Give Thanks this Thanksgiving!

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Give Thanks this Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year again!! Time to gear up for the holidays! Are you ready? Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Have you planned your meal? Invited guests? Created the grocery list? There’s so much to do to prepare for all the excitement ahead! During the upcoming festivities with friends and family, don’t forget to take a moment to be thankful for all that you have.

While this is a frenzied time of year, aren’t you thankful to have the means to enjoy it? You have your health, your home, your friends, and most importantly, your family. Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to reflect upon that for which we are thankful. Here are some things you may be thankful for this year:

Health- Having good health must never be taken for granted. With all the illness in the world, be thankful that you wake up each morning with the chance to make today better than yesterday.

Home- No matter what your living situation, appreciate that you have a place to call home this holiday season.

Friends- True friends are difficult to find. If you find one, cherish them and nurture that relationship so it may continue to grow.

Faith- We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can follow our beliefs. We can worship as we please without fear of retaliation. We can speak our minds. We can follow our hearts.

Food- Turkey, dressing, yams….what’s on your Thanksgiving dinner list? Whatever it may be, be thankful and enjoy every bite!!!

Family- This is probably what you are most thankful for. Love your family. Eat, drink, watch football and that notorious Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Cherish those special memories you make with loved ones this Thanksgiving.

These are just a few of the things we have to be thankful for in this great country in which we live. Be grateful for all that you and your loved ones have. The holiday season is such an exciting time of year! Take time out to enjoy it and give thanks for those with whom you have to celebrate it.

Featured Thanksgiving Recipe…

MINI APPLE PIES

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Mini Apple Pies
Apple Filling
o 2 pounds tart apples, (I used Granny Smith, Jonagold & Fuji) peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices small enough to fit into each cupcake opening)
o 1/4 cup brown sugar
o 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
o 3 tablespoons sugar
o 1/4 teaspoon salt
o 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground if that’s what you have)
o 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
o 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Directions
1. In a large pot or a Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch.
2. Cook covered over medium heat stirring occasionally until apples are tender, about 18 minutes.
3. Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
The pies will be perfectly delicious if you use store-bought pie crust. I prefer to make the dough myself and below is the recipe I use to make a light, flakey pie crust.
Piecrust
From the Silver Palate Cookbook
o 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
o 2 teaspoons sugar
o 1 teaspoon salt
o 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
o 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
o 5-6 tablespoons ice water, as needed
Directions
1. Sift flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add chilled butter and shortening. Working quickly and using your fingertips, rub or cut the fats into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Sprinkle on ice water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and toss with a fork. Turn dough out onto your work surface and using the heel of your hand, smear dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape it up into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Chill for 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
4. Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Lightly spray the cavities of the cupcake pan. Cut circles, using a round cookie cutter or glass larger than the size of the cupcake opening.
5. Gently fit the circles into the cupcake cavities. Spoon in the apple mixture, mounding it in the center. (the mixture will shrink so you’ll need to fill it generously). Dot the top of apple mixture with a small piece of butter.
6. If you want a top crust, you can create a lattice top or another circular piece of crust on top. Using a fork I made sure that the top crust was connected to the bottom crust, trying to seal the two together so when they came out of the pan it did not separate.
7. Brush the top crust with an egg wash – 1 egg and a tablespoon of cold water whisked together. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of each crust.
8. Bake until crust is lightly golden brown and apple mixture is bubbling. (Place a cookie sheet under the cupcake pan to catch splatter).
9. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges of cupcake cavities to loosen pies and using a spoon gently ease pies out of pan.
Makes 8 mini pies

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. – Cicero

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