Thanksgiving Recipe Nostalgia:: Favorites and Must Tries

It’s almost that time of year where we get to enjoy our favorite recipes that bring us together with family and friends. I’m sure we all have that favorite Thanksgiving recipe we love or can’t live without that gives us that warm and cozy feeling inside. 

As I’ve gotten older, I love helping prep the dishes for Thanksgiving Day. Cooking is something that I enjoy and I know for a fact that my love for cooking didn’t simply happen by chance. I spent many years of my childhood watching the women in my family prepare delicious meals to be shared with the ones they love. I love family recipes that are passed down from generation to generation.

I asked some of my family and friends their favorite dish to eat on Thanksgiving and the two most popular results were stuffing and sweet potato casserole. Which is perfect because I have some great recipes to share under these categories.

Thanksgiving Recipe Memories

On Thanksgiving of 2010, my family gathered together at what we thought was just another celebrated holiday. We later learned that my Grandma Jackie was sick at the time and had an inclination that she was dying. She spent that Thanksgiving sitting down and instructing my mom and Aunt Liz how to make her famous stuffing so that they would know how to make it after she was gone, and be able to carry on her stuffing tradition.

Thanksgiving Recipe Nostalgia:: Favorites and Must Tries

I remember the year after she passed away, my mom and I were in the kitchen on Thanksgiving making her stuffing. We both could hardly choke back the tears as we cut up the ingredients, and it wasn’t just because of the onions. The first holiday without our loved ones are always the hardest and we hoped that we were making her proud. She always said that Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday because it was less stress and wasn’t about giving gifts. It was more simple. It was about families celebrating a meal together with the ones they love. 

So this Thanksgiving season I’m sharing Grandma Jackie’s stuffing recipe {and a few others} with hopes you’ll try and love them too. 

Thanksgiving Recipe Nostalgia:: Favorites and Must Tries

Grandma Jackie’s Stuffing

Ingredients ::

-12oz bag Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing
-4 tbsp butter
-1 cup diced white onion
-1 cup diced celery
-3/4 cup of raisins {soak in 1/4 cup of water ahead of time – it will tender the raisins for the stuffing}
-1 cup peeled, diced apples {gala or honeycrisp}
-2 cups chicken broth {reduced sodium or not}
-1/2-1 teaspoon ground sage {depending on your taste}

Directions ::

Heat butter into 4 quart saucepan over medium to high heat. Saute the onions and celery until soft. Next, add the diced apples and simmer for another few minutes to let the apples soften. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove saucepan from heat and add the bag of stuffing mixture. Fold in the raisins with the water its soaking in. Add the ground sage and mix together. Pour into a greased 9X13 baking dish.

*This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. This will free up your Thanksgiving morning to make other things.

Once you are ready to bake, preheat your oven at 350. Cover and bake for 35-40 min and then uncovered the last 5-10 minutes.

Cornbread Dressing

My husband says that stuffing is his favorite Thanksgiving dish because every family seems to have their own versions on how to make it. My grandma’s recipe represents the Midwestern, sweet version of stuffing but since I have lived in Texas I have also come to love the Southern, savory version of cornbread stuffing too. It was love at first bite when I tried my mother-in-laws version. Y’all can’t go wrong with this recipe too.

-1 cup butter or margarine, divided
-3 cups white cornmeal
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-2 tablespoons sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-7 large eggs, divided
-3 cups buttermilk
-3 cups soft breadcrumbs
-2 medium onions, diced {2 cups}
-1 large bunch celery, diced {3 cups}
-1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage
-6 {10 1/2-ounce} cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
-1 tablespoon pepper

Directions::

Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- X 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425 for 4 minutes. Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk. Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and sauté until tender. Stir in sage, and sauté 1 more minute. Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- X 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly grease 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.
 
Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes::

*You can easily half this recipe – it makes a lot!

*Give yourself enough time to make ahead of time since it’s need to chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

 

Sweet Potato Casserole

In my humble opinion, my sister-in-law Elissa makes the best sweet potato casserole. I’ve tried to remake it on my own and I have to admit, it did not turn out as good. That’s the thing about trying to recreate someone else’s Thanksgiving recipe, sometimes we should never mess with greatness. But, with saying all of that being said, I think y’all should try it! It’s the best!

Ingredients ::

-2 big cans of sweet potatoes
-1 cup of sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla
-1/2 stick butter, melted
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 cup shredded coconut

*Mix all together with mixer and place into a 13X9 inch baking pan.

Topping Ingredients ::

-1/2 cup flour
-2/3 cup brown sugar
-1/2 stick butter, softened
-1/2 cup chopped pecans

*Mix all together and sprinkle over top. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 min.

I hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I would love to hear if anyone tries out these Thanksgiving recipes or what your favorite dish to eat on Thanksgiving is.

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