Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Leftovers & Turkey Enchilada Stack: A Family Favorite

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

I’m writing this post while on a family Thanksgiving vacation in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I don’t like to think a lot about meals while on vacation, so this Turkey Enchilada Stack fits the bill perfectly. For the most part, I am using leftover turkey and ingredients you would likely already have in your pantry or refrigerator. Now, if you didn’t cook a turkey or if you don’t have any leftovers, you can easily use meat from a rotisserie turkey or chicken.

I had two places of inspiration for this recipe – The Pioneer Woman and Cook’s Illustrated. When I came across Ree Drummond’s recipe for Simple, Perfect Enchiladas, I knew I had to make it. And what a treat it was; I loved how she incorporated fresh green onions and cilantro! But I wanted to find a way to simplify it and make it a tad healthier. To simplify, I stacked the tortillas instead of rolling them. To make it healthier, I used shredded turkey breast, eliminated most oil and used light cheese. Ree’s recipe also uses canned enchilada sauce. I searched high and low for a canned sauce I liked and came up empty. So I decided to make an easy one from scratch. Cook’s Illustrated is my favorite how-to site, so that was my first stop. I found a recipe that met my expectations, but I did modify it a bit to my liking.

So, here is my version of turkey enchiladas…

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 1/2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 king size (7 1/2-inch) corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded white meat turkey or meat from 2 lb. rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded light cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced black olives, drained, divided (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Light sour cream (optional)

For the sauce, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in chili powder, cumin, sugar and bouillon. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

Stir in tomato paste, evaporated milk and water; cook for a few minutes to heat through.

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Pour through fine-mesh strainer (see photo above); discard onion/garlic pieces. Like it spicy? Stir 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles into the sauce.

Heat tortillas in microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 40 seconds or until very warm (this is how a lot of the fat is cut out of the recipe – no need to fry the tortillas in oil.)

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce over bottom of 9-inch-round deep-dish pie plate, shown above.

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Place 2 tortillas over sauce, covering entire bottom of pie plate, shown above.

Top with 1 1/2 cups turkey, ¾ cup cheese, 1/2 cup green onions, half of the olives and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Since my family doesn’t like olives, I left the olives out this time!

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Top with about ½ cup sauce. Place 2 more tortillas over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups turkey, ¾ cup cheese, remaining 1/2 cup green onions, remaining olives and 1 tablespoon cilantro, shown above.

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Top with about ½ cup sauce. Top with remaining 2 tortillas, shown above.

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Pour remaining sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese (see photo above); cover loosely with foil.

Bake for 25 minutes or heated through. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving. Serve with sour cream.

Turkey Enchilada Stack Recipe

Ahh, another meal triplet approved. Enjoy this special time with your family! We’re off to the slopes for now…


Other ideas for your turkey leftovers:


Turkey & White Bean Stew Recipe
Turkey & White Bean Stew
Take Two Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe
Take Two Turkey Tetrazzini

Just in Time for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

This is my last pumpkin recipe post for 2010, and I saved the best for last! This is a dessert even non-pumpkin-pie fans will enjoy.

Now, this isn’t just any crème caramel. This is Pumpkin Crème Caramel, infused with fresh orange, that’s good enough to be served in the finest restaurants. Pumpkin Crème Caramel that you don’t have to feel guilty eating. Isn’t that something to be thankful for?

So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one! I am just using 2% evaporated milk in place of heavy cream. By doing this I’m saving you over 20 grams of fat and 160 calories per serving. That’s right, per serving! This little gem has just 290 calories and 3.5 grams of fat.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk (regular Evaporated Milk works great too!)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel


Place six 6-ounce ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Place granulated sugar, water and lemon juice in medium saucepan; bring to gentle boil over medium-high heat (above). Note: lemon juice helps the sugar from crystallizing. If you leave it out, just be sure to wipe down the sides of pan with a wet pastry brush.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Continue to cook for 5-6 minutes or until syrup turns from clear to golden, swirling pan gently (above).

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Continue to cook for another 2 minutes or until honey-caramel in color. Immediately pour caramel evenly into each ramekin (above). Cool for about 15 minutes or until caramel has hardened.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Place evaporated milk and brown sugar in medium saucepan (above); bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and orange peel in medium bowl until well combined (above). Slowly whisk hot evaporated milk mixture into egg mixture.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Strain the custard into a glass measuring cup – this will guarantee a velvety-smooth texture (above). Pour mixture into prepared ramekins.

