Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

by Caitlin Saniga

Don’t even bother trying to cut this turkey with a knife. By the time it had cooked and I tried to lift it out of the slow cooker, the meat I was holding on to was so moist and soft that it fell away from the bone. I ended up using my hands to dismantle the turkey and pull it into thick, meaty shreds.

  • 1 6-pound bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 (1-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix

I served this turkey for a small Thanksgiving gathering, and it was perfect for the group. There were three of us, and this made enough for dinner and lots of leftovers.

Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off any excess skin, but leave the skin covering the breast. Rub onion soup mix all over the exterior the turkey and under the skin.

In the bowl of a slow cooker, pour just enough water to cover the base. Place the turkey in the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.

Save the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker! Use it to moisten up the turkey when you reheat it later or use it to make gravy.

Recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

I definitely talked this pie up to my family, so let's all hope I don't ruin it for Thanksgiving. Trying to maintain the "best daughter" image I've created.

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree,* or canned
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • pate brisee pie dough (recipe here)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (can use the rest of the carton for whipped topping – just add a little cinnamon!)

*For the pumpkin puree

Use a pie pumpkin – such as a sugar pumpkin or long pie pumpkin – that is about 1 1/2 pounds. Do not use just any pumpkin, as some are stringier than others.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the skin of the pumpkin, going all the way through. Place in a glass baking dish and fill with about 1 inch of water.

Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until a butter knife can be easily inserted into the pumpkin.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a blender or food processor. Make sure there are no stringy bits and the puree is the same consistency throughout. Keep refrigerated.

Using my excess dough, I cut out leaf shapes with a cookie cutter. I brushed the leaves with the same egg wash used on the crust, sprinkled them with a little cinnamon and baked them on a cookie sheet for about 10 or so minutes.

For the pie

In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin puree and 3 eggs. Beat well. Add evaporated milk and combine.

Once your pate brisee has set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (hope you followed directions), roll it out into a 12-inch circle or so. The crust should be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Place the crust in a 9-inch glass pie dish and cut off the excess edges, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch edges to form a decorative edge, if you so please.

Beat the remaining egg together with the tablespoon of cream and brush the crust, being sure to get into all the nooks. Fill with the pie mixture.

Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven (not sure why, but I was afraid to find out). Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes more. When I switched the heat, I took the pie out to let the oven lower its temperature and put foil over the crust edges – because you can never be too safe.

When the pie is done, the very center should still be a bit wiggly. Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.

Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

This recipe is basically my mom in a nutshell.

  • 1 can whole cranberries
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained and cut in half
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper raspberry jelly (or a combination of raspberry jelly and jalapeno juice from a jar of the peppers)
  • shake of cinnamon
  • shake of ground cloves
  • crushed candy canes, preferably stale/hard as a rock/from last year

Combine. Eat. 🙂

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe: my mom, Stephanie Saniga (And this recipe’s unaltered, copied straight from her 3-by-5 index card — right down to the smiley face.)

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving is all about tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Turkey Bowl football game and most importantly — the food. We’ve put some interesting twists on some very traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

Bourbon-cranberry compote

by Caitlin Saniga

Bowl of sparkling rubies or bourbon-cranberry compote?

  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, apple juice and bourbon.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo by: Caitlin Saniga


Cranberry-apple chutney

by Sarah Steimer

You can serve this chilled or warm, alone or on crackers.

  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (I used one Granny Smith and one Golden Crisp)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (this will be a little bigger than a 1-inch piece of ginger)
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (6 ounces)

In a medium-large pot, combine all ingredients except the cranberries, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil the mixture over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the mixture takes on a syrupy, jam-like consistency (I mashed them just a little). Remove the pot from the burner and allow it to cool.

Makes about 1 pint (looks beautiful in Ball jars and would probably make a great holiday gift).

Recipe adapted from: Modern Comfort Food

Photo: Sarah Steimer

More Thanksgiving Twist dishes: sweet potatoes, vegetables, stuffing

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving is all about tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Turkey Bowl football game and most importantly — the food. We’ve put some interesting twists on some very traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

Buttermilk cornbread stuffing

by Sarah Steimer

The cornbread doesn't soak up the flavors like regular bread does, but it's a down-home style for stuffing.

