The Thanksgiving Feast–2014

We had our standard Thanksgiving feast today: turkey and gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, green beans with almonds, and rolls. I did add brussels sprouts for the first time, since they’ve become the children’s favorite vegetable, but that was the only new addition.

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We had a record seven pies for dessert after our annual family viewing of Holiday Inn. Frankly, I can’t believe anybody had room for dessert, but we managed to put a dent in them. There’s still plenty left, though, for more desserts the next few days, and our traditional pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!

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I think I’ve gotten pretty good at setting a festive table. I especially love the addition of the Lego turkey…it’s so us, and so fun!

I hope your Thanksgiving was as happy and full of love and laughter as ours was!

Pie Day!

As is our tradition, I made seven pies today…one for each member of the family:

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Here’s the pie lineup:

  • Ryan–Peanut butter cup
  • Me–Wassail (cranberry apple)
  • Turkey–Pecan
  • Bunny–Butterscotch
  • Moose–S’mores
  • Ladybug–Caramel apple
  • Chickadee–Pumpkin

Technically, Chickadee still can’t choose her pie flavor, since she doesn’t really have a favorite yet, so she was assigned pumpkin. Maybe next year she’ll pick her own!

Tasty Tuesday–The Christmas Feast

I almost forgot to share our fancy Christmas dinner! I didn’t have a theme this year…I just wanted to try something new. So, I chose a pork crown roast with pan sauce. I’ve been told that it was very good, even though I thought it was dry. We also had roasted carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, plus my “famous” stuffing and cranberries.

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For dessert, we had a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream, and cream puffs. We were supposed to have a croquembouche, but it kept falling down, so we “just” had the cream puffs, instead!

Next year, I might just make a rack of lamb!

Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

The table:

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The feast:

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Just desserts:

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In case you hadn’t heard, I made six pies this year…one for each family member that could actually ask for a variety. (Poor Chickadee didn’t get her own request, but she didn’t seem to mind!) Ryan picked caramel apple, Turkey asked for pecan, Bunny wanted butterscotch, Moose requested S’mores, Ladybug chose pumpkin, and I made my favorite “wassail pie” for myself!

This was a very special Thanksgiving, because we had china on our table for the first time. The children were so excited to be using something that belonged to their great-grandmother, so I made it a little extra special and added our champagne flutes for their sparkling grape juice. This is by far the prettiest table I’ve ever set…I love having a piece of family history!

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Tasty Tuesday–Pie!

It’s almost Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving-ready pie recipes:

If anyone’s wondering, I just use the standard Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe…nothing too fancy there!

Tasty Tuesday–Pecan Pie

Today I’ll share a bonus Tasty Tuesday pie recipe, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday next week. You can never have too many pies at Thanksgiving! (Trust me, I should know…I got roped into making six of them this year!) I like this particular recipe because it doesn’t use corn syrup.

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, and flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla, and nuts.
Pour into pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Tasty Tuesday–Butterscotch Pie

Thanksgiving is next week…can you believe it?!? Here’s another family favorite pie recipe…this is the one that Bunny requested (demanded?) that I make this year. It’s truly a labor of love, for me at least, because I hate tempering eggs! It’s worth it though…there’s nothing quite like a homemade butterscotch pie!

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled (make sure to poke holes in the crust with a fork before baking!)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter (no substitutions)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream for topping

In 12-inch skillet, cook butter over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes or until butter melts and turns deep golden brown in color, being careful not to burn. Add brown sugar and stir until blended. Carefully stir in boiling water; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly until smooth. (If there are a few lumps of brown sugar, that’s OK.) Remove from heat.
In 3-quart saucepan, combine cornstarch and salt; with wire whisk, mix in milk, cream, and brown sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, with wire whisk, lightly beat egg yolks. In thin steady stream, whisk about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into yolks. Gradually whisk yolk mixture back into milk mixture, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and coats the back of a spoon well. Stir in vanilla.
Pour hot filling into cooled pie crust; press plastic wrap onto surface. Refrigerate overnight until filling is set. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Tasty Tuesday–Caramel Apple Pie

Since Thanksgiving approaches, I thought I’d share the recipe for one of our Thanksgiving standards…caramel apple pie. It even won second place at a church pie contest a while back!

20 individually wrapped caramels
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 large Granny Smith apples–peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350.
Unwrap and cut caramel candies in half. In a large bowl, mix candy with flour. Stir in apples, ice cream topping, and lemon juice. Pour filling into pie crust.
Place in oven on a sheet of foil to catch the drips. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.