Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Creamy pumpkin layered with maple soaked graham crackers and whipped cream, topped with buttery maple pecans. Yes please! A few weeks ago I hosted a Pampered Chef party with a few friends and close family. We fooled around in the kitchen, played with our food and ate this maple pumpkin trifle for dessert while flipping through catalogs. This trifle was simple to put together and would be a nice and different addition to your Thanksgiving meal, if you're still looking for a special dessert. It can be assembled the night before or even the morning of the big day, if you can find time to put this together :-)

As the family baker, Thanksgiving is a fun time for me. I love that I can bake anything and multiple things and it all goes. This year I'm making a pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate chip pecan pies and an apple cake with brown sugar glaze. My sister is making pumpkin crunch cake and my aunt is making not yo mama's banana pudding. We will be eating well and finishing it off with sweets galore. We are not doing without and we are extremely thankful for our bounty. Now I want to know what YOU are baking up for turkey day?

Pumpkin Maple Trifle adapted from Pampered Chef via Jolts & Jollies

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  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 box (14.4 ounces) whole graham crackers
  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) cheesecake instant pudding
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed or equal amounts of whipped cream

Make the maple pecans: Combine butter and 3 Tablespoons maple syrup in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat until butter melts. Add nuts and stir constantly about 5-7 minutes or until pecans are evenly toasted. Place on parchment paper and allow to cool.

Break up graham crackers and place in a large mixing bowl.

Pour 1/2 cup of maple syrup into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 60 seconds. Pour syrup over graham crackers and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Mix to combine. Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping or whipped cream until there are no more white streaks. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining whipped topping and remaining 3 Tablespoons maple syrup and fold until well blended.

Fill a decorator bag with 2/3 cup of the maple cream and set aside.

Assemble trifle: Place 1/3 graham crackers evenly in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top graham cracker layer evenly with 1/2 the pumpkin filling. Top with 1/3 graham crackers. Top with remaining maple cream. Top with final 1/3 graham crackers. Top with remaining pumpkin filling. Break up maple nuts. Decorate the top of the trifle with the decorator bag of maple cream and the maple walnuts.

Refrigerate trifle for 4 hours or overnight.

I'm grateful and thankful for many things this year. But 2011 is different since we were blessed by the birth of Hayden. We prayed, hoped and waited for him for 6 years and lost 2 beautiful sons in the process. Hayden will never replace his angel brothers, Sam and Jack, but he more than makes up for the heartache and countless tears we shed along the way. I love him more than I ever thought possible.

What are you especially grateful for this year?


Coleen said...

Yes,you have so much to be thankful for and he is absolutely precious!! I am thankful for my wonderful husband and the 41 adventurous years we've been together. Happy Thanksgiving dear sweet Monica!!

bellini said...

There are so many blessings this year for you and your family Monica. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. It definitely looks like it will be filled with deliciousness!

From the Kitchen said...

Your "header" is very distracting!!!!! I hardly noticed the delicious recipe and just when that was sinking in, I'm zapped with another sweet photo! Enjoy those sweet snuggles!!

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Hayden is just so precious and cute,too.

Becca said...

Wow, this trifle looks so delicious! I'm more interesting in the maple grahams and the pecans though, I like my crunchy stuff :)

This year my mom's birthday falls on Thanksgiving, so I'm going to secretly make her a birthday cake in the morning before she starts cooking and hide it, then I'm going to be making the rolls :) I hope you have a wonferful Thanksgiving.

Keeley said...

I'm thankful for my husband... we've been together 13+ years! I'm making sweet potato pie, rolls and macaroni and cheese for two different Thanksgiving dinner tables. I've never had the pleasure of hosting everyone at my home, but I look forward to doing that when we get a larger house. Happy Thanksgiving!

Julie said...

Your little guy is one of the best blessings ever! I am grateful for the health and safety of my family, and for a mostly low-drama life :) Have a wonderful day!

Hennifer said...

I think my comment got swallowed!

As this is Thanksgiving and a good time to be mindful of all I have I will just say I don't have anything to complain about in the grand scope.

I wish your family the best and love seeing your little one.

As for me in the kitchen I am making a chocolate pudding pie, want to try my hand at a pumpkin cheesecake with all the frozen pumpkin I have, thinking of trying sweet potato biscuits and regular ol' rolls

seaschell said...

Hayden is so, so cute! I'm thankful for my own new addition this year, a much anticipated baby girl born in August. She is truly a blessing for my hubby and I!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

To the "H" Family. I'm so happy that you have a very special in Hayden to celebrate on Thanksgiving. Undoubtedly, you have a fantastic feast to share with your family. Thanks for your friendship over the last couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Your beautiful baby Hayden is just wonderful to see at the top of your blog, it makes it like a holiday each day just to see how sweet your angel and how he is growing, blessings to you and your hubby..Your recipes I adore, how you do that and be a wonderful momma is wonderful..God truly loves you & your family, take care, we are off to roast many turkeys, hams and pork loins, did my many pies yesterday at a food pantry..we have chinese and a movie later, enjoy your sweet angel and your sweet hubby too..ciao mi bella!!!!!!X()X()X()

cathy said...

So very thankful for my little boy. And thankful for other mommies like you who are enjoying their first Thanksgiving with their miracle babies.

danellesdish said...

YUM! I am filing that recipe away for next Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

TIffany said...

I had pumpkin pie, from a pumpkin we baked ourselves. Chocolate custard. Cherry. Also a dozen mini chocolate pecan pies as a birthday gift to my brother.

I LOVED what you said about your babies!!

Miss Jean said...

I just discovered your blog and oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!! This is going to be seriously calorie laden FUN!!!!

The Captain's Daughter said...

What a beautiful dessert! I LOVE Pampered Chef (have sold it off and on and used it every day since 1998!) That baby boy of yours steals EVERY post - LOVE IT. Love him and love you! xxoo

Donna said...

Children are a blessing. Enjoy your beautiful son. I am thankful for so much - my husband, children and grandchildren are at the top of the list.

Avril said...

Ahhhhh the combo of maple and pumpkin - simply wonderful! This dessert must have been a huge success for Turkey Day! I hope you had a simply perfect Thanksgiving Monica and wishing you loads of fun with your precious little guy as you move closer to xmas. :-)

Maranda said...

I think I was going to say something about the trifle but I got distracted by the baby. ;-)

Sara - Cake Pops said...

Sounds like you had quite the Thanksgiving meal. I'm looking forward to trying your Pumpkin Maple Trifle recipe.

Lori said...

He is so beautiful. I am so glad he is okay and that you now have a child. Isn't it funny how we may be total strangers but I have thought of you on several occasions, hoping you would have a baby.

Wendy May said...

Wow, that looks heavenly! I can't wait to make that for the holidays. I will be turning to your blog for recipes in the future, for sure.

Your little boy is beautiful :)

Taimi said...

I just received a pumpkin from a friend and intend to try your truly tasty looking recipe a.s.a.p.

I do hope you, your family and your little boy are fine. I do know about loosing a child to well - my son died in a tragic accident almost two years ago, at age 18. Fortunately I still have his older sister and his younger brother. But there's not a day that I think of him and miss him dearly.

Take good care - and continue to develope such great recipes.


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