Add enough hot (not boiling) water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the ramekins. Note: A bain-marie – fancy word for water bath – is necessary here since it insulates the custard cups. If they aren’t insulated, the eggs can reach syneresis, the point at which the liquid separates from the solids.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

Bake at 325° F. for 55 minutes or until custard is just set (centers should be slightly wobbly – residual heat will cook the center as it cools). Using tongs with a silicone tip, transfer ramekins to a wire rack. If you don’t have tongs with silicone tips, just wrap a rubber band around the ends of metal tongs to help grasp the cups. Cool for about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Pumpkin Crème Caramel Recipe

To serve, run knife around inside perimeter of ramekins; invert onto plates. For the holidays, I like to garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds. Bon Appétit!


Thanksgiving Sides Made Easy & Healthy: Morrocan Quinoa & Apple Ginger Brown Rice

Moroccan Quinoa Recipe

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most important meals of the year. While turkey is usually the main dish, the sides are what contain the majority of the calories. As well, it’s hard to please everybody around the table. A wide array of different side dishes can solve this problem, and make your Thanksgiving dinner complete for everyone on your guest list. Your Thanksgiving sides can be easy and healthy for all of your guests and still be delicious.

In a previous post, I shared my favorite Quinoa recipes, including this Moroccan Quinoa. This simple side features a flavor-rich combination of quinoa, cilantro, pine nuts and dried fruit. Since it pairs so well with turkey, I wanted to highlight it again for the holidays.

Apple Ginger Brown Rice

Apple Ginger Brown Rice is another very simple but flavorful and healthy side that will work well on your holiday table. Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the nutritious bran and germ covering of the rice grain. This gives it a chewy texture, a nutty aroma, and plenty of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. Brown rice also contains three times the amount of fiber as white rice (fiber also makes you feel full really fast, so you will likely eat less). In this recipe, the rice is cooked in water and apple juice. The apple juice sweetens it up just a touch and the fresh ginger adds just the right bite.

Watch the video above to see how to make this Moroccan Quinoa recipe step-by-step. Another favorite side dish isn’t my recipe, but it’s from Mr. Bobby Flay. I love his garlic-roasted green beans with shallots and hazelnuts because it is so easy and healthy. I usually add more garlic to mine, but only when other garlic-shy family members aren’t around for dinner.


More easy & healthy side dish recipes:

Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Apple Glazed Carrots Recipe
Apple Glazed Carrots

Libby’s Classic Pumpkin Pie: Deconstructed into 6 New Pie Recipes

Pumpkin Bourbon Pie Recipe

Pumpkin pie, a holiday tradition. Whether you like the classic version or a slightly more flavorful version (the addition of bourbon makes this the favorite for my family), it’s just not the holidays without a pumpkin pie of some kind.

This year, we’ve asked 6 bloggers to help us deconstruct and reinvent pumpkin pie, and create 6 totally new ways to make it. You’ve probably seen Bravo’s Top Chef where contestants are often asked to take whatever ingredients are given to them and create something delicious and spectacular out of it. I do this best with the remnants in my fridge, especially after a party. Well, we’re throwing classic pumpkin pie fixings at our bloggers, and you’re going to like what they’ve cooked up.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cake recipe

Or baked up in Jessica’s case, from How Sweet It Is, who created the 6-layer Pumpkin Pie Spice cake above (plus another layer cake with more chocolate!):

  • Cake #1 = 2 layers each of peanut butter cake, crunchy cinnamon apple cake and spiced pumpkin cake, each layer sandwiched by a layer of cinnamon sugar butter cream
  • Cake #2 = a center layer of pumpkin spice cheesecake, enveloped by chocolate fudge cake with the outermost layers being peanut butter cake, concealed in a thick layer of dark chocolate fudge chip frosting

Cinnamon Crêpes with Pumpkin Mousse & Graham Crust Crumble recipe

Kelly from Evil Shenanigans created a lighter, elegant pumpkin dessert with the Cinnamon Crêpes with Pumpkin Mousse & Graham Crust Crumble above, something even the pickiest in-laws will love.

Pumpkin Pie Popsicles recipe

Or maybe you don’t especially like pumpkin pie (I know there are some of you out there), and maybe you’d like a refreshing twist like Pumpkin Pie Popsicles above from Damaris’ Kitchen Corners. These are so unique; I love how creamy they look, and also easy to make!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pizza Pie recipe

Another twist on the original is Knuckle Salad‘s Pumpkin Ice Cream Pizza Pie above, which Kristina re-creates from her childhood memories of ice creams shop goodies and tough love.

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding recipe

Looking for something delicious, crustless and gluten-free? Then, the Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding recipe above created In Erika’s Kitchen is for you.

Pumpkin Crème Brulée recipe

I don’t know about you, but I love crème brulée, and I love Julie’s (aka Mommie Cooks) Pumpkin Crème Brulée above, although I think I would have loved her pumpkin hand pies and whoopie pies too.

So this holiday season, we hope you’ll be inspired to deconstruct your own pumpkin pie and try something new. It not, there’s always the classic version…and the slightly more tipsy one too.


