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Simple Recipe Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Gathering

SEPCO 11/14/22 6:30 AM
Simple Recipe Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Gathering

This year, I will not be hosting Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite holidays because it allows me to gather with friends and family, cook some amazing food, and celebrate all the good things that have happened over the course of the year. In my home, it is a time to give thanks for everything we have done and look toward what we can do next.


In the past, we have showcased how to be green on Thanksgiving, but this year, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes (definitely not our normal content) and why I like to include them. Some are sort of traditional, others are completely not.


Cranberry Sauce

Let’s start with something I make ahead of time, and even make so much to share with friends and coworkers, and that is Cranberry Sauce. Hands down, Mom On Time Out, has the best recipe for cranberry sauce, and it is my go-to recipe. I usually buy three to four bags of cranberries, tripling or quadrupling the recipe. I also reduce the sugar by ¼ cup and increase my orange peel by the whole orange since I use fresh squeezed orange juice instead of store-bought to decrease the added sugar and allow all the fresh ingredients to shine.


My family will eat this, not only with our dinner, but with toast and with ice cream for days and days afterward. The recipe states you can make it up to 3 days in advance; however, I have made mine much further in advance and freeze the batches in their various containers. I’ve also not had an issue with this weeks later in a sealed container in the fridge.


Stuffing or Dressing

No matter what your family calls it, stuffing in our home, this is one of my favorite dishes. I get fresh bread to make into the bread pieces, and always double or triple the amount of veggies. More Than Meat and Potatoes has an amazing recipe that is my staple. Best of all, you can substitute veggie broth for those who are vegetarian and even leave out the eggs for the vegans. Yes, eggs are a binder, but I’ve had to leave them out (or possibly just forgot them) and it didn’t affect the taste at all and everything still holds together just fine. Best of all, I have done this the night before, placed everything in the casserole dish and stuck it in the fridge to sit, putting it in the oven the next day.


Roasted Veggies

Everyone seems to go for green bean casserole or some other type of veggies, but in my house, roasting them ensures there are never any left. Diethood has this great recipe for garlic butter roasted carrots, but I roast everything with this recipe. I roast carrots, green beans, and even brussels in this mixture. I cut down on the butter, but this is also the one day of the year when calories just don’t count. I also add rosemary, thyme, and sage because it adds another level to the roasted veggies.


Mac n Cheese

Okay, this one, I measure with my heart to get it right. I know I need 1-1.5 lbs of cheese per pound of pasta. In my house, this is not only for the day, but to have with leftovers for the days afterward. I make a standard roux for white sauce, shred up the cheeses (usually gruyere and Kerrygold cheddar), add 2 cups of milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and mix it all up, pouring it all over the elbow noodles and topping it with either more cheese, panko breadcrumbs, or pulverized ritz crackers. Throw everything in the oven until golden. No recipe is needed!


There are a ton of other recipes, but we switch things around year after year. Some stay standard, like the ones above, and others get completely switched out. We also tend to add one new thing every year to see if people like it or not. It is a great way to be creative in the kitchen without shocking everyone with only new recipes.


Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate it or not, I hope you are able to get together with those you love. Happy Thanksgiving!