Here’s my Thanksgiving Menu for 2010, a little lighter and healthier. Well, maybe not the cheesecake but it’s a holiday so don’t sweat it. For me the key word this year is SIMPLIFY!
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Rosemary
Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
Native American Cranberry Sauce
Enjoy these recipes and leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you’re making for Thanksgiving at your house this year!
Kitchen Princess Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
This recipe isn’t particularly light, but it is delicious! And, this menu is avoiding a lot of calories in the green bean and sweet potato recipes so, go ahead, live it up!
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pint half and half
- 5 pound bag potatoes-you can use Yukon Gold, red-skinned potatoes or good old Idaho’s.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- Minced roasted garlic to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Additional milk or cream (optional)
- Place 3 sprigs of rosemary and half and half in pan. Simmer on low heat
- Put potatoes in pot. Cover with cold water and add the salt.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove potatoes from heat and drain.
- Put potatoes back in the pot and return the heat to low. Remove the rosemary from the cream and pour the liquid over the potatoes.
- Add butter, cream cheese, garlic, broth and salt and pepper. Whip potatoes to desired consistency with a hand mixer or potato masher.
- Use additional milk or half and half if necessary.
- Pour potatoes into a buttered 9 by 13 inch pan. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can also freeze this for 2 weeks.
- To heat, remove from refrigerator. Remove lid and dot the top with butter. Cover dish with foil.
- Warm in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake 5 – 10 minutes longer. Stir to fluff before serving.
- I like to leave the skin on the potatoes but you can peel them if you like.
- I like to use fresh Thyme but fresh Rosemary would be equally delicious.
Kitchen Princess Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Rosemary
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Place almonds in a heavy, dry skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking to prevent burning, until light brown. Set aside
- Wash the green beans, cut off the stem ends and remove any blemished beans.
- Place in a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until beans are crisp tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Chill. (The beans that is, not you. Though if everyone is coming to your house, now might be a good time to take a deep breath!)
- Just before serving, toss the beans with the almonds, shallots, olive oil, rosemary, vinegar, salt and pepper. To keep warm, wrap in aluminum foil and put in a warm, 200 degree oven. Serves 6.
- Toasted pecans would be a good substitution for the almonds. Even pine (pignoli) nuts would do.
- You could use a nice sherry or champagne vinegar instead of the balsamic but I like the sweetness the balsamic adds.
- This would make a wonderfully refreshing first course, light but satisfying!
- Another great way to make green beans that I learned from my Son-in-law: Saute chopped garlic in butter. Add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and let it carmelize. Add cooked green beans. Heavenly!
Kitchen Princess Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
Rethink your sweet potatoes this year. I love this recipe because it’s light, easy and it has BACON!!! This is so delicious! Sweet and crunchy and oh so simple to make!
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 9 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 8 ounces bacon, fried and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400. Prick the sweet potatoes and bake about 45 minutes or until just easily pierced to the center with a knife. Don’t overbake! You don’t want them to be mushy.
- Let them cool and then peel them.
- Cut them into half inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Mix the honey, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk in oil in a thin stream.
- Add the vinaigrette and the parsley to the potatoes and marinate at least 30 minutes.
- Add the crumbled bacon just before serving. Serves 12.
- This can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Just cover and refrigerate then bring to room temperature before serving.
- If you really want to send this salad into orbit, add a little crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese. Oh my!
Kitchen Princess Native American Cranberry Sauce
This is my homage to the first Thanksgiving! I have only ever made my own cranberry sauce. I can’t do that jellied stuff in a can – it goes against my Kitchen Princess philosophy of simple food well prepared. If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce I can’t tell you how absolutely easy it is. It’s beautiful in a crystal bowl on your table and the flavors are fantastic! Oh, and it will make your turkey sandwiches absolutely SING!!!
- 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup – please don’t substitute Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- Bring the maple syrup, water and ginger to a boil in a heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in the cranberries.
- Simmer until the berries begin to pop, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your children will like this part!
- Pour into a bowl and let cool. Refrigerate until serving time.
- You can make this a day ahead.
- If you don’t have maple syrup, you can follow the recipe on the cranberry bag and use sugar.
- Instead of water, you can use fresh squeezed orange juice. Grate a little orange zest in as well.
Kitchen Princess Pumpkin Cheesecake
I love pumpkin pie but I don’t know, this year just feels like a cheesecake year. Oh, and this is the recipe from the Cheesecake Factory so you know it’s good!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 24 ounces regular cream cheese (3 packages), softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Homemade whipped cream
- Preheat ove to 350.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl.
- Stir well to coat all the crumbs with the butter but don’t stir so much that you turn it into a paste. Keep it crumbly.
- Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of a springform pan. You don’t want the crust to form all the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake.
- Bake the crust for 5 minutes then set aside till you are ready to fill it.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling into the springform pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes.
- The top will turn a bit darker at this point.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator.
- When chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces.
- Serve with the fresh whipped cream on top.
- Use dental floss to make a clean cut.
- I like to chop a little candied ginger and sprinkle some on each slice atop the whipped cream.
Remember to count your blessings this year. We have so much to be thankful for! God has blessed me with a wonderful husband, Mike, an amazing daughter, Francesca, her awesome husband, Matthew and my favorite new family member, our precious grandbaby Matthew Elijah.
And, I’m thankful to you for reading my blog and encouraging me to keep posting. I really do care about you and I read every comment.
So, hug those you love this year and let them know how special they are to you. Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!