One of the best ways to truly enjoy an affordable meal is by cooking in the comfort of your own home. With Thanksgiving just a day away, I thought I’d share some ideas and recipes that are not only my personal favorites, but also are easy to make and don’t require too many ingredients. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday full of good food and lots of laughs with family. Happy Thanksgiving!
CHARCUTERIE: My go-to Thanksgiving app is a good charcuterie board. As much as I strive to support local businesses, local cheese and meats tend to be more expensive. I’ve found that Trader Joe’s in Mt. Pleasant has a great selection of unique cheeses at affordable prices. They’ve also got some jams and mustard that make fantastic accompaniments. As for good meats, I would opt for sliced meats at the Whole Foods deli counter. Select your meats in 1/4 lb increments for the cheapest prices. You will also find that 1/4 lb ends up amounting to more meat than you’d think!
CRUDITES: I always like to prepare my stomach for a big Thanksgiving meal with a good amount of veggies and some hummus for dipping. Vegetable shopping is a great opportunity to support local farms. In fact, you can get some really great local produce at one of my personal favorite local grocery stores, Lowcountry Street Grocery. This fantastic traveling grocery store just partnered up with Meeting Street Eats, a food truck court in the old Bi-Lo parking lot on Meeting Street and will be parked at the food truck court weekly(Wednesday-Friday all day, as well as Saturday afternoons). LSG stives to provide easy access to affordable local produce to underserved communities.
Below are a few signature recipes that my family uses in our Thanksgiving meal each year. My favorite is the cranberry chutney. I love it because of its chunky texture from the celery and chopped apples. It’s got the perfect combination of tart and sweet flavors.
CORNBREAD-SAUSAGE STUFFING WITH APPLES:
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE (recipe courtesy of Beth Boisi)
Beth has been cooking this cheesecake every year since 2011. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
30 ginger snap cookies
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
One 15-ounce can pumpkin
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cinnamon Whipped Cream, for serving, recipe follows
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the gingersnaps to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl and add the melted butter. Stir until evenly mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch sides. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely while preparing the filling.
- Put a teakettle filled with water on the stovetop, over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and beat until incorporated. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and vanilla, and beat until blended. Add the flour and beat until incorporated.
- Wrap the sides and bottom of the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Pour the filling into the pan and put it in a small roasting pan. Pour the hot water from the teakettle into the roasting pan, filling halfway up the sides of the springform pan, about 1 1/2 inches. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the water bath and let it cool on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, use a paring knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
- Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until thick and frothy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and beat until medium peaks form.