Monthly Archives: November 2016

6 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is often about family traditions, but if you’re looking for a twist on some classic autumn staples we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected six easy and delicious side dishes, desserts and a recipe for those leftovers to make Thanksgiving as easy as falling asleep after all that turkey.

Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Brown Sugar

We’re pretty sure this is what people mean when they say “bundle of joy.”

Cook bacon until just brown and let cool. Divide trimmed, blanched green beans into small groups (somewhere around six green beans in each) and wrap them with a half slice of the bacon. Make sure the loose end is on the bottom!

Sprinkle brown sugar over the bundles. Whisk together melted butter, salt and garlic powder and drizzle this on top. Then roast until the bacon is properly cooked. Serve warm.

Check out the full recipe here!

Three Cheese Asparagus Gratin

Keep your asparagus warm on a cold, autumn night with a cheese blanket!

Cook asparagus until tender and place on a baking sheet. Season with salt and garlic pepper. Make sure to keep one cup of the water used to cook the asparagus. Then, melt butter and combine with flour in the same skillet. Pour this leftover asparagus water into the skillet to create a thick sauce.

Stir in all three cheeses after you turn off the heat. Once fully melted, pour the cheesy goodness over the asparagus and top with shredded mozzarella. Garnish how you please and dig in!

Check out the full recipe here!

Cinnamon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash

We’re nuts about this side dish!

Cut a butternut squash into chunks and toss with olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on a baking sheet. Bake for about half an hour, adding pecans in the last 10 minutes. Viola! You have a super easy, delicious dish.

Check out the full recipe here!

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an apple dipped in caramel pumpkin cheesecake dip may bring a few friends running.

Combine caramels and pumpkin spice coffee creamer in a saucepan and heat until caramels have melted and combined with the creamer. Let it cool. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy and mix in some pure pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice while you continue beating the mixture.

Fold in a container of Cool Whip and cover the bottom of the serving bowl with caramel sauce. Make layers of dip and caramel until you have a ratio you like. Then, drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the layer to create a fun pattern! Serve immediately to prevent separation.

Check out the full recipe here!

Pumpkin Pie Crescents

You already fight over who will get the last crescent. Add pumpkin pie filling and a maple glaze and who knows what will happen!

After starting to preheat the oven to 375 ℉, you’ll want to combine the pumpkin pie mix, egg yolk, and spices. Place about one tbsp. of pumpkin pie mix on each unrolled crescent and roll them over once. Pinch the sides and continue rolling. Then place them on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake until browned; typically 10-12 minutes. After they’ve cooled a bit, glaze them with a maple glaze for a truly fall-friendly taste.

Check out the full recipe here!

Leftover Turkey Frittata

Who wants to make an elaborate meal the day after Thanksgiving? Just throw some of that leftover turkey in a frittata and you can keep the festivities going without the hassle.

Start by setting the oven to broil. Then, whisk together eggs, shredded cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and set this mixture aside. Heat a pan over medium heat and melt butter inside. Add spinach and let cook for approximately one minute.

Next, add turkey and some garlic until heated. Pour in the eggs and cheese and cook this for another five minutes. Finally, place the pan in the oven and broil it for about 4 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Check out the full recipe here!

Revisiting Thanksgiving Bash (2016)

Thanksgiving is the granddaddy of all food holidays, so it only made sense to celebrate with four Thanksgiving dinners over four days!

We hit the oven and prepared four different menus to give students an opportunity to celebrate “Friendsgiving” with their Miami family before the official Thanksgiving day at home.

The festivities began on November 14 at Martin Dining Center with Harris Dining Center, Garden Commons and Western Dining Commons hosting their Thanksgiving meals in the following days, respectively. Turkey and ham were aplenty, but were only part of the varied menus available!

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!


Martin Dining Center

November 14, 2016 – Martin Dining Center

Martin Dining Center hosted the first of the four Thanksgiving Bash dinners. Martin served up a traditional Thanksgiving meal with classics like roasted turkey, green bean casserole, ham, mashed potatoes, and roasted acorn squash. The menu also featured hominy salad (noolintia ahsalata) and hominy chowder (noolintia). Both hominy recipes were provided by the Native American Student Association (N.A.S.A.).


