Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving Giveaway


 Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a busy day around our house with chopping, mixing, and baking on the agenda. Of course, I plan to slip some reading time into the schedule too but mostly it's a day for kitchen creating. 

I'll be making two dishes this year. My apple pie squares evoke sweet memories from my childhood and have become a family favorite so that will be one of my contributions. The other will be Cranberry Jell-O salad. It's a recipe I first had at Thanksgiving dinner at a dear friend's house and has become a must-have at my Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. 

Tomorrow will be our first Thanksgiving in our new combined-family home and I have many blessings for which to be grateful. High on that list of blessings are all of you who share my love of books and continue to support me in this now 13-year journey of sharing my thoughts about the stories we enjoy reading. I love hearing your opinions. You frequently thank me for introducing you to new-to-you authors but I want you to know that you've introduced me to new authors and books as well. I appreciate that...even if my bank account doesn't. ;-) You make the late nights writing reviews worthwhile. You make me smile every day. And you touch my heart with your kind words and notes. 

Thank you for being here. Thank you - each of you - for being you. 

How will you be spending Thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions?

Will you be cooking?

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make or eat? (Feel free to share recipes!)

What are you thankful for this year?

Three randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM, November 27 will each receive a package of books.

*U.S only

*Must be 18

*Void where prohibited

Cranberry Jell-O Salad

2 (4 ounce) pkgs. raspberry Jell-O
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Put Jell-O mix in serving bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Stir until dissolved.
Stir in cranberry sauce and 1 cup cold water.
Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. 
Cover and refrigerate until set.


8 oz. softened cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread over top of firm Jell-O mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cover and chill.

Apple Pie Squares

4 Granny Smith apples (peeled and sliced)
2 Gala apples (peeled and sliced)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter (sliced or cubed)
Double pie crust**

*I use King Arthur Gluten Free 
**I use Wholly Gluten Free frozen pie crust
**If you prefer regular crust but don't want to make it, I recommend the pie crust sheets found in the dairy section of your grocery.

For gluten free: Mix sugar, flour, spices, and a sprinkle of salt. Add sliced apples and toss until coated. Place mixture into the pie crust and dot with butter. Top with second crust and seal. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle top crust with granulated sugar.

For regular recipe: Mix sugar, flour, spices, and a sprinkle of salt. Add sliced apples and toss until coated. Spread one crust into the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish. Empty the apples into the crust. Dot with butter. Cover with second crust, seal, and cut slits in the crust. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. 

Bake at 400 F. for 50 minutes.

After pie has cooled, drizzle with topping and cut into squares. 

Topping: Stir milk, powdered sugar, and a bit of vanilla together until smooth. 


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! I do a Friendsgiving the day before and family Thanksgiving the day of the holiday. My favorite thing to make is sweet potato fritters with a maple dipping sauce.

    1. Please, please, pleeeeeease share the recipe! That sounds incredible!

    2. Here’s the recipe I use:
      I swap maple syrup for honey for the sauce and use less sriracha for Thanksgiving since not everyone in my family loves spice — it’s great both ways, but if you prefer sweet over spicy, you can just increase the maple syrup to 2 Tablespoons to replace the sriracha :)

  2. How will you be spending Thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions? My brother and sister in law have everyone over.

    Will you be cooking? Not if I can help it! I was asked to make a salad. I will make a spinach and apple salad.

    What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make or eat? (Feel free to share recipes!) I love mashed potatoes and the canned cranberry.

    What are you thankful for this year? That despite losing my father this year, the family is still able to get together and celebrate.

    1. My condolences on the loss of your father. That first holiday is so difficult. I hope that sweet memories will help ease the pain.

  3. Planning on having a quiet Thanksgiving dinner with my husband. We will have roast chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and apple pie.
    My favorite dish is meat/ bread stuffing.
    1 3-4 lb package of ground chuck browned and remove excess grease. Place in large 13x9 inch pan.
    In same pan you browned the meat slice up 1 onion and 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper* cook until al dente. Mix into ground beef in pan.
    In separate large bowl place 1 package of bread stuffing. Follow directions on package
    Mix into ground beef mixture. Cover and cook at 300°-325° for 45-60”
    Depends upon how hot your oven is and how brown you want it to get. I cover mine with foil and remove for last 15”.
    *If you don’t like peppers you may add more onion.*
    My 4 children will all come down to Florida in March. Yay!
    Thanks for sharing your delicious sounding recipes!
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    1. Thanks for the recipe! Hope you have a lovely day. March will be here before you know it!

