Every winter vacation I go a little bit crazy with Minnesota wild rice! We have Wild Rice Pecan Cakes, Beefy Wild Rice Bake, Wild Rice Pancakes, and my favorite - Wild Rice Soup.
When we make our pilgrimages back to our home state, we always pick up a supply of Minnesota wild rice. Driving thru Wisconsin the wild rice grows in big paddies along the highway, but in Minnesota it is typically grown on Indian Reservations. Unlike a lot of other rices, wild rice is not technically a "rice" and has a very long shelf life when kept in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed.
This takes a while to make, but the melding of flavors is pure heaven on a spoon! Chicken broth, slivered ham, tender onions and carrots, and fresh half & half and sherry blend together to make the smoothest and most flavorful wild rice soup you will ever have. Sprinkle with slivered almonds before serving, and you have soup fit for a Minnesota king!
Hope that you enjoy this family favorite as much as we do!
Grandma VandenPlas made these wonderful gingerbread cookies every Thanksgiving when our kids were little.
These cut-out cookies are thick, chewy and the molasses and ginger flavor is fabulous! If you don't have time for fancy decorating, we have also frosted these with a simple white glaze. Plan on hiding your decorated stash in order to save until the big day - these go FAST with sneaky and hungry little fingers around!
These are a delicious family tradition - and I am honored that she gave us the family "turkey" cookie cutter to carry on the tradition!
For as long as I can remember, the one thing that always drives the cook crazy on Thanksgiving is the gravy. It's always a last minute thing to cook, and Lord knows there is always a gravy critic in the group!
With so many other things happening at the same time - carving the bird, mashing the potatoes, warming the rolls, and just making sure that everything else is timed perfectly - it's the last thing in the world you want to be worrying about! Not enough turkey drippings, too thick, too thin, too salty - you get the idea!
And then this was born, and it was a miracle!
Is there anything more versatile than creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes? You can always add roasted garlic or onion & chive cream cheese for something different - but for a crowd, there is nothing better than perfectly simple mashed potatoes!
My family loves velvety smooth mashed potatoes, served with meatloaf, Grandpa B's fabulous meatballs with mushroom gravy, or perfect with a roasted turkey dinner!
These are magical appetizers. Seriously! As fast as I put them out, they disappear!
Thanksgiving appetizers don't get any easier or delicious than these! And these are always a favorite at our traditional Thanksgiving morning appetizer party! Just a little bit healthy and always a crowd pleaser.
These is one of our favorite Buca knock-off recipes! Tender rigatoni noodles are covered with a delectable creamy marinara parmesan sauce.
I know some of you don't care for peas, which you can leave out if you'd like. But for my group, peas are in!
This is a great dish to make with leftover roasted chicken, and the creamy marinara sauce is so easy to put together and tastes so fresh.
If you're in a hurry, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken and your favorite marinara sauce. For a little something special, you can also add a splash of vodka to the creamy sauce - it adds a nice extra layer of flavor that will keep your guests guessing - AFTER they have plowed thru everything in the casserole dish and begged for seconds!
This is one of those interesting menu items...is it a bread? A vegetable? A side dish? Serve it with chili, or with a chicken or roast turkey dinner? Or should we simply drizzle it with warm maple syrup and call it "Johnny Cake", served with sausage for a hearty breakfast?
No matter what you want to call it, this is a family-favorite recipe! This bakes up easily to serve with any oven meal - you can adjust the cooking time to match your baking temp. This can also be made ahead of time and reheated when you are ready to serve. You can also bake this in muffin pans for individual servings.
The sweet corn (I usually use either sweet niblets or white shoepeg corn) adds wonderful texture, flavor and moisture to the corn bread. Whipping the eggs up ahead of time before adding it to the other ingredients makes it fluffy. I've tried to use other cornbread mixes, but always have the best of luck with the Jiffy Cornbread mix.
This is also fabulous to bake up for camping trips - a hearty and flavorful addition to breakfast or dinner that bakes up easily in a cast iron skillet.
Hope that you enjoy as much as we do!