Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is honestly the best meal of the year, and I’m not just saying that because I make it!!

Even as a child, I always looked forward to the Thanksgiving meal because of the food, and more importantly because of the time spent with family and friends. My family always made a rather tradition Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I live away from my family, I have been making that same traditional meal for my husband and his family, and now for our little guy.

The turkey I made very simply, just as I had mentioned in my previous post (click here). We also had ham that was left from the Thanksgiving potluck at work. Aside from those, we had 4 different side dishes.

Mashed Red Potatoes

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5lbs red potatoes, cubed leaving skins on
1 cup low fat milk, or to desired consistency
1/4 butter, softened
Dried parsley, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes about 30 minutes, or until tender and easy to mash. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.

Baked Corn Casserole

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4 cans creamed corn
2 cans whole corn kernels, drained
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 Splenda blend sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, flour, and sugar. Add all cans of creamed corn and drained corn kernels. Stir until combined. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake about 45 minutes, or until center is cooked through.

**This recipe I have to give credit to my Aunt. The same Aunt I got the macaroni salad recipe from (here).

Potato Bread Stuffing (Dressing)

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2 bags cubed potato bread (I used Martin’s brand)
1 medium onion chopped
6 ribs of celery, including leaves, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chicken stock, enough to moisten and combine bread cubes (about 2-3 cups)
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and melt butter in large sauté pan. Add bay leaves. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Add celery and onions. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, pour one bag of cubed bread. Add celery and onion mixture as well as 1 cup chicken stock. Stir to combine and moisten bread cubes.

I then alternate between remaining bread cubes and chicken stock until cubes are incorporated and it is one cohesive mixture.

Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil for remaining 15 minutes, or until stuffing begins to brown.

**Recipe inspiration: Rachael Ray

The last side dish I made was a typical Green Bean Casserole. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I substituted fat free cream of chicken for the cans of cream of mushroom. Personally, I am not a fan of mushrooms. So, this is just a preference. No one else seems to mind, and find them just as delicious!

This having been my 5th year making Thanksgiving dinner on my own, I think it gets more and more delicious each year! I hope you find these recipes just as yummy, and maybe they will make it to your Thanksgiving table next year!

Check back tomorrow for a delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe!

ENJOY!! 🙂

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Thanksgiving Potluck

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Last week, a coworker and I decided we wanted to have a potluck in honor of the thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, I immediately became responsible for the ham. I have not made very many hams in my day, but I was definitely up for the challenge! As usual, I took to the wonderful World Wide Web to find some recipe ideas. With in minutes, I came across a that not only sounded delicious, but was incredibly simple, AND……..it was made in the slow cooker!!

Ingredients:

1 bone-in spiral ham, about 10lbs
1 can pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 cups light brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
Cooking spray

Directions:

Spray bottom and sides of the slow cooker.

Evenly spread 2 cups brown sugar on the bottom. Lay the entire ham on top (My ham was slightly larger, so I ended up having to cut part of my ham off in order to fit in my 6 quart slow cooker).

Pour pineapple, including juice, over the ham.

Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over ham.

Cover with lid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

**Recipe credit: The Crockin’ Girls

The ham was absolutely delicious, and all of my coworker were in agreement! I would definitely make this again. Possibly even at our Christmas potluck!

But………

My potluck contributions did not end there! For reasons yet to be determined, I felt like Super Woman yesterday, and decided to also make a 10lb turkey as well as a Thanksgiving Potluck party favor for each of my coworkers!!! I just might be nuts!

Nothing special to report about the turkey. I just sprayed it with cooking spray to help the skin brown nicely as well as seasoned with salt and pepper. I did reserve all the “extras” to make some stock for gravy to serve along with the turkey. Where the gravy recipe called for water, I substituted the stock I made. A delicious substitute!

On to my favorite part……THE FAVORS!

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I do not know exactly what these bite-size treats are called, but I can promise you they are delicious and easy to make!

You only need 4 ingredients:

Waffle-shaped pretzels (I used Snyder’s brand. I had to represent my hometown.)
Hershey kisses and/or hugs*
Reese’s pieces
Orange-colored sugar crystals

Directions:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Lay pretzels flat on top of foil. Unwrap kisses/hugs and place 1 on top of each pretzel. Please note: If you are going to both hugs and kisses, you will want to prepare them on separate baking sheets. The hugs melt much faster, and therefore do not need to bake as long.

Bake pretzels with kisses about 5-7 minutes. Just until they are soft enough to push a Reese’s pieces into the center of each. The pretzels with the hugs will bake about 3-5 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar crystals.

Keeping them on the baking sheet, put them in the refrigerator to cool and allow the chocolate to harden.

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Now as for the way in which I packaged them. I searched on Pinterest for some free Thanksgiving printables, and came across this site — Dimple Prints. This site provides you with 125 pages of Thanksgiving-themed DIY party decorations. I only printed off the full page designs and cut them to size. I then stapled them over the plastic bag. I also printed the circular badges, and stuck one to each favor with double-sided tape.

These are so delicious, and can be made to suit any holiday. Last year, I made them using red and green M&M’s, and will likely do so again this year!

Hope you and your coworkers find that these recipes are just as tasty as me and my coworkers did!

ENJOY!! 🙂