Cranberry Relish

The big week is here! My menu is finalized, most of the groceries have been bought, and I’ve even started my food prep! One thing I have discovered since hosting my first Thanksgiving 2 years ago is that things can quickly go from calm to chaotic. I don’t know if it’s just me, but by the time I’m ready to get dinner on the table, all kitchen organization has gone out the window. I’m trying to find the last remaining inches of counter space to carve the turkey, gravy is usually bubbling over on the stove, and all of my potholders have magically disappeared. So each year it becomes that much more important for me to have a) a time line and b) as much prepared ahead of time as possible, even if it means putting out-of-town visitors to work!

This weekend my mom and sister came to visit (since they are sadly not able to come on Thanksgiving day). We had a lot of fun hanging out and playing with the baby, but I still had turkey day prep on my mind. At one point we got on the conversation of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes and my sister said that her favorite was Cranberry Relish. I have never made it before so I didn’t know how far in advance it could be made, she told me the she usually likes it best after it has sat for a few days. So I decided to put her right to work! She whipped up this relish in no time at all. That beautiful cranberry red is reason enough for this to make it’s way to your Thanksgiving table, but it also tastes amazing. It’s a perfect combination of sweet and tart. And it’s crazy easy!

 

 

Rosemary and Olive Oil Mashed Sweet Potatoes

True story – I used to not like sweet potatoes. Well, I thought I didn’t like sweet potatoes. What I discovered in my twenties is that I didn’t like sweet sweet potatoes. You know, the ones that look more like dessert on the Thanksgiving table. Then we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner and they were serving sweet potatoes. Not wanting to be rude I took a few and much to my surprise - I loved them. Roasted chunks of sweet potato drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and rosemary. It was like a perfect marriage of flavors.

Nowadays I like all forms of sweet potatoes, even the sweet ones I didn’t like when I was younger, but I still have a special spot in my heart for the flavor combination that changed everything. So when I was brainstorming new ways to feature sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, I knew this would be a winner. I am super happy with the way these mashed sweet potatoes turned out. Soft and fluffy with the yummy flavors that I love. So, if you’re looking for a way to savory up your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, look no further!

 

Classic Pumpkin Pie

2 years ago I posted a recipe for pumpkin pie that I had been making for several years and really liked. For unknown reasons, my pie last year was a huge flop. Well, that might be a bit of a dramatic overstatement, it still had a nice taste but there was a giant canyon right down the center of the pie and it seemed really thin to me. Chances are I just did something wrong when measuring or it was simply over-baked. Still, it got me thinking. Should I really only have one way to make a pumpkin pie? Surely not, is the answer.

So here’s a secret, I almost hate to give it away, you know those recipes on the back of bags/cans/boxes? Yeah, those ones that people tend to ignore because surely a simple back-of-the-box recipe can’t be as good as a fancy schmancy recipe from a blog or cookbook – except, maybe it can be! Maybe the people producing the foods inside the bag/box/can really know how to highlight it. Makes sense, right? It reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of Friends, the one where Monica really wants Phoebe’s Grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Turns out that fancy schmancy recipe was created by “Nestle Tollhous-ah”. The same one from the bag of chocolate chips.

With that sentiment in mind I decided to go for it and try the recipe from the back of the can. Is this an earth shattering original recipe? Absolutely not. You don’t even need to visit my blog to find (though I did make one small change). But it does deserve to be highlighted. It produced an amazingly creamy pie filling that did not have a canyon crack going through the middle. A pumpkin pie that was a real man-pleaser. So there. Secret’s out. This is not my recipe, it belongs to Libby. I hope you don’t mind that I am sharing it here.

And I can’t resist sharing this picture of my sweet girl (who happily hung out in the Moby wrap while I prepared this pie!)

 

 

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Glaze

Have you started your Thanksgiving menu plan yet? Are you putting it off until the last minute? Have you already had it planned for weeks? We just decided that we are staying home and hosting this year, so I am just starting my planning. Thankfully (pun intended) I’ve hosted Thanksgiving twice now so I know what works and what doesn’t. Since I’m not sure how the cooking will go with the baby, I’m going to stick to mostly tried and true recipes. The few new things I will be adding will be tested in the next few weeks. If they work I’ll be sharing them here! One thing I wanted to add this year was a new pumpkin dessert. (Because you know I don’t have enough pumpkin recipes). And this cake is making the cut.

This Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Glaze is so good. The kind of good that leaves you standing over the kitchen sink eating “just one more” sliver to, you know, “even things out”. Because you can’t have a slightly crooked slice… I really had to laugh when just 15 minutes after I snuck a[nother] piece I noticed Jesse lingering at the kitchen sink. When I asked him if he was eating bundt cake he had a totally busted look. It can’t be helped. This cake is delicious.