Marzetti© Creamy Potato Gratin

This creamy, cheesy potato dish pairs nicely with poultry or beef.

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Marzetti® Ranch Dressing
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a microwave safe-bowl combine butter and onions. Microwave 3 minutes to soften onions.
  3. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Lightly mist a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Arrange potatoes in pan. Sprinkle top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

 

Spice-Roasted Cauliflower and Jerusalem Artichokes

Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell for Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, cut into 1-inch dice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Finely chopped fresh chives, for sprinkling

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and Jerusalem artichokes; toss them generously with olive oil and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cumin and cayenne and add to the vegetables. Toss well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Spread the veggies on a baking sheet in one even layer-use two baking sheets, if necessary. Roast 20 minutes, then stir the veggies so they have the chance to brown all over and rotate the pan to ensure even cooking. Roast another 20 minutes, then stir and rotate again.
  5. Roast the vegetables for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are brown, tender and smell wonderful-almost like popcorn! If they aren’t lovely and brown, let them continue to roast for another few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Remove the veggies from the oven, sprinkle with chives and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

White Castle® Turkey Stuffing

Yield: Makes about 9 cups (enough for a 10-to-12-pound turkey).

White Castle® Turkey Stuffing
Find more recipes at white castle.com

Ingredients:

  • 10 to 12  White Castle® Sliders, no pickles
  • 1-1/2 cups  Celery, diced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Thyme, ground
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Sage, ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup  Chicken broth

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, tear the Sliders into pieces and add diced celery and seasonings.
    Toss and add chicken broth. Toss well.
  2. Add ingredients to Casserole Dish, add an additional 3/4 cup of chicken broth and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  3. Or stuff the ingredients into the cavity of the turkey before roasting and cook as you normally would.

Note:  Allow 1 Slider for each pound of turkey, which will be equal to 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound.

Thanksgiving Trivia

 

Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned for a national Thanksgiving holiday for close to 40 years, believing that “Thanksgiving, like the Fourth of July, should be considered a national festival and observed by all our people.”

Sarah Josepha Hale
Sarah Josepha Hale

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Margaret Cusack's Thanksgiving design on U.S. Postage

Margaret Cusack’s Thanksgiving design on U.S. Postage

 

 

 

 

 

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase “We Give Thanks.”

 

THANKSGIVING ON THE ROADS

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2010.

 

THANKSGIVING ON THE TABLE

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 46.5 million in 2011. Six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, and Indinia—account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that will be raised in the U.S. this year.
  • The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States—were eaten at Thanksgiving.
  • In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.
  • Cranberry production in the U.S. is expected to reach 750 million pounds in 2011. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states.
  • Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states, together they produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2010. Total U.S. production was over 1.5 billion pounds.
  • The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2010. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi, and the top producing states together generated over 2.4 billion pounds of the tubers.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.
  • Lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims’ menu.

    The heaviest pumpkin weighs 1,054.01 kg (2,323.70 lb) when it was presented by Beni Meier (Switzerland) at the European Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 12 October 2014.  Beni Meier grew a total of three record-breaking pumpkins in one season!

    The heaviest pumpkin weighs 1,054.01 kg (2,323.70 lb) when it was presented by Beni Meier (Switzerland) at the European Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 12 October 2014.  Beni Meier grew a total of three record-breaking pumpkins in one season!  Click HERE to find more at the Guinness World Records website.

THANKSGIVING AROUND THE COUNTRY

  • Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas (pop. 465); Turkey Creek, Louisiana (pop. 363); and Turkey, North Carolina (pop. 270).
  • Originally known as Macy’s Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy’s employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.
  • Tony Sarg, a children’s book illustrator and puppeteer, designed the first giant hot air balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. He later created the elaborate mechanically animated window displays that grace the façade of the New York store from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  • Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade.

    Snoopy the balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

    While a Kilgore, Texas, band struts its stuff, the character with the most balloons in history follows behind. Seven different versions of the Snoopy character have appeared in the parade, the first being Aviator Snoopy in 1968. Astronaut Snoopy appeared in 1972 (a tribute to Apollo 11), Skating Snoopy in 1987, Snoopy with Woodstock in 1988, Millennium Snoopy in 1999, Flying Ace Snoopy in 2006, and the seventh one will appear in the 2013 parade. He not only has the most balloons in history, he also has appeared in 32 parades, more than any other character.

  • The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country–the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.

 

For more on Thanksgiving… Click here: History.com

Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Mashed Potatoes
Photo by BHG.com

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds baking potatoes (such as russet or Yukon gold), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Butter or margarine (optional)

Directions:

In a medium saucepan cook potatoes and the 1/2 teaspoon salt, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Add butter. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Gradually beat in enough milk to make mixture light and fluffy. If desired, serve with butter.

Nutrition Facts (Mashed Potatoes)
Per serving: 157 kcal cal., 6 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsatured fat), 16 mg chol., 344 mg sodium, 23 g carb., 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

From the Better Homes & Garden Test Kitchen:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 4 peeled garlic cloves to water while cooking potatoes and substitute 2 tablespoons olive oil for the butter.

Per 3/4 cup: 171 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat),1 mg chol., 303 mg sodium, 24 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 3 g pro.
Daily Values: 32% vit. C, 3% calcium, 6% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 1 Fat
 

Pesto Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 2 tablespoons purchased pesto along with the butter.

