Julianna Rae Announces Giving Tuesday Beneficiary PLUS… the staff share their beloved Thanksgiving recipes!

The holidays are fast approaching, and boy Thanksgiving has snuck up on us, hasn’t it?  It feels like the Halloween candy was whisked away from retail shelves with a flourish and now it’s Christmas trees, decorations, and candy canes.  Even Christmas music seems to be sneaking into our consciousness.  Welcome to the giving season!

Photo by Monstera Production on Pexels.com

While we’re on the topic of giving, we wanted to remind you that Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity, will be held on November 28th this year.  This national day of giving has been on the calendar since 2012 and encourages giving, collaboration and celebration of generosity.  It is an opportunity for people, small and large businesses, and corporations around the world to come together to thank, help, give, show kindness, and share what they have with those in need.  When so much attention is given to what divides us, generosity brings people together across races, faiths, and political views.   

And while you’re preparing your naughty and nice lists, we wanted to share that our #GivingTuesday beneficiary will be Feeding America.  Were you aware that 44 million people in the United States face hunger including 1 in 5 children?  All one must do is go grocery shopping to feel the pain of the high cost of food.   Imagine feeling like this with every financial decision you had to make: do I buy food or pay my medical bills? Food or rent? Food or transportation?   This is the dilemma for many people in the United states, including families with children, seniors, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, people living in rural America, and Active Military and Veterans

Feeding America believes that everyone deserves to have enough food to eat without worrying about whether they can afford it.  This organization is working to make that fact a reality by:

  • Ensuring everyone can get the food they need with respect and dignity through a nationwide network of over 200 food banks and 60,000 meal programs so people can access food without judgment or stigma.
  • Advocating for policies that improve food security for everyone by working with lawmakers to make it easier for people to get food by expanding access to food assistance programs.
  • Partnering to address the root causes of food insecurity, like the high cost of living and lack of access to affordable housing.  By recognizing that there is more to ending hunger than just food, Feeding America has partnered with organizations to address the underlying causes of hunger so people can thrive.

When you shop with us on November 28th ,10% of the proceeds from that day (as well as from a page of special selections) will be donated to Feeding America.  And, we will keep the special selection page up all holiday shopping season and continue to calculate 10% of the proceeds of this page to Feeding American when the holiday season is over. Your shopping will allow us to donate to help this worthwhile organization continue to build a nationwide network of food banks, food pantries, and meal programs to provide resources so people facing hunger can put food on the table. 

Speaking of putting food on the table, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought it would be fun to explore our own families’ traditional foods and share our favorite recipes from that day.  From the Warehouse Manager’s stuffed mushroom recipe from her favorite aunt to our Product Developer, Jayne’s Pumpkin Cheesecake check out what will be on our tables this Thanksgiving.

Rhonda, Warehouse Manager – Aunt Elsie’s Stuffed Mushrooms

Photo: BettyCrocker.com

Aunt Elsie was one of my favorite Aunts and we were blessed to have her at our Thanksgiving table year after year.  She wasn’t much of a cook on a day-to-day basis and loved to dine out most days.  The one thing she did very well were hors d’oeuvres.  From pigs in a blanket to spinach artichoke dip Aunt Elsie’s appetizer plate was always empty by the time dinner was underway.  My favorite appetizer that will always remind me of her are stuffed mushrooms.  It is the one appetizer she made the most and one of the last she brought before her passing in 2010.  Now I make the appetizer in her honor.

Stuffed Mushrooms


1 ½ lb. baby mushrooms

2 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, minced.

¼ cup breadcrumbs

Kocher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for topping

4 oz. cream cheese, softened.

2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme


  1.  While oven preheats to 400 degrees grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.   Remove the stems from mushrooms and finely chop stems.  Mushroom caps are placed on a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add chopped mushroom stems and cook until most of the moisture is out, about 5-minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-minute then add breadcrumbs and let toast slightly, about 3-minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl mix together mushroom stem mixture, Parmesan, cream cheese, parsley, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fill mushroom caps with filling and sprinkle with more Parmesan.
  4. Bake until mushrooms are soft, and the tops are golden, 20-minutes
  5. Garnish with parsley to serve.

Danielle, Graphic Designer – French Canadian Gorton Turkey Stuffing

Photo: BettyCrocker.com

When I was growing up my mother would grind her own pork to make Gorton.  This is an old French Canadian recipe passed down many generations and there are many variations family to family.  Traditional Gorton is usually served as a cold pâté-like pork spread or eaten warm on toasted bread, and is common to Quebecois.  It is made by cooking ground pork and pork fat with water or milk, bread crumbs, onions and spices.  My mother made this often and modified the recipe to be used as a turkey stuffing. 

