November 20th, 2019 | Miller Advisors

Cooking up some new thanksgiving traditions

Whether you’re cooking up savory dishes in the kitchen, sitting around the TV watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade or catching up with visiting family, Thanksgiving is about spending time with the ones we cherish and being thankful for their impact on our lives.

If you’re looking for new ways to create memories with those for which you are thankful, we have some suggestions for some new holiday traditions.

Work up an appetite

Want an excuse to spend time enjoying the crisp fall weather before staying in with your loved ones? Consider signing up for a turkey trot with your family. These footraces often range from 5K to 10K and can be a fun way to work up an appetite. And if you’re worried about not having the athletic chops for it, don’t be. These races are usually about enjoying the experience at your own pace.

Schedule in playtime

You’ve probably played classics like Scrabble and Monopoly, but playing large group games like Pictionary or Chronology can create a stronger bond and increase happiness in families.

Family expert and author, Jessica Joelle Alexander, says: “Playing together is a fundamental cornerstone of family life for children and parents alike. But with modern lifestyles busier than ever and so much emphasis on formal education and structured activities, it can be easy to forget to make time for it. Given the positive effects it has on our wellbeing and happiness levels, family play should be the most important ‘homework’ of all.”

Adults and children equally feel the benefits of playing together. Parents say play is good for their own well-being (91%) and happiness (72%) and that it even helps them feel more relaxed (86%) and connected to their children (64%). Almost all children surveyed say play makes them feel happy (93%) and helps them relax after a long day at school (87%). 1

Play a new game with your family and create a timeless (and entertaining!) memory this Thanksgiving.

Create an after-dinner craft station

Sure to be a hit with kids and anyone who enjoys arts and crafts, consider setting up an area with a spacious table to serve as a thankful station. You can decorate it with miniature pumpkins and fall leaves.  Purchase colorful paper leaves from your local craft store or online at Amazon or cut out your own leaves and also brown paper “tree trunks”, supply glue or two-sided tape and pens/markers.  Family and friends can pull up a chair and catch up as they create their own customized masterpieces by writing out things for which they are “Thankful” on different leaves and gluing/taping them to their “tree trunk”. You can also have a large pumpkin to serve as a centerpiece and have pens and markers on hand for everyone to write on it the blessings for which they’re grateful.

There are many ways this can be set up as you share your blessings with family and friends.

Stop and smell the roses (or left-over turkey dinner)

Before going to bed, write down three good things that happened during the day and explain what resonated with you. It may seem simple, but this practice has been shown to help promote gratefulness and happiness time and again.

No matter how you prefer to spend time with your loved ones on this holiday, we hope you take a moment to reflect on all the blessings for which you are thankful while making memories you’ll cherish for years to come.

As always, we hope that Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 28th this year, will be a special day for friends and family. In observance of this holiday, U.S. financial markets will be closed, and our office will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29. If you need to access your account information, please use Raymond James Client Access, which is always available online or our Miller Advisors Portal.

As we conclude this Thanksgiving letter, Miller Advisors would like to offer a few recipes to aid in starting new traditions with your family.

Below are some of our favorites.

Cranberry Relish by Nicole Miller

12 ounces fresh cranberries (uncooked)
1 apple, cored and cut into quarters
½ orange, seeds removed and peeled and end trimmed off
1 Cup granulated sugar

1. Place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl.
2. Add the apple to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the apple to the bowl with the cranberries.
3. Add the orange to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the orange to the bowl with the cranberries and apples.
4. Add the sugar to the bowl with the cranberries, apple and orange and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 3 days.
5. Serve, garnished with cranberries and orange zest if desired.

Tennessee Honey Whiskey Pumpkin Bread by Sharon Littell

3 ⅔ Cup sugar
1 Cup finely chopped pecans
2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 ⅓ Cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 15 oz can of pumpkin (1 ¾ Cup)
4 Eggs
1 Cup vegetable oil
¼ Cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey (or water)
⅓ Cup water
1 recipe Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey Icing (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut parchment paper into two rectangles 9″x17″, lay in the two 9×5-inch pans, letting it drape over the sides at least 1″. This will provide an easy way to pull the baked loaf up out of the pan without having to turn it over.
2. In a small bowl combine ⅔ cup sugar, pecans and 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice.
3. In an extra-large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and remaining tsp pumpkin pie spice. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, whiskey and water. Stir until well blended. Add all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined. Spread ½ of the batter in parchment paper lined pans, sprinkle with ½ of the sugar/nut mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and sugar/nut mixture.
5. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover with foil if needed the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning.
6. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans by loosening the ends with a table knife and pulling up on the side parchment paper “handles”. Cool completely on wire rack. Do not turn he loaf over to peel off the parchment paper as the sugar/nut topping will fall off. If eating immediately, optional icing can be drizzled at this time.
Makes 32 slices.

Options for storing: Wrap and store in refrigerator up to 1 week. Wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil to freeze up to 3 months. If storing, I recommend that you do not ice until ready to serve. Thaw loaf completely before icing.

Tennessee Honey Whiskey Icing

1. In a small bowl stir together 2 Cups of powdered sugar, 4 TBSP Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey (if you do not like whiskey, replace with milk).
2. Add 2 tsp softened butter, stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated.
3. Stir in approximately 1 TBSP milk to reach drizzling consistency (Heavy cream or half and half also work very well; I like the heavy cream).
4. Half this recipe if only eating one loaf or store the remaining icing in the refrigerator until 2nd loaf is served.

Original recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes 2018: Bourbon Pumpkin Bread with Spice Swirl.

Butternut Squash Soup by Jane Castro

1 Butternut Squash – medium size
1 Sweet Potato – medium/large size
1 Yellow Onion – medium size -finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves – minced
Coconut milk – 8oz
Chicken or vegetable stock – 32oz
Curry Powder – 2-3 tsp
Salt & Pepper
Cilantro (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. (Set the seeds aside for roasting if desired.)
3. Cut the sweet potato in half.
4. Place flesh side down of all 4 pieces in a large baking pan with about 1 inch of water.
5. Poke holes on the outside of the squash and sweet potato, bake until soft (30-45 minutes).
6. While squash and potato are baking, mince garlic and chop onion, sauté together in a small pan until soft.
7. Remove 1 squash half at a time from the pan, flesh side down onto a cutting board, with a table knife, peel the skin off, chop flesh into small pieces and put in blender or food processor, don’t blend yet.
8. Repeat with each sweet potato half. Add to blender or food processor. Add onion/garlic mixture and process until smooth.
9. Transfer to a large pot, over a medium heat, add curry, (a little at a time until the right flavor for you), coconut milk, salt & pepper and cilantro, if using. Slowly, add stock to the pot until you achieve the consistency you like. Adjust spices to taste.
Serve with crusty baguette.

Toasting seeds
Pull all of the seeds away from the flesh and rinse, pat dry and put in a small bowl. Toss with 1 TBSP of olive oil and sea salt. Bake 275° for 15 minutes or until seed start to pop. These make a great garnish add at time of serving.

Cook’s notes:
I prefer using half chicken and half vegetable stock
If you don’t like curry you can try other combos like cinnamon and clove.

Turkey Corn Chili by Jane Castro

1 TBSP Olive oil
1 Medium Onion – diced
1 large Bell Pepper – any color, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and minced
1 Bay leaf
1 ½ lbs. Turkey meat, light and dark, diced
1 ½ – 2 TBSP Chili Powder
1 ½ – 2 TBSP Ground Cumin
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper sauce
2 Cups Corn
32 oz. can chunky style Crushed Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Scallions, chopped, white and green

1. Heat oil, in large pot, over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, stir to prevent sticking.
3. Stir in turkey.
4. Add chili powder, cumin and cayenne sauce. Season with a little salt, to taste
5. Add corn, tomatoes and broth.
6. Combine well and taste to adjust seasonings as needed.
7. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 7-10 minutes to blend flavors.
8. Serve with scallion garnish.

Cook’s Notes:
Use leftover bell pepper from crudité platter.
Use leftover corn or frozen, defrosted and drained.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes by David Simpson

2 pounds of potatoes
1 stick of butter
Heavy Cream or milk
8 cloves of garlic
1 onion

1. Chop potatoes into cubes.
2. Chop onion and garlic, place in separate container
3. Boil potatoes until soft.
4. Drain potatoes and set them aside.
5. While potatoes are draining, melt butter in sauce pan.
6. Saute garlic and onions in butter.
7. Add potatoes to pot they were boiled in and mash.
8. Add butter, garlic, and onions.
9. Stir in heavy cream to desired thickness.
10. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Editor’s note: If you only want a hint of garlic, decrease to 1 clove and ⅛ C of finely chopped onion.

We hope you enjoy the holiday along with the recipes. Thank you for continuing to allow us to serve you and your family. We appreciate your confidence. Happy Thanksgiving!

With warm regards,
Kathleen Miller, Nicole Miller, Kelli Young, David Simpson,
Jane Castro and Sharon Littell

1 Excerpt from: Playing together makes families happier, closer and less stressed.  
All Photos: Sharon Littell