Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dinner Club---The Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving in my family, as I’m sure it is in most, is a meal steeped in tradition. That is a wonderful thing, for the most part. Woe be it, however, to anyone who dares break with tradition and serve a new food. At our house, there had better be dressing made the way Oma makes it with Wonder Bread, hamburger, onions, sage and chicken broth (it really is good!), the sweet potato casserole better have marshmallows melted on top, and the green beans better be swimming in mushroom soup and have those canned fried onion things on top. If anything new is to be tried, it had better not be at the expense of one of the standbys. Luckily for me, I do have an outlet for those never before tried, seemingly exotic, Thanksgiving treats---Dinner Club.

This year our dinner club November theme was, not surprisingly, Thanksgiving. Since I hosted last month, it was my turn to bring the wine and the cocktails. I chose to make a recipe that my friend Michele (My Italian Grandmother) made a few weeks ago, a Pom Royale: a pomegranate juice and champagne cocktail.

Tina brought an appetizer of cheese and crackers, pretzels and mustard.


She also brought a very tasty Raspberry Pretzel Salad. (I want some of this right now!)

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

2 (3oz) pkg. raspberry Jello
1-1/2 c. boiling water
2 (16oz) pkg. fresh or frozen raspberries
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 c. granulated sugar
1 (8oz) cont. nondairy whipped topping
3 c. crushed pretzels
3/4 c. melted butter
4T. brown sugar

First layer: Mix Jello w/ boiling water. Add frozen raspberries with juice. Pour into 9x13-inch pan. Put in refrigerator until set.

Second layer: Mix cream cheese with sugar until creamy. Mix in whipped topping. Spread over Jello mixture.

Third layer: Crush pretzels into pieces. Mix with melted butter and brown sugar, making sure all pieces are coated. Spread into a bar pan and bake 400 for 6 minutes. Watch so they don't burn. remove from oven and cool. Break into pieces and put onto cream layer; refrigerate until ready to serve.

My good friend Amy hosted and made the turkey, simply rubbed with some succulent herbs and roasted to perfection.

(These roasting pans come in very handy...leaves the oven open for other things)

Let's not forget the rolls. Sometimes the frozen ones just hit the spot:

Patricia brought her now famous Mashed Yams in Orange Cups:

(the pecans weren't really purple...must have been the light)

Jane brought the green bean and stuffing casserole.

And, finally, Jen brought a yummy pumpkin trifle….pumpkin mousse layered with ginger snaps.

Another very nice dinner club meal!


  1. How great, you're having two Thanksgiving dinners, and I'm not having any of this? sigh!sigh! Everything looks wonderful, I'm drooling all over!

  2. LOL, I don't "mess" with thanksgiving either. Well I tried a few times and oh man! I need to join/create a dinner club for this very reason. Hey I'll be using my sloaster for the bird too!

  3. That sounds like the perfect way to try something new! How did you like those pom royales?

  4. Dajana--one day we will change places. You will eat a Thanksgiving meal and I will sip Limoncello and look at the Italian countryside...

    DD--What fun it would be if we could have a BakeSpace dinner club for real! Btw, I love how you call it a "sloaster". LOL

    Michele--Let's put it this way--I needed way more champagne! Probably good I ran out, though, since we all had to drive home.

  5. Everything looks wonderful, Cathy! I copied the recipe for the pretzel salad to try sometime! Today I made baked beans (sounds odd for Thanksgiving but we like them with the turkey). They take about 6 hours to cook in a slow oven. And I made whole berry cranberry sauce with apple in it and a jello salad. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I'll make the turkey and some of the sides. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  6. Oh Cathy....everything looks so good! I can't wait for the big day. I'm starved!

  7. Ronna-my husband would love for me to make beans for Thanksgiving--it doesn't sound odd to us at all!

    Dani-I can't wait either. I'm going to start making pie tomorrow night.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

  8. Do you think I can make the jello layer without the fruit or will the rest be too heavy?