Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipes for my Kids!

This post is for my kids.  

I want to make sure you have the recipes that I use each year to make our Thanksgiving dinner in case you want to make them in the future.  

I like to set the table the night before so everyone comes downstairs to a pretty surprise!


The first year I tried to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, the bird never cooked.
  (I was in my young thirties.)  The most likely reason is because I used a pottery piece to cook it in instead of a roasting pan.  
This roasting pan, on the right, works well.  A metal 9x13 pan works too if you use a bag.

Hopefully I'll teach each of you how to cook a turkey so that doesn't happen to you!  It's really pretty easy to cook a turkey, but I think it helps if you do it with someone else a time or two before doing it on your own.

Luke helped prepare the stuffing and stuffed, cooked and carved the turkey.

Here is our menu for this year:

  1. Turkey(Recipe follows.) I've been using a 12-13 pound turkey to feed 8 and have leftovers.  Make sure you thaw it if it's frozen.  About three days in the fridge.
  2. Stuffing(Recipe follows.)
  3. Rolls.  Store bought.  Frozen.
  4. Mashed potatoes.  Cook them.  Peel them.  Mash them.  Add salt, mild butter and if necessary, mix with beaters.
  5. Sweet potatoes.  Baked, peeled and mashed.  Put in casserole and cover with marshmallows.  Bake for just a few minutes to soften and brown the marshmallows.
  6. Green bean casseroleRecipe on French's French Fried Onions.
  7. Carrot souffle(Recipe follows.)
  8. Cranberries.  One can jellied and one can of whole cranberries.
  9. Butter.
  10. Gravy. (Recipe follows.)
  11.  Dessert:  Pie. Cake. Toffee. Whipped Cream.  Ice Cream.  Um...I ahem...shhh...bought. the. pie. this. year. (Recipes follow for Dump Cake and Toffee.)
Rinse turkey inside and out. 
Salt and pepper the inside cavities.
Put foil into cavities to make it easier to pull out stuffing.
Gently put stuffing into cavities- don't press too hard.  Use skewers to keep the skin closed around the stuffing.
Put turkey into pan breast side down.  
Brown turkey for 30-45 minutes at 325 with lid off.
Spread butter on outside of turkey or pour melted butter over turkey.
Put quartered onions in bottom of pan.
Add some water to cover bottom of roasting pan or 9x13 metal pan.
Check to make sure there is still water in pan every hour and baste the turkey.  Cover and cook until temperature is 180 degrees in the thigh.  (*Make sure you have a meat thermometer.)Or...Use a cooking bag and follow directions- that's what we're doing this year.
Take some of the juice from the turkey and put it in a pot on the stove. Mix some water and corn starch in a bowl.  It will be white colored and watery. The thicker it is, the thicker the gravy will be.  Heat until it boils then gradually add the water/cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.  Add more cornstarch and water to thicken, or more juice to make it thinner.
Bread, broken into small pieces. 
Bread crumbs.  I use about half a bag of "Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing".
Pour water and melted butter over bread to moisten.   I use about a cup of butter!
Chopped celery
Mix together in a bowl to taste.
 To make stuffing without turkey, bake at 275-300 degrees covered for about 2 hours.

Carrot Souffle
16 oz fresh carrots, boil till soft, drain, run through food processor
½ c. melted butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

Puree all.  Pour into greased soufflé dish.
Bake 350 degrees 45 Min.
Dump Cake
Spray 9x13 with Pam.
Layer ingredients in a pan in this order:
- 1 can of pie filling, any flavor (I used cherry)
-1  can of crushed pineapple with juice (I omitted this at Luke's request)
-1 yellow butter cake mix, sprinkled on top
-1 stick margarine or butter cut up in small pieces all over top of cake mix.
Bake @350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Heath Bar Crunch Toffee (from my sister, Beth, and Tracie)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 package of chocolate chips
1 sleeve of saltine crackers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay aluminum foil on cookie sheet (I use 11x15 pan) and arrange crackers flat on sheet.  In a small-medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar.  Heat over med-high heat until boiling.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Pour mixture over crackers, spread evenly and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove cookie tray from oven and pour chocolate chips over top and bake for about 1.5 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread melting chips evenly with rubber spatula.  Place in refrigerator for 2.5 hours or overnight.  Break into pieces.  I keep them in the refrigerator.

 I make as much as possible the day ahead.  Stuffing, potatoes carrots and desserts.  

I have to go....the kids keep coming in and asking when we are going to eat dessert.....! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Happy Memories!!


  1. What a sweet way to pass on your Thanksgiving traditions! I try to get my kids to pay attention as I cook, but writing it all down would probably be more effective. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Patricia! Happy Thanksgiving! I want them to have some of my favorite recipes. I started an email folder for my favorite recipes. I hope to put them in one document and send them to my my grandmother's chocolate cake recipe!

  2. We all are blessed by what you do and how you care for our family, each one of us! Thanks Sue! I love you.