The big day is just a week away! While many bloggers are posting a recipe a day, with every dish you need for your Thanksgiving meal, I’ve got to be honest with you: I have a huge fundraising event on Sunday, a final paper due on December 1st, and our shows’ going up on December 12. We currently have half of a set that is 3/4 painted, and are only just beginning to make progress on props and costumes. I am up to my ears in cardboard, feathers, and comparative assessments. If it were left up to me, there would be no Thanksgiving at all this year. I’ve turned most of the responsibility over to M’s mum (which she did suggest before I said anything at all!) She has been gracious enough to host most of my family as well, angel that she is. So I’ll make a batch of cornbread tomorrow to allow it plenty of time to go stale (for my Knockoff Pepperidge Farm’s Stuffing–a must) and I will set aside my paper for long enough on Wednesday to whip up a couple of pies, but that will be the extent of my Thanksgiving contributions.
Luckily, I do have a handful of recipes from seasons past that just might be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Check out below for ideas on stuffings, breads, desserts, and even breakfast for the big day!
My Knockoff Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing will absolutely be gracing our table. It is the closest it could be to the real deal! And, it is totally chill with tasty, extra additions like precooked sausage, cranberries, and chestnuts! Just gently stir right before the stuffing goes into the oven!
How about some French Bread? Perfect as a base to cube for traditional stuffing, or to slice as is for the table.
Popovers are always first in line on our table at any occasion.
This Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffing is chock full of apples, squash, sausage and herbs, and a nice change from traditional bread stuffings.
I am all about my pies at Thanksgiving. This year, I’ll be making Bourbon-Toasted Pecan and an adaptation of Deb Perelman’s Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie. And I’ll be using the Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust for both!
Or how about some Coconut-Pumpkin Custard for a dairy-free dessert option?
Chocolate-Coffee Pots De Creme are surprisingly simple, but make for an elegant (and MAKE-AHEAD) end to the evening.
Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies have all the flavors of Thanksgiving paired with the comfort of chocolatey brownies. The recipe is a cinch to whip up well ahead of the big Turkey day!
These Pumpkin Scones makes the perfect breakfast on a busy Thanksgiving morning. Make ahead and freeze, then thaw for a delicious start to a hectic day!
After a whirlwind, but rejuvenating trip up north for the holidays, I am home and diving back into the swing of things. We are one week out from our first promo event, and two weeks away from the show, which means every spare moment is beginning to fill up with costume-making and set-painting and the countless other tasks, big and small, that must be done by the performance deadline. I feel like I’m constantly adding to one of the half dozen To-Do lists I carry with me: start programs, make microphones, fix splashes (radio plays…live sound effects are fun to watch, but a gargantuan effort to create…). I intended to be pleasantly productive (more blog posts!) while we were in Massachusetts, but it didn’t quite happen. I caught up with cousins, some of whom I haven’t seen in 3+ years, and the rest of my family. I haven’t been to either of my family’s homes in almost two years, and I seem to have forgotten how restorative it can be to visit those old, unchanging homes that carry the ease of familiarity. There is a certain abandon, I think, in the company of cousins and those people you have known for all of your life. Laughter is a little bit less restrained, old jokes and memories are rehashed, arguments are entered into with knowledge that all the same points have been debated before. I got a head start on some Christmas gifts, which with definitely make an appearance on here (as vaguely as possible, in case their recipients wander over onto this blog) since I am trying to have a–mostly–handmade Christmas. What do you think: Kaity Crafts On: Christmas Edition?
And, between the family, the crafts, the parade, and the food, I read. As a child, I powered through a book or more a day, discovering new worlds and stories, and returning to the welcome comfort of reread tales. I read the first three Harry Potter books more than thirty times before the Goblet of Fire was released, until my well-worn copy of the Prisoner of Azkaban fell apart in my hands. Books were my security and my love through high school. With college, homework and rehearsals were soon elbowing out the time for pleasure reading, but I would find myself binging on my breaks. When I graduated, one of my intents was to bring back pleasure reading as a more constant part of my life. I have done well-enough in that aspect–slowly and steadily making my way through a list of talked-about books as well as more random, free nook books that have crossed my path. For a long time, Veronica Roth and her Divergent series have been acclaimed and praised, and the series sat on my “To Read” list for some time. The books sat in my nook library for several months, always pushed off for one reason or another. But on Black Friday, I began Divergent…and plummeted into a book binge that I have not experienced for years. E had finally gotten around to reading the Hunger Games (after I purchased them for her two Christmases ago), so I count myself lucky that my family is quite used to our reading habits and was not offended that the both of us spent the rest of the vacation with our noses in books. Divergent is captivating and incredible (I’m still working my way through Allegiant whenever I have a free moment–no spoilers!), a series that I could praise for a long, long time. But I won’t say any more, beyond advising you to read the series immediately. I’m rather proud that one of my friends immediately picked up the books due to my slightly-rabid social media postings on the topic.
