Thanksgiving Week Recipes

Crowd Pleasers for pre or post Thanksgiving meals for family and friends:

2lbs raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1lb smoked sausage (I use turkey sausage)
1 can beef bouillion
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 can French onion soup
1 stick of butter, melted
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 cups Uncle Ben's converted rice (uncooked)
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
Creole seasoning

Mix all ingredients and pour into a 9x13 baking dish.  Bake, covered, for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Uncover, stir, and bake for 10 minutes more, uncovered.  Serves 10-12.

NOTES:  I made this last week for my women's group at church, and it was a big hit!  It serves a ton of people and is very hearty.  I served it with sour cream on top and with a simple salad on the side.  You can make this as spicy as you'd like with the cayenne pepper and the creole seasoning.  I use the creole seasoning pretty generously and go light on the garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. 

North Woods Bean Soup:  (recipe from Cooking Light)
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 oz turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups fat free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 (15.8oz cans Great North beans, drained and rinsed)
1 (6oz) bag fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes.  Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. 

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  Return the pureed mixture to pan.  Simmer an additional 5 minutes.  Remove soup from heat.  Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts. 

NOTES:  This recipe serves 5, so you may want to double for a crowd.  It is really yummy and hearty while also being low fat, low calorie, so it's great for the night before Thanksgiving or an early lunch on Thanksgiving Day while all of the "fixin's" are still cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.  This can be made ahead and frozen, but don't add the spinach until you are ready to serve. 

photo by Randy Mayor
Vegetable Chickpea Curry: (recipe from Cooking Light, found HERE.)

NOTES:  This can be made in the slow cooker in advance of all of your guests arriving.  It is a great vegetarian dinner to start of the festivities.  Super yummy and filling.  Recipe says it serves 6, but in my experience, it goes a long way.

Thanksgiving Day Favorites...these are just a few of our family's favorites for Thanksgiving Day...our menu has not been finalized, so it's not that I'm holding out on you, it's just that these are staples that we all LOVE!

Crockpot Dressing:  
4 chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
1 8in pan cornbread
8 slices of day bread (day old is best)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 eggs
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth

Crumble bread and cornbread in a bowl and mix with spices.  Add celery, onion, eggs, chicken, soup; stir well.  Place mixture in crockpot.  Place 3 Tbsp butter on top of mixture (cut into pats.)  DO NOT STIR!  Cook on high for 2 hours, stir and serve.

NOTES:  So, in all honesty, I have not perfected the cooking time of this dish as of yet because I leave out the chicken for Thanksgiving, and the timing always seems to be off.  This year I will double the cornbread, saute the vegetables before adding them, and cook it on high for more than 2 hours.  Regardless, this cornbread is moist and delicious, and it still has those yummy brown bits stuck to the side like traditional dressing.

Taddy's Macaroni and Cheese
1 12oz can evaporated milk
4 eggs
3 cups grated cheese (use freshly grated and USE MORE!)
1 cup milk
4 T butter, melted
1 cup spaghetti noodles (cooked and drained)
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cook at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

NOTES: This is the actual recipe for my grandmother's macaroni and cheese, but having watched her make it over the years, I know this is not exact.  She added a little bit of milk here, a little more cheese there, etc.  Try this using this recipe the first time, and tweak it as the years go on.  We're still trying to perfect it over here :)  It is one of my favorites because it brings a smile to my face remembering Taddy!

photo by Color Guard Mom
Kentucky Derby Pie (called Kentucky Pegasus Pie on this site, recipe found HERE.) 

NOTES:  This is my all time favorite dessert.  It is simple to make and always a crowd pleaser.  It's basically like a big chocolate chip cookie in a pie!  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!


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