Browsing the archives for the Thanksgiving tag.

Twice Baked Potatoes


As I collect ideas for Thanksgiving and try them out on my (thankfully willing) family, I am also collecting ideas for Christmas and I may or may not be knitting at a break-neck pace to try to knit up and otherwise craft all these fun projects! Second year here and it’s still pretty weird to be knitting up Christmas gifts and trying out Thanksgiving recipes when the weather is so wonderful but I know, poor me, right?

The kids have been learning more differences between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving is all about the fall harvest and of course, American Thanksgiving is a celebration of the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians sharing a harvest feast. Similar, but not quite the same. So we’ve been learning some American history. Here’s a little trivia that’s new to me, this first breaking of bread between the colonists and the Native Indians took place in 1621, but it wasn’t an official holiday until Lincoln declared it one in the middle of the Civil War in 1863. I wonder if it was a tradition for some people during those 242 years it wasn’t an ‘official’ holiday?

These potatoes have an extra dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium by adding pureed cauliflower to the mixture before it’s spooned back into the potato skins. This is yet another winner from Deceptively Delicious, my go-to collection of recipes for hiding pureed veggies in everyday meals.

Deceptively Delicious Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large potatoes
1 cup cauliflower puree
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices turkey bacon (cooked, drained, dried and chopped)

Preheat your oven to 400, and wash the potatoes. Poke vents in them in a fork, wrap in aluminum foil and bake for about an hour.

Once potatoes are cooked and cooled, cut each in half and remove the flesh. Don’t scoop too close to the skin or you may tear it, better to leave some extra flesh than lose a whole potato skin bowl! Mash the potato flesh with the cauliflower puree, sour cream, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Spoon this mixture back into the potato skins and bake for another 15 minutes. Now sprinkle with bacon and voila!

Twice Baked Potatoes Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes
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Thanksgiving Rewind

California, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

So as I mentioned about eleventy billion times last month, we took a road trip out to Las Vegas to celebrate our first American Thanksgiving with our dear friend Nichole and her four children! She is originally from the south and I am..well, I’m me, so we went all out. Our Vegas adventure was short and sweet. We drove out after dinner on Wenesday, checked into Circus Circus, did some late night wandering around the hotel and went to bed alarmingly late. Fun! We had an incredibly lazy Thanksgiving morning, much to Nichole’s dismay, but we did have a fantastic evening together once we finally got there!

The whole menu is pretty crazy, but it was a lot of fun and there were 11 of us total. We had to leave all the leftovers with her (sorry!!), but there are 5 of them so that made sense anyway! She made a lovely turkey with stuffing and gravy, she and her wee ones also made the cranberry sauce, ham, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. I brought my very first sweet potato pie, apple crumble, cocoa brownies for the kids and my trio of tarts; lemon meringue, pumpkin and Sailor Jerry pecan (and of course my cherry apron and matching headband – essential items).

I’m linking to three recipes I just put up on the site from that day. They are all equally bananas-amazing.

Lemon meringue has been one of my husband’s favorite pies since we met so I have a lot of practice with this, and I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years but this has been the absolute best one. (read)

These are another piece of the trifecta of awesome that was my tart collection at our first American Thanksgiving. Half a dozen are made without any run and the other half are spiked with Sailor Jerry. (read)
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
It sounds typical to say I’m from Canada and I’ve never had sweet potato pie, but I think it’s just all in who you know and my exposure to Southern Belles up to this point has been pretty limited. However, I spent Thanksgiving this year with a real life Southern Gal, and she put me in charge of the sweet potato pie – she even gave me her Granny’s recipe. (read)

On Friday, we picked three of the zillion things there are to do in Vegas with kids and each of them was a hit.

First we just went downstairs to The Adventuredome in Circus Circus. As the name implies, it’s an indoor amusement park, and it’s way bigger than this Canuk remembered from my own childhood! Like, woah. We wanted to get to make sure we got to do all three things before we headed home so we let the kids each pick a couple of rides and away we went! Please note there are very few actual horses on the carousel. Wee One #2 picked the dragon and Wee One #3 picked the flying bunny. There were also flying bears and pigs. I honestly thought that was pretty rad.

We are all a little in love with Vegas and we’re all eager to go back again. This was our first road trip since we moved to LA and I have to be honest, it feels pretty amazing to come home to California. Like, taking a vacation from vacation!

