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Video: Creative, modern twists on Thanksgiving classics

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    >>> planning the turkey, dressing, and all the fixings for thanksgiving is a given but if you're looking to make a real statement with your food and decor we have the author of cupcakes and cashmere here with good ideas. good morning, emily. we love having you here. you're already a big hit with your pumpkin pie pops. these are actually incredible. you put them on a stick. an amazing way to wow your guests. it wowed all of us here in the studio.

    >> these are really simple. it's fun. it's essentially a miniature pie on a stick. you start the same way you would with regular pie. we have the regular dough. it's rolled out. instead you take a cookie cutter or anything that's pretty small so it'll stay on the stick. we have some here that are all set. then you just take your stick. place it in the middle. make sure it's really stuck in there. then add any filling you like. here we have a classic pumpkin pie filling. add a little dollop, about a tablespoon right into the middle. then add the other side. secure it down.

    >> a little egg wash on the side to keep it together.

    >> exactly. add a little egg wash. stick this in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes . here we have some as you can see that are done.

    >> can you do it with other, like can you make a blueberry pie , apple pie ?

    >> you can do any filling that you like which really makes these versatile and fun.

    >> make it a little thicker perhaps.

    >> exactly. corn starch will thicken it up.

    >> over here are infused alcohol drinks, right?

    >> yes.

    >> how do you do this?

    >> this is a fun alternative to simply bringing wine. there are endless varieties that you can make. today we are doing a cranberry ginger rum. so what you need are some cranberries, rum, crystalized ginger, sugar, and water. we already have the sugar in there. we have just some cranberries. we're making a syrup here. what we want to do is just kind of add the ginger actually at the end. so first we'll just be doing the syrup. here we have the syrup. you just want to get the sugar to dissolve and then have the cranberries really open up. once the syrup is done, cooled, you add it to a jar with the crystalized ginger at this point and the rum. you'll seal it up and put it in a cool, dry place for about three to five days. you can give it a little shake to get all the flavors going. and then you want to just strain it. i like to put them in cute little bottles like this and here's the final product. again, a bunch of different varieties.

    >> beautiful.

    >> here we have two with vodka. one is a lemon and sage. the other is a vanilla and cinnamon.

    >> amazing. i love that idea. so personal. spiced nuts another great thing to have as maybe a party treat, a gift bag at the table.

    >> exactly.

    >> how do you go about making these?

    >> these are really simple. again, all about the flavors that you prefer.

    >> right.

    >> you start with just a selection of nuts and then add different elements so if you want some sugar, a little sweet, some brown sugar , a little spicy you can do some chile powder or cayenne pepper and an herbal element like rosemary or thyme is great. mix it up, throw it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes .

    >> you have some liquid here.

    >> you want to add some, you can do apple cider or vegetable oil and then once they're done they turn into the great little bags once they're cooled. we have natalie's here, all of these others with your name tags on these.

    >> willie is back to the pie on the stick.

    >> his might be at the table. he is all set.

    >> tell me about this gorgeous place setting .

    >> thank you so much.

    >> thank you.

    >> kathie lee and hoda coming up after your local news. test test. test. test

TODAY recipes
updated 11/8/2012 6:12:57 PM ET 2012-11-08T23:12:57

Recipe: Chai vanilla vodka

Ingredients
  • 2 bags of your favorite chai tea
  • The rind of one orange
  • 1 small vanilla pod, split open
  • 1 good (but not premium) bottle of vodka
Preparation

Place all ingredients in a clean container and set aside the empty vodka bottle. Let the mixture infuse for several hours or several days, depending on how intense you want the flavors to become.

Keep the container in a cool, dark place and gently shake it every day to help facilitate the infusion. Pour the alcohol back into the original vodka bottle, filtering out the solids.

Recipe: Cranberry-ginger rum

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 oz of water
  • 1 good (not premium) bottle of rum
Preparation

Heat the sugar, water and cranberries in a medium saucepan until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries have cooked slightly.

Add the cranberries and crystallized ginger to a clean container and add the entire bottle of rum (keep the empty rum bottle).

Let the mixture infuse for 3 to 5 days, then pour the infused alcohol back into the original rum bottle, filtering out the solids.

Recipe: Meyer lemon vodka

Ingredients
  • 3 Meyer lemons
  • 1 good (not premium) bottle of vodka
Preparation

Peel the lemons and stuff the peels into the vodka bottle. Let the infusion sit for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking the bottle every day to distribute the ingredients.

Recipe: Spiced nuts

Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add drizzling of vegetable oil on a sheet pan and combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, the maple syrup, brown sugar, apple cider and chili powder on the sheet pan. Mix well and then add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.

Spread the nuts in one layer and roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large wooden spoon, until the nuts are golden brown. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss one more time and let come to room temperature.

Scoop nuts into cellophane bags, tie with raffia, include written recipe and add leaf for final touch.

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