A Homemade Thanksgiving

Grab your beaters, girls, it’s time to do some damage in the kitchen!  Thanksgiving is still a few days away, which means you still have time to squeeze in some over-achieving.

If you’re sick of cream-of-something soup slathered on canned green beans, or cranberry blob with ridges, try making some of your Thanksgiving homemade this year.  Like, really homemade.

Since I am cooking much of the same menu as last year, I have a moment to share with you the recipes I use.  Unless otherwise noted, I’ve personally made all of the recipes below with great results.

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey

I made my first turkey last year.  I think the brining worked wonderfully, as did the butter bath that followed.  I took the advice in the recipe to dry out the skin in the fridge the night before.  I also roasted my turkey upside down so the breast would get the juices.

This year, I have a seriously big bird, and cannot tie up my Barbie Dream House oven for more than half the day.  I’m cooking my turkey the day before.  Shhhh!!

P.s. – This recipe has instructions for gravy, but I don’t like gravy.  I cheat and use packets since I don’t eat it anyway.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is ridiculously easy to make.  I still can’t reconcile sweet with meat, but I’m at least willing to taste it since I know it has four ingredients, none of which is BPA.

Green Bean Casserole

If you don’t already love the Pioneer Woman, you should join the bandwagon.  She’s hilarious and seriously talented.  Everyone loved her take on the classic green bean casserole last year.

I had to use frozen green beans, and I left out the pimentos (they belong in green olives anyway).  I did add the artery-clogging French’s fried onions to the top, because I think that’s what makes the green bean casserole a Thanksgiving green bean casserole.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Another amazing PW creation.  I am somewhat of an outsider and think sweet potatoes should be savory, so this is another dish just for the guests.  It could be a dessert in and of itself.  Since I’ve got a somewhat Southern husband, I usually have to throw a handful of mini marshmallows on top, too.

Pumpkin Pie

Last year, I made the pumpkin pie totally from scratch.  That means like totally from a pumpkin, a Hokkaido  one to be exact.  It tasted great, but I prefer the texture of canned pumpkin.  I just can’t get it that smooth in my food processor.  I smuggled a can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin into German and will be using it this year.

One other change is that I’m not making a butter pie crust for the pumpkin pie.  I’ll be attempting a graham cracker crust, but using Spekulatius cookies instead of graham crackers.  Oh, and forget the whipped cream.  Vanilla ice cream is so much better!

Apple Pie

PW again.  This was the very first recipe I ever made from her website.  I don’t even like apple pie.  Sheesh, I don’t even really like apples.  But this pie changed all that.  Wow, is it good.

I used to have a link for a great low-fat butter pie crust, but it’s since disappeared.  I’ll be using this easy peasy recipe instead.

Peanut Butter Pie

In all honesty, I probably won’t have time to make a peanut butter pie this year.  Sorry, Doc Sci.  I made it last year, and I’m including it in case you want a recipe to knock the dessert table out of the park.  This calorie bomb will probably find it’s way onto the Christmas menu.

And, there you have it.

Wait, where are the mashed potatoes?  The corn bread?  The stuffing?  The pecan pie?  At the neighbor’s house, my friend.  This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive Thanksgiving menu.  Rather, it’s just a sampling of recipes I’ve tried and loved enough to make again.

What from-scratch Thanksgiving recipes have you tried?  Any epic failures or surprising hits?



2 thoughts on “A Homemade Thanksgiving

  1. Pingback: Simple Pleasures: Peanut Butter « Thrifty Travel Mama

  2. Pingback: Make It Yourself: Family Activity Advent Calendar | Thrifty Travel Mama

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