Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Alright friends, the countdown is on- A mere 1 1/2 days until Thanksgiving!

Despite the fact that it’ll just be Tall Guy and I celebrating in my teeeeensy tiny apartment, I am, of course, making a full feast.

 

As is tradition, Thanksgiving day pre-meal is all about trying to eat as little as possible, aka snacking on cranberry bread & cream cheese. In keeping with that, I’ll be making my mom’s cranberry bread.

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Tall Guy was in charge of the turkey this year, which we both decided had to be cooked somewhere other than my tiny oven. So he’s getting turkey from the restaurant where he works, Paris Bistro, and I’m in charge of pretty much everything else!

I’m all about the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. You know the ones- sweet potato casserole (I’m team-mini marshmallows!), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce (from a can!)… And Tall Guy loves corn. Like, LOVES corn. I never remember corn being a huge part of my Thanksgiving meal, but I make exceptions for Tall Guy just because he’s so darn cute.

But what specific recipes am I making? I thought you’d never ask!

Believe it or not I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweet potato casserole with pecans, so I’m making this recipe, which has pecans AND marshmallows.

I’m going out on a limb and making green bean casserole from SCRATCH this year! And it’s all Sally’s fault!

My mom taught me how to make mashed potatoes. You can find her recipe over on a recipe round-up I did for Broke Girls Go Out a couple years ago.

I bought the Pepperidge Farm cubed stuffing bag mix. It calls for onion and celery (which a lot of the bag mixes do), but I’m leaving out the celery because we’re not huge fans of it. Instead, I’m going to add in cranberries, pecans and apples.

And now everyone’s favorite part- dessert! Is it any surprise I couldn’t resist making more than 1 dish?

For my token pumpkin dish, I’ll be making a version of these pumpkin cream cheese trifles.

In addition to that, and because Thanksgiving is nothing without pie, I’m making this sour cream apple pie. What? Yes, SOUR CREAM in a pie. Since we all know I’ll use anything as an excuse to eat sour cream, this pie has my name written all over it.

If you’re looking for other dessert recipes, check out some I’ve made in the past:
Bourbon Apple Oatmeal Pie – This pie turned me on to apple pies with crumble topping instead of crust on top- a lot easier and so delicious!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles – These are a great addition to any dessert spread, and oh so addictive!
Pumpkin Cream Pie – This is my go-to Thanksgiving pie recipe. It’s so simple, doesn’t require any oven space and can be done the night before.

And I HIGHLY recommend checking out Sally’s Baking Addiction Thanksgiving recipe roundup. All of her recipes are amazing and as a bonus she has make-ahead tips for them! If I could make them all, I totally would!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? What are you making this year? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great holiday and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! x

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Doritos Chicken Casserole

This should maybe be called Mexican Crack Casserole because it is THAT good.

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical at first. Something about Doritos in a casserole just makes it seem a little… Trashy? Unclassy? I don’t know exactly what, but let’s just say it’s not something you would  think to serve your in-laws. I made it for Football Sunday night, however, so didn’t think twice about it.

After eating it, though, this dish totally changed my mind. I can’t put my finger on what is so good about it, but I could NOT stop eating it. Make this asap. You won’t regret it!

Doritos Chicken Casserole (recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven)

1 bag (11 oz.) Nacho Cheese Doritos
2 c cooked, shredded chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 can ro*tel tomatoes
2 tsp taco seasoning (can use 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder instead)
1/2 c pico de gallo

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken, soup, sour cream, tomatoes, half of the cheddar and seasoning (or spices).
  3. Crush the Doritos. Spread half of the bag in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Top with the chicken mixture. Spread evenly.
  5. Add the other half of the crushed chips to the top of the chicken mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with the pico de gallo.
  8. Top with shredded lettuce and additional sour cream if desired.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to have extra sour cream for the top of your casserole! I also added some lettuce to the top, which I would highly recommend.

