• Give Thanks Menu

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    This months GIVE THANKS dinner menu has been thoughtfully prepared for you by our friend and blogger Marina. As a wife and Mommy to two beautiful children (Marina just had her second baby!) things can get messy, but only the good kind of messy!

     

     

    Check out more EATS- DIY- LIFE posts from Marina Makes or find her on Facebook & Instagram!

     

     

    We would LOVE for you to share pictures enjoying your dinner! Tag #datenightinbox & #marinamakeseats

    We understand that your TIME is valuable! If you choose to make any of the recipes below you can print out a complete shopping list! Enjoy!

  • Cocktail & Mocktail

    Spiked Hot Cider with Cinnamon Whip Cream

    INGRED​IENTS

    • Hot cider mix (included in box)
    • 1 shot of whiskey
    • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

    DIRECTIONS

    Cook the cider mix according to the instructions on the package. Pour hot cider in a mug or glass and add one shot of whiskey. Stir to combine.

    To make the cinnamon whip cream, add heavy whipping cream, cinnamon and sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.

    Top cider with whip cream and enjoy.

    H​ot Cider with Cinnamon Whip Cream (non-alcoholic)

    INGREDIENTS

    • Hot cider mix (included in box)
    • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

    DIRECTIONS

    Cook the cider mix according to the instructions on the package. Pour hot cider in a mug or glass.

    To make the cinnamon whip cream, add heavy whipping cream, cinnamon and sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.

    Top cider with whip cream and enjoy.

  • Appetizer

    Bacon-wrapped Dates with Brown Sugar

    INGREDIENTS/MATERIAL

    • 5 slices of bacon, cut in half across (making 10 slices total)
    • 10 pitted dates
    • 2-3 tablespoons of light brown sugar
    • Toothpicks
    • Parchment paper

    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet with edges.

    To wrap the dates in the bacon, take a slice of bacon and place a date at one end, rolling the date until it’s completely wrapped. Stick a toothpick all the way through the roll and place on the baking sheet.

    Repeat with the remaining strips of bacon. Top each roll with a generous sprinkle of light brown sugar, pressing it down into the bacon with your fingers.

    Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the bacon-wrapped dates for 20-25 minutes, then flip them and cook for an addition 5-10 minutes, until crisp. Let the dates cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.

  • Main Course

    Stuffed Acorn Squash

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 large acorn squash, halved through the stem to the base
    • 1/2 pound of ground mild or hot Italian sausage
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 1/2 cup of dried farro (use rice as a substitute)
    • 1 cup of chicken broth
    • 1 clove of garlic, minced
    • 4 oz of mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano (use parmesan cheese as a substitute)
    • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1/2 cup of cranberries
    • 1/2 cup of walnuts
    • 1 cup of fontina cheese, shredded

     

    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

     

    Place the acorn squash on a baking sheet, flesh side up, seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 40 minutes until tender. Allow the squash to cool slightly and scoop most of the flesh out (leaving a little to help the squash keep its shape) into a large bowl. Lower the oven to 350 degrees.

    Next, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until browned, about seven to nine minutes. Set aside when done.

     

    Add the chicken broth and farro to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, lower to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes (or according to package).

     

    Heat three tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a separate frying pan over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan, spreading them out to make sure there’s no overlap. Sauté on one side for two to three minutes and then flip each mushroom, cooking for an additional minute. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside when done.

     

    Place sausage, farro, mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano, thyme and cranberries in the bowl with the cooked squash and stir to combine. Place the mixture into the hollow acorn squash halves and top with fontina cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

  • Dessert

    Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 3/4 cup of walnuts
    • 1/2 cup of cranberries

    DIRECTIONS

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

     

    In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, chocolate chips, walnuts and cranberries. Drop by heaping tablespoons on to ungreased baking sheets. The recipe should make about 18-20 cookies, depending on how big or small you make them.

     

    Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cookies start to brown on the edges. The cookies will still look a little gooey, but they will continue cooking once you take them out. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Enhanced Dessert

    Cupcakes with Hot Cider Mix Frosting

    INGREDIENTS

    • Boxed cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box)
    • 8 oz of cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
    • 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
    • 5 tablespoons of hot cider mix (included in box)

    DIRECTIONS

    Make cupcakes according to boxed cake mix instructions.

    To make the frosting, mix cream cheese, butter, almond extract, powdered sugar and hot cider mix with a hand mixer until completely combined and creamy.

    Allow the cupcakes to cool and top with cream cheese frosting.

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