But I didn’t come here to write about books today. I wanted to share brownies with you. The most unassuming of desserts, a good fudgy brownie is one of the best reminders that simple can still be incredible. I know that with the pumpkin explosion in October, we have added pumpkin to everything under the sun, but (a) I like pumpkin and (b) I really like these brownies (and (c) I might have bought the triple pack of pureed pumpkin from Costco). Needless to say, I am not done with pumpkin–and you don’t have to be either! The chocolate flavor still comes through the most in these brownies. The pumpkin-cream-cheese swirl gives a pleasant tang and a wonderful boost in fudge goodness. They are also exceptionally easy to pull together, and can be mixed and in the oven in 10 to 15 minutes. I store them in the fridge due the the dairy content, and they are equally delicious cold or warmed slightly.
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Adapted from Gluten Free Girl
Serves: 24 | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 40 minutes
For the brownie base
- 2/3 c. + 3 Tbsp. teff flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
- 1/3 c. bittersweet chocolate chips + 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
For the Pumpkin Swirl
- 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
- 1/3 c. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 Tbsp. teff flour
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Dash each, cinnamon and nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper, leaving edges to run up the sides. Grease pan and paper well.
Mix dry ingredients for the brownie base. Thoroughly combine teff flour, salt, and cocoa powder in small bowl. Melt 1/3 cup of chocolate chips with butter for 30-second intervals in large bowl in the microwave. Stir well in between microwaving, until the chips are melted. Allow to chocolate-butter mixture to cool. Stir in sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs, mixing thoroughly after each ingredient. Add dry ingredients and stir well.
In small bowl, combine pumpkin puree, softened cream cheese, egg, and lemon juice. Mix well. Add in teff flour, spices, and sugar and mix until combined.
Pour about 1/2-3/4 of the brownie base mixture into prepared pan. Spread evenly. Drop spoonfuls of pumpkin mixture in equal intervals over top. Spoon remaining brownie base mix into intervals between pumpkin mixture. Run a clean butter knife in diagonal swirls from one corner of the pan to the opposite corner. Repeat with other corners to create a diagonal, cross-hatched pattern. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean.
Fall is my favorite season. By August, I’m done with sweltering heat, longing for cool breezes, jeans, boots, and sweaters. I will always choose a hot drink over something iced, which can be slightly difficult on summer mornings when the last thing I need is any more cause for rising temperatures. But I can’t help it. Hot coffee is so much better than iced. I am also utterly in love with fall flavors. Squash, apples, slow-simmered soups, tender braised meat, and the wonderful mix of spices that accompany the season. There’s another fact: I will always pick herbs and spices or fruity or sweet flavors. Non-mint candy canes are an abomination. Fruit-flavored gumdrops, a disappointment.
What was equally a disappointment was that we were halfway through October and I had yet to make anything with pumpkin in it. I know, it’s a craze, but it’s one in which I wholeheartedly take part. As of October 20th, the closest brush I’d had was a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte. (Yes, this post is a long time coming.) So, when I found myself with close to an entire day off, in addition to making a shawarma-inspired meal to last all week, I dug out my pumpkin and set to work adapting Karina’s pumpkin scones. Before I swore off gluten, especially in my junior year of college when a Starbucks opened on campus and ran 24 hours a day through weekends and finals weeks, Starbucks’ pumpkin scones were a veritable treasure. You had to be there when they were stocked for a chance to grab one.
After going gluten-free, these were a seasonal longing, filed away and forgotten all summer until I would spy the first batch laid out in the pastry case window. Te spicy, sweet support for the wonderful pumpkin flavor has been elusive, but now, after seeing several gluten-full copycat versions on Pinterest, I went in search of a gluten-free version to start from. I’ve had very little experience with scones. Luckily, Karina was there to rescue me. I love that her version starts with sorghum and millet flour, both hearty and whole-grained. I, obviously, have de-veganified her recipe and fiddled with some spices and flavorings, as well as mixing up my own version of glaze.
If you are looking for a vegan recipe, or to sub out a particular additional allergen (milk, eggs, etc) I would highly recommend jumping over to her recipe.
Gluten-Free (& Whole Grain) Pumpkin Scones (copycat recipe)
For the Scones
- 1 cup (sweet, white) sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup millet flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 5 Tbsp dark brown sugar (packed)
- 7 Tbsp butter (cold)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure you get plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 extra-large egg
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp buttermilk
For the base icing
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
For the spiced icing
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch each: nutmeg, ginger, cloves
- 2 tsp whipping cream, half&half, or milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ pie plate or a 9×9 pan and line with parchment paper. Mix all the dry ingredients (flours, spices, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and sugar) in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add diced cubes of butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, two butter knives, or press and break cubes with your fingers until the mixture looks like cornmeal (I favor the hand method, since I do not have a pastry cutter). Add the wet ingredients (pumpkin, egg, buttermilk, and maple syrup). Beat the mixture until it begins to hold together in a mass. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Spread the dough into prepared pan (I used a square pan to make mini scones). With a sharp knife, cut into four even squares, and cut each of those squares into four triangles. If using a pie pan, cut into 6 sections for large scones. Brush the tops with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the tops are beginning to brown. Halfway through, I ran my knife along the seams again, as the scones were rising and blending together. Allow to cool before removing from pan.
When scones have cooled, mix the two separate icings. The base icing should be liquid enough to be brushed or poured onto the scones. The spiced icing can be drizzled from a fork or place into a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off to be piped on. Allow icing to set. Store leftovers in refrigerator.