This Thanksgiving we had dinner here at our house.  My immediate family came in from Chicago, Kyle’s family came over and also a few friends came.  I wanted to have a traditional dinner with a few surprises! I wanted to share them with you because they were a huge success! The most creative thing we had was coconut pumpkin soup.  Sounds a little funny but it was delicious! We also carved out mini pumpkins and used them as bowls.  Everyone thought it was a cute idea and they made beautiful décor for the tables.  The other thing that was a great hit which we served with dessert was the hard apple cider.  It was so easy to make and it made the whole house smell so wonderful! A couple other things that I really liked were the sweet potatoes and the salad. Please see below for the recipes, I hope you like them!

Coconut Pumpkin Soup Recipe with Curried Pecans


14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

¼ cup pecan halves

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 cups vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped onion

15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons curry powder

4 dollops heavy cream, for garnish

Ginger root shavings


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a big pot over medium heat. Add the onion; cover the pot and cook it for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and all the pumpkin puree. Whisk in the vegetable broth until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and add salt and black pepper to taste.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Combine the pecans with the rest of the maple syrup, tossing them well to coat them. Sprinkle the rest of the curry powder in, tossing it well. Put the curry and maple pecans in a small baking dish and bake them for 10 minutes or until they are toasted. We toasted them a little bit more because we like them slightly burntJ Then set them aside to cool.

Puree the soup in a blender or in a food processor until it is smooth, and then put it back in the pot.

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the coconut milk.

Adjust the seasoning if necessary and heat the soup without boiling it.

We then poured the soup in the pumpkins and added some heavy whipping cream, a few toasted pecans and some ginger root garnish.  We put the tops back on to help keep the soup warm while everyone was being seated.  The soup tasted great and everyone loved eating out of the pumpkin! So cute and festive! (Serves 4)

Spiced Apple Cider


1 Gallon Jug of Fresh Apple Cider

2 Bags of Mulling Spices

Fifth of Brandy

Cinnamon Sticks


In a large pot pour in the entire jug of apple cider.  If the mulling spices are not in bags put them in cheesecloth, a tea ball or a coffee filter tied up.  Put on low heat and let simmer.  We had ours on for 3-4 hours, it made the house smell so wonderful! Right before we served it we added the Brandy and let it heat up.  We served it in small coffee cups and put the cinnamon stick in for decoration (see picture).  I personally think we could have added a little more Brandy because you could not taste it at all.

Sweet Potatoes with Bananas! (This is my mom and pop’s recipe, YUM!)


6 sweet potatoes

3 bananas

½  stick of butter

½ cup brown sugar


squirt of honey

marshmallows (I got cinnabon flavored ones and they are great!)


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the sweet potatoes for about 1 ½ hours or until done.  Put the bananas in for about 10 minutes or until the skin is black.  Whip the sweet potatoes, bananas and a squirt of honey together with a mixer.  Then place the mixture into a casserole dish.  Take half a stick of cold butter and cut into thin slices and place all over the top.  Sprinkle the brown sugar, pecans and marshmallows on the top.  Place the casserole dish back into the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until all the butter and marshmallows are melted.

Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese Salad 


Two bags of Spring Mix Lettuce

1 Granny Smith Apple

1 Fuji Apple

1 Bag of Candied Walnuts

1 small bag of Dried Cranberries

1 small container of Blue Cheese Crumbles

1 bottle of Fat-Free Sesame Ginger Dressing


Its pretty easy, just combine all the ingredients.  Just wanted to share it because it was delicious and refreshing and I feel like it is a great salad for all seasons.  I hope you guys like all of these recipes and that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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