This Thanksgiving Day was a little different from years past, in that it was the very first time my family and I participated in a Turkey Trot. It was a bit chaotic, but so much fun nonetheless. (My youngest might not agree 100% with that last statement though.)
When I initially signed us up for the 5K Turkey Trot my husband suggested that we buy a pre-made turkey dinner because I was going to be too tired to cook a complete dinner… [Nonsense!!]
Once he realized that I wasn’t going to budge on my decision to prepare the dinner myself, the planning was underway.
One of the very first words out of the mouth of my oldest while I was looking through my stack of fall issues of Gourmet Magazine, and other cookbooks were “Can we please have a traditional thanksgiving dinner?” In my opinion we always have a traditional thanksgiving dinner, turkey, ham, green veg, a starch, dessert, etc. I know he meant he didn’t want me adding any international influenced flavors.
One of the first items I decided upon was surprise, surprise… dessert! And as you can see, it was cheesecake, in the past it had always been of the pumpkin variety, however this year I decided to change it up a bit. Still providing flavors of fall I chose Maple and walnut, and everyone including my oldest loved it.
Following is the menu which generated big smiles, a very quiet dinner table (post giving thanks and table grace/blessing), and clean plate club members.
Thanksgiving Day Menu
Vodka Tonic with a twist of lime
Roasted & Salted Pistachios
Assorted Cheeses & Crackers
Extra-Moist Roast Turkey (Brined for 24 hours)
Haricots Verts with Bacon and Chestnuts
Smashed Potatoes with Roasted-Garlic Gravy
Fresh Dinner Rolls
Maple Walnut Cheesecake
Maple Walnut Cheesecake
adapted from The Ultimate Cheesecake Cookbook
by Joey Reynolds
1 stick butter
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups finely ground galletas marias
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Double wrap the bottom of a 10″ springform pan.
Melt butter over low heat. Combine butter with nuts, crumbs and sugar in a bowl and stir until throughly blended. Press crumbs over the bottom and sides of the pan.
4 8oz packages cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dulce de nuez de macadamia (Sweet Macadamia nut cream)
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water for the water bath in a medium sauce pan or in a tea kettle.
In a mixer, whip cream cheese on medium high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, add sugar and continue to beat for 2 more minutes. Add extracts, maple syrup, macadamia nut cream, salt, and walnuts and blend together thoroughly.
Reduce mixer speed to the lowest setting and add the eggs one at a time, mix just enough so that each egg has been incorporated into the batter.
Place the springform pan in a larger oven proof pan. Pour batter into the crust and place into a preheated oven, poor hot water into the outer pan so that it only reaches 1/2 way up the springform pan, bake for 50-60 minutes.
Turn oven off open the oven door slightly and let it sit there for another hour. Remove and place in the fridge allowing it to cool overnight.