Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Thanksgiving is family, togetherness, thankfulness and all of those good things but if you are doing the cooking it can also be a lot of work!  This year to make it easier on the cook (namely me!) we are doing a traditional meal with slight twists to make it more flavorful and best of all not too much work!

Menu -

Old fashioned relish tray with veggies, olives, pickles, cheese, sausage, chilled shrimp

Brined and herb roasted turkey with
Homemade gravy & cheaters stuffing

side dishes
Jalapeno popper mashed potatoes
Deborah's famous collard greens
Easy to make yeast rolls
Fresh cranberry relish

Double layer pumpkin pie

Sparkling cider


Note - our relish tray will contain celery, radishes, black & green olives, green onions,  cubed cheese and summer sausage and chilled cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce


1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and season with more pepper as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.


1 1/2 cups kosher salt 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 teaspoons peppercorns
2 oranges, quartered
3 teaspoons dried thyme
3 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 gallons water

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minute Allow brine to cool completely.  Rinse turkey under cook running water, inside and out (remove giblets from cavity). pat turkey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine. Turkey should be completely submerged in liquid. Cover the pot and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove turkey, rinse, pat dry and roast as usual.


1 turkey
2 tablespoons soul seasoning (I swear by Sylvia's Secret Seasoning)
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 stick butter
1 cup turkey broth

Butter turkey all over with butter stick and then place butter stick in cavity of turkey.  Blend all spices and rub into turkey – you may need to double this formulation depending on the size of your turkey. Place broth into turkey roasting pan, cover and bake at 350 until done.


1/2 cup butter (can use hard margarine)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more is better, I use freshly ground pepper)
4 cups pan drippings (or see options below the recipe)

Drain the pan drippings for the roasted turkey through a fine strainer.  Let sit and then remove any fat from the top of the drippings.  Add in chicken broth or water to make 4 cups if necessary.  In a medium saucepan, melt margarine or butter.  Add in lots of black pepper.  Add in 1/2 cup flour plus 3 tablespoons; constantly whisk for about 3 minutes over low heat.  Slowly add in the 4 cups turkey broth/drippings; whisk constantly over medium-low heat until bubbly and thickened (about 3 minutes).  Use right away or keep warm over lowest heat setting, whisk again before serving.


2 medium onions, minced
2 -3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning ( I use Bell's)
2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups turkey broth or 2 cups vegetable broth
hot water
2 (6 ounce) packages stove top-style seasoned stuffing mix

Saute onions and celery in butter.  Sprinkle with poultry seasoning.  Set aside to cool slightly.
Toss this mixture into your favorite dry stuffing mix.  Heat broth and set aside.  Read directions on your favorite stuffing mix box.  Add enough hot water to the broth to make up the required liquid needed.
(Omit butter the recipe calls for as it was already used to saute vegetables.)  Pour over stuffing/vegetables mixture and mix well.  Stuff your chicken or turkey. For a side dish place stuffing in a baking dish; cover and bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


5 red potatoes, cubed
salt to taste
1/2 cup butter, divided
5 green onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, or more to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream

Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir green onions, jalapeno pepper, and garlic until soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix green onion mixture and cream cheese together in a bowl; add remaining 1/4 cup butter and stir until butter melts. Add sour cream and mix well.  Mix cream cheese mixture with the potatoes using a potato masher until most of the lumps are gone; season with salt.


2 (10.75 ounce) cans beef stock
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
6 bunches collard greens

Place beef stock, diced tomatoes with green chiles, onion, ham, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf in a slow cooker. Add collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens in order listed to slow cooker.  Cook on Low until greens are very tender, 4 to 6 hours.


12-ounce bag cranberries
1 diced peeled Granny Smith apple
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup water 
1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and cloves
1 lemon & 1 orange (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries start to pop, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the grated zest of 1 each lemon and orange (optional); chill.


1 cup warm water 
1 and 1/2 tablespoons active-dry yeast (or 2 packages) + 1 teaspoon sugar 
1/2 cup melted butter 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3 eggs 
1 teaspoon table salt
 4 cups all-purpose flour 

 In a large bowl combine warm water with yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. Using your mixer with the dough hook attached, combine butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and mix to combine. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing between each cup. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, you’ve added enough flour. You should need about 4 cups total, give or take a little. Place the dough on a lightly floured clean working surface and knead for a minute or two. Divide the dough into 24 each pieces, then roll each piece into a smooth round ball. Prepare a 13 x 9 inch baking dish by lightly greasing it. Place the dough balls into the pan, leaving equal space between each round ball. Cover the rolls and let them rise for about 60-90 minutes, or until doubled. Preheat your oven to 375F. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.


1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Beat cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in half the COOL WHIP.  Spread onto bottom of crust.  Whisk remaining milk, pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and
spices 2 min. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.  Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Serve topped with  remaining COOL WHIP. 


  1. This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipes.

  2. This looks amazing! It's nice to see what people over the pond are eating and what their traditions involve. I will definitely take note of these recipes and use them perhaps at Easter here in England with a lamb roast I think. Yum!