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My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

My Favorite Rolls

Pauline Broadbent was in my church congregation growing up and anytime she brought food to anything, it was gone quickly and recipes were written down. I have used her roll recipe every Thanksgiving since I have been married. My children love “my” rolls. (Sorry Pauline) and always ask for them when they come home for the holidays. I have doubled and tripled this recipe and it always comes out just fine.

I will also say, that this may seem like a complicated recipe. It’s not- the proof times are long and necessary, but the actual mixing up of the rolls and the laying out of the rolls in total takes about 30 minutes. You do not want to underproof, but you can:

1. Use rapid-rise yeast.

2. Make it the night before and let it rise in the fridge.

A couple of things before you get started:

1. Sometimes these older recipes need some updating. The ingredients call for a yeast cake. According to Red Star yeast, when converting a yeast cake into dry yeast, you have to take into account the amount of flour in the recipe. For a single batch of these rolls, you would use 2-1/4 t. of yeast or one 1/4 oz yeast packet, or 7 grams of dry yeast.

2. The original recipe calls for a 400-degree oven for 12 minutes. I usually set my oven to 350- 375 degrees but I thought I would go by the recipe when I made them on this occasion. They browned too quickly before they were done in the middle. You can see from the picture, they are too brown. I have put the degree to bake at 375 in this recipe, but you may want to try 350.

3. The original recipe also calls for a scant 1/2C butter. You can follow that, or as I do- there is nothing “scant” about the amount of butter I add.

Happy Baking!

My Favorite Rolls
Download PDF • 46KB

My Favorite Pie Crust

Store-bought pie crust vs homemade. I love both.

Store-bought: Right now my favorite is a store-made pie crust from our health food store here in Searcy. If you want more information, Pure Wow has published its top 5 store-bought crusts and I think it’s a pretty good list.

However, if you want to bake a Pie Crust yourself, I have the recipe for you! I’ve had this for so long, I forget where I got it. But, it is my go-to when I feel like doing some pie baking.

A few things before you get started:

1. Don’t double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. It doesn’t turn out. Trust me on this one. Make one crust at a time.

2. Shortening VS Butter. The recipe calls for shortening but you can substitute it for the fat of your choice. Each fat will bring its own result. Read more about your options and results. here.

3. You can use a pastry or regular flour. I have used regular flour and gotten great results, but pastry flour has some advantages as well. King Arthur suggests regular flour is fine but gives this caution: “be careful not to work it too hard once the water is added (for fear of developing its gluten), but for me, it offers an ideal blend of good results and ease of handling.”

4. Water. It must be cold. I put a glass of cold water into the freezer before I start mixing the ingredients. Cold, remember COLD water. It makes a difference. Even Martha Stewart says so!

5. The recipe says to use a pastry blender- you can also use a food processor -just don’t over-mix.

5. Do you need to blind-bake this crust? You will need to blind-bake your crust if you are making a custard, like a pumpkin pie. Or if the pie filling is unbaked. As Mary Berry says, "No soggy bottoms!"

My Favorite Pie Crust
Download PDF • 26KB


My Favorite Side Dish

Let's face it. Side Dishes are usually the backup singers to the Turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Sweet potatoes get a day to shine, they are pretty high up there. I always make the obligatory Jello with assorted fruit inside and whipped cream on top. (Another Jello recipe) But, sometimes I wonder why my mom bothered to pour out the beans from their respective cans for her "Three Bean Salad." (Not my favorite).

Or why I feel like I should have some vegetables so I make a salad no one eats. So, I thought for this post, I would take a side that everyone usually has and turn it upside down!

One word. Potatoes.

About the recipe:

Ten women cooked for three days for one of my daughter's wedding reception. We lived in the midwest where typically wedding receptions were sit-down dinners. Faced with that expectation a good friend of mine stepped in to not only help but direct this army of women. What they accomplished was nothing short of a miracle. The menu was perfect, and the food was even better. Kelly gave me the cookbook they used for most of the recipes as a gift. I never pull it out without remembering her act of love.

My favorite recipe from that book would work really well for Thanksgiving. Potatoes with a twist.

Fancy (my word) Potato Salad by Susan Branch.

I am sharing the recipe and artwork with permission from the author and a link to the cookbook and website is below.

A few things to know:

1. This takes a little time. There is no sugarcoating it.

Well, let me sugarcoat it a little. This is mostly about timing and prep. Because it is a warm salad it needs to be done about-ish the time you eat.

