Tag-Archive for ◊ Thanksgiving ◊

24 Nov 2010 Pumpkin Roll

One of my friends has been making this for years.  I was intrigued by her pictures posted on Facebook of roll, after roll, after roll lined up along her kitchen counter, and then the comments from a number of people begging her to stop by and drop off a roll.  It took a few years, but finally she shared the “closely guarded secret family recipe” (with a wink and a smile).

I made my first pumpkin roll from Kim’s recipe last year, and my mother fell instantly head-over-heels in love.  She ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus had another slice for her 10 o’clock and then again for her 3 o’clock.  My mother eats like a sumo wrestler, and weighs 100 lbs dripping wet. I on the other hand look like a sumo wrestler and weighed 100 lbs in third grade.  Life is just not fair…

Ok, back on subject. Here, on my blog,  is Kim’s “closely guarded secret family recipe”.  There are a few changes, but it looks a lot like the recipe on the can of the Libby’s Pumpkin.  REALLY!!!  Have you ever read the recipe for Pumpkin Roll on the can?  Me neither, and I have been looking at it for 40 years!  It’s a good recipe.  The Pumpkin Roll is good.  Just ask my Mom.

I like Kim’s recipe.  It has more spice, and the filling is lower fat than the actual recipe on the Libby’s can.  Disclaimer: I did NOT say “low fat”, I said, “lower fat”. Got it?! The Pumpkin Roll recipe, according to Libby, can be successfully doubled, but not tripled. I made a double batch last night, and since my mom will not be here tomorrow, we’ll probably have enough!

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
¼ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375º.

Beat eggs on high for 5 min.

Gradually add sugar to eggs. Then stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.

In another bowl, sift dry ingredients then fold into pumpkin mixture.

Spread batter evenly in a greased and floured (I use Pam for Baking) edged cookie sheet, 15x10x1. (Kim and I use a regular edged cookie sheet as opposed to the jelly roll pan specified on the Libby’s can. The jelly roll pan is smaller and cake doesn’t roll up as well when it’s that thick.)

If desired, top the batter with chopped walnuts.  Bake cake at 375º for 13-15 minutes.

Spread a cloth kitchen dish towel onto the counter.  Spread 1/3 cup powdered sugar evenly over the dish towel. DON’T use a fuzzy dish towel!  Use something like a flour sack dish towel!

Remove cake from oven. Immediately, turn out cake onto the  dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.  While cake is  still hot, starting at narrow end, roll towel and cake together and set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Filling

1 c. powdered sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.

Unroll cake and spread filling over cake.

Roll up again (without the towel!) and refrigerate overnight (if at all possible).

Cut roll into slices to serve  (Discard the ugly end slices).

Makes 10 – 12 servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Sorry I am so late with this recipe, I should have posted it the week before Halloween…!

23 Nov 2010 Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Apples

My daughter Hannah has started a new Thanksgiving tradition for our family, and I rather like it.  She invites our neighbors and friends over for Pumpkin Pancakes on Thanksgiving morning.  She suggests they come in their jammies.  (I am not seen in my jammies!  Slippers, yes, jammies, nooooo.) The pancakes are hot by 9 AM, and she keeps making them until about 11.  Some people stay for ten minutes, some for forty, others  for a bit longer than that.  It’s very informal and relaxed.  The parade is on.  There’s a jigsaw puzzle set up.  We serve Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Apples, Syrup, Sausages, Spicy Sweet Bacon, Pumpkin Roll, and coffee (with pumpkin creamer!).

