Thanksgiving + Recipes

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday weekend. What a good time of year to get to take an itty bitty break, if you have been following my blog, you will have seen the massive amount of work we have been doing lately. I wanted to share some of the recipes from the awesome food we ate this year for Thanksgiving. It was a very non-traditional menu, but everything tasted amazing and it was fun being around family. My dad and step mom are in Arizona, and my mom's side of the family was in Texas this time around, so this was the first Thanksgiving that Bobby and I actually spent the whole day together in 11 years of knowing each other! I am so excited to share some of these tasty recipes with you and hopefully inspire your next family meal with good food. What were your top favorite foods of your Thanksgiving?

Darken - Sour Ber
Thanksgiving
twice baked potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes

The best twice baked potatoes ever! I always look forward to these when we visit. 

This recipe made about 12 potatoes

1.) Bake potatoes for 1 - 1.5 hours. Spray a bit of Pam on the tops before baking.

2.) Using a large knife and 1 or 2 oven mitts, slice the tops off of the potatoes. Carefully scoop out insides of potatoes (keeping skins in tact). 

3.) Mix potatoes with 2 packages of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, sour cream, and butter. Then, add lots of garlic salt and any other seasonings you like. 

4.) Top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until centers are warm. Enjoy!

Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes
red wine mushrooms
mushrooms

Cut your mushrooms into halves or quarters, then begin to sauté them in a hot skillet with olive oil. Make sure to wait to add the salt until later on - this way they mushrooms are not overly salty. These are pretty easy to make, just be sure to watch them and keep stirring. Simmer until they turn darker brown and are much softer. Then, add your salt, seasonings, and a dash of red wine at the end to finish the mushrooms off. Enjoy!

mushrooms
mushrooms
Mushrooms
green bean casserole

This is the best side dish ever! Just mix 2 cans of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and a bit of milk together. Add crispy onions and combine. One thing that made this dish great was a layer of crispy onions as a "crust" on the bottom as well. YUM!!!

green bean casserole
bacon wrapped filets
Filet / Tenderloin
Filets

The main tip here would be that bobby's mom went to Sam's and had the butcher actually trim the beef tenderloin. That way, you're not paying for all of that extra weight, and don't have to make your kitchen a huge mess with all of that grease. Bobby's dad said he cuts the thickness of the filet depending upon how rare people want their steaks. The more rare steaks are cut thicker, and the less rare steaks are cut a bit thinner. They all get wrapped in bacon, seasoned, then put onto a hot grill. 

Filets
Bacon Wrapped Filets

Just look at those beautiful steaks! 

Filets

And, the final meal looked something like this...

Get The Recipe

sugar free cheesecake!

This recipe is one that a family friend makes every year. This was my first time having some, and WOW, it was amazing! I don't even really like cheesecake, but was pretty much convinced otherwise by this very piece of cheesecake. It's made with Splenda, and tasted like almond, it was perfectly balanced, and the strawberry topping was also out of this world. 

CHEESECAKE INGREDIENTS:

Splenda Cheesecake + Strawberry

 Crust: 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling: 2 (8 ounce) packages regular cream cheese

Almond Extract

1 (8 ounce) package fat-free cream cheese

1 1/4 cups SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated

4 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice + pinch of salt

CHEESECAKE INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener and melted butter in a small bowl. Press on bottom and up sides of prepared pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  4. Beat regular and fat free cream cheese together at high speed with a mixer until creamy; gradually add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until each one is incorporated. Add lime juice and a pinch of salt, beat until smooth. Pour into prepared crust.
  5. One tip for this cheesecake is to bake it in a bath of water. Make sure to cover the bottom of the springform pan in lots of foil so the water doesn't get in. 
  6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until mixture is almost set, and slightly firm to the touch. Run a knife around edge of pan to release sides, and help prevent cracking. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack; cover and chill at least 8 hours.
happy holidays!
Thanksgiving

Above, Bobby's parents, on the left, and long-time family friends, on right.

Below, the dogs had a great Thanksgiving, and it was fun celebrating Porter's first one! 

Our Pups