Monday, November 26, 2012

My Favorite Thanksgiving

We had an awesome Thanksgiving this year! Although there was no chicken slaughtering this year, a Pittsburgh tradition with our friend Nathaniel, we enjoyed another fabulous spread with my family!

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes this year-

Arugula Salad with Caramelized Figs and Toasted Pepitas, published is the
Market District November 2012 newsletter

12 dried figs, quartered
¼ cup sweet red wine such as Chianti or Port
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup Market District™ fig-infused white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. Market District™
Arbequina or Picual extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
5 oz. Natures Basket™ baby arugula
⅓ cup roasted pepitas

⅓ cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese

Preheat oven 400˚F. Place figs in a microwave safe bowl and add about 1½ cups water. Microwave for 2-3 minutes; let sit for 3 minutes to soften. Drain well and transfer to a medium baking dish. Add wine, sugar and thyme; mix well to coat. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring once, until caramelized. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, shallot and vinegar; add oil in a slow steam, whisking briskly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place arugula on a serving platter and arrange caramelized figs over top. Sprinkle salad with pepitas and cheese; drizzle dressing over top or serve on the side. Makes 6 servings based on 1 heaping cup of salad.

Nutritional Information (Per serving):
Calories 230, Fat 13g, Sat Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 230mg, Total Carbohydrate 23g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 17g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 10%, Iron 8%

The salad was a hit! I used mixed greens instead of Arugula this time-nice mild lettuce is usually a hit with the younger ones.

That is little jar is the Market District Cranberry Orange Sauce- My baby! also featured in MD Newsletter above (with recipes!!) 
My beautiful mom Fanny and cousin Maggie
Side Dishes: Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, Grilled Corn and Glazed Ham of course!

Apple Blackberry Pie- Yup, that's a homemade crust.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Cookie Crust and Cinnamon Cream-to be featured in a GE publication next year!

For the crust
10 oz. ginger cookies such as ginger snaps (about 70),
plus more for garnish, optional
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
For the cheesecake

4 8-oz. packages Giant Eagle cream cheese, room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. Giant Eagle vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
¼ tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. Market District pumpkin pie spice
For the Cinnamon Cream

¾ cup Giant Eagle heavy cream
3 Tbsp. Giant Eagle powdered sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon plus more for dusting

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place cookies in a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add butter and pulse a few more times to combine. Press mixture evenly into a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven to 325

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and flour. Add vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Pour ½ of the batter over baked crust. Add pumpkin puree and spice to remaining batter in bowl and mix well. Pour mixture over plain filling and smooth with a knife.
Bake for 55 minutes, until center is just set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack; run a paring knife along the sides of the cake to loosen edges; this will help prevent cracking while cooling. Cool on rack for about 1 hour. Next, loosely cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Just before serving, whip heavy cream with sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes. Remove cake from pan and spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled cheesecake. Lightly dust with cinnamon and garnish with additional ginger cookies of desired.

Nutritional Information (Per serving):
Calories 450, Fat 31g, Sat. Fat 18g, Trans Fat 10g, Cholesterol 135mg, Sodium 290mg, Total Carbohydrate 36g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 28g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 45%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 10%, Iron 6%

Garlic-mostly whole wheat monkey pull apart bread! Homemade gravy too.
This thanksgiving, Chris and I had something extra wonderful to be thankful for;)! A huge thanks to the family for driving out from Virginia to share this special day:)

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