Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pudding

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This Thanksgiving, celebrate fall’s bounty by using pumpkin in your dishes.  While we do love the traditional Pumpkin Pie recipe, we’ve fallen in love with Pumpkin Pudding too.

Mom’s Pumpkin Pudding is not at all what you’d expect from a dessert with the pudding moniker. It’s not served in a bowl and eaten scooped with a spoon. In fact, the pudding bakes in a Bundt pan and, therefore not amorphous.

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Take one good look at the list of ingredients and you’ll understand why this particular “pudding” becomes very dense and springy.   The ingredients in this recipe are also celebrated seasonal favorites: a can of pureed pumpkin, lots of yummy cinnamon, golden raisins, walnuts, lots of sugar and very generous portions of butter. The addition of the Armagnac brandy also laces the dessert with a faint oaky flavor in the same way the Bourbon lends an afterthought of warmth to the Mom’s Bourbon Nut Cake.

Your Pumpkin Pudding can be easily adorned with small gourds, cranberries, dried leaves and they make beautiful centerpieces for any Thanksgiving dessert table.

Only caveat: my 9-year old said the desserts must be served with full disclosure to kids, since they do contain traces of alcohol….

Hope you enjoy.

 

 

Thanksgiving: Potato Pie

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Who doesn’t have Thanksgiving on the brain?

With less than a week to go before the holiday, it’s in your best interest to start acquiring a hit list of recipes for your big meal. If you plan out your dishes now, you’ll have ample time to casually shop for the ingredients and perhaps make some of the food ahead of time.   With some thoughtful planning, on Thanksgiving morning you won’t be running around like a turkey with its head chopped off.

Can you imagine a Thanksgiving table without some version of mashed potatoes as a side? It’s like having Mac without Cheese; peanuts without butter; tic without tacs. Whether sweet potato or regular potato, your holiday won’t be complete without it. So, why not take a creative spin on the traditional dish? Give your guests a tasty surprise that leaves them clamoring for the recipe.

As I scoured Mom’s recipe archives, I came across a dish that peaked my interest for the Thanksgiving holiday: Potato Pie. While the pie boasts potatoes (and I just happened to have had 4 cans of Libby’s White Potatoes in my pantry), it also sneaks in some tasty Gruyere cheese as well as cubed ham. My family doesn’t eat ham so I decided I’d substitute the meat with some cubed breast of turkey.  Plus, if there are any left overs after your Thanksgiving meal (of which I’m certain there will be), you can use your turkey for second and third batches of the pie.

I decided to experiment with the recipe before the main event. Honestly, the recipe couldn’t be any easier to make and it requires very little culinary skill; although the outcome will fool your guests into believing your dish was either made by a trained chef, or it took more than 25 minutes to make. Feel free to go crazy making homemade crusts for your Pumpkin Pie. But, who wants to spend time twice-baking potatoes? To avoid the hassle of boiling and then sieveng potatoes, I actually used two cans of Libby’s Sliced White Potatoes (with non-BPA lining) as my base for the dish.

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The potatoes are soft enough so that when you place them in your blender or mix master, they mash up quite quickly (a lot easier than peeling, boiling, and using a hand masher).

In addition to the shredded Gruyere cheese, the sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs renders a nice flavorful crunch to the soft warm mash. Then, pair that with some warm cubed turkey, and your meal will be complete. Be forewarned, each bite is savory and quite filling.  You will definitely have leftovers to enjoy.

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I baked my “pie” in a 9.5” pie dish–it adds to the mystery of the dish. My kids were so curious. Any version of mashed potatoes they’ve ever eaten has been served in a bowl. Then, when they took their first bites and experienced the turkey and melted cheese, their excitement couldn’t be contained.

“This is awesome,” my 9-year old son proclaimed.

“Can we eat this again on Thanksgiving? ”

I smiled knowing one hurdle had already been accomplished. Now, onto the turkey brine….

Hope you enjoy.

 

Disclaimer:

I was compensated for writing this post on behalf of Libby’s table. However, all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Kid Hungry this Thanksgiving

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As I spent the afternoon in my kitchen testing out some of Mom’s recipes for some holiday articles I’m writing.  I found myself needing a bunch of ingredients for the dishes.  Without hesitation, I nonchalantly ran out to the corner where I have not one but three different market options.  I quickly purchased my items and was home within a half hour.  One of the recipes calls for cheese; I purchased some small samples of Gruyere and Cheddar.  Another recipe calls for potatoes; I purchased two different varieties.  I was thinking “how lucky am I?”

What a luxury….

Then I was reminded about my commitment to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Quinoa with Pomegranate and Pistachio

Quinoa and Pistachio picture courtesy of AARP The Magazine

Are you starting to gear up for your Thanksgiving feast?

Maybe you’re starting to ear-mark some recipes you’ve come across in magazines or books?

Surprisingly, over Thanksgiving weekend, I don’t cook at all.  We head back down to Baltimore to visit our respective families and the minute I step out of the car, I assume the role of guest for the entire weekend.  It is a bit odd, the one non-denominational holiday that revolves around food and I’m not cooking at all.  But, I’ve come to relish in the fact that while everyone elses kitchen is probably brimming with activity and wafting with the aromas from the delicious medley of food, my kitchen is closed.

I’m psyched to share with you a recipe from  Stanley Tucci.  This dish is actually his wife’s gluten-free Quinoa With Pomegranate & Pistachio recipe.  It makes a tasty non-traditional side dish to complement the traditional offerings at your  festive meal.

Healthy and full of flavor, the recipe is ideal for parents and kids alike who are following gluten-free diets.  It can easily be customized with your favorite cheeses (feta, goat, etc.) and/or spices.  This is a perfect light holiday side dish (in place of stuffing) to complement your turkey or meat.

I know you’ll enjoy.

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