Leftover Thanksgiving Wontons

leftover thanksgiving wontons

 

     By now most of you have already planned, and maybe have even started to prepare the dishes that you will be serving at your Thanksgiving feast.  So today I’m sharing a recipe for your leftovers.  There are several sandwiches that I like to make with leftovers, but I have a fun twist on leftovers this year.

     I was reluctant to share this recipe, because when you read the ingredients, you may hesitate.  However, trust me on this one, it is delicious!  All of your hard work will be done on Thanksgiving, so this will be easy to prepare the next day with leftovers.  The cranberry salsa is amazing and it compliments the wontons great.  Click on this link to find the Cranberry Salsa recipe.  

     I always look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving.  Growing up was always about watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade then gathering at my grandparents house.  Things have changed over the years.  My grandparents, and some of my aunts and uncles are no longer with us.  Many of my cousins have grandchildren of their own and they have started their own traditions.  Our time is split between Greg’s family and my family, so I only make it home every other year.  However, my family’s tradition still stands.  Every year my family still gathers at the Bolton Meeting House, a building that my Uncle Tab had built shortly after my grandmother passed away.  He did this so that we, as a family, would always have a place to gather.  Egbert and Alma, my grandparents, did an amazing job raising their 7 kids.  They instilled a love of family that is still thriving today.  We share a history, stories, and traditions that I treasure!

     This will be my only post this week.  Wes and Savannah are home this week so I plan to enjoy my time with them.  Maybe we’ll decorate for Christmas or watch a few old Christmas movies.  So as you celebrate tomorrow I send warm wishes to you for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Wontons
 
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Ingredients
  • 1½ c. shredded cooked turkey
  • 1 c. prepared stuffing or dressing
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • ¼ c. thick turkey gravy
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. wonton wrappers
  • canola oil for frying
  • Cranberry Salsa, recipe follows
Instructions
  1. Mix the turkey, stuffing, cream cheese, and turkey gravy in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Place a wonton wrapper on work surface and spoon about 1 tbsp. turkey mixture into the center of the wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a finger dipped in water. Fold the wrapper in half and press edges together with a fork. Repeat with remaining filing and wrappers.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the filled wontons in batches until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool slightly. Serve with cranberry salsa.

 

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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

twice baked sweet potato

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy sweet potatoes.  Sweet or savory, baked hot from the oven with butter alone, in a pie, casserole, or soup.  Here is another great way to serve sweet potatoes…twice baked.  This is a sweeter version but you can also make a savory twice baked sweet potatoes.  Scoop out baked sweet potato pulp, sauté some chopped shallots in butter, add to potato with crumbled fried bacon, maybe a little rosemary, and feta.  Yum!!

This sweet potato is a delicious mixture of spices, butter and brown sugar.  In fact, this would be a perfect dessert in my opinion!  I didn’t have an orange, but a little orange zest would be perfect in this blend.  If you are looking for something different for Thanksgiving a platter of petite twice baked sweet potatoes would be so cute!

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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 medium-size sweet potatoes
  • ¼ c. light brown sugar (or adjust to taste)
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Lightly scrub the sweet potatoes under running water. Lightly coat the potato with vegetable oil. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake until tender.
  3. Remove from oven (do not turn the oven off at this point), and allow potatoes to cool slightly before cutting off the top third of the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out flesh using a large spoon (leave enough all the way around so that the skin holds its shape) and reserve bases.
  4. Add the potato flesh, ¼ c. brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and butter to food processor. Process until the ingredients are completely combined and the puree is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Spray roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the potato skins upright on pan and fill with mixture.
  5. Combine pecans and 3 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of each stuffed potato. Bake 10 minutes. Finish the potatoes under the broiler for the top to brown, 1 minute, if desired.

 

 

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Old Fashioned Fruitcake

     Did you know that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s eight-tiered wedding cake was a fruitcake.  It’s actually a British tradition.  Yes, it was elaborately decorated, but underneath was a traditional fruitcake.  After their wedding, sales of fruitcake soared in the United States.
     As a child I wanted nothing to do with fruitcake.  It was something that old people ate.  Mama made refrigerator fruitcake occasionally but they were different, they were made with nuts and maraschino cherries, none of the candied stuff in them.
      Then I married Greg and his grandmother loved fruitcakes.  The old-timey kind of fruitcake with tons of candied fruit and nuts.  Over the years I helped her make several.  I enjoyed being in the kitchen with her.  She was a great teacher and I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend with her.  You see, while my grandmothers were living and able, I had no interest in cooking.  I ate at their tables plenty of times, but I missed out of learning tips and tricks in their kitchens.  I have many wonderful recipes passed down from them, but I regret that I never spent time in the kitchen with them.
     When we moved back to Georgia someone started that works with Greg started sending us a fruitcake every Christmas.  To our surprise, Greg and I both loved them!  They are light fruitcakes, not dark.  They contain a mixture of dried fruits and candied fruits and a ton of nuts.  So, last year I decided to try to duplicate it.  I researched fruitcake recipes for months, in books, on the internet, and in Greg’s grandmother’s old handwritten cookbook.  Did you know that fruitcakes date back to ancient Rome?

