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First Annual Thanksgiving Recipe Exchange - Please Share!

by: countrycat

Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:00:00 AM CST

At Left In Alabama, we're easing into the holiday week - and the end of year holiday season.  Let's set politics aside for at least a little bit and talk about something that truly brings people together: FOOD.  Do you have a favorite holiday recipe?  We'd love to have you share.

Post the text of the recipe in the comments or - if it's online - just drop a link.  Photos are welcome - as are family stories that go along with the recipe.

As Mooncat noted in her diary last week, the care and support we get from family and friends is a lot more important and lasting than the satisfaction we get from winning an election. 

Let's talk FOOD campers!  

I'll kick it off on the flip with some of my favorites and I so hope to read some of yours too....


countrycat :: First Annual Thanksgiving Recipe Exchange - Please Share!

Our vegetarian family doesn't do the turkey thing - even on Thanksgiving.  Although we do have a guest turkey in the form of a painted turkey serving platter... :-)  But one of our favorite family special occasion recipes is a vegetarian pot pie that uses fake Morningstar Farms "chicken."  Even the carnivores in our family "gobble it up."



This recipe is based on a recipe on the Morningstar Farms Web site (http://www.morningstarfarms.com/individual-chikn-pot-pies-with-puff-pastry-recipe.html).  I changed it around a bit.  It used puff pastry and I wanted a crust that was less fat and calorie-laden. 

                  "Not" Chicken Pot Pie


1 refrigerated pie crust
1 1/3 cups chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup sliced green or red bell peppers
1 tablespoon (or to taste) Italian seasoning OR poultry seasoning
1 package MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters® Chik'n Strips
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water


1.Remove pie crust from fridge and let it warm up a bit so it will be ready to top the vegetable mixture.

2. In large saucepan cook onions, carrots and celery in butter until onion is tender. Stir in the vegetable broth, peppers and seasoning. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for  2-3 minutes. Add the "chicken" strips and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat about 10  minutes stirring occasionally.  (This lets some of the broth cook down. The "chicken" will soften and pull apart as it cooks as well.  I like that texture better than the chewy pieces.  If you want "chewy," then add the chicken strips towards the end and cook them for only about 2 minutes.)

3. Stir cornstarch mix into vegetable mixture. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute to thicken the mixture.  Turn off heat and let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly.

 4. Pour thickened mixture into 9-inch pie plate and top with pie crust. Press overhanging pastry firmly against top of the dish. Cut a few slits in top of pastry to allow steam to escape. 

Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.



And how about this totally sinful dessert?  It's a recipe shared by Mooncat.  I've served it at several family dinners at the cathouse and also taken it to parties.  Each time, every single crumb gets eaten!

                Black Russian Cake


Ingredients for Cake

1 package Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (3oz) package instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup creme de cacao
1/4 cup Kahlua


1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons strong coffee
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 Tablespoons creme de cacao

1.  Combine all cake ingredients in large bowl.
2.  Beat for 4 minutes until quite smooth.
3.  Pour into greased Bundt or tube pan (there may be extra mix - make cupcakes with it!)
4.  Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.  While cake bakes, make the topping!  Combine all ingredients in small bowl, mix well!
6.  When the cake comes out of the oven, take a small skewer and poke holes in it (the cake is still in the pan).  Pour about half the topping over it, co it runs into the holes.
7.  When the cake is totally cool, turn it out onto a serving plate, punch more holes with the skewer, and carefully spoon the remaining topping over it.


Finally, a terrific side dish (or even light summer main dish when you're overrun with squash).....


                   Penne With Zucchini & Basil

This recipe is based on a similar one in "Madhur Jaffery's World Vegetarian" cookbook. 

* 3-4 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash (about 14 ounces) ( I think I used about 3 cups chopped)
* 5 TB olive oil
* 1 good sized onion (softball size?) - 5-6 oz, peeled and cut in to fine half-rings
* 1 cup vegetable stock (I used a broth cube in water)
* About 30 fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
* 1 pound penne
* salt to taste (depends on how salty your broth is)
* fresh ground black pepper, to taste
* OPTIONAL: 4-6 TB freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese


1. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then crosscut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place in a bowl, add 1t salt, toss, and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain thoroughly.