I must have tried out eight pumpkin pancake recipes.  Some have one egg, others have four for each cup or cup and a half of flour.  Some have buttermilk, some have whole milk, one even had coconut milk.  There’s been every permutation of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and/or pumpkin pie spice.  Some use one-third a cup of pumpkin, some use three-fourths cup of pumpkin.  Some use baking powder, others baking soda, some use both. At the end of the day, I ended up liking our original recipe; the one we had been using before I started this testing nonsense.  My preferred recipe is the only one calling for whipping the egg whites separately from the rest of the batter, and then folding them in.  I think that’s the secret.  Pumpkin pancakes can be a bit stodgy, but folded egg whites keep them light. There has been a benefit to all this testing though, my grandson has a favorite food now, pumpkin pancakes!  He’s not too picky about them,  just so long as he can dip his pieces in real maple syrup.  He’s usually not a big eater, being only in the 17th percentile for weight, but he can eat his way through a man-portion of pumpkin pancakes.

Last week I found this recipe for Maple Apples.  Now I am in heaven.  Please put some warm maple apples on top of my pumpkin pancakes and top that with a bit of whipped cream. (I have a bit of a sweet tooth….)  If you are not into Maple Apples, you might enjoy adding 5 or 6 chocolate chips or blueberries to each pancake.  Add the chips or the blueberries before before flipping the pancake.  If you are into “healthy” pancakes, I have made these with King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour and they have turned out very well.  When I feel up to experimenting again, I am going to play with replacing some of the flour with oatmeal.

Be careful cooking these pancakes, they can easily over brown.  Cook on low-ish heat, but be sure the pan is hot before adding the batter.

The recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes, as well as the recipe for Maple Apples, is from Epicurious.com.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil
Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend.Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup. Makes about 12

Maple Syrup Apples

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; sauté until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and cinnamon.

These would be good the day after Thanksgiving, too.  And for Halloween morning.  Or any time in the Fall. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. It’s always fun to see you here!

20 Nov 2010 Turkey Dressing/Stuffing

Yesterday I went to Costco and Trader Joe’s.  Both places had samples of make-it-from-a-box turkey Dressing/Stuffing.  Did they think the samples would entice people to buy that stuff? What WAS it?  The texture was glue-y…, the taste was…, was…, there was no taste, it was just warm.  It’s no wonder we have a generation of kids who don’t like much more than hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and soda.  If I were served that stuffing, I’d be longing for McDonald’s, too. C’mon, folks. We can do better than that.  I know I am preaching to the choir, but I was so taken aback at how horrible that boxed stuff was that I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

Here’s my recipe for Dressing/Stuffing for turkey or chicken.  It’s evolved over the years.  Thirty plus of them. I’ve made Thanksgiving dinner for 30 consecutive years.  That’s right.  Thirty years.  No break.  Before that, my Dad used to make the stuffing when I was a kid.  It was always sage and onion.  He boiled the onions, then chopped them, mixed them with breadcrumbs, lots of powdered sage-sometimes too much, cooked turkey liver and pork  sausage, and then used the onion water to moisten the dressing before stuffing it into the bird.  When I was a teenager, my friend’s mother told me her secret, she said to use crackers instead of bread in the stuffing, so I did, and still do, most of the time.  I have tried making this dressing with cornbread too, but it didn’t work out very well.  I had cornbread mush.  It wasn’t very appetizing. One of these days I will try the cornbread again, because it should have worked. I must have done something wrong.

My recipe is amazingly similar to my friend, Kayte’s, whose mother told me the cracker secret.  Kayte and I have been friends for over 40 years, but we had never compared stuffing recipes until she wrote hers down and shared it with our cookbook club. Kayte’s recipe evolved through the Irish women on her side of the family, mine evolved through English men, we overlapped a bit with the cracker tip, and we basically have the same recipe!  It’s a good one, too!

This is an old school dressing. Nothing too fancy, but compared to those samples of that boxed stuff, it’s out-of-this-world!

Advance Prep Tip:  Prepare and saute all  ingredients, then refrigerate (or freeze) until needed.  On Turkey Day, defrost if needed, and then just mix the prepared ingredients with the crushed crackers or toasted bread crumbs, stir in the fresh herbs, moisten with broth and eggs, and bake according to the directions below.

Turkey Dressing (or Stuffing)

  • 1 1 lb. box saltine crackers with salt (or 1 lb. loaf sourdough bread or 2 baguettes, stale, cut into ¼ inch cubes, and toasted)
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter or  olive oil or vegetable oil, divided use
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • about 3 cups turkey or chicken stock, divided use
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, chopped (not sliced–mushrooms should be about the same size as the onions and celery)
  • 1 lb. pork sausage (Jimmy Dean’s Sage is my preferred sausage)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage plus 1 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 tablespoon dried sage), or to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ cup melted butter (or bacon fat), optional
  • Directions

    1. Crush the crackers and set aside.  Hints…you want crushed crackers, not cracker meal. I crush the crackers in their sleeve over a large bowl, and when the package bursts I let them fall into the bowl and use my fingers to crush any larger pieces.  Set crackers aside.  If you are using bread cubes, pour them into the large bowl, and set aside
    2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When hot, stir in chopped onion and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.  Stir in chopped celery, and saute for another 3 minutes or so.  Add 1 cup of hot stock to pan.  Stir to release any stuck on brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove mixture from pan and let cool.
    3. To same pan add a bit more oil, and the pork sausage.  Brown sausage over medium high heat and then set aside to drain on paper towels.
    4. Add more oil to hot pan, if necessary, and add chopped mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms until cooked.  Turn off heat and let mushrooms cool slightly.
    5. Add the onion/celery mixture, the drained sausage, the cooked mushrooms, and the grated apple to the cracker crumbs. Toss to combine. Stir in sage, parsley, and pepper. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
    6. In a separate bowl combine the beaten eggs with 2 cups of stock.  Pour this mixture over the crumb, meat, veggie mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine.  If needed, add a bit more stock for mixture to be uniformly moist and clumpy.
    7. Stuff turkey with dressing and bake according to directions on turkey package for your sized turkey OR pour mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan**see NOTE below!. Drizzle with 1/4 cup melted butter and cover with foil.
    8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes the uncover and bake for an additional 12-20 minutes.  If dressing looks dry, stir and add another 1/2 to 1 cup broth.  When baked dressing should be puffy and have a nicely browned top crust

    **NOTE:  This year I am going to put some of the stuffing mixture into sauteed mushroom caps, and then bake for 20 minutes.  I will use the stuffed mushrooms to make a ring on the serving plate, and then mound additional stuffing in the middle of the plate.  Won’t that look nice?  I expect the stuffing aficionados in the family–that would be all of us!–to go wild over this.

    Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

    17 Nov 2010 Wild Rice Turkey Soup

    I know you are all busy making your Thanksgiving grocery list, and checking it twice; be SURE you have the ingredients for this soup on the list.  You have to make this with your turkey carcass, have to, have to, have to!  This is the best turkey soup I have ever tasted.  I made no changes to the recipe I found in “The 150 Best American Recipes” cookbook.

    Mmmmm… Homey, rustic, northwoods-y…, which, with a little imagination, might just transport you to a log cabin in the snow, fire blazing, a quilt over your feet, and a good book on your knee.  The soup has wild rice, mushrooms and turmeric, yes, turmeric, which compliment the strong flavor of turkey to make a soup that, according to “The 150 Best American Recipes” is “neither exotic nor bland”.  It’s my favorite after-Thanksgiving treat.  I can’t imagine making any other turkey soup.  It’s just the thing for an-after-Thanksgiving restoration, before the Christmas craziness commences.

    BTW, I like this soup so much I can’t just make it once a year.  When it’s not Thanksgiving, I start with a whole chicken which I boil or roast.  I remove 4 cups of the meat from the chicken, and then proceed as below.

    Wild Rice and Turkey Soup

    For stock

    1 turkey carcass (remove 4 cups of meat from the carcass-set aside for the soup)
    2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
    1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
    1 small onion, coarsely chopped

    Put turkey carcass in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, remove any foam from the top. Add the celery, carrot, and onion (peels and all). Simmer for at least 90 minutes (I cooked mine for about 3 hours). Strain broth into a large (4-5 qt) bowl. Discard carcass and all veggies (You will need 3½ – 4½ quarts of stock for this soup). If at all possible, refrigerate stock overnight and then remove all the hardened fat from the top of the broth. The next day continue with the directions below…

    For soup

    1½ cups wild rice, rinsed (the book specifies “hand harvested” but I couldn’t find that written on the package I bought from Trader Joe’s)
    ½ cup long grain white rice
    4 T. butter
    2 cups sliced celery
    2 cups sliced carrots
    1 diced onion
    ½ cup sliced green onion
    2 T. chopped fresh dill
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
    3 cups sliced mushrooms (8 oz. pkg sliced)
    4 cups diced cooked turkey
    salt and pepper to taste

    Bring 3 ½ quarts of stock to a boil. Stir in rinsed wild rice and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet; add celery, carrots, onion, and green onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in dill, bay leaves and turmeric. Turn off heat, and set aside. Add white rice and sauteed veggies to the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir sliced mushrooms and diced turkey into hot soup. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked. Add more broth if the soup gets too thick for your taste (I added the extra 4 cups). Season to taste with salt (I used 2 tsp. Kosher salt) and pepper. This makes a lot of soup. The recipe says the soup freezes well for several months. If you do reheat the soup, it will have thickened and you will need to add more broth or water when reheating.

    You’re going to love this, I just know it!  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

    16 Nov 2010 Sweet Potato Pie

    A friend asked me, “How does Sweet Potato Pie compare to Pumpkin Pie?” and I answered, “Sweet Potato Pie is Pumpkin Pie’s richer cousin.” How about that? Sometimes words don’t fail me! I got it exactly right!

    I looooooove me some Sweet Potato Pie.  The best Sweet Potato Pie I ever tasted was from Everett & Jones BBQ in Jack London Square, Oakland.  I wish I had their recipe, but since I don’t, I’ve worked hard at creating the best darn possible recipe for Sweet Potato Pie that I can.  It’s been years of trial and error.  Well, no error.  I’ve never met a Sweet Potato Pie I didn’t like.  It’s been years of upping spices and enriching the filling.  The latest enrichment has been to add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.  I saw that Cat Cora put fresh ginger in her Sweet Potato Pie, so decided to add it to mine.  I still like Everett & Jones’ Sweet Potato Pie better, but just a bit!  I suspect they must put at least double the brown sugar in their pie than what I put in my pie, but I don’t know for sure.  I think a field trip is in order.  I need to investigate this further.  After all, I am a serious food blogger now! As for Cat Cora’s pie, I think mine is better.  I don’t remember maple syrup, dark brown sugar, or whipping cream being in her pie.

    Here’s MY best recipe for Sweet Potato Pie, and here’s an oddity; this recipe is not made with sweet potatoes, it’s made with yams!  Use Beauregard yams; the long yams with the purple skins and orange flesh. Sweet Potato Pie is a “must have” on our Thanksgiving dessert table.   Walk away from the pumpkin pie, and say “Hello” to its richer cousin!

    Sweet Potato Pie

    • 1 unbaked pie crust in a 9 inch glass pie pan, chilled
    • 1½ cups cooked, mashed “sweet potatoes” / Beauregard Yams, about 2 large (To cook the sweet potatoes: microwave whole potatoes [don’t forget to prick them] about 6 minutes on each side OR bake in a 400º oven for about 1 hour. Cool and scrape the flesh out. I prefer to bake the potatoes, rather than microwave.)
    • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (Grade B has a more robust flavor)
    • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix cooled mashed sweet potato with brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, fresh ginger and salt.  Stir well to combine.

    Whisk in eggs and cream.

