Today, we want to share a few tips to make Thanksgiving safe for your pets, and we also want to share everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving recipe with you.
So, starting with our four-legged family members:
Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tag with current contact information if you are traveling, and update your microchip information. Don’t leave your pets alone in your vehicle, and make sure they are properly restrained at all times.
If you aren’t taking your pet with you, make sure you have a reliable pet sitter or an excellent boarding facility so that they are well cared for, and make arrangements for them to receive regular exercise.
Ask everyone to be careful at the doors so that pets don’t escape.
Supervise interactions between pets and guests/kids for everyone’s safety.
Keep toys and acceptable treats on hand to reward good behavior, and remind guests not to feed your pets any table scraps.
If you have a counter-surfer, ask someone to keep them distracted in another room while you are cooking, and remove all trash and bones immediately.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I DO NOT feed people food to my animals at all! I don’t
typically advocate it, either, except with extenuating circumstances. However, it is Thanksgiving, and I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. If you feed some of your Thanksgiving meal to your pets, there are some acceptable foods when shared in moderation such as turkey, plain sweet potatoes or pumpkin, carrots, green beans, or cranberries. There are some foods that shouldn’t be shared. Fatty foods (butter, bacon, meat drippings, gravy, turkey scraps/skin) can increase your pet's risk of pancreatitis, and this inflammatory disease of the pancreas can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some instances death. Macadamia nuts are the worst, and they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, inability to stand, and ataxia. Turkey bones can obstruct the GI tract, or they can cause perforations of the bowel. This could potentially require surgical intervention. Turkey brine can cause salt poisoning, which causes electrolyte abnormalities and swelling of the brain. Sage contains essential oils that can cause GI upset. Nutmeg can cause seizures and central nervous problems, and in rare cases, death. Onions and garlic can cause anemia. Xylitol (artificial sweetener) can decrease blood sugar and cause liver damage; for more information on this toxin, please see our Halloween blog. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, and seizures; for more information on this toxin, please see our Halloween blog.
Switching gears, we want to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you. Give one (or all) of them a try, and let us know in the comments below how it turned out! This is one of my favorites given to me by Mother, and my husband enjoys it even more than I do.
Mother’s Pineapple Casserole
2 20-ounce cans pineapple chunks – drain cans, reserving juice from one can
6 tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups shredded American cheese (not Velveeta; you will need to get this at the deli counter)
1 stick butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
Combine juice from one can of pineapple, flour, sugar, and cheese. Add pineapple. Pour in casserole dish. Crush crackers. Melt butter, and mix with crackers. Pour on top of pineapple mixture. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm.
I know you may think that this is a weird combination. Give a try, and let me know what you think in the comments below!
KELLY: Snickers Salad
My recipe is a little different because, well, it’s not really a RECIPE per say. It’s more like three
ingredients that you put together until you find a ratio you like! But that’s what I love about it. You can very easily make it your own. So, what you need is: a cutting board, a very sharp knife, and a mixing bowl. First thing you do is cut Snickers bars into bite-size pieces (I usually get 12 pieces per bar). Next you grab your apples. I prefer Pink Ladies, but my mom likes Honey Crisp. But you can use whatever kind of apple you like! Cut your apples into pieces that are comparable in size to your Snickers bites. Next step is to combine your Snickers and apple bits in a mixing bowl with Cool Whip. The best part of this dessert is that you can use as much or as little of any ingredient you like. Love Cool Whip? Use a lot of it! Do you have a gnarly sweet tooth? Add extra Snickers! You can even add nuts if you like (Mom likes it with walnut pieces but I’m allergic so I wouldn’t know). Best if served cold.
CAMILLE: Pecan Pie Cheesecake via lilluna.com
Recipe type: Dessert
For the Crust:
1¾ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup unsalted butter-melted
For the Pecan Filling:
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup unsalted butter- melted
2 large eggs-lightly beaten
1½ cups pecans-chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cheesecake Filling:
24 ounce cream cheese-softened
1¼ cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping:
3.5 tablespoon unsalted butter-melted
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup toasted pecans-chopped
To make the Crust:
Line the bottom of 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine vanilla wafer crumbs and brown sugar, stir in melted butter, then press the mixture evenly into bottom and halfway up the side of 9 inch springform pan. Set in the fridge to firm the crust while making the filling.
To make the Pecan Filling:
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, pecans and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer stirring constantly until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Pour into prepared crust and set aside.
To make the Cheesecake Filing:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Beat the cream cheese until creamy, then add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Do not overbeat it!!! Stir in heavy cream and vanilla, then pour cheesecake mixture over pecan filling.
Place springform pan on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F Bake the cake for 60-70 minutes (until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean). Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in with oven door closed for 1 hour.
Run a knife around edges of cheesecake but don’t take out of the pan until completely cooled.
To make the topping:
In a small saucepan combine butter and brown sugar. Cook for 3-5 min or until very bubbly, then stir in cinnamon, heavy whipping cream and chopped pecans. Cool to room temperature.
Release the sides of springform pan and spoon the topping over cooled cheesecake.
Store the cake in the fridge.
AMBER: Two Ingredient Creamy Salsa Dip via jugglingactmomma.com
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of your favorite salsa (homemade is best!)
In a medium bowl, add the softened cream cheese and cup of salsa.
Use a hand mixer on medium to blend until smooth.
Serve with chips or fresh veggies for dipping.
Store in the fridge in a covered container.
Optional: top with black beans or shredded cheese
JANE: Travis' Pumpkin Pie
1 (15oz.) can of Libby’s Pumpkin ( 2 cups)
1 (14oz.) canned Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
HEAT – oven to 425°F. Whisk pumpkin, Eagle Brand Milk, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour into pie crust.
BAKE 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until
knife inserted 1-inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired.
CHELSEA: Cranberry-Jalapeno Relish via Food Network
2 medium oranges, peeled, sectioned, and roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Place half of the oranges segments, the zest, and the jalapenos in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the sugar and pulse 3 to 4 more times. Add the cranberries and continue to pulse until berries are roughly chopped. Adjust seasonings with sugar, if needed. Transfer cranberry mixture to a bowl and toss with the remaining half of chopped orange segments and the mint. Allow relish to chill for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 days. Serve relish chilled or at room temperature.
RENEE: Cheese Nut Ring
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 c chopped pecans
3/4 c mayonnaise
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 t. Tabasco
1 c strawberry preserves (you can use any flavor)
Combine all ingredients except preserves and mix well. Mold into a ring and chill overnight. Unmold and fill with preserves. Serve with assorted crackers and veggies.