All the right stuff for a Thansgiving meal
Thanksgiving is a day full of traditions that I cherish. From the traditional turkey menu, the gathering of family and friends joining together and giving thanks for all of life’s many blessings, to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I love it all. This week I am sharing a wonderful make ahead recipe for mashed potatoes, tasty gravy and Pumpkin Cheesecake. May your Thanksgiving celebration be a day full of joy, love and happiness!!!
■ Turkey Gravy
● 2 (1.2-ounce) packages turkey gravy mix
● 2 cups water
● 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
● 2 cups turkey pan drippings
● Salt and pepper to taste
Place the turkey gravy mix and flour into a saucepan and gradually whisk in water, then turkey drippings until the mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer the gravy until thickened; about 10 minutes.
You can make these ahead a day or two and store in the fridge. If baking cold, let stand at least 30 minutes.
Serving size: 12
● 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
● 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese
● 8 ounces sour cream
● 1/2 cup milk
● 2 teaspoons onion salt
● Ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix mashed potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, onion salt and pepper. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Cover and bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven.
■ Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serving size: 12
● 1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
● 1/4 cup sugar
● 1/3 cup butter, melted
● 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
● 1 cup brown sugar, packed
● 1 can pumpkin
● 2 tablespoons cornstarch
● 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
● 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
● 5 ounces evaporated milk
● 2 eggs
● 2 cups sour cream
● 1/3 cup sugar
● 1 teaspoon vanilla
● Additional ground cinnamon
In a bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for five to seven minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Gradually beat in milk and eggs just until blended. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla; spread over filling. Bake five minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool for one hour longer. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Refrigerate leftovers.
■ FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Joy and happiness is not in things, it is in us.
■ GARY’S TIP: To keep marshmallows from drying out, store in the freezer. Also makes cutting them easier without the shears getting stuck.