Bella’s Thanksgiving Banquet 

Thanksgiving is a time of sharing, being with family and the one’s you love.  Sitting down together for a Thanksgiving Dinner is a special time.  A time to give thanks.  I went to my sister’s house one year and she had this ritual of going around the table and having everyone say what they were thankful for.  I loved the idea so much; we do it now at our Thanksgiving Table.

So here I share with you my Thanksgiving Dinner, because you are all special to me and I wanted to give thanks.  I am also very grateful for my family, my friends, and my newest friends that come on to my website, I Thank You.  Have a lovely Thanksgiving, filled with everything and everyone, you are thankful for.  ENJOY<3

Bella <3

 Basil Lasagna Rolls 

We start with a Italian dish every year and it’s different every year.  This year I choose Basil Lasagna Rolls. They are so good, has a good presentation and can be made a head of time and cooked Thanksgiving Day.

Basil Lasagna Rolls 

5 Lasagna Noodles

1 Cup Ricotta Cheese

3/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese-Shredded

1/4 Cup Pecorino Roman Cheese-Grated

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

5 Fresh Basil Leaves-Julienne

2 Cups Spaghetti Sauce-Your Favorite

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pot of salted boiling water, add lasagna noodles and cook until tender.

In bowl mix together ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, pecorino romano, salt, pepper and basil.  Lay noodles flat and smear top with cheese mixture, roll up.

In baking dish, spoon sauce into bottom, place lasagna rolls seam side down.  Cover with sauce and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheeses are melted.  Serve.  Enjoy<3

Serves 5

Cranberry Sauce  

Everyone has their own opinion about cranberry sauce, and usually is a strong opinion, of either the can jellied cranberry sauce or the whole berry kind.  I grew up with the can option; which I always loved.  But since, have wanted to broaden my horizons and went over to the other side, well half way.  I couldn’t get rid of the can completely, so I combined my favorite flavors to create what I think is an awesome cranberry sauce and I get the can kind too!  The best of both worlds!  Easy to make, is a plus!

Cranberry Sauce

1 Can Jelly Cranberry Sauce

1 ½ Cups Whole Cranberries

1/4 Cup Orange Flavored Liquor

1 Teaspoon Orange Zest

Pinch Cinnamon

Juice of 1/4 of a Lemon

1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds – Optional

In sauce pan, add all ingredients. Cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat, until cranberries are soft and start to open.  Place in bowl and refrigerate until cooled.  Top with almonds.  Serve.  Enjoy<3

Serves 4-5

Chive Cheese Mash Potatoes 

Love – Love- Love, these mash potatoes.   These potatoes are a perfect match for any Thanksgiving Dinner. The pecorino romano cheese and the chives just make these creamy potatoes more delicious!

Chive Cheese Mash Potatoes 

5-6 Large Potatoes-Diced

1 Stick of Butter

¾ Cup Milk

2 Tablespoons Pecorino Romano Cheese

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Pepper

1 Tablespoon Fresh Chives

In Kitchen Aid mixer bowl or large bowl with hand held mixer.  Place butter, milk, cheese, salt and pepper in the bottom of the bowl.

In large pot of water, add potatoes and boil until potatoes are very soft.  Drain potatoes and place into kitchen aid mixer bowl or large bowl.  Mix on low until combined, then gradually speed up mixer and blend on med high until potatoes are smooth, about 3 minutes.  Do not over mix.  Add in chives and mix just until combined.  Serve.  Enjoy<3

Serves 5

Sautéed Broccoli, Red Pepper & Mushrooms Aioli 

Sautéed Broccoli, Red Pepper & Mushrooms Aioli 

2 Heads of Broccoli

Drizzle Olive Oil

10 Ounces of Baby Bella Mushrooms- Sliced

2 Roasted Red Peppers- Cut into Strips

4 Cloves Garlic- Sliced

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Cut the broccoli crowns off of the broccoli. In steamer, steam broccoli crowns until just tender.

Meanwhile; in sauté pan drizzle the olive oil generously, sauté mushrooms on medium low for about 5 minutes.  Add peppers, garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook on low for a couple of minutes.  Mix in steamed broccoli, stir to combined and serve.  Enjoy<3

Serves 4-5

Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing   

I am sharing with all of you,  my traditional thanksgiving stuffing.  This is my Mom’s recipe, I have had it every thanksgiving since I can remember, and so have my children.  Nothing fancy, you don’t mess with Mom’s Stuffing.  Eating this stuffing is Thanksgiving to me.

Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing 

1 Cup Onion-Chopped

1 Cup Celery-Chopped

1 Stick Butter

1/2 Teaspoon Sage

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Pepper

1/4 Teaspoons Thyme

12 Ounce Herb Seasoned Cube Stuffing

12 Ounce Unseasoned Cube Stuffing

2-14.5 Can Chicken Broth

In frying pan with heat on low, melt butter and sauté onions, celery, sage, salt, pepper and thyme, until onions and celery are translucent.

In large baking dish, add stuffing and onion mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add chicken broth and mix.  Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes.  Cover if top gets to brown.  Serve.  Enjoy<3

Herb Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy 

Herb Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy 

For Turkey: 

1 Stick of Butter-Room Temperature 

1 Small Bunch Fresh Rosemary 

 1 Small Bunch Fresh Sage 

1 Small Bunch Fresh Thyme 

¼ Teaspoon Salt and Pepper 

1 Bulb of Garlic 

2 Cups Chicken or Turkey Broth 

1 Turkey 

Salt and Pepper to Taste 

For Gravy: 

Drippings from Roasting Pan 

1 -15.2 Ounce Can Chicken Broth 

2 Tablespoon Butter 

2 Tablespoons Flour 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the lowest position. 

In a small bowl, mix together butter, 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon of chopped sage, 1 teaspoon sage leaves, salt and pepper. 

