Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Well I took a poll over on my Instagram (@ladyandredstyle) and most of you were interested in my Thanksgiving Day recipes! I love sharing my family favorites with you and while some may be classic dishes, everyone has a different take on them! 

I usually host Thanksgiving Day at my house every year. One being that I love hosting, and another was it was actually the easier for me because my house was already baby proofed and I did not need to pack my house up to go eat somewhere else! My due date was actually November 24th, 2013 but my sweet angel decided to show up 4 weeks early so could still host Thanksgiving dinner....with a lot of extra helpers! 

I like to serve my dinner around 1pm. Why? Because I eat my weight in food and like to have time to relax, visit with family and do some online or in store shopping ๐Ÿ˜Š Plus, I can slap some turkey on a roll later on for dinner if I get hungry again! Haha

The night before any Holiday, I make this breakfast casserole! Let it set overnight and toss into the oven in the morning for an easy breakfast.

Breakfast Egg Casserole Serves 8-10 people

6 oz seasoned croutons

8 oz shredded cheese (I use Colby jack)

8 eggs, slightly beaten

4 cups of milk

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard

pepper to taste

I add in sausage crumbles or bacon crumbles, or a mixture of both!

Directions: 1.) Place croutons and cheese in a greased 9X13 dish. 2.) In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, mix well and pour over croutons and cheese. 3.) Let it set in fridge overnight and bake in the morning at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.

I will admit there is one thing I wait for my Mom to come over and make....mashed potatoes! I despise peeling and cutting potatoes!! And we do NOT eat instant potatoes. But nothing fancy there. Just potatoes, butter, milk, salt and pepper.

There also seems to be a big debate over whether or not you should actually stuff the turkey with the stuffing or make it separate. We have always stuffed ours and no one has ever gotten sick, so we will continue to stuff it! Plus this recipe is the best!! **if you choose to bake in oven separate, use turkey drippings and add to mixture making it more moist and flavorful**

Grandma's Stuffing ( for a 12-14lb turkey)

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)

3/4 chopped onion

12 cups dried bread cubes ( I buy 1 loaf of white bread, cut, and dry out on cookie sheet)

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp rubbed sage

Directions: 1.) Melt butter in large skillet. Add onion and celery. Cook until onion is tender. Stir in a few bread crumbs, like 1/4 of them. 2.) Pour rest of the onion mixture over bread cubes. Add seasonings to the bread. 3.) Add 1 Tbsp at a time of warm water , just so the bread is moist (not very much). Mix all together in a very large bowl.4.) Cool mixture before stuffing it into the turkey. Put into turkey just before the turkey goes into the oven.

Tip ** cut up celery and onion the night before and place in a ziplock bag. I also place dry bread crumbs in a bag with seasonings mixed in the night before too.

I am not sure if green bean casserole is just a Midwest thing, but it is a must on our Thanksgiving table. I also double this recipe because it goes so fast.

Green Bean Casserole

1 can cream of mushroom

1-2 cups cheddar cheese ( I like 2 cups)

1 small can of mushrooms- cut into pieces. (I only use 1 can even if I double the recipe. Also very easy ingredient to omit for non mushroom lovers)

1 container French's dried onions

Directions: 1.) Mix cream of mushroom and cheese together in a 9X13 dish. 2.) Add green beans and mushrooms to the dish and mix well. 3.) Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly. With 15 minutes left of baking, remove foil and add onions to the top of the casserole.

Tip ** I make this dish the night before to save time and bake it in the morning. Just don't add onions to top until you are ready to bake!

Every table has to have corn! I love corn pudding because I am from Indiana, but here in Iowa they love scalloped corn!

Scalloped Corn

2 cans creamed corn

1 can corn-drained

1 cup soda cracker crumbs

1/4 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2.) Mix all ingredients together in an 8X8 baking dish, add crackers to the top to form a topping. 3.) Cover with a glass lid or foil and bake for 1 hour.

Tip ** I make this the night before as well, leaving off crackers until ready to bake. Also the corn and green beans can share 1 oven if you are limited on space, just adjust cooking times!

The first time I ever brined a turkey was an experience to put it nicely. I was a total rule follower and thawed out the turkey according to the all mighty Google, which meant changing water every 30 minutes until it was thawed. Such a waste. I now thaw it in the fridge about 4-5 days before cooking day, depending on the weight of the bird. So much easier. 

If you are into brining it, you must try this! It was really tasty and moist (sorry about that word again but it's better than wet ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ). But in all honesty, I brined it one time, one year. That is all. 

Turkey Brine

1 1/4 cup salt or 2 cups Kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 gallon vegetable stock

1 Tbsp black peppercorns

1 Tbsp allspice berries

1/2 Tbsp candied ginger

1 gallon ice water

Directions:

1.) Pour vegetable stock into a large post over high heat. Add salt, brown sugar and spices. Bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour in ice water and stir to combine.

2.) Place turkey in a large plastic container ( at least a 5 gallon bucket) pour brine over the top and refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound. (We set it outside in the snow and monitored temp because our fridge was too full).

3.) Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking. Rinse it very well, otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey!

Cooking the turkey is really pretty simple! Cook according to oven bags and yes use an oven bag!!! Total lifesaver!! Also I only buy a Butterball turkey...not sure why, but I swear they are the best!

If you are like me, then you have never even tried that red jiggly stuff on the table shaped like a can. Also known as cranberry sauce. I couldn't bring myself to try it. Once I started cooking the Thanksgiving meal myself, I decided to try it they way my mother in-law cooks it! BAM it is the best and so super easy.

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag of cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 orange or 1-2 Tbsp orange juice ( I zest the orange or squeeze some of the juice into the pan)

Directions: 1.) In a small saucepan on medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the liquids. 2.) Stir in cranberries and cook until they start to pop. Usually about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a serving bowl. ** I like it a thicker consistency so I cook it until it reduces to a thicker consistency.

Now for the dessert...I do NOT like pumpkin pie. I know I know. But I usually make my favorite DUTCH APPLE PIE ๐Ÿ˜Š or pumpkin bars and that makes up for it right?

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs

1 2/3 cup sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

15 oz can of pumpkin

2 cups sifted flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions: 1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a mixer and cream eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until fluffy. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture on low speed.

2.) Spread onto greased jelly roll pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean! Allow to cool, then frost with good old cream cheese frosting....from a jar ๐Ÿ˜‰ or make homemade if you want to play Betty! 

So I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Holiday with your friends and family! Much love from my family to yours! XOXO

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