Thanksgiving

Recovery

What’s the allotted amount of time for holiday recovery? Specifically 2 Thanksgiving dinners, a four day weekend with the kids,

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and a birthday party?

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Because Minion Bob and I are beat.

Sadie’s Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It has always been a cherished and celebrated holiday in my family. My traditions have changed throughout the years; loved ones have passed, families have grown, houses have been sold and people move… But some things have remained the same; I still get dressed up even though we are just meeting up with family and friends. We don’t take for granted how blessed we are to be together and share in our feast. And I’m from Michigan, so there’s always a Lion’s game.

Many of you know how it goes. Children grow up and get married. They incorporate both sides of the family and coinciding-ly make new traditions. Sometimes parents are divorced, so there are even more houses to visit. If your blessed with grandparents still alive, many holiday routines include a visit to their house. Often those married couples begin to have children of their own… All of the sudden you feel like you’re spending the holiday in the car, and getting your baby and self in and out of it- so you need to reevaluate your traditions. (Maybe that last part is just my experience?)

Of course, I’m truly thankful I have places to go with people who love me and my family. And I’ve learned to accept change throughout the years too. We usually don’t have dinner at the cabin pictured above. (I really wish we did.) This photo was taken the first year, I believe, of owning the cabin and the first Thanksgiving spent without my grandmother. We had always gone at some point during the day to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house, even after I was married with baby in tow; a tradition I had followed since childhood and one that admittedly I miss. At this time, I was pregnant with my daughter and we spent the holiday in the woods with my parents and my sister’s family. It was a beautiful way to transition into new holiday experiences. It also gives you an idea as to the traditional American food we eat. Food that was prepared without a conventional oven that the cabin was missing at the time, I might add.

Confession: I have never made a roasted turkey. Although I have graduated from sitting at the kid’s table, I have yet to actually host a Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I have never made the prized turkey. That said, I do feel like I make an important contribution to the annual feast, namely desserts and any side dish with which I may want to experiment.

Here is a sneak peak into what I’ll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner this year (for the available recipes I have included the link):

For the last, I don’t know, how many years I have been bringing my Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Bread. It is a sweet bread that we eat with dinner along side the rolls. And if any is leftover, it makes for a great treat with coffee the next morning.

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I love pecan pie in all forms. Here is a Maple Pecan Pie that has become a part of our Thanksgiving tradition, that I will be bringing again this year. (Side note: I can’t wait to update this photo!)

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In addition to this pie I am going to make the “Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream” from the Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof cookbook. Because if I can’t try something new, I’m not having fun. Also, let me take this opportunity to apologize to my dad in advance, because he is a pumpkin pie purist. Sorry pops, but keep an open mind! You might love it!

Lastly in the dessert category I am bringing my Pumpkin Cheesecake. And when I say “my” please note that it is not actually my recipe. But it is the same gorgeous creamy cheesecake with graham cracker crust that I love and have been making for years, that I wouldn’t change a thing about and have adopted as my own.

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I’ve also never made a green bean casserole. I’m not proud of that statement. But this is the year I make it happen. I’m just going to ease myself in by trying French’s Green Bean Casserole straight from their site. However, if any of you with experience know that I am making a mistake please feel free to leave me a link with your favorite recipe in my comments, I am open to suggestions… until this evening when I shop for my ingredients.

Lastly, I am making appetizers. But not appetizers for like before the meal, because everyone comes hungry (unless you’ve been to several dinners already 😉) for the Thanksgiving feast. These are really more like snacks for later because we are having a late afternoon feast this year (to accommodate several families) and when evening rolls around I doubt people are really going to be hungry when we wake up from our naps (just kidding… someone has to watch the children), but we may want to snack. So I am going to make The Pioneer Woman’s Festive Goat Cheese with dried cranberry and pistachios from her “Friends-giving” episode, and my Smoky Cheese Ball; which I usually ingest while watching the parade… maybe I’ll make two.

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There you have it! Have a great holiday friends and God bless!

