Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I know I'm a bit early, but I have to be if you're going to use any of my Thanksgiving recipes for the big day. I've only got two, but they're out of this world! I'm posting them both today to give you as much notice as possible (what, 2 full days isn't enough?!). I just made them for our first family Thanksgiving celebration yesterday, and both were big, BIG hits. I'm still getting FaceBook comments about them.
My favorite part about Thanksgiving is all the delicious food, of course, and even more so the Gingerbread house decorating after dinner (see pictures at the very bottom of this post). Many people would tell you that the Pumpkin Pie is their favorite part of Turkey Day. You're going to have to trust me when I tell you that you should just forget about the pie this year. Blasphemy, you say? Not so. I'm giving you a much better alternative! It is this fabulous Pumpkin Cream Trifle that will have you "mmmmm-ing" and "yummmmm-ing" with every single bite. You're just going to die! My friend, Keri, that gave me this recipe titled it "The BEST dessert ever," and I do believe she is right!
Pumpkin Cream Trifle
From Keri Abney
for the cake
1 package spice cake mix
1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
In a large bowl, combine these eight ingredients, mixing well. Transfer to a 9x13 inch nonstick baking pan. Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool on wire rack. At this point, the cake can be frozen for later use.
Making the Trifle
2 c. cold milk
2 3.4 oz packages instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 8 oz carton whipped topping, thawed
1 c. chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
*3/4 c. English Toffee bits (Skor bars mashed up work perfect)
*I used 8 Skor bars (just to make sure...)
Combine milk and pudding mixes; whisk for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Layer cake, pudding mixture, pecans & Skor bar bits in a glass 3 quart bowl or trifle dish; repeat to make three layers of each. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 15-20.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, November 2010
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the dish
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 2-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
2. Drain the Brussels sprouts and coarsely chop. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and toss with the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, then spread out evenly. Pour the cream on top, sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs and dot with butter pieces.
3. Bake the gratin until bubbly and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
It's tradition to decorate Gingerbread houses every Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family.
A tradition we all love.
Although looking at these pictures, I'm not exactly sure why. HA!
When the houses are bare, there are smiles all around...
But when the candy and icing come out, so do our true colors...
Just for a minute...
and then they're back again...
until Chow hides every last bit of candy inside her house...