Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Giving Thanks

22 Nov

Thank you to all of our readers, followers, friends and family for your continued support and encouragement! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of love and turkey too! Cheers to you!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

We hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! Looking forward to leftovers and shopping! Can you believe Christmas will be here before we know it? Anyone planning on braving the Black Friday sales? If you are…Good Luck and hope you score some good loot! Cheers!

Pumpkin Dump Cake

23 Nov

Recently, while on a trip to my grandma’s house, I acquired MANY cans of evaporated milk. My grandma often supplies us grandkids with random pantry items as parting gifts. I can never tell what I’ll leave home with! I have received, oranges, pomegranates, coffee creamers, gift bags, sewing items, water bottles. She told me, “I know you’ll do something with these.” Well Grandma, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I have used on can, of the many, to make Pumpkin Dump Cake.

I discovered this great desert idea while scouring Pinterest. I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything and immediately “pinned” this. I followed this recipe here, by Cookies & Cups. There are many reasons that I love the concept of the dump cake.

1- very easy to make (little prep time)

2- I had almost all of the ingredients in my pantry

3- It’s kid friendly (if you like help in the kitchen)

4- Did I mention how easy it was?

I mixed together a can of pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and spice in one bowl. Next, pour into a prepared (with PAM) 9×13 dish. Top the batter with a box of yellow cake mix (sprinkled evenly) and chopped pecans. Lastly, a step only Paula Deen would approve of, evenly pour 1 cup (2 sticks) of melted butter all over the top! Check out the full recipe from Cookies & Cups… such a great idea!

While I don’t think this would replace anyones tradition of Pumpkin Pie on Thanksgiving, share the love at a work pot luck!

Scrumptious Side Dish

22 Nov

I know most people HATE brussels sprouts…I hope you try this and change your mind! I saw this recipe on Pinterest, it originated from Eat Live Run. I thought that I’d try something different. Typically I roast them by taking the brussels sprouts, toss them in a little bit of olive oil, spread them out on a baking pan, add a dash of salt and pepper. I stick them into a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking them occasionally. I love to simply roast veggies, cauliflower is my favorite to roast!

I made Carmelized Brussels Sprouts as a side dish for dinner tonight. I try to change up the way we eat vegetables, mostly for the kids, because I like to try new things with some of my favorite foods. The recipe was easy to follow, I was able to prep and cook dinner ALONE with both kids! That alone tells you how easy it is! The dish was light, crisp and slightly sweet. I prepared porkchops as the main dish. The porkchops made a nice contrast to the sprouts. I would try this recipe again… maybe even add it as a Thanksgiving side dish?!

How do you take your brussels sprouts?

After seeing this recipe pinned, I wanted to try it out! Brussels Sprouts also make a great side dish to turkey!

Pecan Pie…with a twist

21 Nov

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. There are so many reasons for me to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for my family, our health, my job, and so much more! What are you thankful for this year?  
I can’t wait for Thursday! My In-laws make the best Thanksgiving dinner. There is always one complaint from my husband, never about the dinner…just dessert. Traditionally, we always have apple pie and pumpkin pie, no complaints here because I love both! My husbands favorite pie is pecan pie and every year I make him his own pie for Thanksgiving.  

I have made many different recipes for pecan pie. I tried traditional pecan pie, Paula Deen’s bourbon pecan pie…each tastes great! I recently found a recipe that may be the best yet! Bourbon, Chocolate & Walnut Pecan Pie and the recipe was right under my nose, in my cookbook, “It’s all American Food” by David Rosengarten. 

It’s rich and delicious! What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?  


I Am Thankful For…Chocolate!

24 Nov

A Heath bar is one of my favorite candies. While it is pretty convenient to run to your local grocery store to purchase one (or three), it is definitely more gratifying to make your own. This super simple candy is not only easy to make but it looks great too and it is just begging to be gifted…possibly to your Thanksgiving hostess….

