Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eats

In honor of our new (lywed) Thanksgiving, I decided to try out some new recipes to test on the in-laws. (I really should use my own parents as guinea pigs, since they have to love me no matter what, even if I poison them with un-tested recipes. Maybe I'll just tell the Haynes that Tanner made anything I bring to their house... that way they'll pretend to like them even if they're seriously janked up...) Anyways, these particular recipes were a hit. The cake was moist and had a delicious spice to it -- the very essence of the holidays. And the spinach was cheesy and rich. Mmmmmm... I love Thanksgiving left overs!

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cake
(original recipe from Kirsten, posted here on her awesome parenting blog)

1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin [Erin's note: Yeah, I accidentally used 30oz pumpkin pie mix, added the sugar and oil, and had a slippery, sugary, slop that I put in the refrigerator after I realized what I had done... I have hopes of resurrecting the sacrificial pie slop into something edible when I get back from Eldorado.]
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, spices and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into two round pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done. [Erin's note: I had to bake the cakes longer to get them to set in the middle. I took them out of the cake pans so they wouldn't burn on the edges, wrapped them in foil except for the middle, and cooked an additional 10 minutes.]

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons milk
Chocolate shavings

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar; mix well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Eat until you're sick.

Spinach Madeline

2 packages frozen chopped spinach
4 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. flour
2 Tbl. chopped onion
1/2 cup reserved spinach liquid
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Red pepper and salt to taste
6 oz. Jalapeno jack cheese, cubed
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the spinach according to package directions. Squeeze and drain the spinach, and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour, stirring until blended and smooth (but not brown). Add onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes. Slowly add reserved liquid and evaporated milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thick. Add the seasonings and cheese. Stir until cheese has completely melted. Combine with cooked spinach and stir until blended.

With a plastic spatula, scrape the spinach mixture into a large baking dish. Optional: Top with breadcrumbs. Bake in a 350-degree oven until lightly browned on top and bubbling around the edges.


  1. Hey Thanks so much for the comments! WOW! I am a H&R subscriber and LOVE reading the articles each month about his methods...the other thing I love is that the horse they are training is an I can completely relate. Now we just need a lesson on teaching horses to quit throwing their heads while Have a great time at the book signing- we had a total blast- and Ree is awesome, as expected! I am bookmarking your blog so I can visit again!

  2. Glad the pumpkin cake worked! yeah, it tends to stay mushy in the middle. But good! :) Sounds like a fun first married thanksgiving!

  3. Yummo that Pumpkin cake looks great!!



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