Per 3/4 cup: 212 cal., 11 g total fat (4 g sat. fat),17 mg chol., 402 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.
Daily Values: 4% vit. A, 30% vit. C, 2% calcium, 5% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 2 Fat
 

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 1/2 cup dairy sour cream with the butter. Stir 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives into the potatoes just before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional snipped fresh chives.

Per 3/4 cup: 209 cal., 11 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 27 mg chol., 356 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.
Daily Values: 8% vit. A, 32% vit. C, 5% calcium, 5% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 2 Fat

Cheesy Chipotle Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except stir 1/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces) and 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce into potatoes before serving.

Per 3/4 cup: 215 cal., 11 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 31 mg chol., 437 mg sodium, 24 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 7 g pro.
Daily Values: 7% vit. A, 30% vit. C, 13% calcium, 6% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 1/2 High Fat Meat 2 Fat
 

Bacon Wrapped Turkey

Yield: 8 Servings

Bacon Wrapped Turkey
Photo Source: BHG.com

Ingredients:

  • Turkey
  • 10 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, finely crushed
  • One 12 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut in wedges
  • Fresh sage leaves

Bacon and Onion Gravy

  • 2 cups turkey broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Butter, melted
  • 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Finely chop 2 slices of the bacon. Stir together the finely chopped bacon, the finely chopped onion, and the finely snipped sage; set aside.
  2. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin from the breast meat by sliding your fingers underneath it, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the opposite end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub the bacon mixture underneath the skin over the entire breast, working toward the thighs as much as possible.
  3. Sprinkle inside of body cavity with kosher salt and pepper. Fill cavity with sage sprigs and sweet onion wedges. Pull neck skin to back and fasten with a small skewer. Tuck drumstick securely to tail, if available. If there is not a band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100% cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle turkey with additional salt and pepper. Weave remaining 8 strips of bacon in a lattice pattern over the breast. Tuck additional sage leaves into the lattice. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of inside thigh muscles. The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover loosely with foil.
  4. Roast for 2 3/4 hours. Remove foil. Roast for 15 to 45 minutes more or until thermometer reaches 175 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) Remove from oven. Cover turkey with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
  5. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Remove and discard onion and sage from inside turkey. Carve turkey. Serve with Bacon and Onion Gravy.

Bacon and Onion Gravy

  1. Stir 1 cup broth into pan drippings from roasted turkey in roasting pan, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour drippings into a 2-cup glass measure. Skim and reserve fat from drippings. If necessary add enough melted butter to the reserved fat to make 1/4 cup. Add enough broth to the drippings in measuring cup to make 2 cups total liquid.
  2. In a large saucepan cook 2 slices bacon over medium heat until crisp-cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from saucepan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in saucepan; add 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 teaspoon sage to the mixture. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Carefully add vinegar to skillet and cook until evaporated.
  4. Add the 1/4 cup fat to the saucepan with the onion mixture. Stir in flour. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.
  5. Add drippings mixture all at once to flour mixture in saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
  6. Stir in crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen

Hattie’s comment was “this is the best skin ever.” It had a great bacon flavor.
The sage was subtle, but nice. Bacon/onion/sage combo seemed very Thanksgiving like.
I cooked a smaller bird and only made 2 cups gravy, but for this 14-to 16-pound size you would need more.
The gravy was tasty. One thing I had thought about was adding a little whipping cream to the gravy, so you could try that.
Bacon is hard to finely chop. Could say to freeze bacon in a single layer and then break the frozen bacon and add to food processor. . . .it might chop it up better. TK could try this.
I used Vander Rose Farms bacon.

Nutrition Facts (Bacon Wrapped Turkey)
Per serving: 557 kcal cal., 29 g fat (9 g sat. fat, 6 g polyunsaturated fat, 11 g monounsatured fat), 270 mg chol., 519 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 73 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
 

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Truffles – Whole Foods® Market

The following recipe is featured on the Whole Foods®Market website.

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Truffles
Photo by Whole Foods®Market website

Yield: 30 Truffles

These truffles pair pumpkin with gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs. For the best results, chill truffles until you’re ready to serve them.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened

 

Directions:

  1. Melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minute. Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.
  2. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Melt remaining 2 cups chocolate and transfer to a small, deep bowl. Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into a ball in your hands, then drop into the chocolate. Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat. Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray. Dollop a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle a few gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs over the top, if you like. Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture and chocolate, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.

Nutritional Info:
Per Serving:Serving size: 3 truffles, 290 calories (150 from fat), 16g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 28g sugar), 3g protein

 

Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin Fudge
Photo by Better Homes and Gardens©

Yield: 96 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • One 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • One 10-ounce package cinnamon-flavored pieces
  • One 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

  1. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; set pan aside.
  2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and pumpkin. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (20 to 25 minutes). (Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.)
  3. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer from saucepan. Stir in cinnamon-flavored pieces until melted. Stir in marshmallow creme and walnuts.
  4. Immediately spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. Let fudge cool to room temperature. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut into squares. Cover tightly and chill for up to 1 week. Do not freeze.
Nutrition Facts (Pumpkin Fudge)
Per serving: 68 kcal cal., 3 g fat (2 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsatured fat), 4 mg chol., 14 mg sodium, 10 g carb., 9 g sugar
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet