Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu 2014

With the help of The Hot Mom Squad, we bring you our absolute favorite Thanksgiving dishes of the year.

christmas dinner

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! After receiving countless, delicious recipes from Hot Moms across the country, we finally narrowed it down to our absolute favorite Thanksgiving dishes for 2014. The competition was fierce, but we know these top five items will make any Thanksgiving menu an unforgettable and tasty experience. Get your ovens and stoves ready, because you’re going to want to cook each and every one of these decadent dishes. Have a wonderful weekend and dig in!

Appetizer

Starting your meal off right is essential when serving a large holiday meal. When we discovered Chicken Soup with Gnocchi by Dana Vento, we knew that this hot dish would warm the bellies of every guest while getting them ready for the main course.

Entree

No one is a bigger fan of the turkey tradition than we are, but not everyone shares our love of the big bird. Having a second entree that incorporates another protein will help please everyone at the table. When we received the Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce recipe from Daisy Bryce, we knew it would be a delicious addition to our banquets year after year.

Side Dish

Side dishes are often overlooked when focusing on the main course, leaving many Americans scrambling to make unhealthy and fatty trimmings. We knew we had to find a tasty and healthy side dish to please our guests while lightening our cooking loads, and the Redone Mashed Potatoes by Rachael Pontillo are the perfect option. These cauliflower delights are easy to make and will win over any potato lover.

Dessert

Ending the meal on a high note is key, so finding the perfect dessert is a necessity. While many obsess over pumpkin and sweet potato concoctions, we found a delicious cheesecake that is a little different, but still equally satisfying. The Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake by LeTroy Cooke is the perfect creamy, cheesy dessert to top off a fantastic evening.

Drink

Serving after-dinner drinks is a great way to continue to relax and converse with your guests, but finding the right concoction can be tricky. Many Americans play holiday music as soon as the leftovers are stowed, so incorporating a red and green drink is fun way to get into the yuletide spirit. Here at Spa Week, we think the Spiced Cranberry Pomagranate Margarita from Carol Jones is the perfect cocktail to sip while digesting the big meal.

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Chicken Soup with Gnocchi

With the impending chilly Thanksgiving weather almost upon us, Hot Mom Dana Vento has the perfect recipe for a toasty appetizer.

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Every great Thanksgiving meal starts with an array of mouth-watering appetizers, and this year is no different. With snowflakes making a surprise appearance on weather forecasts everywhere, we knew we needed to find something hot and yummy to start the feast.

Thankfully, we discovered the perfect soup to warm your bellies in preparation for the tasty turkey.  As a bonus, giving guests something to nibble on will keep them happy and out of your way while you put the finishing touches on the main course. Just make sure to ladle up smaller bowls so your friends and family still have a nice appetite left for the banquet ahead.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow because we will be bringing you our Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu, just in time for Thursday’s celebrations. While you’re in the cooking mood, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest. It’s just another way you could win a spa day on us!

Chicken Soup with Gnocchi

Recipe by Dana Vento of DanaVento.com / @DanaVento

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Ingredients

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

4 tbsp minced garlic

3 cans chicken stock

1 pint whipping cream

1/3 cup margarine

1 container store-bought potato gnocchi

1 container boneless skinless chicken

1 1/2 cups flour

Preparation

Clean, chop, and place in pot to sweat the veggies – celery, garlic, and carrots, the smaller the better – sweat by adding a small amount of broth and adding lid.

Next, add the chicken. Keep broth minimal and turn chicken as it cooks.

Add water and all the broth that you want.

In a separate pot, cook roux – flour (a few tbsp. at a time while it thickens), whipping cream, and margarine.

Once the soup has cooked (about 1 hour), add the roux and cleaned chicken meat.

Boil gnocchi, rinse, and drain.

Place a ladle full of gnocchi in bowl, and then ladle soup in.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita

Hot Mom Carol Jones brings us the perfect margarita recipe, just in time for Turkey Day festivities! 

cranberry

No Thanksgiving menu is complete without something delicious to wash it all down. When we discovered this colorful cocktail we just had to share it with you. Combining some of our favorite festive features, like cranberries and green sugar-rimmed glasses, this holiday drink is the perfect concoction to put you in the Yuletide spirit. Enjoy responsibly!

Don’t forget to come back soon because each week we will be bringing you our favorite holiday dishes. While you’re in the cooking mood, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest. It’s just another way you could win a spa day on us!

Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Margaritas

Recipe from Carol Jones of All Mommy Wants / @AllMommyWants
Ingredients
  • ¼ c Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup*
  • ¾ c Bare Mixer’s Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo
  • ¼ c Bare Mixer’s Margarita
  • ¾ c Silver Tequila
  • ½ c Patron Citronage or Grand Marnier
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Sugared Cranberries
  • Green sugar for rimming glasses
*Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 c water
  • 2/3 c agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • One 2″ fresh nob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 c fresh cranberries, rinsed

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat until combined. Raise heat and simmer the mixture for about 5-6 minutes or until the cranberries start to split. Once most have split remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for 2 hours for the flavors to infuse. After the two hours strain the mixture into a jar using a mesh strainer, pressing the mixture against the strainer to extract all of the flavor. Keep in a resealable container and chill completely until ready to use.

Margarita Instructions

Dip the rim of the glasses in a shallow bowl of the simple syrup and then immediately into a shallow bowl of green dyed sugar. Let dry completely. Once dry fill the glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice add 4 Tbsp of the spiced cranberry simple syrup, the tequila, orange liqueur, Bare Mixer’s Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo and Bare Mixer’s Margarita. Cover and shake well then strain into the 4 glasses. Taste and add more simple syrup if desired. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and sugared cranberry skewers.

Do you have a delicious healthy holiday recipe in your collection? Make sure you send it to leah@spaweekmedia.com and you could be featured on the Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu AND walk away with a $50 Spa and Wellness gift card.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

Hot Mom Daisy Bryce brings us a recipe for the perfect turkey alternative, just in time for Thanksgiving!

chicken

If you have a non-turkey eater in your house, preparing the perfect Thanksgiving feast can feel like a chore rather than a delight. And the last thing you need is more holiday stress! That’s why we were so excited when Hot Mom, Daisy Bryce, sent us the perfect chicken recipe that’s kid and diet friendly. Simply add your favorite side dishes and desserts, and we bet you won’t even miss the turkey tradition.

Don’t forget to come back soon because each week we will be bringing you our favorite holiday dishes. While you’re in the spirit of the season, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest. It’s just another way you could win a spa day on us!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with  Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

By: Daisy Bryce of Trendy Mom Reviews / @TrendyMomReview
Ingredients:
Chicken
  • 1 1/2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Pretzel Thins (increase if needed)
Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
  • 1.5 cups of sour cream
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 Tablespoon of honey

Three-Step-CoatingDirections:

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Crush the pretzel thins in a food processor on a low setting.

4. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise so that they are thin for baking.

5. Dip each chicken breast slice in egg, flour, and then the crushed pretzel thins.

6. Place each chicken breast in the baking dish and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

7. Create the Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce by combining the sour cream, mustard, and honey.  Stir until thorough mixed.

8. Serve the Pretzel Crusted Chicken with the Cream Honey Mustard Sauce and your choice of vegetables.

Photos by Daisy Bryce

Do you have a delicious healthy holiday recipe in your collection? Make sure you send it to leah@spaweekmedia.com and you could be featured on the Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu AND walk away with a $50 Spa and Wellness gift card.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Hot Mom LeTroy Cooke shows off her sweet side with her favorite holiday dessert that will impress all your guests!

Photo by Troy Cooke

We’re back with another tasty recipe from one of our fabulous Hot Moms. No holiday meal is complete without a yummy dessert and we found the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Although this treat may not be the healthiest recipe on our list, there’s no time like the holidays to indulge in moderation. And this creamy, cheesy dessert is just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Don’t forget to come back soon because each week we will be bringing you our favorite holiday dishes. While you’re in the cooking mood, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest and you could win a spa day on us!

Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake

By: LeTroy Cooke of Thriftanista in the City / @TheThriftanista

Ingredients:
Crust
  • 40 – 50 vanilla wafers
  • 5 Tbsp butter (softened)
Cheesecake
  • 2 Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 instant banana pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Topping
  • 20 Vanilla Wafers (crushed)
  • Kraft Caramel
  • Whipped cream
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix softened butter and vanilla wafers in a food processor until finely crushed. Press into a springform pan evenly along bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Mix cream cheese and brown sugar together until smooth. Add in mashed bananas and instant pudding mix. Mix. Add eggs. Mix.

Pour mix on top of crust and bake for 50 – 55 minutes. Remove from oven. Center should still be a little soft. Refrigerate at least  hours.

Once cooled, top with crushed vanilla wafers. Melt caramel over medium heat and drizzle caramel over top of wafers with a spoon. Finish with whipped cream.

cheesecake2

Photos by LeTroy Cooke

Do you have a delicious healthy holiday recipe in your collection? Make sure you send it to leah@spaweekmedia.com and you could be featured on the Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu AND walk away with a $50 Spa and Wellness gift card.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily.