Our Family Thanksgiving Menu

For us, Thanksgiving is a special time when we reflect on past traditions, family, friends and how our lives may have changed throughout the year. We are thankful for our health, wonderful husbands, all of our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends & followers.

Our family Thanksgiving menu hasn’t changed much from years past served by our Mother and Grandmother.  Penne Alla Vodka replaced our traditional lasagna or baked ziti to start things off followed by the roasted turkey with sausage stuffing. My family loves the stuffing with chopped apples but Teresa’s family prefers it without…what do they know?🤣

Being of Italian heritage, Thanksgiving wasn’t just about the turkey; the meal also had to have a pasta dish! I always made baked ziti on Thanksgiving and one year Gary picked up the ricotta & mozzarella for me the day before. I didn’t look at the brands because he knew which to buy so when I took out the ingredients to start making the ziti I was shocked as both main ingredients were the right brands but were fat-free instead of whole milk! There was nothing I could do so I went about making the baked ziti with the fat-free ingredients. When we all sat down for dinner, my nephew Joseph said, “Aunt Barb, this isn’t your baked ziti!” The rest of the family agreed with him.  To this day everyone remembers how disappointed they were when the texture they loved was noticeably different. They’re a tough crowd! It was a disaster except for Gary…he ate it with no complaints.

Our family holidays were filled with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends, and FOOD! We hope you will try some of our favorites to add to your holiday menu and create wonderful memories with your families & friends.

  HAPPY THANKSGIVING  🦃 

 

Penne Alla Vodka

Sausage & Herb Stuffing

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli/Spinach Pies

Asparagus Patties

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Orange Relish

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cannoli Cream Filling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Let me start off by saying we love pumpkin! Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin creamer, pumpkin pie, etc. You get the idea. We always have a pumpkin dessert on Thanksgiving and this pumpkin cheesecake is tied with Teresa's Pumpkin Roll for all-time favorite. After having his first piece a good friend of mine said 'OMG! I'm in pumpkin heaven'. If you love pumpkin & cheesecake you're in for a real treat. 😋 😋

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 9-inch springform pan
  • 1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter

Filling: All ingredients should be at room temperature, including the eggs, to properly act as an emulsifier.

  • 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 (15-oz) can pureed pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
  3. Wrap the springform pan in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil to prevent any water from seeping through to the cheesecake.  Set aside.
  4. Crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon.
  5. Add the melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  6. Filling: Beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  7. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk, and spices.
  8. Add the flour and vanilla. Beat together until just combined. Don’t overbeat as it can cause the top to crack in baking.
  9. Pour into graham cracker crust. Spread out evenly.
  10. Before baking run the point of a sharp knife between the cheesecake mixture and the side of the pan about 1/2 to 1-inch down. This will help prevent cracks.
  11. Place the springform pan into a larger pan that contains enough water to go up the sides of the springform about 1-inch.
  12. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and run the point of a sharp knife completely down the sides and around edges. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Notes: For a gluten-free version, substitute all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour and use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.

You can make this 1 or 2 days before and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

This is the perfect dessert with a cup of coffee after a tasty Thanksgiving dinner.  It also makes a great dessert for a Halloween party, just add some black ribbon bats on black wire. No need to wait for a holiday. You can enjoy this delicious dessert all year round.

 

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy

When it comes to side dishes everyone in our family loves creamy mashed potatoes. They are a true comfort food that enhances chicken cutlets, flank steak, meatloaf & so much more. On occasion, we make Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes that are also delicious if you want to step it up a notch. Either way, these mashed potatoes are so creamy and buttery our mouths are watering just writing about them! Enjoy them plain, garnished with some fresh chopped chives or gravy. 😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 2lbs Yukon gold potatoes,  peeled then cut in half and cut in quarters
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt for water
  • 3/4 – 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan filled with water to generously cover the potatoes. Add  1 Tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat & drain well. Place potatoes back into saucepan & return to low heat. Stir potatoes constantly for about 1-2 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes.
  4. Remove potatoes from the heat. Add the butter. Using a handheld masher, mash the butter into the potatoes. Add enough cream & continue mashing until the desired texture is achieved.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste then mash to combine.

Notes:

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Teresa’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roll

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Medium

Teresa has been making this pumpkin roll every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. She adapted it to be gluten-free so Jack could enjoy it on Thanksgiving but honestly, you can't tell the difference! We just love everything pumpkin... 🎃 🎃 including the pumpkin mugs I made in a ceramics class back in 1974. That year I brought them to my parent's house on Thanksgiving Day and was insulted when my Dad said he couldn't drink out of them because his nose 👃🏻 was in the way. Once a year I take them out for Thanksgiving dinner and my Dad is still not allowed to drink from them!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • powdered sugar to spread on a clean dish towel
  • ¾ cups gluten-free flour (King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • Tiny pinch of a smidgen of ground nutmeg (see photo for actual amount)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Filling:

  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Grease a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan; line with parchment paper.
  3. Grease and flour paper; set aside. Arrange clean thin, cotton kitchen towel on counter; sprinkle with powdered sugar making sure the towel is well covered in powdered sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar; beat until thickened. Add pumpkin; beat until well mixed. Stir in flour mixture.
  6. Spread batter evenly int prepared pan. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if using.
  7. Bake 13-15 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; quickly invert onto prepared towel. Remove pan; carefully peel off paper.
  8. Roll up cake in towel while hot, starting with the 10-inch side. Cool completely on wire rack.
  9. Beat the cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.
  10. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake.
  11. Re-roll cake (see video). Using a very sharp knife, trim both ends of the log and discard (or eat) the trimmed pieces.
  12. Wrap in plastic food wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes: Make sure you put enough powdered sugar on the towel before rolling up the cake so it doesn’t stick.

Rolling the cake while hot

Icing & finishing the cake

Recipe adapted from Libby’s

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy

To us, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be complete without candied yams. There are as many different ways to prepare them as there are feathers on a turkey! We always loved our Mom's version; however, we slightly tweaked it through the years to accommodate our family's taste buds. These are sweet, buttery, and melt in your mouth delicious. In our family, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (8 Tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Once melted add the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and maple syrup. Stir & heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla & orange zest. Mix well.
  4. In a 9 x 13 baking dish add the yams & sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Pour the syrup over the yams.
  6. Cover with foil then bake in 375ºF oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from the oven. Spoon the syrup from the pan over the potatoes.
  8. Return pan to the oven UNCOVERED and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Notes: Our Mom always used canned cut yams but believe us when we say it’s worth the extra time to peel and slice fresh sweet potatoes or yams. We can’t always get yams so we use medium-sized sweet potatoes.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

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