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10- Pumpkin Soup- Start the holiday meal with a simple seasonal favorite. Take two cups of pureed fresh pumpkin, and simmer with two tablespoons of butter, one diced onion, two peeled and diced carrots, one peeled and diced apple, one tablespoon of sage leaves, and three cups of chicken stock for 10 minutes. Add one cup of cream and simmer for another five minutes. Serves 4.
9- Holiday Brie en Crute- To make this elegant but easy brie and fruit preserves stuffed pastry, start with a rolled-out, 14-inch pastry sheet. Spread preserves to within one inch of the sheet’s edge and sprinkle 1/3 cup cranberries and ¼ cup almonds on top. Top with one 13 oz. round of brie cheese brush with egg mixture, and fold opposite sides over cheese and press to seal. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves 12
8- Mulled Red Wine Sangria- After appetizers, treat your guests to this winter cocktail. Start with one bottle of red table wine, add ¼ cup of fresh orange juice, ¼ cup of brandy and three tablespoons of sugar. Heat in a medium saucepan over low heat until sugar melts. Add the peels from one orange and one lemon and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with cinnamon sticks for more of a fall flavor. Serves 4.
7- Brussels Sprouts with White Bean and Pecorino- A twist on an old favorite, this hearty salad starts with cooking half of the desired amount of Brussels sprouts with olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook the remaining brussel sporuts and transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and sautee until brown. Cook until sprouts are tender add beans and butter, stir for about one minute. Stir in cheese. Serves 12.
6-Mom’s Creamy Corn Casserole- This side dish is a favorite at my house. In a bowl, combine ½ cup butter, two eggs beaten, one package corn bread mix, one can whole kettle corn, one can creamed corn and one cup sour cream. Spoon into greased baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
5- Stuffed Artichokes- This side dish recipe takes a little bit of time and effort, but is worth it. Squeeze lemon into bowl of water, cut off pointy tops of artichokes and discard tough outer leaves. Spread the leaves of the artichoke and scoop out the hairy “choke” from the centers and put in lemon water along with tough skin of stems. Combine artichoke stems with one cup grated parmesan, one cup bread crumbs, crushed red pepper, ½ cup pine nuts and anchovies (optional) in a small bowl. Add lemon water, drizzle with olive oil until it becomes a paste. Stuff artichokes and stand up in saucepan drizzled with white wine, lemon juice and olive oil. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil, simmer for 15 to 20 min. Serves 4.
4-Sweet Potato Casserole- No Thanksgiving dinner is complete with the sweet potatoes! Place five sliced sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and mash. Use a mixer to blend with ¼ cup margarine, ½ cup brown sugar, three tablespoons orange juice and spread evenly in baking dish. Top with one package of mini marshmallows. Bake until 25 to 30 min, until top is browned. Serves 8.
3-Cranberry Sauce- This is my favorite side dish on Turkey day. Start by boiling water and one cup of sugar in a medium saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir in 12 oz of fresh cranberries; one pureed orange, apple and pear; one cup chopped pecans, salt and cinnamon to taste. Cover for 30 min. or until cranberries burst. Let cool. Serves 12.
2-Sausage Herb Stuffing- Besides the turkey, this is the biggest Thanksgiving must-have. My mom’s recipe is technically a dressing because she doesn’t stuff the turkey with it. Brown one pound of sausage meat, one cup of celery and one cup of onion. Drain excess fat ad fold into 14 ounces of prepared stuffing bread crumb mix. Serves 6-8.
1- Chocolate Pecan Pie- End the holiday with a (chocolaty) bang with this sweet treat. Melt 1 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mix with ½ tablespoon of melted butter and pour into bottom of 9” deep pie crust and refrigerate. Beat three eggs, 2/3 cup of white sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup margarine with hand-beater. Stir in pecans, and pour into crust. Bake in a hot oven on a cookie sheet for 40 to 50 minutes.