Spicing Up Your Thanksgiving

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2021

The holidays are fast approaching. Halloween is around the corner, and Thanksgiving is close on its heels. If you’re planning to host family or friends for a Thanksgiving feast, it’s never to early to start thinking about ways to spice up your meal to impress your guests with a new recipe.

Cranberry sauce from a can, dumped still shaped onto a plate is definitely a novelty. Why not spice up your Thanksgiving table this year with a simple but delicious alternative to traditional cranberry sauce?

Cranberry Pear Chutney

12 oz cranberries
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 pears, peeled & chopped
2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/8 tsp salt

In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, until the berries have burst (usually 20-25 minutes). The chutney can keep, covered and chilled, for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Green bean casserole is another staple of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Instead of a baked dish with canned onions on top, why not take advantage of fresh ingredients to create a light and tasty green bean dish?

Almond & Onion Green Beans

3 pounds green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tbsp unsalted butter
5 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced thin
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

Fill a large-sided skillet with water to an inch from the top. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add green beans & a pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Return skillet to stove top over medium heat. Add almonds and toast until golden brown, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside. Add butter and olive oil to skillet and heat until melted. Add onions and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until onions caramelize, stirring often. 20-25 min. Add thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add green beans & almonds & toss w/onions.

Of course, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. Give your guests a sweet surprise with this delicious recipe.

Praline Pumpkin Pie

2 pie crusts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp bitters (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1/4 cup milk
1 cup water
4 tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Whipped cream, for garnish

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, bitters and spices in a large bowl. Stir in egg and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add pumpkin and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly (10 minutes). Gradually stir hot pumpkin into sugar mix, then add evaporated milk, milk, and 1 cup water. Set aside, or refrigerate overnight.

Prepare pie crusts and preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine 4 tbsp butter, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, and pecans to create praline mixture. Spread half the praline mixture in each pie crust. Bake until praline is golden brown and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly.

Pour half pumpkin mixture into each crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake until pumpkin is firm and crust is golden brown (about 1 hour). Cool completely before serving with whipped cream garnish.

With these twists on traditional recipes, your Thanksgiving feast is sure to be a hit. Don’t be surprised when your guests start asking for your recipes! Want to upgrade your cooking accessories and dining room decor? Head over to our Shop by Room category to find chic and affordable ways to upgrade your kitchen.

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