FALL HOLIDAYS PART 1:
BY KAREN PERRY
When you hear the
your thoughts go to
two outstanding Fall holidays,
Halloween and Thanksgiving,
which both share the sumptuous
Some Halloween traditions
come from ancient harvest rit-uals.
That carved pumpkin with
the ghoulish grin is a universal
symbol for the October 31st
holiday. With less Halloween
candy this year, serve “Pumpkin
Blondies with Chocolate and
Pecans” to satisfy any sweet
Thanksgiving is a day of being
grateful for the bountiful harvest.
The cornucopia, a symbol of
Thanksgiving, is a horn-shaped
basket overflowing with harvest
items, flowers, and nuts. It is
never too early to start planning
and cooking for Thanksgiving.
Will it be a side of dressing or
sweet potatoes, or a pecan pie
for dessert? Maybe all of them!
Plan ahead: Preparing a suc-cessful
Thanksgiving meal can
be overwhelming. It will help
tremendously to have a “holiday
battle plan.” Get a head start on
the holiday by thinking “freezer
friendly.” Plan a Thanksgiving
menu containing many foods
that can be prepared in advance.
See the recipes here for some
interesting plan-ahead ideas
(and we hope we’ve made you
good and hungry).
November’s column will
be “Fall Holidays Part 2:
Everything Old is New Again.”
The Thanksgiving menu con-tinues,
with foods prepared
shortly before the holiday or on
the day of Thanksgiving. Make
holiday entertaining memorable
with novel ideas for the feast.
Residents are invited to send their
favorite Thanksgiving recipes to
Karen Perry at perrykdale@aol.
com. Thank you, and enjoy!
Sweet Potatoes for the Sweet (Serves 10)
1 (29 oz) can sweet potatoes,
½ cup salted butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 2-quart (8x8 inch) bak-ing
Freeze Stuffing? Unthinkable! (Think again)
• Stuffing can be frozen before or
• One important exception: when
raw eggs are a stuffing ingredient,
it is safer to freeze the stuffing after
it is completely baked.
• When freezing stuffing after cook-ing,
be sure it is completely baked.
Stuffing is completely baked after
about 25 minutes (with a foil cov-er)
and 10-20 minutes (without a
foil cover) or until golden brown.
At completion, the center of the
stuffing should read 165 degrees
on an internal thermometer.
• For best results when freezing baked
stuffing, store in small portions in
airtight, moisture-proof containers.
• When stored correctly, baked stuff-ing
can remain frozen for up to two
• To serve, thaw baked stuffing then
reheat it in a 325-degree oven for 15
minutes or until warm throughout.
• Freeze uncooked stuffing in the
same tray you will use for baking.
• Frozen uncooked stuffing does not
have to be thawed. Take it directly
from the freezer to a hot, preheat-ed
oven to cook completely.
Classic Pecan Pie
1 ½ cups brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup maple syrup
3 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups pecans, roughly chopped
1 prepared pie crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a
large bowl, whisk the brown sugar,
melted butter, vanilla, salt, and maple
syrup. Add the eggs and whisk until
well combined. Set aside. Layer the
pecans evenly over the bottom of the
crust. Pour the syrup combination
evenly over the pecans. Bake for
50-60 minutes or until the center of
the pie is solid. If the pie is browning
too much before the center is com-pletely
cooked, tent with foil for final
cooking time. Set the pie on a wire
rack to cool.
To prepare ahead: Allow the pie to
cool completely. Wrap it tightly in a
double layer of plastic wrap followed
by a double layer of foil. It will keep
in the freezer for up to one month. To
serve, thaw the pie in the refrigerator
overnight. Then remove and let the
pie come to room temperature.
dish. In a large bowl, mash the
sweet potatoes. Stir in the melted
butter, milk, sugar, vanilla extract,
and beaten eggs. Stir until well com-bined
and set aside. In a second
bowl, combine the melted butter,
brown sugar, flour, and chopped
pecans. Use a fork or your fingers
to combine. The mixture should
consist of small crumbs. Sprinkle
topping mixture over sweet potato
To prepare ahead: Wrap the
unbaked casserole well in several
layers of foil and freeze for sever-al
days. Defrost thoroughly. Bake
uncovered for 30-40 minutes until
topping is golden brown. Let casse-role
cool for at least 15-20 minutes
Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate and
Pecans (Makes 16 Blondies)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and line an 8x8 inch pan
with parchment paper, leaving a
2-inch overhang on two sides. In
a large bowl, whisk together the
butter, pumpkin puree, sugars, egg
yolk, and vanilla extract. Fold in
the flour, baking soda, cinnamon,
salt, and most of the chocolate
and pecans. Transfer the batter to
the pan, smooth it into an even
layer and sprinkle the top with the
remaining chocolate and pecans.
Bake 15 minutes then rotate the
pan. Bake another 20-25 minutes
or until the top looks dry and set.
Transfer to a rack and cool com-pletely.
Cut into 16 pieces.
To prepare ahead: The blondies
can be stored in an airtight, mois-ture-
proof container in the freezer
for up to 1 month.
Here is a delicious preparation that brings sparkle to the old sweet pota-to.
You can use canned or fresh sweet potatoes, whichever you prefer.
28 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ October 2021