     Fruitcakes should be made well in advance, at least a month before you want to serve them.  They freeze well, but you don’t want to freeze a fruitcake too early.  Like fine wine, a fruitcake needs to age.  Greg’s grandmother kept fruitcake in her freezer almost all of the time.  As far as recipes go…you can change them around.  If a recipe calls for one type of alcohol and you don’t care for it, use another.  Greg’s grandmother used homemade blackberry wine that her daddy made for communion, as long as he was living.  You could even use fruit juice if you prefer.  Use dates rather than raisins, use all cherries if you don’t like pineapple.  Dried figs, prunes or cherries can also be used.  Basically, what you are looking for is the same weight of fruit and nuts that the original recipe called for.

     If you are making a dark fruitcake with spices, make sure you have good quality, fresh spices.  These things are expensive to make so you want the best flavor.  There are actually several different recipes for fruitcake in Greg’s grandmother’s old handwritten cookbook.  One of them calls for 1 tbsp. allspice, one of them simply calls for 1 tsp. cinnamon.  I found several that call for 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. allspice.

     Be careful not to over bake a fruitcake, you don’t want to dry it out.  I started checking my cake after one hour.  It wasn’t done so I set my timer for 30 more minutes.  When it still wasn’t done I went for another 30 minutes.  If the top starts to brown too fast cover it with foil.

     Baking a fruitcake in Me-ma’s kitchen brings back many special memories.  If she’s looking down I believe she would be proud!

 

Old Fashioned Fruitcake
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 6 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • 4 c. sifted all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. bourbon, divided
  • 1 lb. candied red cherries, cut in half
  • 1 lb. candied green cherries, cut in half
  • 8-oz. candied pineapple chunks, cut in half
  • 1 (8-oz.) box chopped dates
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. whole dates, cut into halves or thirds
  • 4 c. toasted pecan halves, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. About 24 hours before preparing the cake put the candied cherries, candied pineapple, dates, and apricots in a large bowl. Pour ¼ c. bourbon over fruit and stir to coat. Cover, stir occasionally, and let stand at least overnight.
  2. When you are ready to bake the cake remove ¼ c. flour and pout into the bowl of fruit. Stir to coat fruit with flour, set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Heavily grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the 3¾ cups of the flour and the salt and baking powder. Gradually add to the sugar mixture, mixing just to combine.
  6. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, vanilla extract, and bourbon mixing well.
  7. Fold the fruit and pecans into the batter, stirring to evenly mix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. When you have about half of the batter in the pan, pick up the pan a few inches from counter and gently let it fall down onto the counter. Pour remaining batter into pan and repeat. This is to eliminate air pockets.
  9. Bake 2 to 3 hours, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack and cool completely in the pan before removing.
  10. You can pour a little bourbon over the cake while it's hot for good flavor. Poke a few holes with a skewer, if desired. (If you use some other liquor or wine then sprinkle with that.) Remove from pan when cold.
  11. Wrap your fruitcake with cheesecloth that has been soaked with the bourbon or other alcohol. Wrap well in plastic, then wrap in aluminum foil. Store in a refrigerator for at least a month, continuing to moisten with bourbon (or other alcohol) once a week.
  12. After a month, decorate the top of cake with pecan halves, candied fruit, whole apricots, and whole dates.
  13. Glaze the cake and serve.

Glaze for Old Fashioned Fruitcake
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp. bourbon
Instructions
  1. Melt jam over low heat. Remove from heat and whack in bourbon. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of fruitcake without disturbing the fruit.

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Pumpkin Ice-Cream Pie

 

pumpkin ice cream pie 4

I love baked goods with pumpkin in them…bread, cake, and muffins.  However, I’ve never been crazy about pumpkin pie.  That is, until I found this pie recipe!  This Pumpkin Ice-Cream Pie is scrumptious!!  It would be great served with a homemade or commercial caramel sauce and whipped cream.    I also love the idea of making this pie a few days ahead of time.  One thing to check off that “oh so busy” Thanksgiving list!  Be sure to let stand at room temperature a few minutes before cutting.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Ice-Cream Pie
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin
  • ½ c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1½ quarts vanilla ice cream, softened and divided
  • Crust:
  • 1¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ c. melted butter
  • Butterscotch Sauce:
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ c. half-and-half
Instructions
  1. To make crust: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add melted butter and combine well. Press onto bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  2. To make ice cream filling: Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in 1 qt. ice cream and mix thoroughly. Spoon into prepared crust; Freeze 2 hours.
  3. Spread remaining ½ quart ice cream over pie; cover and freeze until firm.
  4. To make butterscotch sauce: Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a 1 qt. glass measuring cup; microwave at high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring twice. Stir in half-and-half. Serve warm over a slice of pie.

 

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Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Caramelized Onions

 

2014Nov17_1187

 

Occasionally, I find a dish worth preparing even if you are the only one that will eat it.  This is one of them for me.  My family does not like brussels sprouts.  However, I became a fan a few years ago.  I love roasting vegetables and have tried just about all of them this way.  I first roasted brussels sprouts several years ago and became a huge fan!  Brussels sprouts are delicious on their own (to some of us), but the country ham, caramelized onions, and honey dress them up and make these special for the holidays.

 

Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Caramelized Onions
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 oz country ham, thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 lb. yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground red pepper
Instructions
  1. Saute ham in 3 tbsp. hot oil in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown and crisp-tender; toss with 1 tsp. salt. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or untill light brown and tender. Stir in honey, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with ham.

 

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