Today’s post will conclude our make-ahead Thanksgiving feast that I have been working so diligently to prepare for the site (and for our guests). Today I am sharing a foolproof bread machine roll that is perfect to make and freeze for the holiday season. These buttery bread machine rolls are my go-to bread recipe for the holidays because they always turn out perfectly and can be dressed up with whatever is in the cupboard or refrigerator for topping and personalizing.
I adore my bread machine and use it every single week in my house for our Friday night pizza nights as well as cinnamon rolls for weekend treats or just these rolls for our holiday feasts. Be sure to read my Bread Machine 101 article for some background information on how to use a bread machine in your house. If you don’t have one, my last three I have gotten (yes, I actually have had three bread machines over the last ten years because I use them that much) have been found at garage sales and thrift shops for $15-20! Be sure to check there when doing your shopping!
There is just so much to love about this roll recipe. First of all, it isn’t sticky or hard to work with at all. Secondly, it is quick to shape. Third, it rises like a dream. And fourth, you can customize the rolls to your heart’s delight. In year’s past we have added a cinnamon butter on the side or brushed with butter and a generous shake of cinnamon & sugar. The rolls I baked up tonight accompanied our weeknight chicken noodle soup and were brushed with a little butter, salt, and dried rosemary for a yummy finish.
If you have never made rolls before, try making a practice batch for your Thanksgiving feast, like I have shown here. One batch of rolls will yield approximately 15 rolls. Freeze them after shaping, up to one entire month, and then pull them out of the freezer the night before your big day. Allow them to rise overnight then bake as directed.
These are so beautiful and so delicious, don’t be surprised if they are the only thing everyone talks about at dinner!
On that final note, thank you all for joining in on all the make-ahead Thanksgiving Day fun. I am so proud to have my entire feast in the freezer and I can’t wait for you to have less stress around the holidays too!
A foolproof bread machine roll recipe that can be customized with whatever compliments your meal- sweet toppings, savory toppings, or flavored butters. Freeze these for the holidays and bask in the compliments when hosting your holiday feasts!
1 cup milk (110 degrees F.)
½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
¾ teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
3 teaspoons instant yeast
Place all ingredients in (in order given), in bread pan of your bread machine.
Select DOUGH setting and press start.
When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Shape pieces of dough into balls and place in a greased pan to make the rolls.
If freezing, freeze now (for up to one month).
Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise overnight.
To Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Brush with butter and favorite blend of seasonings or herbs (optional)
I’m back again with another fun Thanksgiving make-ahead recipe. Today’s recipe is an apple, sausage, and sage sourdough stuffing that tastes just as good as it sounds. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be made-ahead and placed in your freezer for the big day, which means one less thing for you to worry about on the day of your big feast!
Have you ever made your own stuffing? It is one of the easiest and most rewarding dishes to create for the holiday season. My grandma made a mean dressing when I was growing up, but stuffing was definitely something that came out of a box. I remember in sixth grade when we had to do a Thanksgiving play and I was supposed to pretend to make stuffing and had no idea what the teacher was talking about when he handed me a loaf of bread and celery.
What the heck was that for?
Being the true foodie I am, I still don’t think the boxed stuff is that bad, and you can’t beat the ease of preparation. It doesn’t hurt to gourmet things up a bit once in awhile though, especially when you can put this in your freezer and save it for the big day!
The biggest challenge with stuffing is all of the dicing and chopping to get the ingredients prepared. A handy food chopper can be your best friend when chopping up ingredients like onions or herbs. Once the ingredients are chopped though, it is just a simple matter of mixing them up and then placing the stuffing in the pan for baking.
I really love the ingredients in this recipe because they are the perfect balance of sweet and savory. I used turkey sausage in this recipe, but you could certainly substitute with chicken sausage instead. I love Granny Smith apples for baking because they maintain their texture and firmness in this dish. Leave the skins on for a little added color to your stuffing (not to mention, a little fiber too!)
I baked up a little dish for you to show you what this looks like when it is all done. The top is crunchy and the inside is delicious and fluffy. The apples add tartness while the onions, celery, and turkey sausage add a little savoriness to the stuffing. When these ingredients are all baked together, it is like a little symphony in your mouth! Reserve a few sprigs of sage to garnish the top of your dish!
Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread bread cubes out on two large rimmed baking sheets and bake until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from the casings, and add it to the skillet to cook, breaking up chunks with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes.
Add apples, celery, onion and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add to toasted bread. Stir in broth, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper.
