Thanksgiving is Next Week!?
Where did time go? It seems like just yesterday that we were somewhere on a beach enjoying a last minute end-of-summer vacation.
Now we are planning for the Holidays! Being in the real estate business we find a connection with this time of year. No matter what holiday or tradition, families and friends all gather in the comfort of a warm and cozy home. Food is served, laughs are shared and memories are made. After all, home is where the heart is.
With that said, Thanksgiving just a week away and it is time to begin planning the menu. We know this can be overwhelming at times, so our team would like to share our favorite Thanksgiving Recipes with you!
Ben Hardy’s Recipe
The first recipe comes from Ben’s family. Every year his wife, Liz makes this Farro Acorn Squash Salad and it is truly a hit. This salad is made with classic fall vegetables and is a compliment to the high calorie, and often heavy foods that are traditionally served on Thanksgiving. With a with a sweet, homemade Honey Dijon Dressing this salad is ready to go.
Farro Acorn Squash Salad
2 Cups Cooked Farro
1 Acorn Squash
2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
1/4 Cup of Pepitas
1/4 Cup of Pomegranate Seeds
Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Homemade Honey Dijon Dressing
½ Cup (120ml) Grapeseed Oil
½ Cup Raw Honey
¼ Cup Rice Vinegar (aka Rice Wine Vinegar)
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds
Salt and Pepper to Taste
For the Salad:
Cook Farro according to package.. and let cool.
(I buy the Trader Joes pre-boiled bag and it only takes 10 minutes to cook)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. Place on cookie sheet and toss with avocado oil (or olive oil) and sprinkle with sea salt.
Roast for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and tender. Let cool to room temperature.
Toast pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a small saute pan until start to pop or lightly brown over medium heat
To assemble salad:
Toss farro with 1/2 bag or box of arugula. Place acorn squash on top of farro. Sprinkle with pepitas and pomegranate seeds. You also top with some shaved Parmesan cheese.
Pour dressing on top and serve.
For the Dressing:
In a mason jar, combine all the ingredients except mustard seeds, salt and pepper.
Put the lid on and shake until the mixture is well combined (aka emulsified). Stir in mustard seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
Terry Scollin’s Recipe
This next recipe comes is courtesy of Terry. Every year he travels to Boston to visit family and brings with him this delicious dish. Brussels Sprouts tend to be an acquired taste, but throw some bacon in the pan and this dish will be devoured by all! Check out the original recipe here.
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
4 strips thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately.
Leslie Chappell’s Recipe
You have to have Stuffing on Thanksgiving! This recipe was published in Leslie’s local newspaper when she was young and her family has been making it for Thanksgiving ever since! If you don’t have the best luck with recipes, this is the one for you. It is almost impossible to mess up!
Gene Amole’s Thanksgiving Stuffing
20 slices of white bread (or use a package of dried bread cubes)
6 slices of dark, Jewish pumpernickel (don’t leave this out)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sage
½ pound breakfast sausage
½ pound Italian sausage
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 Granny Smith or Jonathan apples
Handful of cranberries
2 cups thick-sliced mushrooms
¼ lb. butter
2 cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons Harvey’s Bristol Cream or jug sherry
Gene Amole’s Directions
Now, relax. It is impossible to screw up stuffing. First, let’s assume you are roasting a 15-20 pound bird. You’ll need about 20 slices of white bread and a half-dozen slices of dark, Jewish pumpernickel. Lightly toast and cut each slice into crouton-size cubes and put into a large bowl.
It’s a good idea to mix spices separately in a small bowl. Combine a tablespoon of Salt with a teaspoon of Pepper and a tablespoon of Sage. Be careful not to use too much salt because there is salt in some of the ingredients. Next, mix the spices and sprinkle them over the bread cubes.
Now, you are ready to go to the stove. Crumble and brown in a skillet a half-pound each of breakfast sausage and Italian sausage. Drain off the grease and remove sausage with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the bread crumbs and spices.
Add a cup each of chopped celery, chopped onion and chopped walnuts. If you are a big spender, use macadamia nuts instead of walnuts. Add three or four tablespoons of chopped, fresh parsley. Peel, core, chop and add one or two Granny Smith or Jonathan apples. I like to mix in a handful or so of fresh cranberries for color. To all of this, add a couple of cups of mushrooms, sliced thick.
The last thing to add is the liquid. Melt a quarter-pound of butter in two cups of canned chicken broth. After it is blended, add two tablespoons of either Harvey’s Bristol Creme or jug sherry. Take a little nip for yourself.
You are almost there. Drizzle the liquid over the ingredients in the large bowl. I like a reasonably fluffy stuffing. You can add more liquid if you like. Toss the bread cubes and spices with the liquid until evenly mixed.
What is Thanksgiving without the Mashed Potatoes?! This slow cooker recipe is courtesy of Le Creme De La Crumb and is the perfect first dish to start in the morning and forget about while you continue prepping for the big meal! Amy found this recipe in 2014 and has been sharing it with her family ever since.
Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds red potatoes, washed and chopped into 2-inch pieces (you don’t need to peel them)
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes)
½ teaspoon dried or fresh basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup milk
Add chopped potatoes to a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low or 5-6 hours on low.
When potatoes are cooked and fork-tender, add all remaining ingredients (let the butter melt for a couple of minutes). Use a hand mixer or a masher to mash the potatoes. Serve warm.
**This recipe can easily be doubled for large groups – just increase the cooking time by 1-2 hours.
**Although I have never had this happen to my potatoes, I have heard some people complain of “gluey” potatoes after mashing. Click HERE for my tips on making perfect, never-gluey mashed potatoes!
Liz Burn’s Recipe
No matter how much is eaten on Thanksgiving we all somehow manage to save room for desert! Pies, cakes and cookies line the desert table all waiting to be devoured. Liz turns the classic pumpkin Thanksgiving treat into cupcakes with the help of Barefoot Contessa’s Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe!
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes (Makes 10 Cupcakes)
½ cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (two 1.4-ounce bars)
Maple Frosting (Frosts 10 Cupcakes)
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of a muffin pan with vegetable oil and line it with 10 paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the ½ cup vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.
Scoop the batter into the prepared tins (I use a 2¼-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting, and sprinkle with the chopped Heath bars.
For the Maple Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla on medium-low speed until very smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
Carly Friedman’s Recipe
Last but not least, Carly brings these individual Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes to her Thanksgiving table! She combines a few of her favorite recipes to assemble this decadent masterpiece!
For the Oreo Crust:
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Place 24 of the cookies in resealable plastic bag. Flatten bag to remove excess air, then seal bag. Finely crush cookies by rolling a rolling pin across the bag. Place in bowl. Add butter; mix well. Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan (or Set in refrigerator for 1 hour.
For the Pumpkin Cheesecake:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.
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