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Sunday, November 21, 2010


I usually do not like to re-post my recipes....BUT...since Thanksgiving is coming up and we usually stick to tradition I do not get to creative.  I have included my recipe for The Perfect Fall Salad.  This salad will be a perfrect accompainment to your traditional turkey day menu.  I have also included my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup which would be a great first course.  Last but not least....if you don't feel like making a whole pumpkin pie or if you have so many pies already...try making these awesome Pumpkin Pie Bites.  Just spray on a bit of Ready Whip before you serve and you have a great mini dessert to go along side your  pecan or apple pie!  Also, don't forget about my Perfect Chicken Salad, Italian Loaf w/ Turkey, White Cheddar & Cranberry Sandwich and Chicken Noodle Soup recipes.  Just use some of that left over turkey instead of chicken....a great way to use left overs.


For Salad:

• 2 large bags of spring mix salad
• 1 (12 oz.) container of crumbled blue cheese
• 1/2 cup of crumbled cooked bacon
• 1/2 red onion chopped
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
•1/2 cup diced fresh pear (skin on)
• 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  1/2 chop halved kalamata olives

For Dressing:

• 4 TB. balsalmic vinegar
• 6 TB. olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/ 2 tsp. sugar or one packet of sugar substitute
• salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.

In large bowl place salad, blue cheese, bacon, red onion, cranberries, pears, almonds and kalamata olives. Toss to mix ingredients.

In a small bowl add balsalmic vinegar, garlic powder and sugar. While slowly adding the olive oil whisk it in vigorously to the balsalmic mixture.

Add salt, pepper and red pepper to taste.

Can drizzle dressing directly over salad and toss to coat or can serve dressing on the side for guests to drizzle on their own.


•2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts
•8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 cup canned pumpkin
•3 eggs
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter


1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.

Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)

Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.

Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

Note: The cutter I used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.

* Recipe & Photos Courtesy of


* From trial and error I have come up with the BEST Butternut squash soup! I garnish it with some crumbled italian sausage and shredded hot pepper cheese!

• 2 heads of garlic - halved crosswise
• 1tsp. olive oil
 1/2 stick of butter
• 3 cups chopped onions
• 3/4 cup chopped carrots
• 4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
• 6 cups canned chicken broth or chicken stock
• 3 TB chopped fresh sage or 1 TB dried sage
• 3/4 cup whipping cream

• 6 italian sausage links - casings removed, cooked and crumbled
• shredded jalapeno cheese for garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Drizzle cut surfaces of garlic with olive oil. Assemble garlic heads back together and wrap with tin foil
3. Place packets on baking pan and cook in oven for about 30 - 35 minutes until garlic is tender.
4. In the meantime, melt butter with oil in large stock pot.
5. Add onions and carrots and saute to soften - about 5 minutes
6. Add squash, broth and sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and then simmer uncovered until squash and other vegies are tender. About 20 - 25 minutes.
7. Unwrap garlic from foil. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin into a bowl. Mash with a fork. Add mashed garlic to pot.
8. Using a hand blender (regular blender can also be used - puree soup in batches) puree soup until smooth.
9. Bring soup to a low simmer and add cream.
10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
11. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with italian sausage and shredded jalapeno cheese.

* Steps 1 - 8 can be done one day ahead.

** In order to peel the butternut squash place entire squash in microwave for about 2 minutes. This will
soften the hard skin of the squash allowing peeling to be easier.

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