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Thanksgiving Updates

3 Fresh Takes on the Feast


Cornbread Dressing

Place ½ cup butter in a 13×9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425 degrees for 4 minutes. Stir together 3 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix and 1 cup all-purpose flour; whisk in 3 eggs and 3 cups buttermilk. Stir until evenly mixed. Pour hot butter from the pan into batter, and stir until blended. Pour batter into still-warm, buttery pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in 3 cups breadcrumbs, and set aside. Melt ½ cup butter in a skillet over medium heat; add 2 large diced onions and 4 diced ribs of celery, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup minced fresh sage, ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, ½ teaspoon pepper, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir into cornbread mixture. Whisk together 7 cups chicken broth and 4 eggs; stir into cornbread mixture. Pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13×9-inch pan and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.


Pumpkin Sage Scones 

In a small bowl, mix 2/3⅔cup canned pumpkin purée and 2 large eggs; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 2 tablespoons of minced fresh sage. Into the dry mixture, add ½ cup diced cold butter. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until crumbly. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir until all is moistened. You may need to use your hands to press it all together. Note: Do not over-mix. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, scrape the dough into two 5-inch rounds, use a floured hand to press the dough down to about ¾-inch thickness. Brush the tops with milk or melted butter and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Cut each circle into 6 triangles (like a pizza) and pull them apart. The scones can be baked right away, but have a flakier texture if you place the pan into the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. They should have some deep color on the tops and no damp spots should be visible. Makes a dozen scones.


Apple and Oat Crumble Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan with foil so it hangs over the sides, and lightly coat with baking spray. Peel and cut 4 to 5 medium apples and place in a saucepan over medium low heat. To the apples, add the juice from ½ a lemon, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes, or until there is no liquid in the pan. Allow to cool, and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Combine 1½ cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup old-fashioned oats, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Add 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, and use your hand to massage into the flour mixture until evenly coated and crumbly. The mixture should clump when pressed into your hand. Press half of the mixture into the pan, making sure it is uniform and well-packed. Spread apple mixture with a spatula, and sprinkle remaining flour mixture over top. Press lightly to make sure it is uniform. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and edges are bubbly. Cool in the pan and remove the bars by gently lifting up on the foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into 16 bars.

Jenny Tremblay West began her career as a pastry chef and currently teaches cooking in Richmond. Jenny, her husband, and their two young boys live in Church Hill. She has worked in food for more than twenty years and is a kitchen coach and personal chef with Caper.
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