Harris Dining Center

November 15, 2016 – Harris Dining Center

The second Thanksgiving Bash dinner was hosted at Harris Dining Center. The menu was a traditional midwestern-style Thanksgiving meal with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes. macaroni & cheese, and other holiday classics. Pumpkin roll, cherry apple crisp, and a variety of tasty sweets were available for dessert.


Garden Commons

November 16, 2016 – Garden Commons

Garden Commons was the third Thanksgiving Bash dinner of the week, but offered a different take on the standard Thanksgiving meal. Featuring items like Hoppin’ John, cajun rice dressing, sweet potato pie, and coca cola glazed ham, the menu offered a southern-flair to the midwestern Thanksgiving meal, much to the enjoyment of our guests!


Western Dining Commons

November 17, 2016 – Western Dining Commons

Our fourth and final Thanksgiving Bash dinner offered a twist on “turkey day” with a menu loaded with vegan/vegetarian options for those with special diets. Turkey, ham, and other classics were still available, along with apple dumplings, pumpkin rolls, and, of course, pumpkin pie.

Thank you for joining us at our Thanksgiving Bash dinners! We are thankful for all of you and hope you enjoyed celebrating Thanksgiving with us!

Little Ways to Show Your Friends You Appreciate Them

Write it Out!

Give your friends a thank you note, letting them know how much you appreciate all that they do for you. Express your gratitude in a unique way, not just a typical thank you note. Let them know that you are there for them if they need anything, like they were there for you.

Make them something

Take the time to make your friends a nice craft. They will notice that you took time out of your busy life to create something they would like. Do they light up your life? Make them a fun and festive candle! Do you feel all warm and fuzzy around them? How about on of these DIY Flannel Handwarmers! Even if it doesn’t turn out “Pinterest-quality” your friends will still have something tangible to remind them that you care.

Compliment them

Don’t just compliment their outfit or a good hair day. Compliment them on all the things that make them great! Whether you’re friends because of their razor-sharp wit, or their never-ending compassion. Get creative and take some time to make them feel as special as they are to you.

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Donate to your friend’s favorite charity

This one is a double whammy. Not only are you helping a good cause, but you’re showing your friends that you listen and know their favorite charity, or one that you know would mean a lot to them. You don’t have to empty your savings account, even a small donation will make a big impact. In some cases this can be cheaper than a material gift they might not even like. Here’s a website that helps you choose the best charity to which you should donate.

Give them a book you’ve read and inscribe a note

Have you ever read a book you know your friend would love? Chances are you won’t be reading it again, so why not give them the gift of reading! Inscribe the inside cover with a heartfelt note and an explanation of why they would love this literary work. Not only will they have something to do while the turkey is cooking this Thanksgiving break, but you’ll have something more to bond over as you discuss the novel.

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Mixed CD

It’s a classic for a reason. Compile a few songs that make you think of your friends, or that you know your friends will enjoy. Burn them onto a CD and decorate it! Create a track list that explains why each song has been included. Now you’ll have a good soundtrack when the producers finally contact you about the reality show you and your friends should definitely have.

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Mini scrapbook

Compile all the best pictures of your friends and create a mini scrapbook. Write down inside jokes, fun memories, and reasons why you love them. You can use cardstock as the pages and bind it with ribbon, or follow these instructions for one a little more craft-heavy. Go through it together with some hot cocoa on the side for a nostalgia-filled night.

Bring them a warm beverage

If it’s a cold day, warm your friends up with a hot beverage. Do you know their favorite coffee or tea order? Swing by Starbucks or Miami Ice for a delicious drink and you guys can catch up in between sips. This shows you know some of their favorite things and are willing to take the time out of your day to treat them to something nice.

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Cook them food

Take some time to make your friends a delicious meal. It can just be spaghetti and sauce, or something more complicated. Whatever you cook, your friends will know that you put in the effort to do something nice for them. Bonus points because you get to bond while you eat.

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What to Do This ~Friendsgiving~

Whatever your Thanksgiving plans are, you can still celebrate Friendsgiving with your squad at school. Show your pals how much they mean to you by hosting a stellar event with these fun activities (to go along with the food). They’ll gobble it up!

Leaf Crowns

Take a stroll down memory lane, or maybe just through Western campus, and find the biggest leaves you can. Once you get back inside the warmth of your dorm, make some hot cocoa and start crafting! Cut construction paper so it makes the base of the crown and staple the ends together to hold it in place. Then, attach the leaves in whatever pattern you please to create these fun leaf crowns. Wear them while you feast like a king!