Add stuffing to a freezer-safe greased 9×13 foil pan. Place in the freezer (for up to four weeks). 1-3 days before, remove the stuffing from the freezer. Drizzle a ½ cup additional chicken stock over the top to moisten the stuffing. Heat oven to 350°F and bake until lightly browned and crisp on top, 50 to 60 minutes. This stuffing can also be stuffed in your turkey, just be sure that the stuffing has cooled before proceeding.
Certain aspects of Thanksgiving preparation seem intimidating to me. Making a homemade cranberry sauce was one of those things. This recipe for Brandied Orange & Cranberry Sauce though was so easy to create and so delicious that I can’t imagine buying the canned variety again.
For the holidays, Walmart asked me to create a dish you could share around your Thanksgiving table. It seemed like the perfect time to tackle making my own cranberry sauce.
All of the flavor in this dish comes from, of course, the use of fresh cranberries and the zest and juice from fresh oranges. You need a microplane (can be found at just about any kitchen supplies store) to achieve the finest orange zest to be incorporated throughout the dish. The most time-consuming process about this sauce is the zesting and squeezing of your fresh oranges. I promise that it will be worth it!
The other key component with this sauce is a tablespoon of brandy. I tasted the sauce without the brandy and then I tasted the sauce after the brandy and the difference is substantial and worth the extra splurge. An entire bottle of brandy costs about $6 and I incorporate this in everything from quick pan sauces for meats to my favorite slow cooker lemon chicken recipe to my fresh blueberry sangria lemonade.
You want to cook this sauce until the berries have popped and the sauce begins to thicken. After the full cooking time I have listed, you may believe your sauce is still too thin and watery. Do not worry!
Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to come down to room temperature. A beautiful discovery will be found when you check back in your pot and realize that your sauce is thick and rich, just like you had always envisioned. You see, cranberries have their own natural pectin (who knew?) that allows the cranberry sauce to thicken. In fact, cranberries are one of the highest pectin containing fruits.
Cranberry sauce is a great make-ahead dish that you can start preparing now for your big day. Once your sauce has cooled, you can place it in your freezer to save for the big day! Just place your sauce either double-bagged in freezer bags and label or in a freezer-safe container. I would pull it out a few days before the big day or for a quicker idea for thawing, place the freezer bag of sauce in a bowl of warm water for an hour, or until it has thawed.
Stay tuned for ideas for how to use up any leftover sauce you might have later this month!
Once you make this cranberry sauce, you will never buy the canned variety again. Make this dish ahead & freeze for your Thanksgiving meal.
⅓ cup orange zest (approximately the zest from four oranges)
2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
⅔ cup orange juice (I used the juice from four oranges)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups cranberries
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brandy
In a small pan over medium heat, combine the orange zest and water. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving zest and ⅓ cup liquid.
To the reserved liquid, add the sugar, cinnamon, orange juice and lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes uncovered, stirring often.
Add cranberries; increase heat to medium-high and boil for about 30 minutes. The cranberries should pop and the sauce will be slightly thickened. Once cooled, the sauce will be much thicker (don’t worry!)
Remove from heat, stir in brandy.
See above for directions on freezing or store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pumpkin pie rarely needs an adornment more than a little whipped cream on top…that is, until I decided a crunchy cranberry pie topper would be a fun way to ad a little sparkle to a piece of pie. This cranberry crunch topper is the perfect way to add a little sweetness of crushed cookies, adds that tart bite from the cranberries to the top of your pies, and rounds out the crunchy flavor with freshly toasted walnuts.
A quick whirl through your food processor is all these ingredients need to pull together for a quick homemade topper for those store-bought pies. Set out a few of these fun toppings with your favorite store-bought pie or homemade pumpkin pies this year.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! I will be offline preparing to host my own family for the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your own families!
If there is one thing that simply screams Thanksgiving to me, it is the humble pumpkin pie. Today I wanted to share with you my recipe for the best homemade pumpkin pie that can round out your Thanksgiving feasting for the holidays. Not only will I be sharing my recipe for this pie, but I also wanted to share with you some fun tools to add to your baking arsenal.
The first pie I ever made was a Pumpkin Pie. With the ease of canned pumpkin and a few other simple ingredients in my pantry and fridge, it was one of the easiest pies to create and gave me confidence in the kitchen. The crust may have been store-bought and the filling was simple and straightforward, but I truly felt like a rock star in my very own kitchen.