Our next stop was The Silverton to check out the aquarium and the mermaid that was rumored to hang out there. While we waited for her to make her entrance, we saw a leopard print sting ray. What?? We spent some time this summer with Wee One #3’s Godmother, exploring the aquarium in Long Beach and we got to see a lot of sting rays but I had no idea that leopard print sting rays existed! So cool!
The chocolate factory was a must do because every year for years and years and years, going back before I can remember and ending when my granny started getting ‘the old’, my aunt went to Vegas every year with either her girlfriends or her sister in laws or nieces or all of the above. Every single time she came back, she’d bring us Ethel M chocolates. It only felt fitting for us to hit the chocolate factory and pick her up a box of Ethel M chocolate. The kids thought it was pretty cool to see where M&Ms come from, though I’m sure this is not the only place they are made!

This picture is hilarious to me and really sums up where they are right now. Wee Ones #2 & 3 are crazy and hyper and delightfully insane. Wee One #1? Well, he’s 12 now so he’s not about to get into shenanigans with them ON CAMERA, but trust me, he is just as delightfully insane as they are. 😉

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Thanksgiving Baking


Thanksgiving has always equated to pumpkins, which I think is pretty traditional and fair. This is the first year in a very long time that I’ve been away from my folks for the prep of Thanksgiving. We made the drive down to their place for actual Thanksgiving supper, but this year I wasn’t there for baking the desserts. I may have gone overboard with the Thanksgiving baking at my house, but is there really ever such a thing?

First up, I asked Twitter what I should bake and Jen from Hollyhouse Studio suggested I try out the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from Brown Eyed Baker. Excellent idea. If you’re not following them on Twitter yet, get to it. If you are, then take Jen’s advice if she gives you any, and bake as much of Michelle’s goodies as you can. <3 I didn't have everything I needed for the filling, so I whipped up some classic buttercream frosting to fill them with instead. Whipping cream spiked with cinnamon or nutmeg would have also been pretty amazing. Before this month is over, I will likely have another pumpkin extravaganza and try these with the proper filling. The whoopie pies themselves were wonderful! Not sticky at all, just spongey enough too. When we brought these to Toronto my father inhaled them. 🙂

I have no idea where I found this next recipe. It was in a sheet protector in my kitchen recipe binder, which just means I must have really wanted to try it out if it made it’s way to the kitchen binder.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mini Loaves
3 cups granulated sugar
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Use either three loaf pans or a pan and a half like the one I used.

2. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

3. Beat sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, water and eggs till smooth. Blend in the flour mixture and fold in chocolate chips

4. Fill each pan 1/2 to 3/4 full.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes if using loaf pans, 20 if using mini pans.


These. Oh these ones. My pride and joy. My mini pumpkin tarts. The idea was shamelessly stolen from inspired by Bakerella’s Pumpkin Pie Bites. I love her blog dearly, but I cannot bring myself to use pre-made pie crust. My Granny would be reanimated from the grave and haunt me for the rest of my life. So, I used my 78 year old pie crust recipe. Do you want me to share it with you now? Promise you’ll be good to it? Don’t roll it out too much and for crying out loud, once it’s in the pan leave it be. Okay? Alright then, here you go. It’s really as simple as possible – it is from 1932 after all.

‘Plain Pastry’ from The Art of Cooking and Serving

2 cups flour
2/3 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
cold water

Mix and sift four and salt. Cut in butter with a knife. Add only water enough to hold the ingredients together. Do not knead. Divide dough in 2 parts and roll out thin on a slightly floured board. Line a pie pan with one half the pastry. Pinch pastry with the fingers to make a fancy edge and prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake in a very hot oven (460) 10 to 15 minutes. For a 2 crust pie, line pie pan with pastry, put in a filling, cover with top crust and bake as directed for pies. If less rich pastry is desired, use only 1/2 cup butter.

I will bake my way through this cookbook as a challenge to myself in the new year. I still have to finish ‘cake year’. 😉

The filling for these little cuties is your standard ‘evaporated milk + egg + pumpkin pie filling’.

I gave them an egg wash, of course. Pies and tarts must have a glossy crust, right? I made the pumpkin pie the same as the mini tarts, and the crust is the same as well. I swear by this crust. It is prefect every time.


My full Thanksgiving treat spread, on the beautiful fall harvest platter Gilly gave me a few years ago – thanks Gill!!

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