Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thanksgiving...yes this is late I realize that!

This year for Thanksgiving it was just us three. I was still on maternity leave and Josh got the day off, yay! Knowing we were going to be heading to Colorado in just a week, I didn't want to make too much food. The left overs lasted all week. What great left overs!

Jackson and I were up at the crack of dawn, or an hour or two before that. I love watching the Macy's Day parade every year so we got to do that. I hope to keep this tradition for years with Jackson :)

I didn't want to make too much and what I did make I decided at the last minute to make, minus the ham. For not having all the ingredients, I'd say I did pretty good! This was Jackson's first Thanksgiving, though he probably won't remember it. Next year will be more fun for him.

Here is our day in pictures with a few recipes to follow. I think I need to make a batch of mini pumpkin cheesecakes to keep on hand :)
The appetizer spread: Raspberry jam & Cream cheese; Pesto & goat cheese, Pumpkin Pie Chex mix

Our Thanksgiving Dinner spread of food!

Sweet Potato Casserole

The FAMOUS Cranbery Casserole. Recipe here. This is a Thanksgiving tradition!

Made up my own version of Green Bean Casserole with ingredients I had. A new twist!

Brown sugar glazed ham

And my first attempt at cheesecake. Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake. WOW!!
Little guy was all tuckered out!

And here are a couple of the recipes I used. Definitely going to be making these pumpkin cheesecakes throughout the year!!


Individual Pumpkin Spice Cheesecakes

From Can you stay for dinner?
(recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
makes 12
For Crust:
5 oz graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (3/4 of a stick)
For Filling:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Generously coat each cup of a standard sized muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Grind graham crackers in a food processor. Or, smash in a zip lock bag :) Whisk in spices until evenly combined. Stir in melted butter and press mixture firmly into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, flour, spices, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs and yolk; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over prepared crust.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is just set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. I did these overnight. Worked great!
  6. Garnish the cheesecakes with a generous dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients. Transfer to a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, flour, and butter until moist and the mixture clumps together. Stir in the pecans and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Bake until the top is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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