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We haven’t been cooking a lot lately because work has kept us so busy — but I am excited about contributing a few items to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

First, the menu:

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Hot fruit compote
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Sweet potato souffle
  • Squash casserole
  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Giblet gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Apple pie
  • Bourbon chocolate pecan pie

We’re taking the squash casserole and the pies.

Squash casserole ingredients:

  • Squash (the common yellow crookneck variety)
  • Vidalia onion
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper

Cut the ends off the squash; dice. Chop some onion.  Add salt and pepper; cover with water in large stock pot and boil until squash is done.  Drain and return to pot — but reserve some of the “squash juice” to add back later as necessary. Add cheese, bread and eggs to cooked squash.  Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is getting too thick, add back some of the reserved liquid.

Place mixture into glass casserole and bake at 350 until set.

Bourbon chocolate pecan pie

My uncle found this recipe a few years ago and it’s been a family favorite ever since. Super easy, and one of the few pies I will make with a store-bought crust.

Ingredients (makes two pies):

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c karo syrup
  • 1/2 c butter (one stick)
  • 4 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 c bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped pecans (although I usually put in about a cup and a half)
  • 2 9-inch oreo pie shells (and chocolate crust will do — I try to find ones without trans fat)
  • 1 rounded tbsp corn meal (optional)

Combine sugar, karo and butter in small saucepan and cook over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring constantly (do not bring to a boil — just melt butter and dissolve sugar). Meanwhile, beat eggs, bourbon, vanilla and salt in large bowl.  Slowly add hot sugar mixture, beating with a whisk. Stir in chocolate chips — the hot mixture should begin to melt the chocolate; continue stirring vigorously with a whisk until chocolate chips are melted (or at least mostly melted). Stir in pecans. Optional: stir in a rounded tablespoon of corn meal to give a crispier top (I usually do this).

Pour half of the mixture into each of the two pie shells (making sure that the pecans are evenly distributed, as is any chocolate that may have stuck to the bottom of the mixing bowl) and bake 50-55 minutes at 325 or until set.

I’ll share my apple pie recipe in another post!

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