Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thanksgiving Flavor Menu

Our recent little pink Thanksgiving offered a twist on traditional holiday flavors. See yesterday's post for my brother, Nathan's, photos of our family time. Keep scrolling for recipes and links.

Deconstructed Thanksgiving Menu

Salted Caramel Apple Cider
Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese with Wheat Thins
Fall Harvest Salad
Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili
Turkey Panini Bar
Sweet Potato Chips
Pumpkin Bars, Chess Squares and Brownie Trifle

Find recipes for cranberry salsa and turkey cranberry paninis here. Find Skinny Taste's crock pot turkey white bean pumpkin chili here.

For an easy but delicious salted caramel apple cider, add a splash of Torani Sugar-Free Salted Caramel to your favorite apple cider. I heated a pot of cider on the stovetop for our family gathering, but I have been enjoying salted caramel cider by the cup while I have been sick this week. Find this delicious syrup here.

I asked Vicki, Jennifer and Shana to bring desserts. They were happy to contribute, and this helped me get supper on the table with Joe out of town.

      Vicki's Brownie Trifle
This Southern Living recipe hits the spot with chocolate lovers.  

2 (21-ounce) packages chewy fudge brownie mix
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
3 cups fat-free milk
2 (3.3-ounce) packages instant white chocolate pudding
1 (12 1/4-ounce) jar caramel topping
Prepare brownies according to package directions. Cool, then break into large pieces. Beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy; beat in marshmallow cream. Fold in 1 container of whipped topping, and set mixture aside. Stir together milk and white chocolate pudding mix, stirring until thickened. Stir in remaining container of whipped topping. In a trifle bowl, layer crumbled brownies, cream cheese mixture, caramel topping, pudding mixture and brownies.
Jennifer's Chess Squares
Our family loves chess desserts, and Jennifer says this one is quick and easy to assemble.

1 butter cake mix
1 stick butter, chilled 
3 eggs
1 box powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into chunks

Mix cake mix, butter and 1 egg. Press into a 9x13 dish. Mix sugar, cream cheese and 2 eggs. Pour into dish on top of cake mixture. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
Shana's Pumpkin Bars
These pumpkin bars make a delicious fall dessert or indulgent breakfast.

1 box yellow cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup of mix for pumpkin filling)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cake mix, oil, 1 egg and nuts for the crust. Press in greased 9x13 pan. Mix pumpkin, milk, almond extract, cinnamon, salt, 3 eggs and reserved 1/2 cup of the cake mix. Mix well and pour over crust. Bake 40 minutes. Let cool. Ice and refrigerate.


Orange mini-pumpkins top this pretty cake stand from Hobby Lobby.

And pretty pink roses from Fresh Market added a soft touch to our table.

Let's hope all our family gatherings are served up with heaping bowls of gratitude this holiday season!

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." ~ Joyce Brothers

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