For the cornbread:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I never actually try to make buttermilk. Here’s how you fake one cup of buttermilk: Put one tablespoon of vinegar in a 1-cup measuring cup and fill the rest with milk. Allow to sit for a few minutes before you incorporate into your recipe.)
  • 1 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted, cooled
Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs and butter in medium bowl to blend. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients to blend (do not overmix). Pour batter into a prepared 9-inch round pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan. Once cooled, cut into cubes and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

For stuffing:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend

Sauté onions, celery and shallots in butter until pale golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in sage and thyme. Add to cornbread cubes in bowl. Mix in pecans.

Stir chicken broth into stuffing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs. Place in a buttered glass baking dish and cover with foil. Cook at 375 degrees for about an hour. Remove foil and allow top to brown, about five minutes.

Makes 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Epicurious

Photo: Sarah Steimer


Apple, cranberry and pecan stuffing

by Caitlin Saniga

I usually only eat the mandatory spoonful of Thanksgiving stuffing, but I have a whole casserole dish of this stuff, and I'm not totally dreading having to eat all of it.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for the baking dish and foil
  • 1 large loaf Italian bread (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 16 cups{!})
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 Gala apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cop chopped toasted pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Divide the bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake until dry and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, apples, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

Add the bread, cranberries, pecans, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and broth to the vegetables and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Makes 8 servings, plus leftovers.

Recipe: Real Simple

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

More Thanksgiving Twist dishes: sweet potatoes, vegetables

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving is all about tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Turkey Bowl football game and most importantly — the food. We’ve put some interesting twists on some very traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

Honeyed carrots and clementines

by Caitlin Saniga

These carrots are a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. Just right!

  • 2 pounds very small carrots, scrubbed; or regular carrots — trimmed, peeled and cut into thin sticks
  • 2 clementines, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons small dill sprigs

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots and clementines with the oil, honey, salt and pepper.

Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with dill.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo: Caitlin Saniga


Dukkah spiced green beans and pumpkin

by Sarah Steimer

This is a pretty big twist considering Dukkah is an Egyptian spice. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill American fare.

  • 2 cups cubed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in halves
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbly goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
Place cubed pumpkin on a baking sheet (I found it easier to half and bake the pumpkin for a little, otherwise it’s almost impossible to cut). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss the pumpkin so it is evenly coated and lay it out in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until cooked. Turn over half way through.Meanwhile, prepare the Dukkah. Toast the chopped nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside. Now toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan for 3-5 minutes, or until brown and fragrant. In a small bowl, mix the spices with the toasted, chopped nuts.

Steam or boil the beans for 3-5 minutes, until cooked.  Put into ice water straight afterward to retain the green color and stop the cooking process. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine the oven-roasted pumpkin with the green beans. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of Dukkah. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and goat cheese. Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.Recipe adapted from: Anja’s Food 4 Thought

Photo: Sarah Steimer

More Thanksgiving Twist dishes: sweet potatoes, stuffing

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving is all about tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Turkey Bowl football game and most importantly — the food. We’ve put some interesting twists on some very traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

Orange-spiced sweet potato bread

by Sarah Steimer

This can not only replace your sweet potato dish, but your boring dinner roll as well.

  • 2 pounds of sweet potato (about two large potatoes) OR two 15-ounce cans sweet potatoes, drained
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice

Mash sweet potatoes until smooth with a mixer. Add the sugar and oil and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the pecans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, mash the sweet potatoes until smooth (this will make about 2 cups). Add the sugar and oil, and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into four buttered and floured mini loaf pans. You can also use larger loaf pans, a bunt cake pan or any other that suits your fancy. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes four mini loaves or one bundt cake.

Recipe adapted from: Mermaid Sweets

Photo: Sarah Steimer


Caribbean sweet potato and bean stew

by Caitlin Saniga

This is the third time I've made this for Thanksgiving. It's always a hit.

Special equipment needed: slow cooker

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • hot pepper sauce, if desired

Combine sweet potatoes, green and black beans, broth, onion, jerk seasoning, thyme, salt and cinnamon in a slow cooker.

Cover; cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe: Rival CrockPot — Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

More Thanksgiving Twist dishes: vegetables, stuffing

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts