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Party Planning - Recipes - Thanksgiving Party Recipes

Party Resource Guide
Presented by Event & Wedding Planners

Spiced Mixed Nuts

This recipe isn't exactly low-fat due to the basic nature of nuts in general, but you can't deny a fellow a little pleasure during the holidays. Make a big batch of these and keep them on hand throughout the season.

3 cups (750 ml) whole almonds, raw cashews, pecans, and raw peanuts
2 Tbs (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 Tbs (30 ml) chili powder or curry powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne, or to taste
2 Tbs (30 ml) sugar
Salt to taste

Place the nuts in a mixing bowl. Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet and add the chili powder or curry powder and cayenne and stir for about 15 seconds, until aromatic. Pour this over the nuts, add the sugar and salt, and stir to combine thoroughly. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 300F (150C) oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are toasted. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 3 cups (750 ml).

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Cheese Puffs

Most Americans have had canapés similar to these. In fact, they are so common that I doubt many people are able to remember the first time they sampled them.

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff
1 cup (250 ml) shredded Cheddar, Swiss, or American cheese
1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp (2 ml) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dry mustard
Cayenne pepper to taste
10 to 20 (depending on size) small rounds of bread, toasted

Combine the beaten egg whites, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard, and cayenne, folding gently so as not to deflate the egg whites. Spread this mixture on the rounds of toast. Place on a baking sheet and place under a preheated broiler. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese mixture is puffed and golden brown. Serves 6 to 8 as a canapé.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Corn-Bread Stuffing

This recipe makes enough stuffing mixture to stuff a large 20 to 25 pound turkey, cut recipe in half for smaller bird or bake additional stuffing in a covered casserole dish.

1- 16 oz. package of white and wheat bread herb seasoned stuffing mix 
1- 16 oz. package of cornbread stuffing mix 
1- package of cornbread mix (bake per package instructions); cool and crumble into small pieces.
1- can of Buttermilk Biscuits (bake per instructions on the can); cool and crumble into small pieces.
6-8 long stalks of celery chopped
1- medium onion chopped
1 - 2  teaspoons salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons ground sage ( to taste)
2 sticks melted butter or margarine
4 large eggs beaten
2 cans of turkey broth, plus additional water to make about 5 cups of liquid.

Combine all dry ingredients. Add eggs, broth & water until stuffing is very moist, but not runny. Add additional water if needed. Stuff turkey and bake per roasting instructions for stuffed turkey or place stuffing mixture into covered casserole dish and bake at 325 degrees about 30 minutes or until hot. Tip: stuffing can be baked while the turkey is standing and being carved.

Pumpkin Soup

Fresh pumpkin is available year-round in many parts of the world, but for most Americans it is strictly a seasonal product. That's our loss, but you can substitute any winter squash such as butternut, hubbard, or acorn squash if you can't get pumpkin.

About 4 lbs (2 Kg) fresh pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
1 cup (250 ml) crème fraiche or heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A grating of fresh nutmeg
Toasted croutons for garnish
Chopped fresh herbs such as chervil, parsley, or chives for garnish

Steam the pumpkin until tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree the pumpkin and chicken stock until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir in the crème fraiche. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Serve garnished with croutons and chopped herbs. Serves 4 to 6.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Holiday Fruit Salad

6 egg yolks
1/4 Cup lemon juice
juice from 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks

In saucepan; beat mixture, then heat on medium until mixture thickens. Cool.

Add:
2 large cans fruit cocktail (drained)
1 can pineapple chunks (drained)
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set overnight in refrigerator.

1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
maraschino cherries


In the morning, whip 1 pint of whipping cream & gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar. When soft peaks form, fold into fruit and marshmallow mixture. Fold in 1 cup chopped walnuts. Decorate with maraschino cherries & chopped nuts. Refrigerate until time to serve. Serves 10-12



Waldorf Salad

This recipe was a favorite of my father, and it has been served on special occasions in my parents' home for as long as I can remember. The original was created in 1893 by Oscar Tschirky at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. His creation consisted only of apples, celery, and mayonnaise. The nuts were added later and have since become considered a standard ingredient.

1 cup (250 ml) diced red-skinned apples
1 cup (250 ml) diced celery
1/2 cup (125 ml) walnut or pecan meats
3/4 cup (180 ml) mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients and serve chilled. Serves 4 to 6.
 

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Fresh Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

Wash beans; remove tips. Cut into 1 inch pieces; place in saucepan with 1-inch boiling water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 5 minutes; cover. Cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, until just crisp-tender; drain, if necessary. Add butter, sugar, pepper, remaining salt, and parsley; toss lightly until butter is melted and beans are coated. Place in serving bowl; garnish with cherry tomatoes. About 6 servings.

Orange Yams

4 pounds yams
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon honey
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Juice and grated rind of 2 oranges

Boil yams in water to cover until tender; drain. Drip into cold water; slip off skins; mash. Blend in remaining ingredients; spoon into buttered casserole. Bake at 325 degrees about 40 minutes, until golden. About 16 servings.

Carrots with Honey and Thyme

Here's a tasty and unusual dish that goes great with just about everything.

4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
4-6 large carrots, peeled and shredded
3 Tbs (45 ml) honey
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a skillet over moderate heat and saute the shallots until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serves 4 to 6.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeño peppers and are available canned in adobo sauce in the ethnic section of most supermarkets. They can be very hot, so add them a little at a time, tasting before adding more.

2 lbs (900 g) potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
6 Tbs (90 ml) butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream (or more to taste)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely chopped
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cumin
1 canned chipotle pepper (or to taste), finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the mashed potatoes, 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of the butter, and cream in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet and saute the onion, pepper, and cumin until the onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir the onion mixture into the potatoes. Add the chipotle pepper, salt, and pepper, and taste to adjust the seasoning. Spoon the mixture into a buttered casserole and bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Pumpkin Roll

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sift ingredients together and set aside. Line 15 X 10 inch jelly roll pan with wax paper and grease wax paper.

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar

In a large bowl beat whole eggs at high speed of electric mixer for 5 minutes until eggs are thick and yellow. Gradually add sugar and beat until dissolved. 

2/3 cup mashed canned pumpkin
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Fold dry ingredients, egg mixture, and pumpkin together, pour into pan, sprinkle half of nuts and bake for 12-15 minutes or until done at 350 degrees.

Powdered sugar

Flour a cloth generously with powered sugar, when roll is done, loosen sides immediately and turn out onto cloth, roll up while still hot starting at the narrow edge. Set on rack to cool for approximately 20 minutes.

CHEESE FILLING

Remaining nuts
2- 3-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese and butter, add lemon juice, vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix well.

When roll is cool unroll carefully and spread with cream cheese mixture, leaving a little of mixture and nuts for the top, re-roll and put the remaining mixture on top and sprinkle with nuts. Wrap in foil, do not wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Refrigerate for several hours. Roll can be frozen in foil. Serves 8 to 10

Colonial Baked Whole Pumpkin "Pie"

According to my research staff *, today's recipe (or one like it, actually) was a favorite of George Washington. It was called a pie in George's day, and may have been the ancestor of the classic pumpkin pie of today. Give it a try, and keep it in your repertoire as an alternative to the more traditional version that we are all familiar with.

*In my never-ending effort to give credit where credit is due, my tireless staff of researchers consists of: me. This recipe is adapted from Jeff Smith's "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American."

A 4 to 6 lb (2 to 3 kg) pumpkin
6 eggs
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) molasses
1/2 tsp (2 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 ml) allspice
1/4 tsp (1 ml) powdered ginger
2 Tbs (30 ml) butter

Remove the top of the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and membranes as though you were making a jack-o'lantern. Mix the remaining ingredients together except the butter and pour into the pumpkin. Top with the butter, put the lid of the pumpkin in place, and place in a large baking dish. Bake at 350F (180C) for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the mixture has set. Serve from the pumpkin at the table, scraping a little of the pumpkin flesh to accompany each serving. Serves 6 to 8.


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Sweet Potato Pudding

It's hard to picture a meal in the South without sweet potatoes in one form or another, and this is true in the low-country of the Carolinas and Georgia as well. This time the sweet tuber does duty as dessert.

4 cups (1 L) grated peeled sweet potato
2 cups (500 ml) molasses (treacle) or dark corn syrup
1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) chopped citron
1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) raisins
Grated rind of 1 orange
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) ground ginger

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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The Perfect Turkey

Many challenges stand between the home cook and the perfect turkey: the breast meat should be moist and tender without being over cooked; the thigh meat should thoroughly cooked to a temperature about 10 degrees higher than the breast meat; and the skin should be crisp and well browned all over. My three-step procedure requires more time and labor than most other methods, but if you invest the extra effort you will never be disappointed by a holiday turkey again.

