Pumpkin Spice Trifle (Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe)

Two days after Thanksgiving, we do “Gourmet Thanksgiving Leftover Dinner”, which is far more fun for me to cook than traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

The last few years I’ve made Yam Swirl Cheesecake which the family loves, but we elected not to have yams this year.  We did have store-bought pumpkin pie, and my son made pumpkin bread, and those called out to be repurposed, so I made Pumpkin Spice Trifle.  Trifle should always have some kind of fruit or jam, so I made a quick cooked apple layer.  This came together very well, and it is now gone! (Well some of it may be on our hips).


Filling only from half of a 10” pumpkin pie

¾ of a loaf (standard 5” x 10” pan) of dense pumpkin bread (this was made from a store bought mix), cubed (3/4” cubes)

4 apples (peeled, large dice – about ½” cubes)

1 cup apricots, chopped (or any other dried fruit you’d like – cranberries would be great, but we have a non-fan of dried cranberries, so I used apricots)

1 cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp ground cloves

Pinch of salt

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Peel and dice the apples, and put in small deep saucepan with water, regular sugar, pinch of salt, spices, chopped apricots, and cook about 10 minutes until soft.  Set aside to cool.

Whip the heavy cream with confectioner’s sugar.

Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pumpkin pie

Put half of the cubed bread on the bottom of a trifle bowl.  [Option:  You could drizzle some brandy or liqueur over the bread.  I didn’t do that this time].  Put half of the cooked apple mixture over the bread.  Carefully put in half of the pumpkin/whipped cream mix and smooth out from the middle to the edge with an offset spatula.  You want a pretty edge on the outside!  Put in one half of the remaining whipped cream, and smooth out to the edge.  Repeat the layers, finishing with whipped cream.  If you want to get fancy, feel free to pipe the top with a pastry bag and tip.  I just swirled it with my offset spatula.  Garnish with a few pieces of fruit – I used whole cranberries spooned out of our leftover cranberry sauce.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.  If you are storing overnight, you may want to cover the top with plastic wrap, and re-swirl or pipe the top at the last minute.


Thanksgiving Cocktails

Are you looking for something different to serve this Thanksgiving?  Tired of Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Nouveau, or whatever you usually serve with your turkey?  Thanks to my pal Barry, who sent me this link from Food & Wine (a magazine I love, by the way) to Hard Cider Sangria, which looks and sounds wonderful!

  • 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
  • 1 navel orange—quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup apple juice, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy
  • One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled
  • Ice

In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

If the Sangria doesn’t make you Thankful, here is a stronger one that will put you on the couch for a nap:

Felicitation Punch

In a punch bowl, muddle the lemon zest with the whiskey. Add the gin and let stand for 2 hours. Stir in the maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and Rich Simple Syrup and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the club soda and add ice.


Friday Inspiration – Kindness



It is World Kindness Week, and this past Tuesday, 11/13/12 was World Kindness Day.  One of my previous posts was a Random Acts of Kindness Poster published by Randomactsofkindness.org.  This has ended up being one of my most visited blog pages, and one of my most re-pinned items on Pinterest, so I know people love the ideas!

I encourage everyone to check out the site, which has great resources on the Kindness movement.  I found today’s quote there.  They also have monthly calendar pages you can print out with daily kindness suggestions, and children’s activities, volunteer opportunities, etc.  Whenever I visit their site I end up smiling!

Few people speak as often, as consistently and as eloquently about kindness as the Dalai Lama.  For him, Kindness is the essence of humanity, an ever-present consciousness, and a way of life.


The true essence of humankind is kindness. There are other qualities which come from education or knowledge, but it is essential, if one wishes to be a genuine human being and impart satisfying meaning to one’s existence, to have a good heart.
Tenzin Gyatso  – The 14th Dalai Lama (B. 1935)