Everyone has their own unique spin on this simple recipe, and today I wanted to share with you a filling that is rich on flavor that is unlike any pumpkin pie I have ever eaten. The richness comes from the well-blended cooked filling,the dark brown sugar, and the delicious combination of spices.
Good tools for pie making certainly make the job more fun and just as I shared with you the fun Thanksgiving centerpiece and table I was able to create through my partnership with Pure Charity, today I am making a beautiful dessert for the holidays using tools purchased through the Pure Charity.
If you have been a longtime reader to our site, you know how important giving back to other is to me. Whether it is the giving done in small ways like “found items,” around our home, to the giving of your talents to those in need, to the bigger projects where you gather your community and really feel like you make a difference.
Shopping through Pure Charity is one of those smaller things you can do that is as effortless as those donations of found items around your home. Holiday shopping will be happening for us over the next couple of months, why not make it shopping AND giving to those who need your support in the process? That sounds like a win-win!
What is Pure Charity?
Pure Charity is a simple, but awesome concept for giving back to those causes you care most about. Basically, you install a simple toolbar into your web browser and then it alerts you with a small banner at the top when a store you are shopping with has a partnership with Pure Charity. Click on that little button and you are making a percentage deposit into your Giving Fund. Your Giving Fund can then be applied to the charities that are important to you and that you have a desire to support.
Pure Charity asked me to show everyone what could be done via their partners and gave me a small budget to get started. Last week I shared ideas for setting the perfect Thanksgiving table, today I am sharing my delicious Pumpkin Pie recipe, and next week I will showcase some fun ideas for keeping the kids entertained. All supplies were ordered through their partner sites and I have created a Giving Fund for the charities that are most important to our family.
I can honestly say that I have never made a pie from scratch so this was not only a challenge for me, but reminded me that I still have so much to learn in the kitchen. This week I have several fun recipes as we enter the holiday entertaining season and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I found gorgeous pie cutters, brushes, pastry wheels, cookie sheets, and an elegant pie server from Williams Sonoma. My pie dishes are already receiving rave reviews and were just a mere $13 from the Paula Deen collection from Walmart.
What is dessert without a little wine? I have a desire to look fancy, but don’t always have the fund to really pay for the fancy in my life. One trick that I love to do when entertaining is to disguise boxed wine or less expensive bottles of wine in an elegant wine carafe. These stemless wine glasses (both red and white) plus my wine carafe makes entertaining look elegant while not spending a lot of money. I found these over at Walmart through Pure Charity.
Did you know you can even order a turkey or ham for your holiday entertaining through their partnership with Omaha Steaks? If that doesn’t scream stress-free entertaining than I don’t know what does? I may have ordered one for myself this year..Hey, it’s for charity!
With all of the items I bought to prepare my beautiful pie and serve my wine elegantly, the true bonus was that I was able to put an additional $7.69 towards my Giving Fund!
Head on over and create your own account with Pure Charity and find a cause that is important to you to give back to when doing your holiday shopping this year!
Without further adieu, I am sharing my new favorite Pumpkin Pie recipe with you! Once you try this pumpkin pie, you will quickly discover why it is my new favorite pie recipe. Be sure to visit this week’s All Butter Pie Crust tutorial that can be prepared in your handy food processor! Happy baking, everyone!
Processing the canned pumpkin yields a smooth and creamy pie texture and cooking the canned pumpkin in the spices & sugar helps take away from the canned pumpkin taste without hassling with fresh pumpkin.
1 recipe for a single-crust pie dough (Be sure to check the link for the All Butter Pie Crust)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup (7 ounces) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅔ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup whole milk
4 large eggs
Follow the steps given for the All Butter Pie Crust. Line your chilled crust with a double layer of foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color 25-30 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
For filling (while the crust is baking since you want the crust to still be warm when you add the filling), process the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves together in a food processor until combined, about 1 minute.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in the cream and milk, return to a simmer briefly, then remove from the heat.
Process the eggs in a food processor until uniform, about five seconds. With the machine running, add about half the hot pumpkin mixture in the feed tube. Stop the machine, add the remaining pumpkin and continue processing until smooth (about 30 seconds)
Immediately pour the warm filling in the warm crust. Bake the pie until the filling is puffed and lightly cracked around the edges and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 25 minutes.
Let the pie cool on a wire rack until the filling has set, about two hours. Serve warm or a at room temperature.
To make Pumpkin Pie Ahead- Make your pie dough ahead of time. Once baked and cooled, the pie can be covered loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to one day. Let the pie come to room temperature before serving or, to serve warm, reheat the pie in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes.