Jen's Kitchen Blog

Learning to cook the food I like to eat…

Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Maxine’s Salad

Posted by jenskitchen on November 25, 2011

When I was growing up, there were various get-togethers each year that I always looked forward to… Mostly I looked forward to these events because of the food. A friend of the family, Maxine, always brought this salad to church potlucks. My mom got the recipe from her and it became a regular summer salad at our house. I’ve re-purposed the salad for Thanksgiving because I wanted a corn dish on the table. And, well… it’s just a good salad. After doing an internet search, I find that this salad is called shoepeg corn salad, and while I saw some similar recipes, I didn’t see the recipe the way Maxine made it. So, here’s Maxine’s salad:

In a large serving bowl, combine all ingredients:

1 C chopped celery

1 C chopped green onion

1 can Le Seur green peas

2 cans white shoepeg corn

1 4-oz jar pimientos

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C vinegar (I’ve used both red and white… both are equally good)

1/4 C oil (My favorite oil to use here is olive, but I’ve used others successfully)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Posted in Salad, Thanksgiving, Veggies | 1 Comment »

Thanksgiving 2011 Menu Plan

Posted by jenskitchen on November 6, 2011

I can’t believe it is November again already.

I pulled out my Thanksgiving planner several weeks ago, but just had a chance to finalize my menu and make up my shopping list for this year. Usually I have this done before Halloween… but this has been a particularly busy year for me.


  • Roasted Heritage Turkey (from Chiracahua Pasture Raised Meats – Willcox, AZ – Recipe from Local Harvest) Update: I wasn’t able to get my turkey from Chiracahua (hopefully next year!!!) as my deposit got to them after the last turkey got claimed. This year’s Heritage Turkey will be a Mary’s from Whole Foods.
  • Gravy
  • Heirloom Chestnut Stuffing (Recipe from Better Batter)
  • Mashed Potatoes (Recipe from my mom)
  • Sweet Potato Souffle (Recipe from my mom)
  • ParkerHouse Rolls (Recipe from Better Batter)
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Blueberry Salad (Recipe from my mom)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Maxine’s Salad (Recipe from Maxine – a family friend)

And… as always, make sure to save room for pie!

  • Buttermilk Pie Filling (Recipe from my mom)
  • Pecan Pie Filling
  • Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crusts (Recipe from Better Batter) Update 11/24: The pie crust was very successful. Will definitely be using this for all my future pies! It had a nice tender texture that I was told just could not be achieved from a gluten-free crust.

This is pretty much the same menu plan I had from last year. Hopefully, there will be fewer mishaps this year. And, maybe I’ll even be able to laugh about last year’s mishaps.

For now, here is my Shopping Plan:

Farmer’s Market Items:

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 2 pie pumpkins
  • 2 lbs green beans
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms
  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 onions
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 2 lbs spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 2 bunches green onion
  • 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 5 lbs potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs chestnuts
  • 1/2 lb pecans
  • apple
  • orange
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • sage, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf

Any items that are not available at the Farmer’s Market will be picked up at the grocery store. Last year I was able to find all of these at the market except for the blueberries, chestnuts, and mushrooms. My favorite farmer at the market tends to be McClendon Farms.

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Sweet Potato Soufle

Posted by jenskitchen on November 22, 2010

My mom had 2 different sweet potato recipes & would alternate which dish we had each Thanksgiving. Neither of them had the classic marshmallow topping… in fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever had the classic version. Both were good… but honestly, sweet potatoes were not my favorite Thanksgiving side.

Several years ago, my mom made a third sweet potato dish. I fell in love & it has been on my Thanksgiving table ever since. Finally, I had a sweet potato dish that I could look forward to each year… and it still didn’t have the marshmallows. I really am not a fan of marshmallows since I’ve given up processed food and refined sugars. Last year, I stopped using canned food as much as possible, so here’s my moms recipe with my gluten-free, can-free twist…

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, cooked & mashed (I like to roast them, sometimes I steam them in a bit of cream & butter)
1 C sweetener (my preference is agave nectar… The original recipe calls for sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 stick butter
1/2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients well & pour into a buttered baking dish. Mix together the following & crumble over the top of the souffle:
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C Better Batter flour
1/3 C melted butter
1 C pecans

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, uncovered.


Posted in Better Batter substitution recipes, Thanksgiving | 3 Comments »

Blueberry Salad

Posted by jenskitchen on November 18, 2010

Many families have a dish that has to be on the table every year. That one dish that you have that says Thanksgiving. Oh sure, there’s turkey… but other than the main protein, what’s that one dish that has to be there? For my family, it’s this one… blueberries are a truly American food. And this salad features blueberries in a very tasty way.

I don’t know where the original recipe came from… I’ve searched the recipes on both the Knox website and the Jell-o website. This has been on our Thanksgiving table as long as I can remember.


It’s hard to see (and I can’t believe this is the only photo I have with blueberry salad in it)… but see that white dish in the center? That’s the Blueberry Salad. Here’s the thing… last year, my Mom said that she had started layering the Blueberry layer in first and then the Cream layer on top. Personally, I think it looks better the other way. This Thanksgiving, I’m going to try to make a point of getting some better pics of Blueberry Salad to add to this post! That is, if I can remember before it’s all gone… it’s usually one of the first dishes to disappear on Thanksgiving.

Cream Layer
1/2 pt whipping cream
1 C sugar
1/4 C water
1 pkg Knox gelatin
1 pt sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Heat cream and sugar; stir until dissolved. Add gelatin, which has soaked in water. Add sour cream and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour into a mold or Pyrex oblong. Refrigerate for 45 to 50 minutes before continuing to next layer.

Blueberry Layer
1 pkg raspberry gelatin (small box)
1 C boiling water
1 15 ounce can blueberries

Mix ingredients together. Let cool before spooning over bottom layer and refrigerate until firm.

This can be made the day before (but then you have to try to keep everyone out of it until the Thanksgiving meal).

Posted in Thanksgiving | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Buttermilk Pie

Posted by jenskitchen on November 16, 2010

This is a family favorite for Thanksgiving. My mom has made it every year for as long as I can remember.

2 cups buttermilk
4 eggs slightly beaten
Dash salt
1 T gluten free flour (I use Better Batter)
2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla (gluten-free)
1/2 C butter, melted (I use Strauss Creamery)

Mix all ingredients.

Pour into an unbaked gluten-free pie shell.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (top should be slightly browned)

Cool completely. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

This is one of the easiest pies I make… truly makes me appreciate the term “easy as pie” 🙂

It is also a pie that people either love or really don’t like. To me it’s the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. Nothing needed extra like whipped cream, etc… though I think it would be good with some blackberries.

This is pie 2 of 4 I’ll be making for Thanksgiving (I made 6 last year… I’m scaling back a little!) I plan on posting the rest of the recipes for my Thanksgiving menu in these next days before Thanksgiving. Pictures will come as I make things 🙂

As always, save room for pie!


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Pumpkin Pie

Posted by jenskitchen on November 15, 2010

1/2 C brown sugar
1 T flour (I use Better Batter GF Flour)
1 1/2 C pumpkin puree (see below)
1 1/2 C heavy cream (I use Strauss Creamery)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla (check to make sure GF)

To make Pumpkin Puree:
Bake a washed, halved (seeds & strings removed) sugar pie pumpkin, cut side down in a 350 degree oven. Rub the cut side with a bit of oil and add 1 C water to the baking dish. Bake 60 to 90 minutes. Cool until it can be handled. Scrape out the flesh and blend until pureed. Drain moisture in cheesecloth over a bowl for 2 hours or overnight.

To assemble pie:
Chill pie crust (gf, of course).
Combine flour and brown sugar.
Add puree and cream. Blend.
Stir in salt and spices. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Push through a sieve for finest texture (yeah, I know… but it’s worth it.)
Pour filling mixture into chilled crust.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees, protecting crust edges if browning too quickly.
Check for doneness, remove & allow to cool.

Now, you just have to sit through all the turkey and beautiful side veggies while you wait for it to be time for pie. I do hope you save room. This pie is worth it 🙂

Posted in Thanksgiving | 1 Comment »

Thanksgiving menu

Posted by jenskitchen on November 11, 2010

Even though I don’t have all the recipes finished yet, I wanted to share my menu. Recipes to follow. Pics to follow that 🙂

Thanksgiving Menu 2010

Heritage Turkey stuffed with fruits, vegetables and herbs
Mashed Potatoes
Parker House Rolls
Sourdough Bread Dressing
Creamed Spinach
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Soufle
Blueberry Salad
Maxine’s Salad
Cranberry Sauce

And, don’t forget to save room for pie after dinner…
This year, I am planning four pies:
Buttermilk Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Fruit (TBD) Pie – probably apple, but may depend on my mood and what is available at the Farmer’s Market. Suggestions? Requests?

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