Thanksgiving podcast appearance!

Winter Squashes - butternut, kabucha, pumpkin & golden nugget

Today at noon, I’ll be a guest on Wiseheart Woman’s blogtalkradio podcast. The host, Lisa Capehart and I will be talking about “New Healthy” alternatives to Thanksgiving food favorites.

“New Healthy” Food Ideas for Thanksgiving Podcast

Go to Wiseheart Woman’s blogtalkradio site to listen LIVE at noon EST on Monday, November 18th or to hear the archived broadcast when you get a chance. 

UPDATED: Here is the link to the archived show:
Wiseheart Woman blogtalkradio The “New Healthy” Thanksgiving 

Here are links to my blog posts about each of our discussion topics:
– Thanksgiving cocktails
– Fresh Green Bean Casserole from scratch
– Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
– Making Pie Crust from lard

Cranberry Cocktails

Thanksgiving cocktails with cranberries – Cosmopolitan, Champagne & Chambord and Cranberry Margarita

Thanksgiving Cocktails with cranberries and more

Thanksgiving Cocktails with cranberries

Thanksgiving Day, to me, is the best holiday of the year. It’s low key. No pressure to buy presents or decorate. Just family, friends and good food. My sister and I both love to cook and hang out in the kitchen while the turkey is roasting. We divide up the cooking chores, put on some tunes and open up a bottle of wine and start chopping the onions and sage for the dressing and snapping the green beans. My sister especially loves champagne or sparkling wine, so we’ll often open up a bottle of something sparkly right away. And we might just add a little something to make it more festive. If friends are around, I’ll pour a fun cocktail or two. With a well-stocked liquor cabinet and some cranberry juice, you can make quite a few great Thanksgiving cocktails with cranberries and more.

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Gilroy Cocktail – a perfect drink for the holidays

Gilroy Cocktail

The holidays approach and it’s time to bring out the festive and the beautiful cocktails. First up is he Gilroy Cocktail. It is one of those delicious and pretty cocktails that everyone at the party enjoys. The Gilroy Cocktail has one ingredient that gives it a deep ruby color and it’s signature cherry flavor – Cherry Heering.

Cherry Heering

Similar to cherry brandy, Cherry Heering is a sweet, spicy Danish liqueur. It is made from crushed cherries and spices that are mixed with a neutral alcohol and aged in casks for five years. Distilled since 1818, It has a dark cherry color and flavor that adds a lot of depth to a cocktail. You’ll see Cherry Heering in the classic cocktail recipes, such as the Singapore Sling and the Blood and Sand.

Gilroy Cocktail Ingredients - Cherry Heering, Gin and Dry Vermouth

Gilroy Cocktail Ingredients – Cherry Heering, Gin and Dry Vermouth

Gilroy Cocktail

1 oz gin
1 oz Cherry Heering liqueur
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz lemon juice (fresh, of course)
Shake with ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Cheers!

Pumpkin Pie from scratch

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks and I’m already starting to plan for the annual feast. If your family is like ours, then the Thanksgiving holiday is a time when you put aside new recipes and return to traditional food favorites and guilty pleasures. Even though I love the turkey and the sides, the dessert is what I most look forward to. Pecan and Pumpkin pies are always a part of our holiday meals. Here is step-by-step recipe to make your pumpkin pie from scratch, starting with roasting your pumpkin and finishing with a whole wheat crust.

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Fresh Green Bean Casserole from scratch

Green Bean Casserole before the oven

A holiday food tradition at our house is Green Bean Casserole. Of course, being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, back in the day, my Mom would open up two cans of green beans, a can of Cream of Mushroom soup, mix them together and top with canned fried onions. Four cans, a little baking time, and she was done! I guess I can’t blame her for doing things the easy way, but now that I’m the cook for the holidays, I’m more than willing to trade convenience for taste. In that spirit, I’ve revisited that just-okay version and used fresh ingredients to make a homemade Green Bean casserole from scratch. Is it as easier? No, but it’s infinitely better tasting.

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi with quick tomato sauce

Freshly-made Potato Gnocchi, ready to cook

Since all my food thoughts have been taken over by Italian cuisine last August, I have worked to incorporate more easy Italian classics into my weekly cooking routine. I’ve been wanting to really master making homemade pasta, but with past failures, I’ve been a little gun shy of it now. But one thing I have been successful with in the past is homemade potato gnocchi. It is a kind of pasta, using grated cooked potato, egg and flour. It’s earthy and delicious. I’ll call it my “starter” pasta.

Gnocchi is Italian for “little lumps”, which describes it perfectly. Gnocchi are light little lumps of potato goodness. When they are done correctly, they should be as “soft as clouds”. They are pressed with grooves to hold onto a sauce, making them pair perfectly with a basic homemade tomato sauce.

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