Thanksgiving Pies and DIY Banners

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To be honest, I've never been a turkey person for Thanksgiving, but pies are something I can always get behind and I love spending the night before Thanksgiving baking with my mom in the kitchen. Every year I make a chocolate cream pie using this recipe and it's always a hit with family and friends. The downside is it uses a lot of dishes (I prefer 1-bowel recipes and this one uses at least 3-4) but I've never found a chocolate cream pie recipe that comes close to this one. I skip the whipped cream on top and just do chocolate shavings so people can add their own whipped cream later.  

Also I found key limes at the grocery store the other day, which I always freak out about because I LOVE key lime-flavored things and they are so hard to find, so naturally key lime pie was added to the pie menu! I figured it would be a non-traditional twist to contrast with the sweeter desserts. I used this recipe which is great because the filling only has three ingredients. It's on the tarter side which I am a fan of but you could always decrease the lime juice.

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And lastly we had cherry! I always used to be scared of cherry pie because pie cherries are only in season for two weeks in the summer and I figured it would be impossible to make good cherry pie with canned fruit but I was wrong. I've found this brand of canned cherries in a couple stores and they make for a great-tasting pie! I just used the recipe on the site. Just be sure to drain the fruit well so the pie isn't too runny.

And lastly these pie banners were a new addition this year and they were super easy to make! I was inspired by these from Food52 (looooove everything on this site!) but they were not budget-friendly and so I decided to attempt to recreate them! I just bought felt, fabric glue, cream-colored ribbon, and 1/4-inch wooden dowels at Michaels Crafts. I cut out little banner shapes in one color (I made one that I felt was the right size and then used it as a template to make the rest). I free-handed the letters because I was too lazy to try and trace them or look for pre-made ones. Plus, even though the letters aren't perfect I think that's almost better because it makes it look more homey! Attach the letters with fabric glue to the felt (I found I had to use quite a bit because felt absorbs the glue) and then glue the banners to the ribbon, making sure the width stays shorter than a pie plate (about 9"). I used hot glue to attach the banners to the dowels, and garden shears to cut the dowels a bit shorter. Overall, these were pretty simple and inexpensive to make! I'm now thinking of all the desserts I can potentially "banner." 

Here are the banners drying on my pathology textbook...probably not the best thing I've ever used the book for!

Here are the banners drying on my pathology textbook...probably not the best thing I've ever used the book for!

Final product! My mom made the pumpkin!

Final product! My mom made the pumpkin!

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