Love,

Sadie

 

Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Stuffing Crust

In the upper midwest it’s getting quite chilly, complete with a layer of frost on the roof in the morning. It’s been perfect weather for heating up the kitchen. I love it. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Traditional and innovative ideas are flooding the internet and airwaves. I can’t get enough! My mother-in-law does this great chicken pot pie with a stuffing crust. So when my husband brought home some all-natural turkey breasts from the market, I had a lightbulb moment! This is like Thanksgiving enveloped in one dish. It’s delicious, fragrant, hearty, and warm. It’s perfect. It’s also a good way to use up those leftovers. 😉

 

Makes 2 pies

As organic as possible:

For the bottom crust:

(Tip: You can ready crust or eliminate this all together for time and preparation’s sake. There would just be no layer on the bottom. If you need further confirmation, The Pioneer Woman does a fantastic pot pie with only an upper crust.)

3 cups Flour

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed (1 1/2 sticks)

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg, beaten

5 Tbsp cold water

 

For the Filling:

2 large Carrots, peeled and diced small

2 large Celery stalks, rinsed, dried, and diced small

1 large yellow Onion, diced small

2 Tbsp Butter

8 oz. or 1 cup Peas (frozen, fresh… leftover)

8 oz.  or 1 cup Corn kernels (frozen, fresh… leftover)

2 cups Chicken or Turkey stock

Roux (1 1/2 Tbsp Butter and 2 Tbsp (rounded) Flour)

2 1/2 cups (rounded) cooked Turkey, about 2 breasts (see instruction)

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 tsp dried Sage (optional)

1 tsp dried Thyme

1 chicken bouillon cube (optional, but gives great depth of flavor)

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp freshly ground black Pepper

 

For Stuffing Crust

6 cups (approx) of prepared stuffing – I used 1 box of  Trader Joes Cornbread Stuffing Mix

 

Prepare crust by sifting flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add cubed butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives blend into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and water. I try to quickly use my hands (because you don’t want butter to melt) until all is combined. I shape it into 2 small discs, wrap with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour or up to a couple days.

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When ready to use, Preheat oven to 400°.

Roll out and place in deep pie dish. Crimp edges. Repeat for 2nd pie.

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We are going to pre-bake the pie crusts. To keep them from bubbling up on the bottom, cover the crusts with parchment paper and place dried beans or baking beads/pie weights on top of the paper. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Turn oven down to 350°.

Instruction on Turkey Preparation:

When boiling turkey breasts I prefer extra flavor so I boiled mine in 2 cups of chicken stock, then added water until they were covered. I also added a few sage leaves, sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for handling then dice into bite-sized pieces. You can use plain water to boil. You can also used leftover roasted turkey, which would be yummy.

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Starting the filling:

Heat butter over medium-heat until melted and starting to froth.

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Add diced carrots, celery and onions.

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Sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent. Add stock and stir.

In a separate small sauté pan, over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add flour and stir. The mixture will gather then soften. Allow to cook around 4-5 minutes stirring on occasion. This is a light roux, so remove from heat if it starts to brown. This is going to thicken your filling.

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If using frozen peas and corn, I like to give them a quick rinse in a colander.

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Add the roux to the sautéed veggie and stock mixture. Stir. Add the peas, corn, bouillon cube, heavy cream, cooked turkey, dried herbs, salt and pepper.

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Give a stir. And a smell. Allow to sit on a very low heat.

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In the meantime, prepare your stuffing according to box directions. Of course you can make your own.

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Taste the turkey filling mixture for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Use a ladle or large spoon transport the filling into the prepared pie crusts. I could honestly eat this like a soup, but the pot pie is amazing.

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Don’t be afraid to fill it to the brim. Then using half of the stuffing mixture, make an even layer across the top. You can pile it on high. Use the remaining stuffing to do the same with the other pie.

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Place them on individual baking sheets and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, until stuffing crust starts to brown.

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Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm. Scoop into a bowl or rimmed dish. So much to be thankful for!