This recipe took no time to whip up, so it’s an after work meal contender for sure. Also perfect for girls night, game day or anything in between.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

Somehow it’s less than a week until Thanksgiving and I’ve only made 2 successful pumpkin recipes! Yikes. I’m sad for the severe lack of pumpkin in my life. Sigh.

If you’re looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe to try, this one is it! Full of pumpkin, cream cheese and streusel-y goodness, it should be at the top of your “to try” recipes this Fall.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Muffins (recipe from Warm Vanilla Sugar)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c confectioner’s sugar
3 c flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 c sugar
2 c pumpkin puree
1 1/4 c vegetable oil

For the topping:
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter, melted

  1. To prepare the filling, combine the softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl and mix until blended and smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log and transfer it to the freezer. Freeze for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease or line your muffin tin.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil until well blended.
  6. Add flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  7. To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix with a fork until combined. Set aside.
  8. Fill each muffin with about 2 tbsp of the pumpkin batter.
  9. Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place 1 slice into each muffin cup.
  10. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups. Make sure the cream cheese is covered completely.
  11. Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

See that? Easy. As. Pie.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

My first pumpkin baking of the season! Life has gotten suuuuper crazy lately, so I was really excited when I actually wanted to bake one day after work. AND it’s pumpkin season!!! Hello, Fall, how I missed you.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (recipe from With Sprinkles on Top by way of Sally’s Baking Addicition)

1/2 c butter
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c white chocolate chips

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and 1/2 c sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together.
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  6. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Do not skip this step!
  7. Preheat your oven to 350º. Spray baking sheet(s) with nonstick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
  8. Mix remaining 1/2 c of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl.
  9. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough per ball.
  10. Roll each of the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet. The balls will not spread that much in the oven, so flatten them slightly after placing them on the baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

While a little sweet for my taste, Tall Guy loved these cookies so much that he insisted on taking them home instead of letting me bring them to work for my coworkers! For someone who isn’t a super pumpkin lover, that was a huge compliment!

My Blog Turns 2! (A Birthday Cake Recipe)

In honor of my blog’s birthday, I made this delicious s’mores cake! I have to admit that cakes aren’t really my “thing.” When I make them, usually come out fine, but I don’t love how they can look perfect one minute and melty and awful the next. Does everyone else have that problem, or is it just me? While this one did end up looking super melty (and messy), it was a fairly simple recipe and easy to put together. Plus, it tasted great, which is all that really matters anyway, right?!

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S’mores Cake (recipe originally found in the Baking Bites cookbook, also available on their website here)

For the Cake: 
1/2 c butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c graham cracker crumbs *Baking Bites tip: If you grind your own, use about 20 graham crackers
2 tsp baking powder
1 c milk
3 egg whites, room temperature

For the Filling and Frosting:
7 oz jar marshmallow creme (or a little less than 1 c marshmallow fluff) *I used Fluff
8 oz milk chocolate chips
1/4 c half & half *Can use cream instead
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp corn syrup

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly grease 2 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light.
3. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract
4. In a small bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs and baking powder.
5. Working in 2 or 3 additions, alternate stirring the graham cracker mixture and the milk into the butter mixture.
6. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a clean, medium sized bowl. Working in 2 or 3 additions, fold egg whites in graham cracker mixture, mixing until no streaks of white remain.
7. Divide evenly into prepared pans.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched and it passes the toothpick test.
9. Let cakes cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

For the frosting:
1. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips, half & half, butter and corn syrup until melted.
2. Stir with a fork (or small whisk) to ensure that everything comes together smoothly.

To Assemble:
1. Place 1 layer of cake on a cake stand or plate. Spread marshmallow fluff into an even layer.
2. Top marshmallow layer with second cake round.
3. Pour all but half a cup of the frosting onto the top of the cakes, spreading it into an even layer, and allowing it to drip slightly down the sides of the cake.
Note: Cake should be stored in the refrigerator if not being served shortly after assembly.

 

Looks a little messy, but cut clean and was so yummy! Definitely an easy cake for you beginners, and a crowd pleaser!

