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.
Prepared Shrimp from Costco
Cheese selection from Costco, with select crackers, olives, fruits, etc.
Vegetables and Benson Family Dip
Kevin and Fred’s deep fried Turkey
Nancy’s Green Bean Casserole
Cora’s Cranberry Sauce
Kraft Stove Top stuffing (prepare per box instructions)
Mary Shubert Rolls (bake per instructions on bag)
Caye’s Crock Pot Apple dessert (my mother in law is providing this dessert!)
Benson Pecan Pie
several cases of Coors Light
Bloody Mary Bar
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:
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)
Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
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
Set out your ingredients, preferably on ice. allow guests to create their beverages as they desire, and enjoy!
Benson Dill Dip
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.
Deep fried Turkey
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
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
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!
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!
Cut hard boiled eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and mash with mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Refill the eggs.
Bring ingredients to a boil and allow to simmer. Beware, this makes a TON of gravy!
Nancy’s Pecan Pie
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!