Sunday, November 6, 2011

A virtual Thanksgiving

A bunch of us were invited to a virtual Thanksgiving Dinner Party by Phyl. The idea behind this plan is for everyone to make a dish. The virtual Thanksgiving dinner would comprise of all the dishes put together. Neat idea, huh? Phyl will be doing a round-up soon and post a link to everyone's recipe(s). Thanks Phyl!

Who says "healthy" can't be delicious?

My contributions to the Thanksgiving table are: Mediterranean-style Oven-Roasted Vegetables and a Moist and Spicy Layered Pumpkin Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting. I hope you give these recipes a try. They're always a big hit at our house.

Bon appetit!

Mediterranean-style Oven-Roasted Vegetables
(recipe by HanaasKitchen)
  • 2lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4" to 1" cubes
  • 1lb carrots, peeled, cut diagonally (on the bias)
  • 1.5lbs zucchini, cut diagonally or 1" cubes (I used green and yellow zucchinis)
  • 0.5lb white button mushrooms, brushed clean, cut in half
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, cut in half, pole to pole, each half cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1Tbsp honey
  • 1Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely mined
  • 1Tbsp mustard
  • 1Tbsp water
  • 1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2tsp coarse sea salt (or to taste)
  • Preheat the oven to 400F (or 375F for the convection setting which is what I used).
  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing and a large bowl and whisk together until well-combined.
  • Set aside 1 Tbsp of the dressing.
  • Add all the vegetables, except the onions, to the dressing and stir thoroughly until the vegetables are well-coated.
  • Line two large rimmed cookie sheets with Reynolds Non-stick Foil.
  • Divide the vegetables between the two cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add the saved dressing to the large bowl (that used to hold the vegetables). Break up the onion wedges with your fingers and add them to the bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add the onions to one of the cookie sheets or divide between both cookie sheets.
  • Bake the vegetables + onions for another 15-18 minutes, or until fork tender.
Bon appetit!

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting
(recipe adapted from
Cake ingredients:
  • 2 cups (9 ½ oz) flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • a dash of: ground cloves, freshly grated nutmeg, ground allspice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cup (11 ½ oz) sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
Instructions for cake batter:
  • Line two 9"x2" round cake pans with parchment paper. You can also use one 9"x13" pan and make frosted pumpkin bars. 
  • Preheat oven to 350F and center a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  • Using a standmixer, beat room temperature eggs with sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly drizzle in the oil.
  • Add pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 batches.
  • Pour batter into cake pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the middle and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack until cooled completely before frosting.
  • Fill the two cake layers with half of the frosting and use the remaining half to frost the sides and the top.
Molasses cream cheese frosting:
  • one 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature (or on HIGH in microwave for 15-20 seconds)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (3.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Mix together with hand mixer until creamy and smooth.
  • one 8 oz tub of Extra Creamy Coolwhip (or freshly whipped cream, slightly sweetened)
    Fold this into the cream cheese mixture. You can use the hand mixer for this too.

    Inside view of pumpkin bar!


  1. this looks really good, love to work from Penzeys recipes too.

  2. Both of these recipes look so delicious. Would the pumpkin recipe work as muffins instead of cake? Thinking of trying it.

  3. @Klecko: thanks. Yes, Penzeys recipes are great.

    @Salt: yes, you can make muffins with this recipe. I usually hold back a bit of batter to bake a couple small muffins with. I call it “quality control” :o)

  4. Those both look really good. I especially want to try the pumpkin cake. Thanks for joining the party!

  5. Yum! Like Phyl, I definitely want to try the cake. (not that the veggies don't look delicious) I like that the cake uses the whole can of pumpkin, since I never seem to figure out another use for the rest of the can when I just use part of it.

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