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Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Stuffing Crust

Ingredients

  • For the bottom crust:
  • (Tip: You can ready crust or eliminate this all together for time and preparation's sake. There would just be no layer on the bottom.)
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 Tbsp cold water
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 large Carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 large Celery stalks, rinsed, dried, and diced small
  • 1 large yellow Onion, diced small
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 8 oz. or 1 cup Peas (frozen, fresh... leftover)
  • 8 oz. or 1 cup Corn kernels (frozen, fresh... leftover)
  • 2 cups Chicken or Turkey stock
  • Roux (1 1/2 Tbsp Butter and 2 Tbsp (rounded) Flour)
  • 2 1/2 cups (rounded) cooked Turkey, about 2 breasts (see instruction)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp dried Sage (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (optional, but gives great depth of flavor)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black Pepper
  • For Stuffing Crust
  • 6 cups (approx) of prepared stuffing - I used 1 box of Trader Joes Cornbread Stuffing Mix

Instructions

  1. Bottom Crust: Prepare crust by sifting flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add cubed butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives blend into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and water. I try to quickly use my hands (because you don't want butter to melt) until all is combined. I shape it into 2 small discs, wrap with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour or up to a couple days. When ready to use, preheat the oven to 400° in order to pre-bake the pie crusts. To keep them from bubbling up on the bottom, cover the crusts with parchment paper and place dried beans or baking beads/pie weights on top of the paper. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Turn oven down to 350°.
  2. Turkey Preparation: Place turkey breasts in 2 cups of chicken or turkey stock, then added water until covered. Add a few sage leaves, sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for handling then dice into bite-sized pieces. You can use plain water to boil. You can also substitute roasted or leftover turkey, which would be yummy.
  3. For the filling: Heat butter over medium-heat until melted and starting to froth.
  4. Add diced carrots, celery and onion.
  5. Sauté vegetables until onions become translucent.
  6. Add two cups of stock.
  7. In the meantime prepare roux: In a separate small sauté pan, over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add flour and stir. The mixture will gather then soften. Allow to cook around 4-5 minutes stirring on occasion. This is a light roux, so remove from heat if it starts to brown. This is going to thicken your filling.
  8. If using frozen peas and corn, give them a quick rinse in a colander.
  9. Add roux to sautéed veggie and stock mixture and give a stir.
  10. Add cooked turkey, peas, corn, bouillon cube, heavy cream, dried herbs, salt and pepper to mixture. Gently stir and reduce heat to low.
  11. Prepare stuffing according to box directions or make your own.
  12. Taste turkey filling for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  13. Use a ladle or large spoon transport the filling into the prepared pie crusts. Fill to the brim.
  14. Using half of the prepared stuffing, make an even layer over one of the pies. Don't be afraid to pile it on high.
  15. Repeat with the second pie.
  16. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until crust starts to brown.
  17. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm. Scoop into a bowl or rimmed dish. So much to be thankful for!
http://sadiesnest.com/turkey-pot-pie-with-cornbread-stuffing-crust/

 

 

Date Bar Dessert

When Owen and I got married, I was excited about learning to cook. Finally, I had my own kitchen! At my wedding shower, a longtime family friend gave me the instructions for her favorite brownies written on a recipe card (along with her gift) and on the day of our wedding, one of my sister’s high school friends gave us The Best of Country Cooking 2001 by Taste of Home. She had glued on the front page “A Recipe for a Happy Marriage” and a hand written note. That was where it all began. I love that cookbook, it’s full of memories and sentiment. It also contains the recipe for Date Bar Dessert, one of the first desserts I brought as a newlywed to our Thanksgiving family gathering. Of course, it’s always exciting when people enjoy what you’ve made! (It’s hard to go wrong with oats, butter, brown sugar and sticky sweet dried fruit.) Owen and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, so I happily share this gift with you! In time for the holidays I might add, although on any given day it really makes for a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour

1 cup packed Brown Sugar

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cold Butter

2 1/2 cups chopped Dates

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Water

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.

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Press into a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

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In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water.

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Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.

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*It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!