I contemplated eating all of it for dinner tonight, but thought it better to bring it along as we make our rounds tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I know what you’re thinking…candy at Thanksgiving?!  I for one am definitely thankful for chocolate and believe that it should have a place at the Thanksgiving table…in any form!  Try it out!  You can make a million different variations.

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 package of saltine crackers
1 package of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 package of your favorite nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  In a saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar.  As that is melting, arrange the saltines on a jelly roll pan in a single layer.  Bring the butter and sugar mixture to a boil and remove from heat.  Pour the butter over the crackers gently, being careful not to let the butter move the crackers around.  Using a spatula, spread it out if needed so that everything is well coated.  Bake for 5 minutes.  While that is baking, melt your chocolate chips, either via double boiler, or in the microwave on 50% stirring every minute until melted.  Remove the pan from the oven and pour the chocolate on top, gently spreading to cover everything.  Top with the nuts and press into the chocolate.  Refrigerate to harden.  Once fully hardened, break it into pieces and store in an air tight container with a layer of wax paper or parchment paper in between.

This is so simple and when placed in a beautiful tin or other festive container, would make a tasty gift!

Happy Turkey Day!

A Praline Disaster

22 Nov

For our annual International Thanksgiving Party, I contributed desserts. I made the classic pumpkin whoopie pies, but I wanted to try out a new recipe that my friend Betty Crocker gave me. It sounded great on paper–pumpkin cake, praline topping, pecans, and doctored up cream cheese frosting–how could it go wrong?

I have myself to blame. I was running late, as usual. After baking the whoopie pies I realized that I did not have any cupcake papers for the season. I ran down the street to my local Michaels. They were, of course, totally cleaned out of all Thanksgiving decorations. I settled on gold. At that disappointing moment, all of San Diego descended upon my Michaels. I waiting another 10 minutes in line to pay for my second choice cupcake papers.

By the time I got home, I had thirty minutes to finish my cake, put the whoopie pies together and get myself together. An impossible feat.

The whoopie pies are so simple and travel really really well so they were not the problem. My praline pumpkin cake, however, was a different story.

Sadly, this is my praline pumpkin cake’s finest moment. In a flurry of activity I frosted and boxed the cake before it had completely cooled. In the 5 minutes it takes to get to Summer’s house from mine, the frosting had melted and the top layer of cake had fallen off and broken into several pieces.

When we arrived I was informed that I also looked as if my top layer had fallen off and broken into several pieces (thanks, Summer).

We were able to salvage some of the cake by cutting it into bite-sized pieces and serving them on a cute dish.

If its true that it’s what’s on the inside that counts then this recipe is a winner. It tastes warm and gooey. The pumpkin flavor of the cake was just enough and it was ultra-moist. The praline was sweet and crunchy, and adding the pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese frosting was just genius!

I would call this attempt a disaster, but I would definitely try this recipe again…when I have a little more time on my hands!

The Cheesecake Chronicles: Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

7 Nov

As I’ve pointed out before, I am an almost-homemade kind of girl. I love finding recipes that call for regular ingredients that are easily found at my local grocery store. Even more, I love finding recipes that offer short cuts!

I am not quite as ambitious as my dear cousin, Caasi. I used a ready-made graham pie crust for my no-bake recipe.

1/2 8oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1tbsp milk
1tbsp sugar
1 8 oz. tub of thawed whipped topping
1 graham pie crust
1 cup milk
1  15oz can pumpkin
2  4 serving vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves


First mix the cream cheese, 1 tbsp. of milk, and sugar with a wire whisk until its well blended.  Then very gently stir in half of the whipped topping.  This will make up the cream cheese layer of your double layer pumpkin pie.  Spread into the crust. 

Then mix 1 cup of milk in a large bowl with the pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices.  Again, beat with a wire whisk until its well blended.  Spread this pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese mixture. 

Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours until it sets.  When you serve it, top it with a dollop of the remaining whipped topping.

