More Recipes for the “day before”

Happy Thanksgiving!

All the fixins are purchased, time to start thinking about making the desserts. Husband loves doing the mashed potatoes so that’s HIS dominion (to do – tomorrow). Having fun going over more great sounding recipes and thought I’d better post these ‘just in case’ someone might need a last minute recipe. Here goes:


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Bars

1 C. (2 sticks) butter
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. pumpkin puree
3 1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, room
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking dish with
parchment paper or foil – lightly
spray with nonstick spray.
Using stand or hand mixer, cream
butter & gran. sugar until creamy &
fluffy; add eggs, pumpkin puree &
vanilla – mix until combined. In
separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder
pumpkin pie spice & salt. Gradually
add dry ingredients (about 1 C.
at a time) to wet ingredients, stopping
mixer to scrape down sides of bowl.
Dough will be thick, like brownie batter.
Using a rubber spatula, press dough
evenly into prepared pan. Bake 19-21
minutes until just golden brown. Do
not over cook as bars will become hard
& overly dry (20 minutes seems to be
the ideal time). Remove from oven &
let cool completely before frosting.

Using hand or stand mixer, cream butter &
cream cheese with vanilla. Gradually
begin adding powdered sugar, 1 C. at
a time, stopping mixer to scrape down
bowl. Gradually add in cinnamon then
spread frosting over cooled bars.

For easy cutting, refrigerate bars until just
before cutting & serving. Makes 12 large
bars. Refrigerate any leftovers & to keep
frosting set.


Cranberry Chicken Salad
(can be used as a salad
or appetizer)

3 C. cooked/shredded chicken,

or turkey!
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries
1/3 C. chopped pecans

1 C. mayonnaise
1 T. honey
1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt, to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, to taste

Place chicken, celery, cranberries &
nuts in a bowl. In another small bowl
whisk mayonnaise, honey, vinegar,
salt/pepper – pour over chicken
mixture & mix thoroughly. Taste
& adjust seasonings (IF you are using
a rotisserie chicken or highly
seasoned leftover chicke, taste before
adding any additional salt/pepper to
mixture). Cover & refrigerate several
hours or overnight. Allow to come
to room temperature, adding more
mayonnaise only if needed to
Serve on rolls, bread, crackers,
stuff into a tomato or scoop
over a bed of shredded lettuce.

Sweet Potato Dumplings

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 C.)
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can orange or lemon-lime
soda (like 7 UP, Sprite or Mountain
2/3 C. cooked, mashed sweet
potatoes (about 1 small)
1 T. butter, softened
1/4 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 oz/8 roll) tube crescent rolls
2 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Melt butter with sugar & soda in
a saucepan; simmer until sugar
dissolves. Remove from heat &
let cool. Butter a 8 or 9″ square
baking dish. Mash sweet potatoes,
butter, brown sugar, salt & spice
together. Unwrap crescent rolls
& use a knife to separate into
triangles. Combine sugar &
cinnamon; sprinkle dough
triangles lightly with mixture.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of
filling on large end of rolls; tuck
points over filling & roll, tucking
& stretching, rolling & pinching
dough to form a tight, enclosed
pouch. Place in prepared dish,
tips down. Pour syrup over &
around rolls & sprinkle tops
generously with cinn/sugar
mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes
until heated through & browned.
Let rest 5 minutes then serve
warm, spooning sauce from pan
onto dumplings. Top with a
dollop of whipped cream, if
desired & dust tops with
additional cinnamon sugar,
if desired. Makes 8 dumplings

NOTE: Recipe may be doubled,
using 9 X 13″ pan. If you don’t
have pumpkin pie spice, combine
equal parts cinnamon, ginger &
cloves for a total of 1 teaspoon.
May substitute frozen, thawed
sweet potato/yam patties,
sprinkled with sugar & seasonings
& topped with a thin pat of butter
before rolling up.

To Prepare raw sweet potato:
Boil whole & unpeeled until
tender, about 10 minutes or
puncture with a knife several
times & microwave 4-6 minutes
until cooked through & tender.
OR puncture & roast at 400 degrees F
45-50 minutes until fork tender.

