Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving Favorites + New Recipes for Pumpkin Pie and Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving is a week away!  For all of you hosting or contributing to dinners this year I wanted to share some new favorites and inspiration from past years to help in your planning and preparation.  I spent last weekend trying out a couple new recipes and attempting to land on a winning pumpkin pie recipe.  Sadly, really excellent pumpkin pie has eluded me thus far in life.  I've tried so many recipes over the years and either it doesn't set properly or the flavor isn't quite right, and I just end up being a bit underwhelmed.  It is Jimmy's all time favorite dessert and the star of Thanksgiving dinner for him (for me it's the stuffing and gravy!).  Last year a girlfriend, who knew of my predicament, was kind enough to bring over a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and everyone basically devoured it in 5 minutes.  It had the best flavor of any I had ever tried.  She was generous enough to share the recipe too!   

Now, full disclosure, the day I set out to make her grandmother's pie recipe my food processor died.  So I had to over process the dough and I couldn't perfectly puree the pumpkin and even with that the pies were still pretty outstanding.  I also gave Ina Garten's recipe a try (maybe I had tried it in the past??) and while I loved the consistency and look of her pie, the taste didn't come close.  So, Grandma Eleanor's Pumpkin Pie is our new favorite!  Life is good!!  Thanksgiving will be complete!!

Grandma Eleanor's Pumpkin Pie - makes 2 pies
2 pie crusts (homemade or store bought, my crust recipe follows)
3 cups pureed pumpkin (homemade is best)
2 cups evaporated milk (this stuff kind of grosses me out a bit.  I might tinker with recipe and try heavy cream and whole milk in the future when I have more time)
2 2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 heaping tablespoons Molasses
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs  

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients. Combine the two. 
In a preheated oven bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 50-55 minutes or until center has risen.

My Favorite All Butter Pie Crust Recipe - makes 2
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks), very cold
1 pinch salt
1/2 up ice cold water

Add flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and mix to combine. Then add the cold butter in pieces and pulse until the mixture is crumbly with pea size lumps. Drizzle the ice cold water in slowly as the processor is running - stop when the dough starts to come together in a ball.  You may not use all the water, add more as needed.  Shape dough into a ball and divide in half.  Flatten each into 1 inch disks and cover in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

^^Link to these deconstructed pots of pie I made a few years ago.  The above recipes would work perfectly here too^^

^^Acorn Squash with Grain Stuffing^^

Another new recipe that I tried this weekend is a vegetarian side dish that could do double duty as a fall or winter meal.  It is crazy healthy even if a little time intensive, but really delicious so I will definitely make it again! It's great to make when the weather is dreary outside and you have a weekend day without a whole lot going on.  The actual steps are very simple, just a lot of steps (it's a Martha Recipe after all. haha).  Here is a link to the recipe.  My recipe notes: Roast the acorn squash for 45-50 minutes before stuffing. I also brushed the inside of each with olive oil before adding the seasonings. I think the you could easily sub died cranberries for the topping in place of pomegranate seeds, which I will do next time because not everyone was a fan of the pomegranate.

Links to past Thanksgiving posts here, here, and here.

^^One of my very favorite from a few years back.  I love a "natural runner" and think I'm going this route again this year but with less orange.^^



  1. Everything looks wonderful! I'd love to try the pumpkin pie, among other dishes. Not finding a way to Pin. Am I missing it?

    Jane x

  2. I always love your posts! My family has always had cushaw pie instead of pumpkin. It has a milder flavor and is delicious!! It is cooked on the stove and then poured into a baked crust. Mmmm, already can't wait for it next week. ;)