Our Famous Pumpkin Roll Recipe: the Perfect Fall Dessert

LIBBY'S® Pumpkin Roll Recipe

With the Thanksgiving holidays fast approaching, I find myself thinking about recipes I’ll be preparing and sharing with family and friends. It will be a mix, some new, some old standbys: a long list I better begin to shorten! But more than anything, I think of those I’ve shared the table or cooked with…so many happy and funny memories. I miss those who are not around the table anymore but I smile knowing that they live on through stories, recipes, special holiday plates, baking pans, etc. These things bring them back to the table and into the kitchen, cooking and baking with us.

Particularly I think of my grandmother, Maybelle – or Foonha as I called her (perhaps I couldn’t pronounce Grandma when I was smaller). She just loved pumpkin pie, particularly the one on the Libby’s can. “You can’t go wrong with that recipe – I invented it. How they got into my recipe box, I’ll never know and now it’s on every label!” she told me. I knew better than to debate her on that one!

As a young woman just starting in my food career, I remember my mom and her talking about jelly rolls. Foonha made the best. They explained how they were made to me but it made no sense. I could not understand how you could roll a cake in towel and then fill it with a filling. “Wouldn’t you get filling on the towel? How does the towel come out? ” I asked them. I’m sure they wondered where I had studied food and culinary arts with these questions!

Unfortunately, the opportunity never did arise for Foonha or my mom to show me how to bake one. But seeing someone prepare one helped me understand. Wow, so that’s how the towel comes out! I couldn’t wait to make one myself, and guess what, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. So don’t be hesitant to try our pumpkin roll recipe; our video below will guide you step-by-step. Like the pumpkin roll recipe, this video is one of our most popular how-to videos. I know you’ll be a pro in no time!

Our pumpkin roll is perfect to have on hand to be part of or bring to your Thanksgiving or Holiday feast (great for gifts too). The recipe can be doubled to make 2 rolls and for those of you who like to bake ahead, the roll freezes well. I suggest that you wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Label and freeze no more than 4 weeks; thaw under refrigeration. The rolls, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, if they last that long!

LIBBY'S® Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Although Foonha is no longer with us, she will be present in the kitchen with me when I start making pumpkin rolls. Above is a picture of me with one of my most cherished possessions: her beloved jelly roll pan. Time to get rolling!


Related pumpkin holiday recipes:

Pumpkin Orange Cake Roll Recipe
Pumpkin Orange Cake Roll
Sensibly Delicious Pumpkin Roll Recipe
Sensibly Delicious Pumpkin Roll

Thanksgiving Side Dish Makeover: Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

This sweet potato casserole is my take on the iconic marshmallow-topped Thanksgiving holiday side dish (like this one from the New York Times). I added pumpkin to boost nutrition and add moisture, thus allowing me to cut down on the amount of butter and eliminate cream/milk. To complete the makeover the top is sprinkled with a crunchy pecan streusel. The streusel might sound close to dessert territory, but it’s not overly sweet.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

You’ll start with 4 pounds of sweet potatoes or yams – sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, but they can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Sweet potatoes can be confusing because the flesh can range from white to yellow to orange and even purple. The orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a tad sweeter and more moist (you can see this in the image at the top). The yellow flesh sweet potatoes are a bit more firm and drier. This time, I’m using the pale yellow so you can see the difference.

Tip: store sweet potatoes in the open, in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, not wrapped up in plastic bags, and not in the refrigerator. They should keep for up to 10 days.

Unless the skin is really thick (which it shouldn’t be if you are using sweet potatoes), there is no need to peel them, just scrub them clean. I keep the peel on to add texture and save a little time, but you can certainly peel. To speed the cooking process, I take advantage of the microwave. Simply cut the sweet potatoes into 2-3 inch pieces and cook on high for 15 minutes or until tender – you might need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your microwave.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

Cool the sweet potatoes slightly, then add to large bowl along with 1 15-ounce can of Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt  and1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. With potato masher, smash until lumpy (cut any large pieces of skin into smaller pieces if needed). Add eggs; smash until incorporated. Spoon into a 13 x 9-inch or 3-quart baking dish.

For the topping, combine 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle over casserole; top with ½ cup chopped pecans. Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven.

So that the nuts are nice and toasted I prefer to finish this casserole in the broiler. It only takes about 1 minute to get the casserole bubbly and the nuts toasted.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

This recipe makes 18 servings, perfect for a large celebration. Remember that a half-cup is a single serving. Since we all tend to go a little overboard during the holidays (me included!), I’m including an image of the actual serving size above. Check out the color differences too between the top image and this one.


Other pumpkin holiday recipes:

Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe
Pumpkin Curry Soup
Pumpkin and Cranberry Risotto Recipe
Pumpkin & Cranberry Risotto
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