2. If you were going to have mashed potatoes you would be prepping potatoes anyway, and with this recipe, there is no peeling! Although, if you have some traditionalists that are screaming for mashed potatoes, I get it. I baked potatoes one year and I'm still hearing about it. For those that want mashed potatoes, grab a packet of Red Idahoan Potatoes. They are easy- take 5 minutes - and taste really good!

3. Prepare everything you can ahead of time. Get some help. Have a child, spouse, friend, or some other relative scrub the potatoes.

While they are boiling, cook the bacon and shallots while your helpers pre-chop the parsley, onion, and celery. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pre-measure your oil and vinegar ahead of time as well.

4. Don’t let this recipe scare you. If you want to try this recipe, but are concerned with the time spent in the kitchen, keep your other sides simple. Or tuck this away for another meal.

5. This recipe is best served warm. But, for the next day's eating, I think it tastes good cold. Keep in mind that I also like cold Pizza, Lasagna, and Spaghetti, so you might not want to trust me on that and warm leftovers back up the next day.

Recipe and Artwork by Susan Branch

Susan Branch- Potato Salad
Download PDF • 64KB

More about Susan Branch:

Susan Branch Website Her website is amazing. Recipes, art, blog. Check it out! Susan is also a talented artist and has found a way to combine her love for art and cooking.

Check out her books and other products.

I found these additional potato salads. They all look good.


“Boil 'em bake 'em put 'em put 'em in a stew.”

Ok, that Lord of the Rings reference was about potatoes, but truly that is about how I feel when trying to get through a week of Turkey leftovers.

True confession. I don’t like Turkey.

But, I have faithfully served it along with its counterparts for decades of Thanksgivings. I have lots of turkey and turkey leftover recipes. However, If I could catch a ride on the space-time continuum and go back, I would have done some things differently.

So, let’s talk Turkey. (See what I did there?)

There are many ways to prepare Turkey. You can bake it, fry it, broil it, and just recently I found out you can take out the spine and soak the turkey in buttermilk for three days before baking it. Did any of you know about that?

However, the one way ( I haven't done the spine thing either) I have not prepared a turkey, but like to try is to brine it. In my day, for some reason, when I would hear about someone who had brined their turkey I thought I would need a week and a whiskey barrel full of salt water. But my daughter Stephanie brines her turkey every year. It is delicious and surprisingly easy and does not require a week or a whiskey barrel, just a rather large plastic bag and a Brine Kit.

Perfect Turkey Brine

Follow this Link:

Fire and Flavor Turkey Perfect Brine Kits 101

Watch this video

But, If you want to break from tradition - let's consider some other options. My son Daniel and his family celebrate Thanksgiving by serving foods that they don't usually have during the year. They have done a variety of things, including using their whole tabletop as a Charcuterie board. You can hear more about their outside-the-box Thanksgiving celebrations on the latest episode of my podcast One Mom to Another- "The Spirit of Thanksgiving."

From the Podcast:

Links to some of the recipes and a few pictures from Daniel and Natalie's outside-the-box Thanksgiving dinners:

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

Best Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

The Best Belgian Waffles

Simple Fried Cream cheese wontons

chicken lo mein

captain crunch french toast

Two of the Three Turkey Recipes Daniel used for their Three Turkey Thanksgiving:

  1. Crisp-Skinned Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Roast Turkey With Gravy Recipe

Full Recipe- How to Spatchcock a Turkey

  1. Roast A Turkey with Gordon Ramsay

Full Recipe-Gordon Ramsay

To sum up:

Thanksgiving as a holiday has and can evolve. But, at the heart of the holiday, it is a celebration of gratitude. How that looks for your family can be anything you want. Take time for a deep breath before the craziness of Christmas, look around your table- however that looks- and take a moment to put your world in perspective and be thankful for it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and then check back here for my favorite, "So You are Tired of Turkey Leftovers" recipe.

"So, you are tired of Turkey Leftovers"

Crockpot Burrito in a Bowl

Makes 6 servings

This is a favorite recipe of mine. I found the original in a magazine a few years ago. Every time I make it, I make adjustments, so I don’t have exact amounts when it comes to seasoning. If you like spicy add more, if not add less.

I like to make this when the kids come home to visit. I can put it in the crockpot in the morning and go have fun during the day, cutting out the afternoon dinner prep.

For a more detailed recipe with my notes, you can download the PDF.

Crockpot Burrito in a Bowl
Download PDF • 63KB

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