Watch Your Favorite Thanksgiving Movie

Television specials are okay too! Gather around the screen and stay warm inside with some of your favorite Thanksgiving-themed programming! Some of the most popular ones include:

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

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  • National Lampoon’s Thanksgiving Family Reunion0add6c49a63979e1b576f4e5138d0f56
  • Paul Blart Mall Cop

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  • Free Birds

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  • Gilmore Girls

Bonus points because the new season is coming out on November 25th!!!

  • Gossip Girl

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  • That 70’s Show

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  • Friends

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  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Throw it back to the Nick at Nite days.

  • Bob’s Burgers

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Scavenger Hunt

Print out pictures of your friends and hide them in places that you frequently visit or where something fun happened. Give clues that will spark up good memories of times you’ve shared and rediscover old memories as you uncover each picture.

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Coloring

Take some time to relax and color as you let your food digest! What better way to celebrate the good old times than coloring up a storm with these free, printable coloring pages.

Ruffled Feathers

Have two people compete to each keep a feather up in the air without touching the ground or the other person’s feather. Make it a tournament and the two to reach the final can break the wishbone!

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Thanksgiving Bash 2016: Western Dining Commons

Western Dining Commons is hosting the final Thanksgiving Bash Dinner on November 17 and will be serving up a wide variety of vegan/vegetarian options, along with the traditional carnivore selections! Take a look over the menu below and set up your very own “Friendsgiving” with your Miami family before you head home for Thanksgiving!

Starting November 14, there will be four nights of Thanksgiving Dinner. The festivities begin at Martin Dining Center with Harris hosting on November 15. Garden Commons and Western will have their dinners on November 16 and November 17, respectively.

Mark your calendars for Thanksgiving Bash and keep an eye on The Miami Spread for the menus being featured at each dinner. If you missed out on Thanksgiving Bash at Western Dining Commons last year, take a look back at photos from the event at our Facebook page!


Thanksgiving Bash Schedule

Date Location Time
November 14, 2016 Martin Dining Center 5-8pm
November 15, 2016 Harris Dining Center 5-8pm
November 16, 2016 Garden Commons 5-8pm
November 17, 2016 Western Dining Commons 5-8pm

Thanksgiving Bash at Western Dining Commons Menu

Items with an asterisk* are vegan

Appetizers

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Tortilla Chips
  • Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Phyllo Cups with Chives

International Station

  • Spice Rubbed Turkey Roast
  • Carved Bourbon Glazed Ham
  • Mac and Cheese
  • *Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • *Gravy
  • *Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon
  • *Stuffing with Apple, Cranberry and Herb
  • *Sweet Potato Casserole
  • *Fresh Cranberry Relish
  • Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup
  • *Pumpkin Chili with Black Beans and Garbanzo Beans

Grill and Roast

  • Spice Rubbed Turkey Roast
  • Mac and Cheese
  • *Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • *Gravy
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • *Stuffing with Apple, Cranberry and Herb
  • *Sweet Potato Casserole
  • *Fresh Cranberry Relish
  • Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Allergen Friendly Station

  • Carved Roast Turkey
  • *Roasted Sweet Potato Halves
  • *Roasted Acorn Squash
  • *Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  • *Broccoli Spears with “Cheeze” Sauce
  • Chicken breast
  • *GF Pasta
  • *Marinara Sauce
  • *Fresh Cranberry Sauce
  • *Kale Salad with Apples and Cranberries
  • *Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms
  • *Quinoa Chickpea Tabbouleh
  • *Tuscan Bean Salad
  • *Gingered Pears
  • *Spiced Peaches
  • *Fruit Bar

Breads and Desserts

  • Potato Rolls
  • *Multi Grain Dinner Rolls
  • Cornbread
  • Pumpkin Roll
  • *Carrot Pecan Cake
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Dumplings with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

Staff Spotlight: Amy Allen

Every day is different for assistant manager Amy Allen and after nearly 25 years, she has learned to anticipate the variety.

“I always come up with three plans,” said Allen. “A, B, and C, because plan A never works. It’s like a puzzle trying to organize and fit everything in place.”

