Recipes for November

Thanksgiving Muffins

from King Arthur Flour

1 cup pumpkin puree (about half of a 15 1/2-ounce can)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice or  pumpkin pie spice; (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Optional: 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coarse white sparkling sugar or Swedish pearl sugar, for topping

Grease 12 wells of a standard muffin pan; or line with papers, and grease the papers.
In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, molasses, salt, spices, milk, and cinnamon extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Stir in the dried cranberries. Add all at once to the wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
Cover the bowl, and let the batter rest for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 400°F.
Deposit the batter by the generous 1/4-cupful (a slightly heaped muffin scoop works well here) into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with about 1/2 teaspoon coarse sparkling sugar or Swedish pearl sugar, if desired.
Bake the muffins for 20 to 21 minutes, till a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle of a center muffin comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, and tilt them in their individual wells to cool; this prevents their bottoms from steaming and becoming tough. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 muffin
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour


A Taste of Fall : Pumpkin Cranberry Cornbread

This recipe comes from The Motherload and is one of my all-time favorite recipes. People are always surprise at just how good it is. It is a must at Thanksgiving, but I usually can't wait that long to make some.


1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup buttermilk (I substituted with regular milk and a teaspoon of vinegar to sour)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, room
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8″ x 8″ baking pan or a 9-inch pie pan. In a bowl, toss together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In another mixing bowl, mix with a wooden spoon, the pumpkin puree, sour cream or buttermilk , butter, eggs and honey, until well combined. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture just until combined. Mix in the cranberries. Transfer to a prepared baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until edges just begin to color. Cool to room temperature.

Fall Harvest Pork Chops

photo and original recipe from Budget Bytes
4 thick cut pork chops
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
a sprinkle salt and pepper
1 med onion 
2 med apples
1/3 cup craisins
2 Tbsp butter 
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon 

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating, open the pork chops and season one side with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook chops on both sides until thoroughly cooked. While the chops are cooking, thinly slice the onion. Wash, core and slice the apples into thin wedges. Once the chops have cooked on both sides, remove them from the pan and add the apples, onion, craisins and butter. Stir and cook for about five minutes or until the apples and onions begin to soften.
Add the bouillon, water, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the skillet with the apples and onions. Stir until everything is mixed together then return the chops to the pan. Nestle the chops down in the mixture, making sure some onions and apples are on top of the chops. Simmer the chops in the apple/onion mixture until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir occasionally, moving the apples and onions around so they all have a chance to simmer and soften.
Serve each chop with apples, onions and sauce spooned over top.

Fall Butternut Squash Casserole

20 oz container, peeled and cubed butternut squash or 1-1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss squash, onion and olive oil together in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until browned and tender. Whisk together red wine vinegar and maple syrup. Pour over squash. Roast another 5-10 minutes. Remove squash from oven. Toss with apples, walnuts and cranberries.


Thanksgiving Dinner in a Crockpot


photo from Smashed Peas and Carrots
This recipe is from Smashed Peas and Carrots and is simply delicious.
I have made a few adjustments to suit our family's tastes.

1/2 turkey breast  (add a turkey leg, if some like dark meat)or 4 chicken breasts, (can be frozen)
1-10 oz package of frozen vegetables
1 can of turkey gravy (or cream of chicken soup, if you prefer)
1-6 0z box stuffing (and water and butter to make your stuffing...see your package directions!)
salt and pepper to taste

First, pour in the bag of frozen veggies into the bottom of your crockpot. Then go ahead and place your turkey or chicken meat on top of your veggies. Now, crack open up that can of gravy (or soup) and pour on top of your chicken breasts. Next, mix up your stuffing by the package directions and then place the stuffing on the top of everything, Turn your crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The stuffing will be nice and brown and the chicken juices should run clear when done!

Nuts Over Cranberries Tart 

1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Lightly salted pistachio nuts (optional)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 medium pear, cored and chopped
1/3 cup lightly salted pistachio nuts
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons currant jelly, melted
Lightly salted pistachio nuts (optional)


Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into 8 small ramekins, reserving some for the topping. Mix some pistachio nuts in the remaining crust mixture and set aside until ready for topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F  for 5-7 minutes. Cool. (Optionally,instead of baking the crust, you can just chill for about 1 hour.

In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until combined. Add cranberries and pear; cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in the 1/3 cup pistachio nuts, the almonds, and vanilla. Spoon filling into ramekins, spreading evenly. Place ramekins on baking sheet.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is bubbly around edges. Carefully brush tops of tarts with melted jelly. Cool in ramekins on wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with the reserved topping.


Artichoke Stuffing for the Vegetarian

Artichoke Dressing
source: Budget Bytes
Bread cubes (enough to equal soft French Bread loaf, or you can make your own by cutting a loaf of French bread into one inch cubes, spreading them out onto a baking sheet, and baking for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until dry and crispy.)
2 Tab. Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Onion, chopped
4 stalks Celery, chopped
1-14 oz. container of marinated artichoke hearts
1 Tab. Italian herbs, or oregano
1 tea. sage (optional)
1/4 tea. salt
1/4 tea. black  pepper
2 ounces Feta crumbles
1/4 bunch cilantro (or parsley), chopped
2 large eggs
a little less than 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth

Cook onion, garlic and celery in a large pot over a medium flame with olive oil until softened (about five minutes). Turn off the heat. Drain the container of artichoke hearts and save the marinade liquid for later. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped artichoke hearts to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, (sage), salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Add Feta and the Cilantro to the pot along with the dried bread cubes.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the broth and whisk again. Drizzle this mixture over the contents in the pot. Stir until the bread cubes are moistened and everything is evenly mixed. Pour the contents of the pot into a casserole dish coated with non-stick spray. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes to allow the top to get crispy. If you're using the smaller dish (8x8), add about 15 minutes to the covered baking time (40 minutes covered, 25 minutes uncovered).

Cranberry-Orange Relish

This is an oldie but goodie originally on the back of a bag of Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries.


1 (12-ounce) package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 unpeeled orange, cut into eighths and seeded
3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar

Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 3 cups.

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