once the caps have been stuffed, you can store them for up to 4 hours before you serve them.
Before serving, take out the Cheddar Cheese Mushrooms if you have chilled them in advance, and bake them in the middle of the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Serve these delicious tidbits warm.

Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce

Warren made the cranberry sauce. It was delish! The link to the recipe is here.

Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

This was Elaine's contribution. I had never had these together in a combo before, but it turned out very well! She got the recipe from Cooking Light.

6 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces) 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons of margarine/butter (melted) 2 tablespoons of orange juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce

Place the cut up potatoes in a 2-quart casserole dish, cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until tender. In a separate dish/bowl, combine brown sugar, margarine/butter (melted), orange juice, and salt. Mix mixture into potatoes. "Toss lightly" the cranberry sauce into potatoes. Microwave potatoes on high for 10 minutes or until heated throughly. Baste twice during cooking. (If refrigerating potatoes and reheating later, follow this last step to reheat.)

Apple Pie

I made the apple pie. I used the pie crust recipe that came with my Kitchenaid mixer, but I didn't like how it turned out very much. I'll try a different one next time. The pie filling was very tasty though. I'll type in the recipe soon... I got it from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook.

Festive Dessert Pizza
This was also a Shannon dish. She was busy!

Adapted from
1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 package cream cheese softened
¼ C sugar
1 can (15oz) mandarin oranges – drained
2 kiwi – peeled and sliced
1 C sliced strawberries
Press cookie dough on bottom of 12-inch pizza pan or 13 x 9-inch baking pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Bake at 350ºF., 10 to 14 minutes or until light brown. Cool to room temperature.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl until smooth and blended. Stir in 1/2 cup mandarin oranges. Spread over crust. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.
Arrange remaining mandarin oranges, kiwi and strawberries, over cream cheese. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.
Tip for easy serving: Before placing fruit over cream cheese cut pizza unto 12 wedges or rectangles then arrange fruit on each slice.
Notes: Used raspberries instead of strawberries

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