Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie, and Broccolini

I am so excited for Thanksgiving this year. It's been a long, rough year, yet I still have so much to be thankful for. My health, and the health of my family and good friends, a roof over my head, great food to eat, logs burning in the fireplace nearly every night, books, and really, the list goes on. To be able to sit down to dinner, breathe deeply, and have a hearty meal with family is going to be very nice. 

The day before Thanksgiving, the kids are going to help set the table, make place cards, and decorate. In my eyes, this is when Thanksgiving begins. When the kids are home, and we are all together. I won't be making too much. A salad, mashed potatoes, broccolini, corn (for the kids), cookies, and Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie. 

I am a mostly from-scratch baker, but with this pie, I'm more Sandra Lee than Alton Brown. I have never successfully made a crust. Never. It's either too flaky, or so buttery that it shrinks under the pie. I can't blind bake a crust, either. I've tried more than once, and frankly, I've given up. When it comes to pumpkin, I always use canned. This recipe is quick and delicious. My only addition is the nutmeg. I like the way it spikes the flavor of the pie.

The kids aren't too keen on pumpkin pie, and they asked that I please make chocolate chip cookies. I am going to do the cookies on Sunday afternoon (I hope), then do the mashed potatoes on Tuesday. You boil and mash them, then put them in the refrigerator. On Thanksgiving day, you take them out, put them in a big pot, add the cream, the butter and salt, heat and mash. Easy. I will do the salad that morning, and of course, the veggies. It's going to be a relaxing week with lots of good stuff to look forward to. Keep posted for two leftovers recipes tomorrow. I want to post them in advance so you know which leftovers to keep and which to give away.

Here's the broccolini and pumpkin pie recipes, in case you want to try them, too, this Thanksgiving.

Barefoot Contessa's Sauteed Broccolini

  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

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