Holiday Dishes Starred Favorite

thanksgiving menu
The Hard Earned Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving this year was an enormous success, but there were a few dishes that ranked supreme in our minds.  Check out the below recipes for dishes that will not only please, but ones you’ll talk about for days!

Citrus Brine, Aromatic Stuffed, Pancetta-Roasted Turkey

Citrus Brine, Pancetta Roasted Turkey

If you have been keeping up with my turkey efforts this year, you know I jumped out on a limb and stuffed pancetta and sage beneath the skin of my turkey.  The results were undeniably delicious.  Check out the recipe, Citrus Brine, Aromatic Stuffed, Pancetta-Roasted Turkey.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates & Vanilla, Pecan Butter

brussels sprouts, pomegranates, vanilla
Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates & Vanilla, Pecan Butter

Everyone in my family has stories of hated brussels sprouts recipes, let me just confirm that every mind was changed with this recipe.  If you have a certain hatred for brussels sprouts, trust me you just have not had good ones.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay, Food Network.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil oil
  • 6 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 2 lime, finely zested
  • metal skewers, for grilling
*pomegranate molasses is near impossible to find — check a Bristol Farms, that’s where my determined mother finally scored a bottle!


Combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. Fold in the pecans and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Cut pomegranate in half and place in a bowl of water.  Peel out seeds underneath the water surface.  A clean and remarkable trick Chris’ mom taught me 🙂  Remove seeds from water and place in refrigerator until last step.

Rinse brussels sprouts and place in a microwave safe bowl, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and mix.  Microwave on high for 3 – 4 minutes, until tender.  Once cooled line brussels sprouts on metal skewers and grill until slightly charred on all sides.

Set aside until a few minutes before your ready to serve.  Remove brussels from skewers into a saute pan and toss with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Saute until warmed through.  Add the pomegranate molasses and stir to combine.

Transfer the sprouts to a large serving bowl, add the pomegranate seeds and lime zests. Top with some of the Vanilla-Pecan butter and serve!

Apple Berry Crumb Pie

apple berry crumb pie
Apple Berry Crumb Pie

I am not a baker but I was truly shocked at how good this pie tasted and just how easy it was to make.  The crumb is based from chopped walnuts that add a crunch that normal fruit pies just don’t provide.

Recipe adapted from the Green Mountain Inn Apple Berry Crumb Pie.

. Makes one 9-inch pie.


  • 3 cup blueberries
  • 3 Granny Smith apples (peeled & sliced)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 pre-made pie crust

Crumb Topping

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together ingredients for the crumb topping. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry, be sure to take a fork and poke the crust on the bottom and sides, ensuring an even bake.  Mix together pie ingredients and fill the pie crust. Cover filled crust with crumb topping. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until filling is bubbly and crust is browned on the bottom (approximately 40 minutes).

Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie
Brown Eyed Baker's Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie or pumpkin flavored eats are a dream come true for me.  I honestly feel and perhaps have shown that I have the ability to devour pumpkin flavored things in substantial quantities.  The Brown Eyed Baker’s pumpkin pie recipe is to the utmost perfection.  I beg you to just take a bite, I promise you’ll love it!

Recipe & photo (I ate it to fast, I forgot to take a picture) from Brown Eyed Baker.

Makes one 9-inch pie.

  • 1 recipe for single pie crust or pre-made crust
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup drained candied yams (from 15-ounce can)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Prepare the crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans, filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil/parchment and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 15 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.

While the pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 t0 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, using the back of a ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to warm prebaked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking until edges of pie are set and the center looks firm but jiggles slightly (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream

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