Monday, November 25, 2013

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

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While most people pick Christmas or their birthday, all I have to say is, you can't eat a sweater or shoes; hands down, Thanksgiving is all my all time favorite holiday. I also like to believe that calories don't count on that magical day so I feast all day long without any regret. While 364 days of the year I can't even scramble an egg properly, Thanksgiving is the one day where I can touch the oven and not result in a small fire. I'll admit my family celebrates a weird sort of Thanksgiving and basically it comes down to, if I want to eat traditional Thanksgiving dishes, it's up to me to make them myself. So I would like to share some favorite recipes and tips when it comes to cooking sides. Be warned now these are not diet friendly recipes by any means, Thanksgiving is the day where butter is my friend and I'm not afraid to use sour cream.

  • This recipe was a new find of mine last year. There was obviously corn at the first Thanksgiving so it confused me why it was not a regular fixture on the menu. I wanted to find something a little more fun than just corn on the cob: enter this sinfully delicious Corn Casserole recipe! This comes out as a delicious cheese and corn laced cornbread and is super simple to make. The best part is that if you're like me having to deal with just one oven for everything, you can bake it ahead of time and then wait to top with the cheese and return it to the oven so it will be piping hot and fresh when you serve it.
  • The classic Greenbean Casserole was the first to make its appearance as a regular on the menu for my family. Delicious with the recipe right on the back of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, there's no excuse to have this one in your arsenal. 
  • Next up is Sweet Potato Casserole (I just like casseroles apparently) with a marshmallow and Walnut Streusel Topping. Kind of combining two recipes here, basically make the sweet potatoes as is, but mix the mini marshmallows and the topping together to sprinkle on top for a gooey, crunchy finish.
  • There's nothing more delicious than some homemade Honey Butter on warm rolls. I do like adding the optional amount of cinnamon to really give a delicious full flavored butter as well as some finely chopped walnuts to really achieve that taste of fall.
  • Honestly everything is better this day when it is homemade. Store bought cranberry sauces are often too sweet or have an odd consistency. Following this recipe for Cranberry Sauce loosely, I will add a little bit of sugar at a time and taste it to achieve the sweetness I'm looking for.
  • Mashed potatoes is always a necessary staple, I don't have a specific recipe I follow but use pretty basic ingredients: potatoes, salt, pepper, butter and milk. The secret to this one is adding extra milk so the potatoes will be creamy, and with extra milk you can make it ahead of time and stick it into the oven to heat up, but it won't dry up because the milk will help preserve the creaminess.
  • My final tip for these recipes is that most of these can be made ahead of time and with the small notes I've added, you can easily reheat or finish off before serving if you only have one oven to work with and everything will taste freshly made and delicious.
What are some classic recipes you love making (or eating) for Thanksgiving?

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