Thanksgiving is a really special time for Kevin and I. We have had the pleasure of hosting our parents – Kevin’s mom and dad and my mom and dad – and my brother for the past two years. This will be our third Thanksgiving at our home!

Hosting family can be hectic and overwhelming, and for many people budgets tend to go out the window during these times. If you’re one of those people who finds value in ordering the pre-made Thanksgiving meals, by all means, do it! These conveniences are worth it. For me, I prefer to cook recipes that have been in the family, minus a few items. Our Thanksgiving is full of having football on in the background, cooking in the kitchen, and a turkey in the deep fryer outside with tons of corn hole, beer, and sangria. 🙂

Today I’m sharing our menu lineup, including ingredients and recipes. I’d love to hear what traditions your family has! What are some recipes that HAVE to be on the table for Thanksgiving?

Sidenote: After quite a bit of research, i’ve found that Target is offering the best prices on my Thanksgiving staples. The only item I’ve chosen to get elsewhere is our turkey – Food Lion has a special when you spend $35 you get turkey for .27$/pound, making our 15 pound turkey under $5.00.

King Family Thanksgiving

The Menu

Appetizers

Prepared Shrimp from Costco

Cheese selection from Costco, with select crackers, olives, fruits, etc.

Vegetables and Benson Family Dip

Main Course

Kevin and Fred’s deep fried Turkey

Nancy’s Green Bean Casserole

Mashed Potatoes

Cora’s Cranberry Sauce

Kraft Stove Top stuffing (prepare per box instructions)

Mary’s Gravy

Deviled Eggs

Mary Shubert Rolls (bake per instructions on bag)

Dessert

Caye’s Crock Pot Apple dessert (my mother in law is providing this dessert!)

Benson Pecan Pie

Drinks

several cases of Coors Light

Fall Sangria

Bloody Mary Bar

The Recipes

First, I encourage you to make a cooking timeline for ahead of time prep and day of prep. This ensures a smooth transition through making all of your delicious dishes, and allows you to actually socialize with your guests instead of living in the kitchen!

Mine looks like this:

Cooking Timeline:

Day before: Vegetable Dill dip, deviled eggs, Cranberry sauce, Sangria, and pecan pie.

Day of: Turkey (deep fryer), green bean casserole (350 degree oven), mashed potatoes (stove top), rolls (dead last, oven), stuffing (stove top), and gravy (stove top)

BEVERAGES

Honeycrisp Apple Sangria

  • 3 cinnamon sticks + more for garnish
  • 2 Honeycrips apples, chopped
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 750 mL bottle red wine (red blend or pinot noir)
  • 1 ¾ C apple cider
  • ½ C brandy
  • ¼ C orange juice
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • Club soda

Place the cinnamon sticks, apples, and orange slices in a large pitcher. Add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours. Taste; if you’d like it to be sweeter, add 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, honey, or agave.

Moisten the rim of your glasses with water, turn the glass upside down and dip into a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the sangria with fruit and add a splash of club soda. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Bloody Mary Bar

  • Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix
  • Vodka of your choice
  • A variety of toppings – I’ve chosen celery, olives, horseradish, limes, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, and shrimp. A lot of these ingredients are things I had on hand already – make it easy on yourself!

Set out your ingredients, preferably on ice. allow guests to create their beverages as they desire, and enjoy!

APPETIZERS

Benson Dill Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Duke’s Mayo
  • 1 TBSP Lowry Season Salt
  • 1 TBSP minced onion
  • 1 TSP dill weed
  • 1 TSP chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients and serve with cauliflower, carrots, celery, green peppers, radishes, cucumber, and broccoli. Make a day in advance and refrigerate to allow flavors to combine.

As for a cheese tray, i’m grabbing this tray from Costco. 1.8 pounds is a LOT of cheese, so we’ll likely use two cheese for Thanksgiving and I’ll use the rest for a ladies night!

We also love the prepared shrimp from Costco, so we’ll set this out with cocktail sauce to snack on. Some of this shrimp will be used for our bloody mary bar too.

MAIN COURSE

Deep fried Turkey

  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Turkey (1.5 pounds per person)
  • Foil
  • Peanut Oil

Wash the bird inside and out, then allowing to drain. Rub the turkey all over with your cajun seasoning. Allow the bird to sit until it comes to room temperature. Heat your peanut oil to 350 degrees in a fryer outside on a flat surface. Be sure that you don’t fill the fryer up all the way with peanut oil – you do not want the oil to flood when the turkey is placed in the deep fryer. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Nancy’s Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • ¾ C milk
  • 2 cans green beans, drained
  • 1 1/3 C French’s Fried onions
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)

Combine cream of mushroom soup and milk in casserole dish. Add green beans and ½ of the onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese and remaining onions. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes

  • 8 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 TSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • ½ C milk, warmed
  • 1 TSP garlic salt (more if desired)
  • ½ TSP pepper
  • ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley

Place potatoes and garlic in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and place back in pot. Add butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Blend with a hand mixer until it’s the consistency you like. Stir in cheese and top with parsley. Enjoy!

Cora’s Cranberries

  • one pound fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • ½ C- 2 C sugar, depending on desired sweetness
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 TSP nutmeg
  • 1 TSP Allspice
  • Orange zest from ½ orange
  • Juice from ½ orange

Add cranberries to a large pot with just enough water to cover the berries. Add ½ C sugar and add for extra sweetness, if desired. Stir together and bring to a boil – the berries will begin to pop and you can smash them with a fork or potato masher. Simmer on low and add a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and allspice and allow to thicken. Turn off the heat and add the orange zest and juice. It’s way better if you make it ahead of time and allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight!

Deviled Eggs

  • 6 eggs boiled for 11 minutes
  • ¼ C Duke’s Mayo
  • 1 TSP vinegar
  • 1 TSP mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut hard boiled eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and mash with mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Refill the eggs.

Mary’s Gravy

  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can turkey juices (water boiled with turkey parts)

Bring ingredients to a boil and allow to simmer. Beware, this makes a TON of gravy!

DESSERT

Nancy’s Pecan Pie

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ C sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ C soft butter
  • 1 C pecans
  • piecrust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs lightly, add other ingredients and mix well. Pour into pie crust and bake for about one hour. Bake until you can shake pan and it is congealed.

Thats it! For the past two years we’ve made several other sides, but we always have too much food and I feel like i’m stuck in the kitchen alllllllll day, so we decided to cut back. I’d love to know what your family is cooking up for Thanksgiving!

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