A Few of our Favorite Things…
Our wonderful Virtual Assistants share their top picks for their Thanksgiving holiday meals. Happy Thanksgiving from My Reliable Admin!
1. Homemade Cranberry Sauce
“Cranberry sauce has always been my favorite because it can mix with anything on your plate and it still tastes good (at least in my opinion!) A homemade version is so much better and way more flavorful than the canned stuff.” - Amy
Prep: 5 Minutes
Cook: 15 Minutes
1 bag (12 Oz. Bag) Cranberries
1 cup Cranberry Juice (or Orange, Apple Or Any Ot¬her Juice Combination)
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup (not Pancake Syrup!)
3 Tablespoons Juice (you Could Also Do Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice – Anything Citrusy)
Wash bag of cranberries under cool water, then dump into a medium saucepan. Pour in 1 cup of cranberry juice (or whatever juice you choose). Pour in 1 cup maple syrup. Add orange juice (you could also do orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice – anything citrusy). Stir together and turn heat on high until it reaches a boil.
Once it comes to a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium low and continue cooking over lower heat for about 10 minutes, or until the juice is thick. Turn off the heat.
2. Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan & Lemon-Mustard Dressing
“My husband and I became such big kale fans that we even had it served as part of the meal at our wedding. Since then, most of our family members have fallen in love with it too. I know that kale is not a typical dish you see at Thanksgiving, but this is one is worth including. There are so many creative ways you can prepare a kale salad, but this recipe goes above and beyond. In fact, if you don't think you like kale salad, I challenge you to give this a try. It's savory, crunchy, and delicious! This is a dish you won't regret eating and it's packed full of tastiness (nutrition).” - Fran
For the Salad
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound Tuscan or curly kale (about 1 large bunch), thick center rib removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano
For the Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Bake the walnuts for 5-8 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them; they burn quickly.
Combine the brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.
Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Add most of the walnuts and cheese, reserving some to garnish the platter, and toss well. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours in the fridge) to allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to soften. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter the remaining walnuts and cheese over top. Serve at room temperature.
3. Grandma's Corn Casserole
“This corn casserole isn't the healthiest recipe but it sure is easy and tasty! The perfect side to go along with those mashed potatoes and gravy. Delish!” -Angie
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 (15.25-oz.) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
1 (14.75-oz.) can cream style sweet corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour into the melted and cooled butter until well incorporated. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and milk. Stir the creamed corn into the butter mixture, along with the drained whole kernel corn. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into an 8"x8" shallow baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the center is set and the corn casserole is brown and caramelized on top. Serve warm.
4. Apple Crumble Pie
“I am a baker at heart, and I absolutely love a good apple/peach pie. Who doesn't love a good dessert, especially at Thanksgiving? I may just have to start a tradition of eating apple pie the day before Thanksgiving to really indulge in the flavors though. This apple crumb pie recipe is simple, and allows the delicious flavor of the apples to stand out (with the absence of a top crust). Even the crust recipe for this pie is fairly easy to tackle with the tutorial/video provided online. This delicious apple pie wins first place in my book, especially with the clever use of brown sugar instead of white to give it more of a caramel flavor - yum!” -Fran
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Yield: 9-inch pie
Pie + Filling
Unbaked pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch pie plate, edges crimped (see note for recipe and tutorial)
6 medium-large crisp, tart/sweet apples (see note for weight), cored, peeled, and sliced evenly about 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup (3.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Refrigerate the pie crust (in the pan) while preparing the filling/topping.
FOR THE APPLE FILLING, in a large bowl, add the sliced apples. Add in the brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir the mixture carefully (to avoid breaking apart the apples) until it is evenly combined. Set aside.
FOR THE CRUMBLE, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the melted butter over the ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until the mixture is crumbly (sometimes I ditch the spoon and get my hands right in there to get it mixed).
Fill the chilled pie crust evenly with the apple mixture – if the apples have released a lot of liquid, do your best to transfer just the apples and thick, sugary mixture to the pie plate and leave most of the thin liquid in the bowl (once the apples are in the pie plate, I drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of leftover liquid over the pie and discard the rest; don’t panic if there isn’t much liquid at all).
Place the pie on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Spread the crumble topping evenly over the top of the apples.
Bake for 45-50 minutes (covering loosely with foil the last 10-15 minutes, if the pie crust or crumble is overly browning) until the filling is hot and bubbling and the crust is evenly browned.
Let the pie cool to room temperature (or just slightly warm) before serving. It will thicken and set up as it cools.