French-Canadian Gorton Stuffing


2 lbs. Ground Pork (not lean)

4 lbs. potatoes

3-4 onions, caramelized.

6 cloves of garlic

½ box of Bells seasoning or crackers or breadcrumbs

1 dahs of cloves

1 dash of nutmeg

1 dash of cinnamon

Salt & pepper


  1. Peel, cube, boil and drain potatoes. 
  2. Make a basic mashed potato with milk and no butter.
  3. Brown onions until caramelized and golden, add garlic at end of caramelizing and reserve.
  4. Sauté pork and spices, do not drain fat and use a potato masher to break up the pork pieces.
  5. Add crackers or breadcrumbs until the fat from the pork is absorbed into the mixture.  Add Bell’s seasoning and stir.
  6. Add pork mixture to the potatoes with the reserved onions and garlic and mash together, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Allow to cool before stuffing the turkey, remaining stuffing can be served on the side.

Wilson, Business Manager – Pumpkin Shaped Rolls

Photo: plainchicken.com

My wife and I have been making these rolls for years now.  It started when the kids were little, and they loved to help put the (already cut) pecan stems on the rolls after baking.  My wife has provided me the recipe from plainchicken.com.

Pumpkin Shaped Dinner rolls


12 Frozen, unbaked dinner rolls (Rhodes brand or what ever is local)

1 large egg

2 TBSP milk

6 pecan halves

¼ cup of butter melted

¼ of sugar optional

1 TBSP pumpkin spice, optional


  1. Thaw rolls and cut 7 slits around each roll, cutting all the way through the dough and leaving the center intact.  Poke a small hole in the center of the roll.  Cover and let rise until double in size.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Whisk together egg and milk.  Brush egg wash over rolls.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Optional – Melt butter, combine sugar and pumpkin spice in a small bowl.  Dip baked roll into butter and then into sugar mixture.
  5. Cut pecan halves in half and stick one half into the hole in the center of each roll.

Lisa, Project Manager – Roasted Carrots

Photo by Danny Doneo on Pexels.com

I love veggies of all kinds and roasting is my favorite way to prepare them.  It’s also one of the easier dishes to make for Thanksgiving but still just as elegant.  There’s something beautiful about a platter full of perfectly roasted carrots!

Roasted Carrots – makes 4 servings


1 pound of carrots small and firm

2 TBSP olive oil or melted unsalted butter

1 TBSP honey

½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of any other salt

¼ TSPN black pepper


  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (high heat resistant) or use a large baking dish.
  2. Wash, dry and peel the carrots
  3. Large carrots can be halved and small carrots can be roasted whole.
  4. Toss the carrots with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.
  5. Spread carrots in a single layer and roast until tender and caramelized for 10-15 minutes per side.

Jayne,  Product Development Associate – Pumpkin Cheesecake

Photo: BettyCrocker.com

My family immigrated to the United States many years ago, so Thanksgiving has been a wonderful learning experience for us. Even though traditional Thanksgiving food is not our familiar food repertoire, my mother has always wanted to give thanks to America and our lives in America so we have always selected one or two traditional Thanksgiving items to prepare each year. Happily, the menu items are so vast we have not yet had to repeat a turkey (we come from a culture where knives are not meal utensils, so all our food is prepared in bite size pieces. My mom selected a turkey for that first year and we just did not know what to make of that huge bird laying on the table sporting two mammoth drumsticks!) When it was one my years to pick the traditional Thanksgiving dish, I picked a pumpkin cheesecake.  Now, our Thanksgiving tradition is whoever picks the Thanksgiving dish has to make it. It was a hit the first time I made it so I know have been asked to make it every year! So here is my recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake:

Pumpkin Cheesecake



1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies

1 1/2 cups toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts all work)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin

4 eggs

9 tablespoons whipping cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice


For Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground cookies, nuts and sugar in food processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan.

For Filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Put 3/4 cup mixture in small bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, ground cinnamon and ground allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Cool for at least 10 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Bring the remaining 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Enjoy! (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of our most beloved and yummy dishes that will be on our own Thanksgiving table this year. And, don’t forget to check out our site for #GivingTuesday on November 28th.  Not only will you save on gorgeous silk and cotton sleepwear, but you’ll also be contributing to a great cause.  We’ll see you in the next blog!

Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at Juliannarae.com.