I’m not really a big cheesecake person, so this recipe is perfect for me.  The cheesecake taste is subtle in comparison to the pumpkin.  My better half, however, LOVES cheesecake so this was not quite enough for him.  But luckily he also loves pumpkin pie so it wasn’t totally wasted on him.

The Cheesecake Chronicles: Pumpkin Cheesecake

5 Nov

9:34pm: Okay so we at Whoopie Cookie decided to have a Pumpkin Cheesecake “Throwdown” (a la Bobby Flay on The Food Network). I was coming off a great cheesecake victory! My first ever and it was spectacular! Being that it’s Fall and the fact that I have a pumpkin food fetish, I decided to try cheesecake of the pumpkin variety.

The night started out great. I made the crust faster and with more confidence than the first time I battled cheesecake. I was feeling like a pro. In the oven it went and onto blending up the filling. Ugh… the filling. I let the cream cheese soften a little too much. It was kind of runny instead of creamy and I hadn’t even added the last ingredient, eggs. I decided to give it 5 minutes in the refrigerator to set… disaster averted. I returned the mixing bowl to my stand mixer, I was locked and loaded. Speed low, I added egg number one, threw away the shell… egg two next. Egg two cracked, into the mixing bowl…with half the shell that slipped its slimy way out! Oh no! I’m trying to stop the mixer before the shell was in a million pieces… but I turn the speed the wrong way- into hyper mode!! What the?!?! I finally got it stopped. I removed the bowl from the mixer and fished out the egg shell. Thankfully, it only broke into 2 halves. I stuck both hands in feeling for shell, I was a little happy to feel how silky smooth the filling was. I guess you call that the silver lining? I dodged, so far, two potential cheesecake disasters! I pour the mixture into the crust (now out of the oven). Perfection! I carry the tray gently to the oven and place it on the rack. I slide the tray and it gets stuck for a second… just enough time for the filling to cover the crust on the backside! (Insert expletive here…)! I shut the oven door and start to laugh… now I know what Julie Powell felt like while she was on her mission to complete the Julie/Julia Project! I know cheesecake is no Beef Bourguignon or boning a duck… to me, it feels pretty close! 35 minutes left until cooling time…

10:32pm: The cheese cake is out. I prepared the sour cream topping. I know it sounds gross, but it’s a mixture with sugar and vanilla so it’s actually good! I spread that on top and I have five more minutes until cooling time! By the way… it smell delicious! Who cares what it looks like, as long as it tastes good, right?

10:45pm: Waiting 45 minutes for cooling in the pan. If I can get past the removing of the springform side…

11:26pm: Only one more hour of cooling, now that the pan sides are off. Then I get to go to bed. It seems as though I may have pulled this off! Can’t wait to try a slice tomorrow… and Laura- if you are reading this- I am 99% sure I got all the egg-shell out! I’ll see you tonight! 😉

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

22 Oct


This weekend is the annual Fall Festival at my son’s school.  They ask that the parents help in whatever capacity they are able.  Can you guess what I volunteered for?

I’ve been making pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting for Thanksgiving for years.  When trying to choose which baked goods in my arsenal I would donate to the Fall Festival, whoopie pies were an obvious choice.  I think they are great for functions like this where people may not be able to sit down while they eat. 

As I dropped them off this morning the mothers in charge of the “Sugar Shack” at the fair noted how fragrant they were.  I suspect that if the house is still filled that warm yummy pumpkin aroma by the time I get home tonight I might just have to bake another batch to keep!

For this batch I used the pumpkin whoopie pie recipe from my new go-to baking bible “Whoopie Pies” by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.  For the frosting filling I used cream cheese frosting from the grocery store.  Hey, don’t judge me!  Mostly homemade is the best I can do with two kids and a full-time job!

We are headed to the Fall Festival tonight.  I am eager to see how they sell.  I hope they go for at least two tickets each!  I think they’re worth it!!