Date Bar Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped Dates
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.
  3. Press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan.
  4. In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.
  6. *It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!
http://sadiesnest.com/date-bar-dessert/

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is so much to be thankful for… Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Love,

Sadie

Thanksgiving Desserts

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only two days away! Last year at this time I was almost to my due date with my fourth child. In fact, I went into labor on the night of Thanksgiving. (I really just wanted to sleep.) But this will be my little turkey’s first Thanksgiving dinner and I’m so excited. (Although that is the first time I’ve ever called him that. I’m just really getting into the holiday.) To top off my excitement we have been enjoying our first snow fall of the year. The chill in the air declares the season!

I thought it would be a good idea to share some suggestions for the holiday, and as I was compiling a list of ideas… it became very clear where my priorities lie. The following are some tried and true sweet treats I can suggest without hesitation that you could proudly serve your family. At least I will be serving most of them to mine.

A classic rustic dessert: Sweet Potato Pie

A tasty twist on a long time favorite: Maple Pecan Pie

It’s a sweet bread, actually being served with dinner: Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

A decadent family tradition: Pumpkin Cheesecake

It’s just the best: Mom’s Apple Pie

Okay, this is not a dessert but I had to add it because I will be eating this goodness during the parade and food preparation so it clearly evokes the day: Smoky Cheeseball

Happy Baking & Making!

 

Maple Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie. It’s sweet and sticky, nutty and buttery. My grandma used to make one, in which she would over-bake until it was hard but still chewy and tasted like candy. It’s the only dessert I remember her making. I wish I knew how to replicate that pie! However, years of practice has left me with this family favorite. And I have tasted and made A LOT of pecan pies. In fact, one time I even made about 5 or 6 and had a taste off for family and friends! This was the clear winner. I love that it incorporates the maple syrup in the flavor! It’s honestly one of the most simple pies to make. From my table to yours, I hope you enjoy!

As organic as possible:

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Brown sugar

3/4 cup Maple syrup

1/4 cup light Corn syrup

3 Tbsp Butter, melted

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups Pecan halves

1 unbaked pie crust (I use Martha Stewart’s PatĂ© BrisĂ©e)

Preheat the oven to 375Âș.

If making your own pie crust, place the dough into pie plate. I reserve a little left over dough to press out Maple leaves, for the “Maple” Pecan pie.

In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs and sugars until creamy. Add syrups, butter, vanilla, salt and mix. Add pecans and stir until incorporated. Pour into pie shell and bake 30 minutes. I use the remnant from the melted butter dish (from the pie filling) to lightly coat the top of the maple leaves. Quickly, place the dough maple leaves in any artistic formation you would like on top of the pie and continue to bake 15-20 minutes, until the center of the pie is set when slightly shaken (not completely unmoving, but not liquid-y). Pie will continue to set while it cools. Allow to cool and set before serving. (It’s a great recipe to make a day ahead!)

Tip: It making the pie ahead of time, do not cover with plastic wrap, it can make it “soggy.” Instead use wax paper or aluminum foil.

Maple Pecan Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light Corn syrup
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecan halves
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (I use Martha Stewart's PatĂ© BrisĂ©e)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375Âș.
  2. If making your own pie crust, place the dough into pie plate. I reserve a little left over dough to press out Maple leaves, for the "Maple" Pecan pie.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs and sugars until creamy.
  4. Add syrups, butter, vanilla, salt and mix. Add pecans and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour into pie shell and bake 30 minutes. I use the remnant from the melted butter dish (from the pie filling) to lightly coat the top of the maple leaves.
  6. Quickly, place the dough maple leaves in any artistic formation you would like on top of the pie and continue to bake 15-20 minutes, until the center of the pie is set when slightly shaken (not completely unmoving, but not liquid-y).
  7. Pie will continue to set while it cools. Allow to cool and set before serving. (It's a great recipe to make a day ahead!)
  8. Tip: It making the pie ahead of time, do not cover with plastic wrap, it can make it "soggy." Instead use wax paper or aluminum foil.
http://sadiesnest.com/maple-pecan-pie/