Thanksgiving - Quick Little Last Minute Recipes Just in Time For the Thanksgiving Feast

Monday Morning Blog

Just like you, I am running out of time.... it's not even Thanksgiving yet and Christmas cards are starting to pour in. How did I get so far behind when I planned everything out so perfectly?  Oh, well.

Last time, I promised you a few recipes from our Thanksgiving menu and here they are.
They are all quick to fix because, as I said, you're probably running out of time, too.  
The best part about these recipes is that they don't look like they were fast and easy..... my kind of cooking!!!.... they look like you spent HOURS in the kitchen with skills you picked up at the Cordon Bleu.

Let's start with cranberry sauce - a must have with turkey or faux turkey for that matter.

Now I love the jellied stuff in the cans as much as the next person but when you're trying to divert the eye from the corn bread you made from a mix, well here's a cranberry recipe that will just do that and knock the socks off even your most gourmet pals.  No cooking - just pulsing in the processor!

No Cook Fresh Cranberry and Orange Sauce

Ditch the canned stuff this year.  You might be surprised!
Or have the canned stuff, too, for guests who don't adapt well to change. 
Raw food lovers will chow down on this because it is, well, raw.
Best made not more than 1 day in advance. (Isn't that nice - you can make it in advance!!)

Makes about 3 cups

1 package fresh cranberries (12-16 oz)
1 thick skinned orange (like a navel orange - about 3 inches in diameter)
Sugar to taste (We like 1/4 cup but add more to taste - Some people like as much as 1 cup)

Wash cranberries. Remove stems and shriveled berries. 
Wash the orange.  Cut it (peel and all) into random chunks.  Leave the peel and white pith but remove anything else you wouldn't want to eat - stem ends, seeds, a stringy white center core - if there is one.  

Put the orange chunks (with the peel & pith) and the cranberries into the food processor.  Pulse to chop until they are uniform.  But don'y over do it or you'll get puree - that's French for a liquidy, soupy, mess.

Pour chopped mixture into a bowl. Add sugar to taste. (We like 1/4 cup but add more to taste - Some people like as much as 1 cup.   Refrigerate till serving time.

BTW - use white sugar for beautiful color & clear, cranberry orange taste.
Other sweeteners (think brown sugar, agave, honey) are not recommended because their flavor will over power the taste and darken the color but it's your cranberry relish so do what you want. 


Karla's Make Ahead Pumpkin and Ginger Snap Ice Cream Pie

Pie are definitely THE dessert for Thanksgiving. Here's one of our favorites. It's still a pumpkin pie but oh, so much better! (and did I mention it's a make ahead treat?)

Makes one (10 inch) deep dish pie
Must freeze overnight - longer is OK

2 cups crushed ginger snaps (purchased or home made)
6 tablespoons butter (melted & cooled a bit - margarine not recommended)

Mix snaps & butter together. (A fork or your fingers works well). Press into the bottom then the sides of an ungreased pie pan. Refrigerate while making filling.

Cook's tip: To make 2 cups crumbs, pulse about 8 oz. of purchased ginger snaps in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. No food processor?  Put snaps into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Crisp ginger snaps make better crumbs than chewy ginger snaps.  Ask Santa for a food processor.

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (1.75 quart) container vanilla ice cream

Garnish: whipped cream plus additional nutmeg or cinnamon

In a medium sauce pan, combine pumpkin, brown sugar and spices. Cover pot. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes. Remove cover. Continue cooking (stirring to prevent scorching) until mixture bubbles around edges and begins to plop - about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a heat proof container. Refrigerate until cold - at least 1 hour but overnight is better.

Working quickly so ice cream doesn't melt, fold slightly softened ice cream into cold pumpkin (a plastic spatula works well.)

Pile ice cream mixture into prepared crust mounding it nicely. Cover lightly with a tent of plastic wrap. Freeze overnight before serving.  FYI....  tents do not touch the tops of what they're tenting.  Think the last time you stood under a tent.... 

Serve frozen like ice cream.... which it is after all.

Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon as desired.

Cook's tip: If your pie pan is not deep dish, and you have more ice cream than you have pie shell, spoon the extra filling into a plastic container, cover and freeze to enjoy as pumpkin ice cream another time.


Quick Spiced, Pickled Peaches - Southern Style
The best southern cooks have a pantry full of their home canned watermelon rind and spiced, pickled peaches waited for the Thanksgiving table.  If canning season escaped you again this year, here's how to doctor grocery store canned peaches and call them your own....

Makes 1 quart

Uses a 1 quart canning jar with lid but processing (canning) is not required
(I like to use a canning jar because it gives the illusion of home canned.... very important if you're having family and friends help out in the kitchen.... but truth be told, you can use and sort of container with a lid.

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 (29 oz.) can peach halves in heavy syrup (undrained)
2 tablespoons mulling spice
1 cinnamon stick

Stir vinegar and sugar together in a medium, non aluminum sauce pan. Cover. Heat on low till sugar is dissolved - about 1 minute.

Remove cover. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to gentle boil (uncovered). Boil 1 minute.

Spoon peaches and spices into canning jar. Pour syrup over peaches filling jar to 1/4 inch from top. Wipe rim of jar with a cloth dipped into hot water. Cap. Cool 2 hours at room temperature. Refrigerate at least 2 days before serving. Longer is better. Do not store at room temperature.

 BTW..... Tie the spices in cheesecloth if you're a purist but I like to see them floating around and besides even I don't always have cheese cloth around.  If you want to use cheese cloth but can't find it at the grocery store try a craft or fabric shop.  At Walmart, it's in the craft section.... go figure.
Also, apple cider vinegar gives the peaches a real, home canned look.


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