Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 101

So this post is very important to me because it speaks about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all that we are blessed with and to a time to give back to those who are not as fortunate as we are. It is also a time to spend with loved ones- family and friends and share in those delicious traditional foods. Thanksgiving is also a time when a lot of us eat more than we should. Did you know that on average a person consumes more 3,000 calories? How is that possible you ask? Well you have the appetizers which normally consist of nuts, poppy kock, mushroom puffs, olives and so forth- easy 400 calories right there. Then you have the turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, rolls, butter, and all your other traditional family recipes and then you have dessert...So when I say 3,000 or more I stress the more. But it is Thanksgiving so why not eat as much as you want, right? WRONG! Thanksgiving is not a time to over do it- it is a time to indulge a little but you need to be careful how you indulge and where you indulge. In this post I will share a few recipes that you should all have. It will leave you feeling much better at the end of the day- both mentally and physically.

Serve: honey roasted peanuts, salted cashews, and mini clementine cuties

Main Meal
Serve turkey with homemade cranberry sauce (2 pints cranberries, water and sugar in the raw- heat up the cranberries add the water and 1/4 cup of sugar)

Spiced String Beans (3 lbs of fresh string beans with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. paprika and 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup of water- mix together and cook uncovered for 30 minutes

Mashed Potatoes (peel potatoes leaving some skin, boil them and then mash them - add 2 tbsp. of diced onions, 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter, dash of salt

Candied Sweet Potatoes (6 sweet potatoes -peeled and baked for 1 hour. cut them into cubes and pour over 1 cup of orange juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 c. bourbon- bake for another 45 minutes (stirring occasional)

Spinach Salad- 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1 8 oz. can of mandarin oranges, sprinkle some sunflower seeds, sliced strawberries and honey mustard dressing (light) mixed in.

Butternut Squash Muffins (skip the roles and use these instead)

Stuffing- 8 cups of whole wheat bread cubes, 1/4 cup of chopped celery, 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, 2 cups of mushrooms, 2 cups of chicken broth, dash of salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp. onion/garlic mixture, 1/4 tbsp. fresh parsley- Bake in oven for 1 hour

Peanut Butter Balls (14 oz of 100% natural peanut butter, 1 cup of unsalted butter, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 3 cups confectionery sugar AND 14 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips, boiling water and 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter) - mix peanut butter, vanilla, melted butter and confectionery sugar together and the roll them into 3 inch balls. place in fridge for at least 2 hours. Then in a double broiled melt the chocolate with the butter. Dip the firm peanut butter balls into the choc mixture covering half way. Place down on parchment paper and place back in fridge over night or until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Choc Chip Cookies 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened, 1 cup of 100% pure pumpkin puree, 1 large egg, tsp. vanilla. Follow these steps:
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Crust Free Apple Pie (4 green apples peeled and slice, place into a baking dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, then mix 2/3 cups of veg. oil, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of sugar and 4 eggs. Mix together and pour over the apples. Preheat oven to 350 bake for 1 hour and then mix 1 tsp. of cinnamon with 2 tbsp. sugar and sprinkle over while hot. Serve cold or warm- but must let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Fresh Fruit/Nuts

And you can also search my blog for other favorites such as:
Baked Squash
Real Carrot Cookies
Moroccan Carrots
Nutella Balls
Apple Cranberry Crisp