2. Put the oil in a large frying or saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes without browning, stirring occasionally. Add the squash and stir and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until soft.

3. Add the vegetable stock, stir once or twice, and turn off the heat. Stir in the basil leaves. Taste and add salt if needed. Leave in a warm sport or reheat while the pasta cooks.

4. Cook pasta, drain, and add to the squash mixture. (Either use a big serving bowl and pour it all together or dump the pasta in the frying pan). Season with black pepper and cheese (if desired). Serve immediately.

Serves 4


Here are a few of our favorites that are available as links to other Web sites:

Very easy homemade focaccia - we use this for homemade bread, pizza, etc.  Almost foolproof!

Avocado Feta Salad (sounds icky, but is delicious)

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Potatoes - I can't make enough of these for the family and usually mix in some onions & carrots too.


Ok y'all!  Share some of your favorites in the comments, please.  Meat, veggie, salad, dessert.... whatever!

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Twice baked potatoes (4.00 / 1)
Bake your potatoes, as usual.  Cut them in half, carefully scoop out the innards, leaving a shell behind.  Mash innards with plenty of butter and some milk (or sour cream!), then season with salt, pepper, parsley, etc.  Put the mashed potatoes back into the shells, top with shredded cheese -- you can do ahead to this point and refrigerate -- then put them back in the oven to heat through and melt the cheese.  Yum.

Work harder and work smarter!

Vegan Sweet Potatoes (4.00 / 2)

3 medium sweet potatoes, baked

3 TBS Maple Syrup

3 TBS Orange Juice

1 TBS Grated Ginger



Bake the potatoes until done. Test with a fork to see if the fork goes easily all the way through. Peel off skin, place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, and blend. (I also sometimes just toss it in my blender).  Sprinkle some pecans on top.

Variations: Use pumpkin pie spice instead of ginger, and apple cider instead of OJ. Try Agave or Date Syrup instead of Maple Syrup.

Serves 4




oh, YUM! (4.00 / 1)
I just bought a few pounds of sweet potatoes yesterday.  Can't wait to try this one!

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Squash Casserole (4.00 / 1)
This was always a holiday dish while I was growing up, as my mother hated the tediousness of chopping & pre-cooking the veggies. It also has the can of cream of mushroom soup that is obligatory for holiday recipes!

Squash Casserole
(like momma used to make)
3 cups squash cooked
1 medium onion cooked
1 cup shredded carrots cooked
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 bag stuffing mix (like Pepperidge Farm)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 2 oz. jar pimento's
1 8 oz. container sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook squash, carrots and onion together until tender. Drain. Mix them with some of the stuffing mix and then with the remaining ingredients.

Put in a casserole dish and top with remaining stuffing.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Note: Mom used to slice the squash, dice the onion, and shred the carrots. I have been known to shred everything...

I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet, and my vote.

Potatoes Romanoff (4.00 / 1)
because what better way to celebrate an American holiday than with a dish with a Russian name?

I have not been a white potatoes on Thanksgiving fan but a friend shared this recipe with me last year and it has quickly become a favorite!

(slightly modified from the original recipe by the Strip House)


   3 large russet potatoes, about 2 lb. total, unpeeled and scrubbed  
   3/4 cup minced onion
   2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
   1 1/2 cups sour cream  
   salt & pepper to taste, but be generous


The day before, bake potatoes in the microwave, then refrigerate overnight.

Next day, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the potatoes, including the skins. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle the onions, 1 3/4 cups of the cheese, and salt & pepper. Using your hands, gently toss the mixture together to combine, then fold in the sour cream.

Transfer to a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish; do not compress. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheese on top. Bake until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet, and my vote.

my goodness! (4.00 / 1)
Nobody has ever managed to cook potatoes in a way that I won't eat them, but I've never had this dish.  YET.  mmmmmmmm.......

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
If possible, it is even better than it sounds (4.00 / 1)
As I said, I made them on a friend's recommendation and they instantly become a requirement for any festive gathering...

I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet, and my vote.

[ Parent ]



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