 

Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

I made my signature Christmas cookies and brought them into work (where they got rave reviews, of course), but I was looking for something a little different to make for holiday parties. This recipe was just what I was looking for. There’s no baking involved, and it only takes a few minutes to come together, which makes it a perfect last-minute dessert. It’s not Christmas themed, so feel free to make this all Winter long!

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Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip (recipe originally from Inside BruCrew Life)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff (or Kraft’s marshmallow creme)
1 c powdered Swiss Miss Dark Sensation hot chocolate mix *I’m sure any kind of powdered mix would work in this recipe
3/4 c Cool Whip
Optional for garnish: mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes, peppermints

1. Beat cream cheese until creamy.
2. Add the yogurt, fluff and hot chocolate mix and beat until light and fluffy.
3. Fold in 1/2 cup Cool Whip (gently) until completely mixed in.
4. Top with remaining Cool Whip and garnish as desired.
5. Keep refrigerated (and covered) until serving.

Serving suggestion: Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, cookies or “dunker” cookies from Trader Joe’s.

This might as well be called Hot Chocolate Crack Dip. It is SO good. You will be tempted to eat it with a spoon (no judgments). You have been warned.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Finally, a Fall-themed recipe that isn’t pumpkin! These muffins will satisfy all of those cranberry cravings that you never knew you had.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins (recipe originally from Julie’s Eats & Treats)

1 c butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 c flours
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or line muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
5. Slowly mix dry into wet batter until combined.
6. Fold in cranberries.
7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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These were easy to make and came out looking great! And I loved the flavor- just sweet enough to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. They would make a great snack for Christmas morning!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oreo Brownies

Talk about decadent! With 2 kinds of chocolate, these brownies are super rich, but worth every calorie!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oreo Brownies (recipe originally from Picky Palate)

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar (for step 5)
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c chocolate chunks
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar (for step 8)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 Oreo cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Place butter into a large bowl and microwave until melted and hot (about 45 seconds).
3. Pour in chocolate chips and stir until mostly melted (does not have to be perfectly smooth).
4. Add flour and sugars and mix a few times.
5. Add eggs, yolk and oil and mix until well combined.
6. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
7. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
8. Put cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
9. Place dollops over brownie batter, then swirl the pumpkin mixture through the brownie batter with a knife.
10. Gently press broken up Oreo cookie pieces onto the top of the pumpkin layer.
11. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until cooked through.
12. Let cool completely before cutting.

While I could only handle about a bite of one, everyone in my office loved them! The recipe is fairly simple and very easy to follow, and they came out looking great. I would definitely recommend these to any chocolate and pumpkin lovers out there!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Milkshake

I’ve had a few pumpkin spice lattes thus far this season and they all lived up to the hype, so I decided to try my hand at one! In milkshake form. Yes, I said milkshake.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Milkshake (recipe originally from Elle’s New England Kitchen)

1 1/2 c cold black coffee
1 1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c coffee ice cream
1 c ice cube
honey or another sweetener of your choice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired thickness. Add honey to taste. Garnish with cinnamon or whipped cream!

Baked Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze

You guessed it- more ripe bananas! Clearly I need to eat more bananas.. Or not, since banana baked goods are so delicious!

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Baked Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze (recipe originally from The Baker Mama)

1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 c oil *Original recipe calls for canola oil, I used vegetable oil
1/4 c milk *Original recipe calls for buttermilk or whole milk, I used fat free
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed

For the glaze:
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 c maple syrup
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Fold in the mashed bananas.
6. Pipe batter into greased donut pan, filling each ring about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until donuts are set and spring back up when touched. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
8. While donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt the butter, then whisk in the remaining ingredients until thick and smooth. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken, or milk to thin it out.

These donuts were really yummy, but tasted more like banana pancakes than donuts (the maple glaze is partially to blame, I’m sure). Not that banana pancakes aren’t good, but I was hoping for something a little different, ya know? The single layer of thin glaze gave them a good flavor, but also just made them really sticky, which I didn’t love. I definitely recommend thickening the glaze, or just doing a maple frosting instead.