Step 1 - Brining

Soaking the turkey in a salt and water mixture (brine) before cooking adds moisture and seasoning to the meat - a large turkey can absorb up to a pound of additional water during the process. Use a large stockpot or a clean bucket large enough to hold the turkey. If you don't have a container large enough, consider using an insulated cooler or an immaculately clean trash can lined with a plastic bag. The turkey and brine should be kept at a temperature of about 40F (4C). The best place to brine your turkey would be in the refrigerator, but if there isn't room there, freeze some water in several plastic sandwich bags and add them to the container.

Note: If you buy a kosher turkey you can skip this step since the koshering process includes brining.

For turkeys up to 15 pounds (7 Kg):
4 cups (1 L) kosher salt or 2 cups (500 ml) table salt
2 gallons (8 L) cold water

For turkeys over 15 pounds (7 Kg):
6 cups (1.5 L) kosher salt or 3 cups (750 ml) table salt
3 gallons (12 L) cold water

Dissolve the salt in the water in a large pot or bucket. Place the turkey in a container large enough to hold it along with the brine and pour the brine over it, making sure the brine completely fills the cavities. If necessary, place a plate with some weights on it on top of the turkey to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours for smaller turkeys, or up to 12 hours for larger birds. Remove from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse the turkey inside and out. Dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels.

Step 2 - Air-Drying

You have just spent several hours adding moisture to your turkey, so why do you want to air-dry it now? Because the brine has had the same effect on the skin as it has had on the meat, and if you want a crispy, golden brown skin you need to remove some of the moisture you have added to it. Place the turkey on a wire rack and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Step 3 - Cooking

I have here three popular methods of cooking your now perfectly prepared turkey. Oven roasting is the most common method, and has the added benefit of producing wonderful pan drippings for making gravy. Hot smoking (my preferred method of cooking turkey) requires an outdoor covered grill, and deep frying can require a considerable investment in equipment, but it is a method that is rapidly gaining in popularity so I have included it here. Larger turkeys require lower cooking temperatures to ensure the meat is done without burning the skin, and I have included a separate recipe for oven roasting larger turkeys to take this into account. Regardless of the method you choose, be sure your turkey is at room temperature before cooking it.

To Stuff or Not to Stuff

Regardless of the method of cooking you choose, I recommend cooking your turkey without stuffing. Stuffing should be cooked to at least 160F (71C) in order to be safe, and to accomplish this requires that the breast meat be cooked until it is dry and flavorless. If the perfect turkey is your goal, cook the dressing separately.

The following is James Beard's method for roasting turkey, and although it seems fussy, it is the only method I know of for browning the skin on all sides and cooking the breast and thighs to different internal temperatures.

Oven Roasted Turkey
For turkeys up to 15 pounds (7 Kg)


2 - 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 - 3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 - 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
3 - 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 Tbs (60 ml) butter, melted
1 whole turkey, brined and air-dried

Toss one-third of the chopped vegetables and thyme with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the butter and place in the body cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen twine. Place the remaining vegetables and thyme in a large roasting pan and add 1 cup (250 ml) water. Place a V-rack in the pan. Brush the breast side of the turkey with melted butter and place the turkey breast side down in the V-rack. Baste the bottom of the turkey with the remaining butter.

Roast uncovered in a preheated 400F (200C) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the juices from the pan. Using large wads of paper towels to protect your hands, turn the turkey on its side and roast an additional 15 minutes. Add more water to the pan if it becomes dry. Remove the turkey, baste it, and turn it on its other side. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the turkey from the oven one more time, baste it, and place it breast side up on the V-rack. Roast until the breast registers 165F (74C) and the thigh registers 175 (80C) on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Oven Roasted Turkey
For turkeys over 15 pounds (7 Kg)


3 - 4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 - 4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
3 - 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 - 6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 Tbs (60 ml) butter, melted
1 whole turkey, brined and air-dried

Toss one-third of the chopped vegetables and thyme with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the butter and place in the body cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen twine. Place the remaining vegetables and thyme in a large roasting pan and add 1 cup (250 ml) water. Place a V-rack in the pan. Brush the breast side of the turkey with melted butter and place the turkey breast side down in the V-rack. Baste the bottom of the turkey with the remaining butter. Roast uncovered in a preheated 250F (120C) for 3 hours, basting every hour with the pan juices. Add more water to the pan if it becomes dry. Remove from the oven and, using large wads of paper towels to protect your hands, turn the turkey breast side up on the V-rack. Roast 1 hour, basting occasionally. Turn the oven temperature up to 400F (200C) and roast until the breast registers 165F (74C) and the thigh registers 175 (80C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

The following method is the one I have used for over 20 years. It produces a bird that is a rich, deep mahogany color, and meat that is flavored almost to the bone.

