A non-traditional thanksgiving dinner ....

[Note: the picture of the pork wellington was taken by Sue of her own, very successful, attempt at this recipe]

Green Herb Dip

3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup watercress leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 green onion (with top), cut into 1-inch pieces
Assorted raw vegetables (baby carrots, pea pods, zucchini)


In blender or food processor, place yogurt, mayonnaise and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Cover; blend or process about 30 seconds, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, until finely chopped.
Cover; refrigerate about 1 hour or until slightly thickened and chilled. Serve with raw vegetables.

Slow Cooked Cranberry Bread Pudding


6 cups cubed bread, any variety
4 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
8 oz whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste


Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, about 10 minutes. Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt in a large bowl. Combine bread cubes and dried cranberries in the slow cooker. Pour egg mixture over the bread and press down lightly until all bread is covered with custard. Cover and cook on low until the pudding is just set, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove insert and cool on a rack, about 25 minutes. Use a wire whisk or electric mixer to beat whipping cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold in powdered sugar to taste. Spoon pudding into serving dishes and top with whipped cream.

Notes: You may also add a combination of chopped dried apples and cranberries or other dried fruits.

Pork Wellington

1 whole egg
1 tablespoon water
1-ounce dried apple rings
1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard


Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.
Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.
Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.
Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.
Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.
Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Broccoli-Potato Puree

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 quart water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice


In a large pot, cook broccoli, potatoes, and scallions in 11/2 quarts of simmering water until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Combine vegetables with reserved cooking liquid in food processor. Pulse until mixture is almost smooth. Whirl in salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice. Serve at once.

Lemony Green Beans

1-1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed, or three 9-oz. pkg. frozen whole green beans
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, cut into thin wedges
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Lemon wedges


In a 12-inch skillet cook beans in lightly salted boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes or until barely crisp-tender.
Drain; rinse beans with cold water. Cover and chill up to 4 hours.
In same skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, tirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add green beans. Toss for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon peel, salt, and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

To serve right away: Chilling step may be omitted .

Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread) of Deliciousness

1 1/2 CUPS whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 CUPS brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 CUP canned pumpkin
1/2 CUP raisins (or chocolate chips)
1/4 CUP nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 CUP unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites (or 1/3 CUP liquid refrigerated or frozen-and-thawed egg whites from a carton)
Rolled oats, if desired


Preheat oven to 350. In mixing bowl, combine first 6 (dry) ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, raisins, yogurt, applesauce and egg whites, then adding wet to dry ingredients, stirring gently until the mixture is well combined. Batter may be baked either as muffins or in a loaf pan for bread.
For muffins, spoon batter into non-stick (or sprayed with PAM) muffin tray; for a quick bread, spread in a greased bread pan. Don't forget to sprinkle some raw oats on top to make 'em look pretty! Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes (for muffins) or 75 minutes (for bread) and do a fork check near the end to test done-ness.

Caramel-Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake

3 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 tbsp butter
1/8 cup (2 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 caramels, unwrapped
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
2 tbsp finely chopped peanuts


In a small frying pan, saute apples in butter, sugar and cinnamon until tender but not mushy, then remove from heat and allow to cool. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with cream for 1 minute, adding 30 second intervals if needed, then stir until blended; set aside. Beat cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla in mixing bowl until combined then pour into crust. Drizzle with about HALF of the caramel mixture.
Spread cooled apples over cheese, push down gently into crust. Sprinkle with peanuts and drizzle with remaining caramel sauce. Chill 5 hours or until completely set.

Autumn Punch

2 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 64-ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
2 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale
Ice cubes


Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth.
Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in chilled ginger ale. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice.

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