    Pour pie filling into prepared pie crust.

    Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until filling is set in middle and slightly puffed around the edges.

    Cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate.  Can be made up to two days ahead.

    Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream-some people will declare their undying love and affection for you if your beat 1-2 tablespoon of Bourbon or Rum in with the sugar to each cup of whipping cream-or, better yet, cinnamon ice cream (see recipe on this blog).

    I hope you enjoy Sweet Potato Pie as much as I do 🙂  If you are ever in the vicinity of Everett & Jones, pulllleeeese  bring me back one of their sweet potato pies.  I’ll love you forever!

    11 Nov 2010 Pumpkin-Maple-Pecan Sundaes

    I saw a Maple-Pecan-Bacon Sundae in last month’s issue of Bon Appetite.  I’d heard about bacon brownies and bacon cookies and bacon cupcakes and I was ready to be on the cutting edge with Bacon Sundaes.  With a friend coming over for lunch,  I was ready for some taste testing. We were prepared for a drop-dead wonderful taste sensation.  I warmed the sauce, poured it over two flavors of ice cream (vanilla and coffee), and set the sundaes down. We tasted. I looked at her.  She looked at me.  We tasted again.  We shook our heads.  We tried it one more time. “Nooooooooo”, I said.  “Nooooooooo”, she said.

    It just didn’t work. Bacon does not belong on ice cream.  Nope.  Not ever. The bacon was like a cold gummy bear, all texture, little flavor.  What salt kick did come, came after the chewing was over, and by that time the sauce and the ice cream had been swallowed.  The dessert just didn’t work.  But it had potential. We liked the sauce. We liked it over the coffee ice cream best, but still it wasn’t quite right.

    I tinkered a bit more, and this is what I came up with… the warm Maple-Pecan Sauce (minus the bacon), drizzled over homemade Pumpkin ice-cream, and topped with a bit of bourbon whipped cream. Now here’s a nice dessert alternative for Thanksgiving, or an nice ending to any fall meal!

    Just a note:  Pumpkin ice cream has a bit of a grainy texture (ALL pumpkin ice cream has this issue, unless it has been made with pumpkin flavoring rather than pumpkin puree), but with the sauce and the whipped cream, it’s not so noticeable and the pumpkin flavor goes fabulously well with the maple, the pecans, and the bourbon.  Mmmmmmmm 🙂  I taste tested pumpkin ice creams, too.  This one’s the best.

    Maple Pumpkin Pecan Sundaes

    with Bourbon Whipped Cream

    Pumpkin Ice Cream

    2 cups whipping cream (35%)
    1 cup whole milk
    ½ cup sugar
    1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp nutmeg
    ½ tsp ground ginger
    ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
    ½ tsp ground allspice
    1/8 tsp salt
    ½ tsp vanilla
    1 cup pumpkin puree

    1. Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar, spices and salt over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
    2. Stir warm cream into the pumpkin along with the vanilla.
    3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cold.
    4. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

    I found this recipe at Christie’s Corner.

    Maple-Pecan Sauce

    ¾ cup Grade B Maple Syrup
    2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used Australian crystallized ginger, it’s very soft)
    ½ cup pecan halves

    1. Combine maple syrup and cinnamon in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to ½ – 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
    2. Remove sauce from heat.  Discard cinnamon sticks.  Stir in lemon juice, chopped ginger and pecan halves.  Can be made 2 hours ahead.  Let sit at room temperature and then reheat slightly to serve.
    3. Spoon warm sauce over scoops of pumpkin ice cream. Serve immediately with a bit of Bourbon Whipped Cream, if desired.

    I found the inspiration for these sundaes at Epicurious. The original recipe had diced maple glazed bacon in the sauce but just. say. “NO”!

    Bourbon Whipped Cream

    1 cup whipping cream
    1-2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon bourbon

    1. Whip with electric mixer until creamy.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Happy Fall!