Our favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Posted on Nov 23, 2016 in Alumni News and News


This year, instead of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, Alumni Association staff members staged a friendly competition: a chili/soup and dessert cook-off.

Ten employees contributed soups or chili, and 16 staff members baked desserts for the competition. For a mere $5 contribution, we all enjoyed the best buffet in town and the opportunity to vote for our favorites. All funds raised will be donated to the United Way as part of KU’s fall pledge drive. Through gifts, pledges and special events, 100 percent of the Association’s full-time staff are supporting United Way agencies. The winners are listed below, along with the recipes. Enjoy!


Chili/Soup (tie)

Poblano Pepper Corn Chowder, Angie Storey
Chili, Linda McCaffrey


Chocolate cupcakes with M&M frosting, Michelle Lang




Poblano Pepper Corn Chowder


1 chopped white onion (sweet onions work best)
2 Poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (You can substitute Hatch Chiles here for a different flavor and more heat)
½ lb. bacon
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 16 oz. package of frozen sweet corn
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
8 oz. cream cheese (not reduced fat).

In a large saucepan, saute the bacon, then add the butter, onions and peppers and cook until soft. Stir in the flour and cumin. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for a minute or two. Add the corn and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. While the soup is simmering, mix the milk and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the cheese has softened. Whisk smooth and add slowly to the simmering soup, stirring constantly. Heat through, being careful not to boil. Optional: serve garnished with cilantro or spicy peppers if you’d like!





2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
8 ounces Italian sausage
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 4-ounce can tomato paste
1 12-ounce bottle beer
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and peppers and saute until soft. Add the garlic and saute. Stir in the beef and sausage, and cook until browned. Drain the beef mixture through a colander. Add it back to the pot and stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir the tomato paste into the beef mixture. Add the beer. Bring to a simmer, and then add the diced tomatoes and beans. Simmer on medium-low for 2 hours, stirring on occasion.



Chocolate cupcakes with M&M frosting (from Cookies and Cups)

Cupcake Ingredients:

¼ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup sour cream
½ cup hot water

M&M Frosting Ingredients
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup M&M Candies, blended to a coarse dust

Cupcake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer, beating until light, 1-2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. In microwave or over a double boiler melt the milk chocolate. Stir the chocolate into the butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and sour cream in alternating increments, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until combined. Slowly add in hot water and stir until smooth. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full and bake 15-17 minutes until tops are set and spring back to the touch. Cool completely on a wire rack.

M&M Frosting Instructions:
In blender or food processor crush M&M candies until they are a coarse dust. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and then beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in crushed M&Ms and beat until evenly incorporated. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. (If you prefer a softer frosting, add milk, 1 teaspoon at at a time until you reach your desired consistency.)

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