Place washed and patted dry turkey into roasting pan with a roasting rack.  Take butter mixture and slide fingers under skin and placing butter between the breast meat and the skin.  From the top of the turkey rub the skin pushing the butter along the whole top of turkey.  Rub the remaining on top of the turkey, covering the entire turkey.  Take the remaining herbs, and place half into the bottom of the roasting pan, the other half of the herbs and the garlic bulb, cut in half, place into the cavity of the turkey.  Pour the chicken broth into the roasting pan, adding more if needed during cooking process.  Salt and pepper top of turkey.  

Place turkey in oven, on lowest rack and place foil over top, loosely.  Cook according to the package directions according to your size turkey.  Baste the turkey often, with the bottom juices of the roasting pan.  A meat thermometer should read 180 degrees, in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone. Remove foil the last hour, and turn oven to 400 degrees, to let turkey brown.  Let rest for 20 minutes before cutting. 

Take juices from bottom of pan scraping any brown bits off the bottom and place in sauce pan, with 1 can chicken broth.  Simmer on low while turkey is resting.  In separate pan melt butter and cook flour for about 1 minute, add in juices slowly while whisking.  Simmer until thickened.  Strain the gravy and serve with turkey.  Enjoy<3 

Fall Harvest Apple Pie 

You couldn’t put a tastier or more festive, beautiful pie on your Thanksgiving table. 

Fall Harvest Apple Pie 

3 Ready Made Pie Crusts 

1/2 Cup Sugar 

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar 

2 1/2 Tablespoons Flour 

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg 

2 Tablespoons Cold Butter. 

5 Cups Peeled and Sliced Apples 

1 Egg- Beaten 

Splash Water 

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees 

With cookie cutter, using two of the pie crusts, cut out leaf shape.  Using small knife indent leaf veins into each leaf cut out.  Set aside. 

In pie pan, grease bottom and sides with cooking spray or butter. Place last pie crust on bottom and form decorative edge.  Mix all ingredients together with apples, and pour into pie shell.  Arrange Leaves  on the top of the apples going around, over lapping.  Starting at the bottom and working your way up, until the whole top of pie is covered.  

Whisk egg and water together to make egg wash and gently brush over the entire top of pie. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and apples are tender.  Let cool and serve.  Enjoy<3 

Spiced Rum Apple Butter and Praline Layer Cake 


Talk about decadent!  This cake is as impressive as it is flavorful.  You have never tasted apple like this cake delivers apple flavor.  It’s not for the weak.  It is sweet and rich.  I normally would not go for a real sweet dessert, but this cake is the one on the table you must try, because you can’t help yourself. 

Spiced Rum Apple Butter and Praline Layer Cake 

For Cake: 

1 Box White Cake Mix 

Unsweetened Apple Juice 

For Apple Butter: 

3 Large Apples 

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Apple Juice 

1/3 Cup Spiced Rum 

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon 

For Praline: 

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 

1/4 Cup Water 

6 Tablespoons Butter 

1/2 Cup Pecans-Chopped 

1-16 Ounce Container Butter Cream Icing 

For Cake: 

Make cake according to package directions, using apple juice in place of water.  I used a big over sized coffee tin to bake my cake.  Use your imagination or use regular pans.  Cool cake completely. 

For Apple Butter: 

Peel and core apples and cut up into pieces and put in sauce pan.  Add in rum, apple juice and cinnamon.  Let cook on medium until the apples are tender, with potato masher, mash apple right in pot.  Turn to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until most liquid is reduced and mixture is thickened.  Set aside to cool. 

For Praline: 

In sauce pan add in sugar, water and butter, bring to boil and let boil for a couple of minutes.  Add in pecans and vanilla and continue to cook for another minute.  Take off heat and set aside to cool. 

When cake is cooled, cut cake into 1/2 inch thick layers.  Place bottom layer on cake plate, place apple butter on top then another cake layer then praline, continue alternating apple butter and praline in between cake layers.  Top cake with last cake layer and frost with butter cream frosting.  Serve.  Enjoy<3 


Pumpkin Ricotta Tart w/ Graham Cracker and Pecan Crust    


 I want to tell you how wonderful this tart is, because it is!  But, I was instructed by my eldest daughter to tell everyone how much she suffers, because of my posting and sharing of my recipes.  Last night she wanted a piece of this tart and was not allowed because I needed to take a picture.  Daylight is the best time to photograph, so she had to wait.   She had to smell the wonderful aroma (it was amazing) and see this beautiful tart, and not be able to eat it until today.  The poor thing!  I did get the seal of approval from the expert baker, and my personal test taster (Mom).  She said it was Delicious!  In case you were wonder the eldest made it through….lol 

Pumpkin Ricotta Tart w/ Graham Cracker and Pecan Crust

For Crust: 

1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs 

1/2 Cup Pecans- Crushed 

1/4 Cup Sugar 

5 Tablespoons Butter-Melted 

For Filling: 

3 Eggs 

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar 

1 1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese 

2 Cups Pumpkin Puree 

1/2 Teaspoon Salt 

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  

For Crust: 

In bowl mix together graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter and mix well.  In tart pan,  butter the pan well so crust comes out easier, then add graham cracker mixture and coat the whole pan and side by gently pressing crust with finger flat on bottom and up along sides.  

For Filling: 

In kitchen aid or with mixer, mix eggs and sugar together until well blended add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into crust and bake for 50 minutes or until no longer jiggly when lightly shaken.  Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.  Serve.  Enjoy<3 

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