Allen’s puzzle is Maplestreet Station where she is in charge of ordering food, assisting in menu planning, and taste-testing. She also works with student employees between scheduling and other tasks.

“You don’t really know what’s going to happen from year to year,” said Allen. “Students’ tastes change and it’s important that our chefs and our executive managers work to find out what students really want. Every year is different.”

Allen is a serious and hard-working manager who leads by example, but also recognizes her role with student employees. She holds everybody to an equally high standard.

“I deal a lot with the student managers, in helping them and guiding them in their role at Maplestreet,” said Allen. “I try to teach them life skills, like why it’s important to be on time. Why it’s important to come prepared to work. Why work and how it’s going to help you in the long-run. The skills they learn here are transferrable to whatever job they might have whether it’s marketing or teaching.”

Allen got her first taste of food service working at McDonald’s. She then moved to work in retail for nearly 15 years before applying for a food service position at Miami University. She got the job and, 10 years later, is still working in dining services.

“Everybody has a story. Everybody has a path and a choice,” said Allen. “[Students] sometimes just see me as a dining manager, but I have other stuff going on in my life too that I don’t think they see.”

Allen is an avid reader, particularly of murder mysteries, and enjoys dining out for new menu ideas. Allen also shares something with her student employees and many of her patrons. She’s a student herself.

“I take two classes a semester and I am working towards a business degree,” said Allen. “When [students] talk about taking a test, I know what they’re talking about because I’m in the same boat as them.”

Whether she’s falling back to her “B” or “C” plan for the day, or she is trying to accommodate the tastes of the changing student body from year to year, Allen enjoys the variety working at Miami offers.

“Maybe we have full-time staff that attend training or maybe they have a doctor’s appointment or a student has an exam they forgot about,” said Allen. “I’m moving people around to meet the needs of all the operations throughout the day. It’s like a puzzle. Every day is a different day.”


The Hard Questions

Favorite dish to prepare? To eat?

PrepareTo prepare … this is old school, but swiss steak, only because that’s my husband’s favorite.

EatFried chicken and mashed potatoes.

What’s your favorite TV show?

I would say The Big Bang Theory. I’ve just now started watching Lethal Weapon too. 

Cat or dog? Both, because I have both. My dog, who is almost 10, is now the father of a 6-month old kitten that we brought home, so he isn’t happy with us.  

Cake or pie? Pie.

Thanksgiving Bash 2016: Garden Commons

Garden Commons is hosting Thanksgiving Bash on November 16 and will be serving up a Southern-style Thanksgiving menu highlighted by items like fried okra, shrimp & grits, Cola ham, and much more!

Starting November 14, there will be four nights of Thanksgiving Dinner. The festivities begin at Martin Dining Center with Harris hosting on November 15. Garden Commons and Western will have their dinners on November 16 and November 17, respectively.

Mark your calendars for Thanksgiving Bash and keep an eye on The Miami Spread for the menus being featured at each dinner. If you missed out on Thanksgiving Bash at Garden Commons last year, take a look back at photos from the event at our Facebook page!


Thanksgiving Bash Schedule

Date Location Time
November 14, 2016 Martin Dining Center 5-8pm
November 15, 2016 Harris Dining Center 5-8pm
November 16, 2016 Garden Commons 5-8pm
November 17, 2016 Western Dining Commons 5-8pm

Thanksgiving Bash at Garden Commons Menu

Items with an asterisk* are vegan

Appetizers

  • Fried Okra with Creole Aioli
  • Shrimp and Grits

Soup

  • Chicken Corn Chowder
  • *Carrot Coconut Soup

Main Meal

  • Sliced Roasted Turkey
  • Cola Ham
  • *Pecan Crusted Tofu Cutlet
  • Whipped Potatoes
  • Vegetarian Gravy
  • Vegetarian Bread Dressing
  • Cornbread Casserole
  • Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Cajun Rice Dressing
  • Hoppin’ John
  • Collard Greens
  • *Steamed Haricot Vert
  • Fresh Cranberry Salad

Breads and Desserts

  • Parkerhouse Roll with Honey Butter
  • Cornbread
  • Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Bourbon Vanilla Anglaise
  • *Cranberry Walnut Bread
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Peach Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Southern Style Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pumpkin Roll

Thanksgiving Bash 2016: Harris Dining Center

Thanksgiving Bash is back at Harris Dining Center! Sporting a traditional midwest Thanksgiving menu, Harris will be serving a variety of holiday favorites, like carved roasted turkey, deluxe macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes & gravy, pumpkin rolls, and more. Come celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with your Miami family and enjoy some wonderful food in the process!

