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Got a hankering for cheesecake and chocolate chips and cookie dough and squares? Do I have a fabulous recipe for you! Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake squares are the ultimate in desserts – gooey and crunchy and soft and moreish and more!

via Cookie dough chocolate chip cheesecake squares — the hungry mum

 

Since I made this the first time a couple of years ago, this easy spinach dip is my go to for large gatherings!

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2 bags spinach, chopped
2 c. shredded cheese (I used 6 Italian)
2 blocks cream cheese, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

Artichoke hearts and chopped cooked bacon – optional

Place spinach in crock pot and chop with kitchen shears.

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Combine/toss remaining ingredients in crock pot with spinach. The mixture will be dry and salad like.

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Cover and cook on low 1 1/2 hours. Stir to combine.

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Cook another 1 to 2 hours.

Pumpkin Custard Pie

I love pumpkin pie, but I’ve been craving a good old fashioned egg custard pie.  I’ve decided to combine the two.

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves on lowest speed. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla, evaporated milk, orange peel, and egg whites.
  3. Beat with electric mixer until nice and smooth. Fold in the rum.
  4.  Pour into prepared 9-inch, deep dish, unbaked pie crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F and bake for 45 minutes more or until knife inserted in the filling comes out clean.

Donnie is going to make a pecan pie.  This is actually a picture of one Molly made a few years back that had chocolate chips along the bottom of the crust.  We’ll see if he wants to add chocolate into his.

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1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter (regular, salted)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 heaping cup chopped pecans

Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Bake pie at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans and crust.

I’m also going to make my mom’s famous apple cake for Thanksgiving.  This time, though, I will add some dried cranberries and pistachios in with the apples to give it some pizzazz.  The two cakes can bake side by side.  While they are baking, Donnie and I will be making pies, too.

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3              C. flour

2              C. sugar

1              C. oil

4              Unbeaten eggs

½             tsp. salt

7              Tbsp. orange juice

2 ½         tsp. vanilla

3              tsp. baking powder

Combine cake ingredients.

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Filling:

Mix together 4 to 5 (or more!) sliced peeled apples, 2 tsp. cinnamon and ¼ C. sugar.

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Pour half of dough into 13 x 9 dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Layer apples over dough

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and top with remaining dough.

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350° oven 60 minutes until golden.

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Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with whipped cream, and serve!

 

We are going to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving.  I’m bringing a Pumpkin Pie Cake and other desserts and am making my famous crock pot spinach dip.

I’ve never made the Pumpkin Pie Cake, so the picture is from Allrecipes.com.

pumpkin-pie-cake

(Picture from ChristyJ on Allrecipes.com)

I’m adapting the recipe to fit what I have on hand.  Some recipes say to use evaporated milk.  The original recipe called for yellow cake mix.

1 29 oz. can pumpkin

4 eggs

1 c. milk

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. salt

1 box butter pecan cake mix

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. melted butter

Mix first 6 ingredients and pour into 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with baking spray.

Sprinkle dry cake mix.

Drizzle with butter.

Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake at 350 F for one hour.

Top with whipped cream.

 

I was sad to learn that some dear friends who are invited to our family Thanksgiving dinner aren’t going to be able to make it this year.  An amazing, any turkey for $6.00 sale intervened and made an early Thanksgiving just for them possible!

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The cranberries are simmering in an orange juice concoction.  No more can shaped cranberry sauce for me, since my daughter, Molly, showed me how incredibly easy it is to make homemade cranberry sauce!

2 bags fresh cranberries

1 c. orange juice

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning

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I baked the 18 lb. turkey using the inject able butter marinade from Tony’s since it was buy one get one free at the local market.  I also filled the cavity with onions and seasoned the top with some great Tuscan rub I picked up somewhere along the way.

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The turkey was frozen, and I needed it defrosted as quickly as possible.  The good old Butterball site, and Martha Stewart, etc. etc. all show two safe methods of defrosting.  The easiest being defrosting in the refrigerator, but I didn’t have 3-4 days, I had one.  I did the water defrost method, which involved immersing the frozen turkey in water in a cooler, and changing out the water every 30 minutes or so.  It defrosted in less than 9 hours, the time they recommended.