  4. Our Thanksgiving plans have changed, unfortunately. There’s a lot of “yuck” going around our community right now and it has found us ☹️ Thankfully I was able to pick up an oven-ready turkey dinner from Costco today, so at least we’ll have that. Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

    1. I'm so sorry, Katie. Lot of that going around here too. Hope everyone will be on the mend soon.

  5. I was supposed to be in Phoenix with my son and daughter-in-law. I got the flu. In fact, I have the flu. I am better than I was. I now know I will eventually live. I am not cooking. I am not sharing my meal or time with anyone except my dog. I will have a HungryMan fried chicken frozen dinner. Everything I have eaten in the last 1-1/2 weeks tastes pretty yucky, so frozen dinner is as good as anything. I have a warm place to live, I have a dog who tolerates me most of the time (right now he looks like an orphan who has no home, but I will brush him soon), I will be able to sleep on and off when I need to, and most of all, I will eventually get back to reading books. That is the really sad thing, I have felt so unwell, reading is not even interesting to me....and we all know I am a book addict. This past year was not a great one for my family and friends. I have lost people I loved very much. But, I know I will see them eventually. The readers here have shared book ideas and I always appreciate that very much. And P J and all the other reviewers always introduce me to terrific books. So, over all, I am very thankful and very blessed. I hope each of you feel the love I am sending your way.

    1. Sending love back to you too, Annette. I'm so sorry you've been ill and had to cancel your trip. Glad to hear you're on the mend. Please be kind to yourself and don't try to bounce back too quickly.

  6. I’m a traditionalist in my cooking but I’m going to brine my turkey in beer and apple cider. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  7. We are having Thanksgiving at my daughters. She will cook part of the meal. I will cook the other half. I will take my part to her house. I love the sweet potato casserole also the orange salad. We will have pumpkin and pecan pie. I am very thankful for our good health and my family.

    1. I am thankful you stopped by to say hello! Hope you have a lovely day with your family.

  8. Patricia Bennett BarberNovember 23, 2022 at 2:24 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!!
    We are going out to eat this year :)
    As far as dishes, it's always mash potatoes.
    And I'm thankful for my my at home medical assistant ( my daughter ) because if not for her I would be in a hospital lots of times :)

  9. Happy Thanksgiving. Your apple recipe is delectable. I will have a quiet Thanksgiving with friends. I will be preparing an orzo salad, roasted brussels sprouts and apple cake. Not exactly tradition but always tempting. I am very thankful for good health finally.

    1. My apple pie squares are in the oven baking as I type. Your menu sounds delicious.

  10. Your Thanksgiving sounds lovely. I will be busy with family and will be creating a feast. Turkey with stuffing, baby roasted potatoes, kale salad and lemon pie for dessert. Love to spend time with family and make a special dinner.

    1. Lemon meringue pie or something different? I love lemon desserts!

  11. I am going to make your cranberry recipe. I like making new recipes and this sound good! Our son had invited us over for Thanksgiving on Sunday.

    1. Oh, I hope you enjoy it! This is the first time I'm making it for my brother's family. I'm torn between hoping they like it and having more for me. lol

  12. I am grateful for my family, that my pup is starting to calm down now that he's a year old, and of course for all your wonderful posts and book recommendations PJ! This year we finally convinced my mother in-law to let us bring more food. We're doing a dairy free apple galette (my daughter is a vegan), 2 versions of brussels sprouts (one without bacon), and rolls.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Today, I am making mashed potatoes, dressing, and roasted brussel sprouts with shallots. Tomorrow, I will roast turkey breasts and make gravy from the stock and drippings and cook green beans. I made pesto pasta for my grandson to have as he doesn't care for the other dishes except maybe a little of the dressing. My daughter-in-law will be bringing a prepared cheese ball with crackers and a dessert. I have assorted cheeses and deli meat for snacking as well as roasted mini peppers. The roasted mini peppers is really easy to roast. I spread the contents of a large bag of mini peppers (I washed them first) in a ceramic baking dish, add two teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 4 tablespoons olive oil and toss together, and then add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. I roasted them for about 25 minutes in a 400 degrees oven. After taking them out, I poured 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the warm peppers. It's so good. Tomorrow, it will just be my son and his family. My daughter will spend the day with her partner's family and my parents are staying home. They don't want to be on the roads.

