2 Easy Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving RecipesFor those of you who are working right up until the Holidays- I sympathize. For those of you who work retail, hospital shifts, night jobs, or more than one job- I really sympathize.

If you’re a working foodie- this time of year can be really tough to channel your inner Kitchen Diva, work, be attentive to family and friends, and take care of yourself… I know. I’m right there in the trenches with you this year… Happily, sales of my GF Pie Crust are out of control…I’m excited…but that also leaves little time for much else..blogging? Recipe development? Photography? Housecleaning??!!!?? Thankfully (or not-so-thankfully, depending on how you look at it) a malfunctioning mixer and a delay in an ingredient order left me with time to catch up on some much needed kitchen activity.

I am not hosting dinner this year..But, I still intend to eat well with a few friends and play in someone else’s kitchen. What’s on our menu? Easy stuff. Stuff I’m making tomorrow with the Kitchen Divas in Training so I can sleep in on Turkey Day and loll about in my pajamas taking in the Macy’s Parade with the girls while sipping a mimosa and enjoying a gluten-free scone! So what’s on the dinner menu??

  • Duck Confit (already made, you can check out the pics on our Facebook Page)
  • Smoked Chicken Liver Pate w/ Gluten Free Baguettes
  • Baby potatoes roasted in duck fat and truffle salt (pop in the oven at 400 and cook stirring occasionally until done)
  • Fresh Cranberry Pear Salad (Recipe Below- only 20 min to make and seriously delicious)
  • Roasted Brussels (Check out our Adventuresome Kitchen Recipe with Mint Sauce)
  • Roast Duck or Goose (we’re channeling our Pilgrim roots and dispensing with the Turkey (but I’m not making that!!)
  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie (Easy, No Bake, and all the Pumpkin Pie Flavors you love- Recipe Below)

Now that might seem pretty ambitious to some of you- but here’s the deal: With the exception of the baguettes which are a little more involved, everything else listed above is 10-15 minutes of prep and into the oven, or can be completely made in 20 minutes or less… My kind of food these days.. All of it can be made now or on Thanksgiving and still taste great.  My point? Even if you’re crazy busy this year and the thought of cooking makes you want to take a nap…pick one or two fast, easy recipes and eat well. Your tastebuds will be the first to Thank you!!

20 Minute Cranberry Pear Salad

20 Minute Cranberry Pear Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz package of fresh cranberries (use more if you like)
  • 25 oz jar or can of pear halves in juice (if you can only find pears in syrup, omit the sugar and add as needed)
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1/4-1/3 cup white sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 4-6 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place cranberries in a small pot with a lid
  2. Drain pear juice into pot with cranberries (there will be a lot of juice- that's okay)
  3. Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop and soften- about 10 minutes
  4. While the berries are cooking:
  5. Chop pears into small pieces- roughly 1/2 inch square
  6. Add to a medium bowl
  7. Finely dice fennel bulb and add to bowl
  8. When the berries are done:
  9. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the berries from the liquid and add to the mixing bowl
  10. Gently toss
  11. Add 1/4-1/3 cup of sugar to the remaining liquid in the pot (this really depends on your preference for sweet. We went with a 1/4 cup)
  12. Bring liquid to a boil and allow to reduce by 1/2
  13. Pull from the heat and allow to cool
  14. Pour over salad mixture and gently mix
  15. Refrigerate up to a week
  16. When you're ready to serve:
  17. Place salad in a serving bowl, add fresh mint, toss gently and serve
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No Bake Gluten Free Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

No Bake Gluten Free Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients

    For Ice Cream
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 quart eggnog
  • 1 cup sour cream (DON'T Skimp- use the full fat!!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 tbs Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 baked pieshell (could be cracker crust, or pre-baked pie crust. We used Grama's Pie Crust Plus with 2 TBS sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon & 1 tsp allspice)
  • For Topping
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • For Maple Bourbon Whipped Cream
  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbs Maple Sugar
  • 2 tbs bourbon

Instructions

    To Make the Ice Cream
  1. In a large bowl (preferably with a spout), mix pumpkin, sour cream, sugar and spices
  2. Slowly add eggnog, stirring constantly
  3. Adjust seasonings if you desire
  4. Pour contents into an ice-cream maker and follow directions for your appliance. (If you don't have an ice cream maker, freeze for 30 minutes, then pour into pie shell
  5. You will have extra ice cream to enjoy later!!
  6. To make the nut topping
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and add nuts
  8. sprinkle nuts with sugar and spices
  9. Cook for 15 minutes at 375- stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and you can smell the spices
  10. Set aside to cool
  11. To make the whipped topping
  12. Add sugar and bourbon to heavy cream, whip per directions, refrigerate
  13. To Build Pie
  14. When Ice Cream is ready (ie it is soft enough to work with), spoon it into the pie shell (if you made the ice cream above, you will have extra)
  15. Top with nut mixture and freeze at least 2 hours- you want the ice cream to be hard when you serve it.
  16. Garnish with Maple Bourbon Whipped cream and grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top.
  17. Enjoy- and don't forget to put the pie back in the freezer!!
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Comments

  1. says

    Great recipes! And I’m so happy to hear that things are going so well with your mixes! Yay yay yay! The ice cream pie is calling my name…it’s Ryan’s favorite type of dessert (he loves ice cream) and I’m a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Clearly a winner for us!

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