Starting November 14, there will be four nights of Thanksgiving Dinner. The festivities begin at Martin Dining Center with Harris hosting on November 15. Garden Commons and Western will have their dinners on November 16 and November 17, respectively.

Mark your calendars for Thanksgiving Bash and keep an eye on The Miami Spread for the menus being featured at each dinner. If you missed out on Thanksgiving Bash at Harris Dining Center last year, take a look back at photos from the event at our Facebook page!


Thanksgiving Bash Schedule

Date Location Time
November 14, 2016 Martin Dining Center 5-8pm
November 15, 2016 Harris Dining Center 5-8pm
November 16, 2016 Garden Commons 5-8pm
November 17, 2016 Western Dining Commons 5-8pm

Thanksgiving Bash at Harris Dining Center Menu

APPETIZERS

  • Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip with Garlic Crostini Dippers
  • Cranberry Chutney Cheeseball with Crackers
  • Hummus with Pita Chips
  • Hot Apple Cider

SOUPS

  • Chicken and Corn Chowder
  • Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup

ENTREES

  • Carved Roast Turkey
  • Cider Baked Ham
  • Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese
  • Vegan:  Lemon Rosemary Tofu & Quinoa Pilaf

SIDE DISHES

  • Wild Rice Pilaf with Fruit
  • Mashed Potatoes/Poultry Gravy/Vegetarian Gravy
  • Vegetarian Bread Dressing
  • Roasted Squash with Brown Butter & Sage
  • Harvest Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole
  • Whole Kernel Corn

SALAD & FRUIT BAR

  • Whole Cranberry Sauce

BREADS, ROLLS, CONDIMENTS

  • Potato Dinner Rolls
  • Multi-Grain Rolls
  • Corn Muffins
  • Vegan Pumpkin Nut Bread
  • Local Honey, Whipped Margarine, Whipped Cream Cheese

DESSERTS

  • Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Icing
  • Mini Maple Bacon Cupcakes
  • Individual Pecan Pie Tarts with Whipped Topping Garnish
  • Vegan Carrot Pecan Cake
  • Warm Apple Cranberry Crisp/Hand Dipped Young’s Vanilla Ice Cream

Available Upon Request: Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast/Rice and Pasta/Marinara Sauce

Thanksgiving Bash 2016: Martin Dining Center

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Thanksgiving Bash is back and this year we’re getting Martin Dining Center in on the action!

Starting November 14, there will be four nights of Thanksgiving dinners. The festivities begin at Martin Dining Center with Harris hosting a traditional Thanksgiving on November 15. Garden Commons and Western will have their dinners on November 16 and November 17, respectively.

With four nights of Thanksgiving Dinner, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate your very own “Friendsgiving” amongst your Miami family before heading home for family time. Whether you’re looking for a more traditional menu, a dinner featuring a wide variety of vegan/vegetarian options (along with plenty of carnivore selections), or want to try Thanksgiving with a southern flair, you are sure to enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving Bash dinners!

Mark your calendars for Thanksgiving Bash and keep an eye on The Miami Spread for the menus being featured at each event!


Thanksgiving Bash Schedule

Date Location Time
November 14, 2016 Martin Dining Center 5-8pm
November 15, 2016 Harris Dining Center 5-8pm
November 16, 2016 Garden Commons 5-8pm
November 17, 2016 Western Dining Commons 5-8pm

Thanksgiving Bash at Martin Dining Center Menu

Special Menu Items

  • Hominy Salad (noolintia ahsalata)
  • Hominy Chowder (noolintia)

Appetizer Table

  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Cheese Ball

Harvest Greens

  • Cranberry Relish
  • Cucumber Onion Salad
  • Assortment of Rolls

Winning Seasonings

  • Spice Rubbed Turkey
  • Baked Cod
  • Stuffed Portobello Mushroom
  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Vegetarian Gravy
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Carrots
  • Roasted Acorn Squash

Desserts

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Vegan Chocolate Cake
  • Turtle Cheesecake with Pecans