Over-the-top Mac & Cheese

1 (16 oz) pkg. elbow macaroni
1/2 C. shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 C. shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 C. + 1 T. butter, divided
2 C. Half & Half cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. cubed Velveeta processed cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cook macaroni accordg. to pkg
directions. Combine Muenster, Cheddar
& Monterey Jack cheeses in a bowl.
In large saucepan melt 1/2 C. butter
over medium heat. Stir in Half & Half,
eggs, Velveeta, seasonings & 1 1/2
C. cheese mixture. Drain pasta;
add to cheese mixture & stir to coat.
Spray a 2 1/2 qt. baking dish with
nonstick spray & transfer cheese
mixture to pan. Sprinkle top with
remaining cheeses mixture & dot
top with remaining butter. Bake,
uncovered, 40-45 minutes.
Makes 7 servings.

Turkey Gravy

drippings from 1 roast turkey
1/2 – 1 C. turkey or chicken broth
1/4 C. + 1 T. flour
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Pour drippings into a 2-cup
measuring cup; skim & discard
any fat. Add enough broth to
cup to measure 2 cups. Transfer
to a small saucepan & bring to
boil. In small bowl whisk flour
& milk until smooth; gradually
stir into drippings mixture. Stir
in bouillon granules, poultry
seasoning & pepper. Return
to boil, stirring constantly &
cook, stirring, 2 minutes until
thickened. Makes 2 1/3 C.

Best Ever Cranberry Sauce

3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. water
1 (12 oz) pkg. fresh cranberries,
rinsed/picked through
pinch salt
1 stick cinnamon
1 piece orange peel (use a
potato peeler or paring knife)

In large saucepan over medium
heat combine sugar, orange juice
& water – stir to combine. Add
cranberries, salt, cinnamon stick &
orange peel; bring to simmer
stirring frequently. Continue
cooking about 10 minutes until
all or most of cranberries have
popped. Let cool at least 30
minutes. Cover & refrigerate until
ready to use.
Can be made 3 days in advance.
Makes 8 servings


4-Ingredient Cheeseball

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 (1 oz) pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
2 1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans

In medium bowl mash cream cheese; mix
dressing mix & mozz. into cream cheese.
Shape mixture into a ball & roll in
chopped nuts. Refrigerate, covered in
plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

NOTE: once rolled in nuts, wrap in
plastic wrap then you can shape the
ball better.


Crockpot Sweet/Tangy Carrots

12 carrots, peeled/sliced 1/4″ thick
1/3 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Place all ingredients in crockpot; stir
until well combined. Cover & cook on
High 2-3 hours, stirring twice during
cooking process. Carrots are done when
they are tender. Serves 10-12


Pecan Pie Fudge

1 pie crust (store-bought or
3 C. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. pecans, roughly chopped,
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. evaporated milk
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanlla
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a square baking dish with
parchment paper or foil. Unroll
one pie crust & cut out a square the
same size as the baking dish – place
crust in dish then poke all over with
a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes until light
brown; remove from oven & cool
In medium pan over medium-high
heat combine corn syrup, evap.
milk, maple syrup, choc. chips & brown
sugar – mix all together. Once
mixture has melted, stirring
continuously, mix in vanilla & salt.
Pour mixture over crust in pan then
top with chopped nuts, pressing
nuts gently into fudge so they
adhere. Cover with plastic wrap
& refrigerate until set; slice into
squares. Serves 12-16


Easy Coconut Cream Pie

2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. vanilla instant
pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed/
1 C. coconut, divided
1 ready-to-use graham cracker
crumb crust (6 oz)

Beat pudding mixes & milk in large
bowl with whisk 2 minutes; stir in
1 C. Cool Whip & 3/4 C. coconut;
pour into crust. Refrigerate 4
hours until firm. Toast remaining
coconut.* Top pie with remaining
Cool Whip & sprinkle with toasted
coconut. Serves 8

*How to Toast Coconut:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spread coconut onto bottom of
shallow pan. Bake 7-10 minutes
until lightly browned, stirring

(recipe: Kraft recipes)


Hope all of you have a GREAT
Thanksgiving holiday with those
you love.




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. May your holiday be wonderful.

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