  14. I am cooking, but it is just the three of us. I make a boneless turkey breast. My favorite to make is a cranberry jello mold that is very similar to yours. It starts with the jello and cranberry sauce and 1 1/2 cups of water. Then I add a small can of crushed pineapple and a small can of drained mandarin oranges. Yum!

  15. I am definately trying those apple squares! I am not cooking this year. We are gathering at Ray's brother's house. It will be a bittersweet this year. I am bringing a charcuterie board aka antipasto which I love to make.

    No need to add my to the giveaway!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. The apple squares look great. Will have to give them a try. I am cooking, just 6 of us daughter and family, husband and a friend.

  17. We are doing Thanksgiving with my husband's family on Thursday and my family on Friday. Two meals and on separate days this year. Usually we have to race from one house to the other and eat way too much of all the deliciousness.

    I make a sweet potato casserole that is a standard and my favorite. My son and his wife flew in last night from Ca and are making some Filipino dishes and will make lumpia for both families.

    Not entering for a prize. Wishing you and the readers a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy reading instead of fighting shopping crowds on Friday.

  18. Thank you for sharing the recipes. No time to try for this year, but will be trying them soon.
    Well, today was my day to cook pies. Didn't happen. I had my infusion treatment all morning (8 to noon) and bought last minute items on the way home. Got a Red Cross fire call on the way home. We spent 2 to almost 6:30 taking care of the case plus about 7 phone calls after we got home. I was too tired (treatments can do that) so didn't bake tonight. It will be a frantic day tomorrow. Luckily we are going to our daughter's for dinner at 5. I need to make 2 pies and the dressing, bring the cranberry sauce, and call her to see if I have forgotten anything else I was supposed to do. I will miss being the one to do most of the cooking, but the way things have turned out, it is a good thing I am not.
    My favorite dish is the stuffing. I use the seasoned stuffing mix, sage sausage, celery, onions, chicken broth, margarine or butter, craisins, chestnuts, sometimes dried apricots, and whatever else I feel like throwing in. We don't stuff the turkey, we bake the stuffing separately. It is great as a leftover and freezes well. I will be making a double or triple batch tomorrow to make sure there are leftovers for everyone.
    I am thankful for my family, especially a very patient and loving husband. It has been a year of medical issues which still aren't sorted out, but we are making progress of sorts. I saw a specialist last week and was told something I have been treated for for 4 years is an incorrect diagnosis. As with most specialized medications, it has caused other issues. But, if the new tests prove what he thinks is wrong, I will no longer need the treatments and it will free us up to do the traveling we have wanted to do. That is something I am really thankful for.
    Thank you for the Dish. I try to get to it every day and have found so many authors I enjoy. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday season.

  19. Thanksgiving will be spent at home wih my family. Most of the food is prepped and ready to cook. I also baked two desserts (my favorite), a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and a family recipe passed down in my hubby's family. A tradition I have is to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I am definitely thankful for my precious family and their love and support. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Here is one for the pumpkin cake I made but I did not do their frosting. I substituted one of mine which is thicker: Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Happy Thanksgiving! I am going to my parent's house and will just be bringing mashed potatoes and donuts from our local Amish Market. My favorite food is the stuffing, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it. I am thankful for my family and so enjoy the time I get to spend with them.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving! Not doing much cooking this year, just me and hubby. So, I'm making my favorite meal - chicken and dumplings. When we have a family get together, I always make sausage and cheese balls, everyone loves them.

  22. My oldest daughter took over hosting a couple of years ago - yay. I make the stuffing which is mine and everyone's favorite and go to her place to help with dinner. So much easier than when i use to do everything myself lol. I'm thankful for my family including a 5 yr. old granson and of course my furbabies too.

  23. Mince pie! We always add fresh apple and walnuts...your cranberry salad is a staple, too...I make stuffing, my son and DIL's house...friends included

  24. We totally went non-traditional with our Thanksgiving menu this year--we had short ribs, salmon, chicken drumsticks, and a bunch of yummy sides... (I tried posting this last night and kept getting an error...) So thankful for family and friends. And books!