Bree here, from Home Zone Furniture.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is whipping up an extravagant feast for my family on Thanksgiving Day. From the turkey to the sweet potatoes, I find great joy in ushering in the holiday season with traditional family recipes. That being said, cooking the same dishes the same way year after year can get a little dull for you and your guests.
This year, put a fresh spin on classic holiday favorites with a few clever changes and substitutions. After all, Granny’s famous pecan pie could always use a modern reinvention!
Apple Pecan Cornbread Dressing
- 1 9×9-inch pan of cornbread, cooled and crumbled
- 8 oz. herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped apples
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups apple juice
- 3 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish.
In a large bowl, combine the cornbread, stuffing mix, parsley, ginger and salt. Mix in the celery and onion mixture, chopped apple, chopped pecans, apple juice and beaten eggs. Spoon dressing into prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through, and lightly browned on top.
Butternut Squash Gratin
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 4-inch chunks
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese
- 8 oz. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until the onions soften and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the butternut squash and brown sugar. Continue cooking and stirring until the butternut squash begins to brown on the edges, but is still somewhat firm in the center, about 10 minutes more. Scrape the squash into the prepared baking dish, and pour in the chicken broth. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in the preheated oven until the liquid has been absorbed and the squash is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Toss together the Gruyere cheese, Cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, thyme, and rosemary in a bowl until evenly combined. Remove the foil from the baking dish, and sprinkle the squash evenly with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Return to the oven, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes more until the topping is lightly crunchy and brown.
Green Beans with Walnuts
- 2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp walnut oil
- 2 tsp minced fresh parsley
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Place the walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes.
Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse beans with cold water, and drain well. Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Melt butter or margarine with oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add beans and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and parsley and toss. Transfer to bowl and serve.
Ginger Pear Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries
- 1 large pear, peeled and diced
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 oz candied ginger, minced
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 whole star anise pod
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Remove cinnamon stick and star anise. Chill until ready to serve.
Caramel Pecan Pie
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm.