BLACK FRIDAY THANKSGIVING WRAP UP with NEW RECIPES for GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS

As I mentioned before, I DO NOT shop Black Friday, unless it’s from the comfort of my desk chair talking to a computer.  Thanksgiving weekend for us is and always has been casual.  This year was no exception. With just 2 of us this year I bought a turkey breast only.  So my questions is, where does the rest of the turkey go?

Our range is on the way out also – losing the heating elements one by one and the oven is now 75 degrees under temperature.  I didn’t want to take a chance so I started the turkey breast in the slow cooker and then used the oven to only brown the top.  Amazingly, it turned out PERFECT!  I see great turkey sandwiches tomorrow! And there are plenty of leftovers until the new range is installed next week.

Our morning started out foggy and drizzly before turning to serious cold and rain.  I did manage to capture this Robin hanging out in the old garden bed.

And the first opening bloom of the Christmas Cactus this season.

99.9% of my recipes are made from scratch, but every now and then I do cheat a bit.  Part of Thanksgiving’s dessert, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECAN was one of those small cheats and believe me I will cheat again, but next time I’ll add some fresh whipped cream.  MOST of the recipe is scratch ingredients, but it called for a Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix.  Instead I used a SuperMoist BUTTER PECAN cake mix and it was FABULOUS!  I’ll give you the original recipe (which for the life of me I can’t remember where it came from – probably pinterest) with my changes in red.

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
3-15 ounce cans cut green beans, drained VERY WELL!
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Wondra
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon each, paprika, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
1 teaspoon celery flakes
2 tablespoons Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing **
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup +/- French’s French fried onion rings

  • Over medium heat melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
  • Add milk and heavy cream gradually, bringing to a boil JUST SLIGHTLY!
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously until sauce begins to thicken.
  • While still stirring add in paprika, salt, pepper, Lemon Garlic and celery flakes. When you reach your desired consistency set pan aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss the green beans with the Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing.
  • Pour sauce over beans and gently toss and coat.
  • Pour into a baking dish and top with crumbled bacon and fried onion rings.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through.

**If you can’t find this brand, Litehouse Parmesan Caesar is a great substitute.

CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE
1 bag cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice with pulp*
1/2 cup pineapple juice*
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange peel
  • Wash cranberries and drain in colander.
  • Mix tangerine juice, pineapple juice and sugar in saucepan until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and orange peel. Stir well.
  • Add the cranberries and pomegranate seeds simmering over medium high heat until bubbling, stirring often.
  • When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat.
  • Cook uncovered or until all cranberries and pomegranate seeds have ’popped’.
  • Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for future holidays.

Yields: 2 cups
*You can use ALL orange juice if you prefer

***I like to make a double batch at Thanksgiving and freeze half for Christmas.

PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS
CAKE BOTTOM 
1 Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix (Butter Pecan)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Egg

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line the bottom of your 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper. I cut a square sheet and close it into the seam of the bottom with the latch and then trim into a circle. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • NOTE: you can use a 9×13 cake pan, but coat it well with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg until well blended.Press batter into the bottom of your springform pan.

FILLING 
8 ounces softened cream cheese
15 ounce can pumpkin
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange peel 
3 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Caramel sauce (recipe follows) 
Candied pecans (I used Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans) 
Kraft Caramel Balls 
Smucker’s Pineapple Sauce, slightly warmed (optional)

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  • Add melted butter, vanilla and eggs, beating until well combined.
  • Fold in powdered sugar, orange peel and pumpkin pie spice until just mixed.
  • Pour batter over cake base and smooth even.
  • Bake 60-75 minutes until cake is set and top is only slightly wobbly (similar to a cheesecake consistency).
  • COOL COMPLETELY on a wire rack BEFORE removing the pan.
  • Serve sliced with Caramel sauce, pineapple sauce, caramel balls and pecans.

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED LESS TIME USING A 9X13 PAN!

CARAMEL SAUCE 
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water

  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
  • Serve warm.
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving.

I’m off to wrap Christmas presents – Have a great weekend! 

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