Jennie Geisler: You’ll thank yourself for making a T-day game plan
Suddenly, inexplicably, we find ourselves two weeks and a day from Thanksgiving. All that hot weather in October had me in a timeless daze. I almost missed Halloween it was so balmy.
(Snort. As if I’d miss a day devoted to dressing up like a fool and consuming chocolate, pizza and beer.)
Either way, no matter how hard I squint at the calendar, here we are. I haven’t had time to cook much this week, but ideas for the big feast day have been piling up in my inbox and my brain is full. I figured there’s no time like the present to start thinking about a few things to help make that day a little easier and more delicious for everyone. I share a few of my favorite recipes from previous holiday seasons, and a list or two to get you thinking, whether you’re a host or guest, about how to make 2017 one to be thankful for.
Don’t worry. I won’t go wall-to-wall holidays through the new year. I know we have to eat a few meals in between as well. This past Saturday, for example, I got a chance to cook with some folks from the Turkish Cultural Center at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. And I have simple, delicious recipes. So that’ll be a little different.
Until then, give yourself 20 minutes to scan these lists and stick the recipes on the fridge if they look good to you (or, better yet, farm them out to your family). The more you do now, the more you have to thank yourself for Nov. 23.
Pear, Apple, Cranberry Crisp
4 cups pears, peeled, cored, sliced
4 cups apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cracked wheat
½ cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter, cold, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 375 F (350 F if baking dish is glass). Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Toss pears, apples and cranberries, with the 2 tablespoons flour, honey and vinegar in a large bowl. Pour into prepared dish.
In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour, brown sugar, cracked wheat, pecans and butter with two knives or a pastry blender into the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle loosely over the fruit mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until brown and crisp on top.
Nutrition information per serving: 210 calories, 7.6 g fat, 2.7 g fiber, 2.2 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 6.4 mg sodium.
Makes 2½ cups
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup vinegar
½ cup raisins
½ cup peeled, diced apple
¼ teaspoon each allspice, ginger, cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine water and sugar and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Add the rest of the ingredients, simmer 10 minutes until berries just begin to split.
Pour into a medium glass (or other nonreactive) mixing bowl. Place piece of plastic wrap directly on the sauce.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.
Nutrition information per ¼ cup: 120 calories; 0.1 g fat (0 saturated); 0 cholesterol; 1.6 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 27 g sugar; 0.4 g protein.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulk, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Add sliced onion and begin cooking over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. After cooking 5 minutes add sliced fennel and lower heat to medium. Continue cooking to caramelize onion and fennel mixture, stirring often.
Meanwhile, toss quartered Brussels sprouts with olive oil. Add salt and caraway seeds and spread in a single layer on rimmed cookie sheet. Place in preheated oven. Roast 20 minutes.
Add roasted Brussels sprouts to caramelized onion and fennel mixture. Toss together, then serve.
Makes 4 ¾-cup servings
— The News-Herald
Nutrition information per serving: 263 calories, 24 g fat, 4.6 g fiber, 3.2 g protein, 11.7 g carbohydrate, 128 mg sodium, 16 mg cholesterol.
— Jennie Geisler can be reached on Twitter: @ETNGeisler.