The Chef's Own Smoked Turkey

1 turkey, brined and air-dried
2 Tbs (30 ml) vegetable oil
1 large onion, cut into quarters
2 oranges, cut into quarters
2 - 4 sprigs fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme
Hickory chips soaked in water for smoking

Rub the turkey with the oil and place the onion, oranges, and herbs in the body cavity. Cook in a covered charcoal grill by the indirect method, with the hot coals pushed to the sides of the grill (I use a well known spherical brand) and with a drip pan directly under the turkey, adding a handful of wood chips and additional charcoal every 45 to 60 minutes. Cook to an internal temperature of 175F (80C) in the thickest part of the thigh, from 2 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the temperature in the grill and the size of the turkey. (I prefer to cook at a lower temperature, about 300F (150C), giving the bird more time to absorb the smoke.) The turkey should be a rich, dark mahogany color when done. Remove from the grill and allow to rest uncovered for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Deep-frying turkeys is a Cajun tradition that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. You will need a 10-gallon (40 L) pot, a propane burner, and a tripod for the pot. The only practical place to do this is outdoors, and once the flame is ignited it should never be left unattended. Please be sure that no children or pets are allowed near the pot at any time.

Deep-Fried Turkey

5 gal (20 L) peanut oil
1 turkey (up to 15 lbs, 7 Kg), brined and air-dried

Heat the oil in a 10-gallon (40 L) pot over a propane burner until it reaches 375F (190C). Carefully lower the turkey into the oil (this is a two-person job) and slowly raise and lower the turkey in the oil a few times until it sinks to the bottom of the pot. Adjust the flame to maintain the oil at 325F (160C) and cook for 4 minutes per pound - a 15-pound (7 Kg) turkey should cook in 1 hour. Carefully lift from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels or brown paper bags. Allow to rest uncovered for at least 15 minutes before carving.


In the United States, hams that are heavily salted and air-cured are known variously as country, Virginia, Kentucky, or Tennessee hams, and Smithfield is probably the best known brand. The procedure for cooking them is time consuming but not laborious, and the result may be the best ham you have ever tasted.

Reproduced by permission of Worldwide Recipes.

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Turkey in a Bag

This is a simple and easy way to cook a turkey, that produces a beautifully golden-brown bird ever time.

Wash turkey well; drain. Remove giblet pack; save for gravy. Rub turkey all over with vegetable oil or butter. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and flour. Use 1 teaspoon of salt for every 5 pounds of turkey, and rub inside of turkey. Place turkey into large brown paper sack; roll ends tightly. Place on roasting pan, set in 375 degree oven. Do not open bag to baste. Use the following cooking timetable:

7 to 10 pounds --30 minutes per pound
10 to 15 pounds --20 minutes per pound
20 to 25 pounds --13 minutes per pound

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven; let stand for 5 or 10 minutes. Cut the top out of the sack and lift out golden-brown bird. Make gravy from drippings. Cook stuffing separately.

 



Baked Country Ham

1 country ham, 12 - 15 lbs (5 - 7 Kg)
2 cups (500 ml) each coarsely chopped onions, carrots, and celery
2 Tbs (30 ml) whole black peppercorns
2 Tbs (30 ml) cider vinegar
1 Tbs (15 ml) allspice berries
4 cloves
1 cup (250 ml) orange marmalade
2 Tbs (30 ml) Dijon-style mustard

Scrub the ham with a brush under running water and then soak it in enough cold water to cover for 24 hours. Hint: If the ham is too big to fit in your biggest pot, saw off the shank and reserve it for future use. Drain the ham and place in a large pot with the chopped vegetables, peppercorns, vinegar, allspice, and cloves. Add enough water to cover the ham and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and allow the ham to cool in the cooking liquid for 2 to 4 hours. Drain the ham and discard the liquid and seasonings. Remove and discard the skin of the ham, and score the fatty layer in a diamond pattern. Place in a large roasting pan. Combine the marmalade and mustard in a small saucepan and heat just enough to thin the preserves, mixing well. Spoon the marmalade mixture over the ham and bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for about 30 minutes, until the outer layer is crisp and brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving with an assortment of mustards. Serves 15 to 20.

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 Theme Parties N More is a wedding & event planning company located in Cypress, TX. Our party & wedding planners have put this website together to provide our visitors with ideas for planning their events, this includes links to products that can help you to make your event extra special. In accordance with the FTC Guidelines we are disclosing that some of the vendors that we link you to, pay us a commission when you purchase products from them, but some of the vendors do not provide us with any compensation.

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