I made mashed potatoes ahead of time, so as not to have to cook in front of everybody.  I adapted a recipe from Ree Drummond.

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5 lb. russet potatoes

1 block cream cheese

8 oz. sour cream

1 1/2 sticks butter

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut up and boil potatoes.  No peeling necessary, just a good scrub on the skin!

Mash and add in cream cheese, sour cream, and one stick of the butter.   Season to taste.

Spread into a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate up to overnight.  Bring to room temperature before baking.  Top with remaining 1/2 stick butter cut up into little pieces.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

We had gravy we didn’t even need.  These potatoes stand alone!

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I roasted some shaved brussel sprouts in the oven with the potatoes.  I tossed the shaved sprouts with olive oil, seasoned salt and a little pepper, and let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a few hours before roasting them.  I don’t even usually like brussel sprouts, but these were delicious.

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My guests brought a yummy salad to top off the meal.  I did take a picture of my plate, but my camera has been acting up lately and I lost that shot and the one of the turkey before it was carved.

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We had a nice red blend with it, which was on sale at my local market with a BOGO deal.  Two bottles for $19.99.  So smooth and good enough to buy again for Thanksgiving!

We had an ice cream cake planned for dessert, which has been in the freezer since my son Elliot’s 25 birthday on the 10th, but he didn’t make it home in time, so thank goodness it’s an ice cream cake.

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Above is a picture of a breakfast I have made countless times and have enjoyed on holiday mornings and ordinary mornings.  The key is to pick the most delicious apples, of course.  Today’s dumplings were made with HUGE golden delicious apples that made me think of my Dad.  He always ate golden delicious.  Softer skin.  Easier on his teeth.  But also, so darn amazing and flavorful.

I also like that they now have a honey butter variety of the crescent dough.  The extra honey in the dough really adds another layer of flavor.

2 apples, cored and cut into 8ths.

2 tubes crescent dough (I used honey butter)

4 eggs

1 C. milk, creamer, creamer, half and half, or any combination thereof.  (I used Cilifia Farms Coconut Almond Blend with no added sugar)

1/2 c. raw sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

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First you prepare a 13 x 9 baking dish by spraying it with coconut oil and preheat the oven to 375F.

Cut two apples into 8 wedges each.

Wrap apple wedges in crescent dough and place in baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Mix together eggs, milk/cream mixture, sugar, and vanilla.  (custard)

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Pour custard carefully over crescent wrapped apple wedges.

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I serve this topped with vanilla yogurt.  You can sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, ginger, or cloves.  You could sprinkle nuts on top before baking the custard.

 

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This is a great choice for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!  It makes the whole house smell delicious!

20 slices Pepperidge Farm pumpkin spice swirl bread (perfect for holiday breakfasts!)

2 blocks Neufchatel cheese, softened

½ c. sugar or other sweetener.

12 eggs

2 c. milk

1 c. pumpkin butter (I used Kauffman’s – tastes like pumpkin pie!)

Pan spray

This recipe makes 10 large portions.  Leftovers don’t last long, though!

I love when a new flavor of swirl bread appears.  It means another variation on the cheese stuffed French toast my kids love so much.

Mix softened cream cheese and sugar.

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Spray 2 baking dishes (13 x 9).  Place bread in dishes to adjust fit.

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Spread all 20 slices of bread with cream cheese mixture.

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Top each bottom slice with pumpkin butter.

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Place top slice on each portion.

Whisk eggs and milk.

Pour slowly, evenly over bread, being careful not to leave any dry spots.

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Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

No syrup or topping required.  You can top with powdered sugar for appearance, but it is sweet enough without.

Once it has cooled, I place it in a tupperware and everyone eats it as they get up.  No need to reheat.  It’s delicious cold too!

All I can say is YUMMMM.

 

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