Two Thanksgiving Desserts That Will Make Your Family Swoon

I don’t have much time because I am in the midst of a Thanksgiving baking frenzy. But I wanted to share these recipes with you just in case you are still searching for a dessert or two that will blow everyone’s socks off.

First, Ina Garten’s pecan bars:

My personal adaptations to the pecan bars: I have cut the amount of filling in half, and the bars are perfect. Also, you can cut out the sugar considerably and they are still incredibly sweet. I also didn’t dip in chocolate. I like to cut them in super small squares to make them pecan bites, because they are just so decadent.

Second, this apple cider cream pie:

I PROMISE – if you make either of these, or both of these, as I am, your family will love you so much more than they already do – and then they’ll probably hate you for the extra 10 lbs they will gain from these desserts alone.

Happy Thanksgiving!


A Dinner Roll Worthy of Indulgence

Thanksgiving Dinner RollsI don’t know about you, but I love bread. Sometimes I daydream about those long-ago days when I didn’t count calories or believe strongly about adhering to a vegetable-dominated diet. The days of innocence, where I could consume a loaf of bread without a thought. Like I said, loooooong-ago. I was ten.

Needless to say, I am really looking forward to eating bread on Thanksgiving. So, that dough better be good. A dry, mediocre roll is not going to cut it.

I made these rolls for our Thanksgiving dinner last year, and I loved them so much that I am planning on bringing them back for an encore performance.

If you want a hearty, doughy roll – look no further. Actually – don’t take my word for it. I would hate to ruin your Thanksgiving dinner. So maybe you should give them a test run this week and decide if you love them like I love them.

One of the best things about these rolls is that you can make them ahead of time, freeze them and then pop them in the oven on Thanksgiving day. One less task for the actual day!

My Thanksgiving Dinner Roll Recipe:


4 cups organic all purpose flour (I like King Arthur)

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup Kalona Supernatural organic vanilla yogurt (with the cream top)

3/4 cup Kalona organic whole milk (with the cream top)

Almost 1/2 cup canola oil (you can use sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if you prefer)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add yogurt, salt, milk, and oil, and knead into soft dough (I used the dough hook of my KitchenAid mixer). Don’t overmix – the dough will get too sticky.

Form dough into rolls – I did 9 large rolls, but you can adjust size and number for your party

Cut a cross into the top of each roll and brush with a little bit of milk. At this point, you can add seeds or oats to the top if desired.

Bake for 18 minutes. They will still be slightly doughy, which makes them perfect for freezing and then reheating on Thanksgiving.

Reheat at 350 degrees for approximately 15 mins.

And – enjoy!

Throwback Thursday: My Grandma’s Peanut Butter Pie

674e6-006-copyI want to fervently thank my little group of supporters – you have been so positive about my freshly hatched blog. I am truly humbled by your enthusiasm and I am honored to rank among the numerous online distractions that limit your work productivity.

One day very soon, I hope to have a delightfully complex blog with a myriad of drop-down menus and stunning graphics. One section will be solely dedicated to travel – my husband and I both happen to be infected with voracious wanderlust. #Soulmates. Over the years, I have had a number of friends and colleagues ask for travel recommendations, and I’d love to finally consolidate our adventures into one place for your perusal. Another section may include a few of my favorite recipes, because pretending to be a chef is one of my favorite hobbies. I love food as much as I love travel – it works out nicely that they go hand-in-hand.

But, alas, until I enlist the help of a dear friend who is very talented at web design, code, and all of the things that make my eyes cross, I will continue my painfully simple blog in the form of public diary entries.

Today, instead of my usual musings, I have a recipe for you.

It’s very easy. It’s very tasty. And it’s a recipe from my grandmother. Which automatically makes it good.

I was blessed with two grandmothers who were both phenomenal cooks. They were always in their respective kitchens, making succulent treats. I tried to gather as many of their recipes as possible so that I could carry on their culinary legacies. Each time I re-create one of their scrumptious recipes, I imagine that I am infusing the world with a little bit of their grandmotherly sunshine.

Most refrigerated peanut butter pie recipes are shockingly similar and this one isn’t very different, except that it originated from the cozy kitchen of my beautiful grandmother. But if you make this pie, I do believe the world will be a bit brighter that day. Drop me a note and let me know how you liked it, won’t you?

Recipe for My Grandma’s Peanut Butter Pie

*I only use organic ingredients. I thought I’d tell you that here instead of writing “organic” in front of every ingredient (that just seems obnoxious and annoying).

For the filling:

1/2 cup MaraNatha Organic No-Stir Peanut Butter, creamy style
4 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese
1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 graham cracker crust

For the topping: 

1 cup heavy whipping cream (I love Kalona Supernatural)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream)
1 milk chocolate bar (I like Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate)

Filling: In one bowl, mix the peanut butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on low until thoroughly blended (I use my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment because I have no upper body strength). Pour the filling into your pie crust.

Topping: [Tip: chill the stainless steel bowl and wire whisk before whipping.] Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whip on high with your mixer until peaks start to form. Add the vanilla extract & sugar; continue beating until peaks form and the whipped cream reaches your desired consistency. Don’t overbeat or the consistency will be more like butter.

Smooth the topping onto the peanut butter filling. Take the chocolate bar and, using a knife, shave off curls onto the top of the pie.

FREEZE for at least 24 hours.

To serve, let the pie soften a bit. Some of my guests have preferred it on the softer side, but my husband loves it when it’s very frozen. Experiment and enjoy!

Until next time,