Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! I love being able to spend time with my family without the pressure or gift-giving expectations. It just feels like a good, old-fashioned holiday to me. But, the BEST part about Thanksgiving is sitting down at the beautifully decorated table, and breaking bread together. After we’ve gone around in a circle and said what we’re thankful for (for me, it’s good health and happiness), it’s time to dig in. And although I do enjoy turkey, that’s not really what I look forward to the most. It’s all about the sides, and dessert for me!
Ugh. I could go on and on about how much I love side dishes…from stuffing to brussels sprouts, to mashed potatoes and cornbread, I don’t discriminate. My plate usually ends up being a little piece of turkey and piles of sides. It is probably not the healthiest, but that’s not really what this day is about now is it?!
After I’ve tried everything on the table, it’s time for dessert. Andrew and I have a huge sweet tooth – it’s bad. He normally goes straight for the chocolate, while I tend to go for the more traditional desserts, like pumpkin or apple pie. Yum. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite turkey day recipes in the hopes you’ll want to recreate them yourselves, or share them with your friends and family. So, do me a favor and pass around the love, and share your favorites with us! Happy Thanksgiving. xoxo – Lauren
Lauren’s Favorite Turkey Day Recipes:
Andrew’s mom is the one that got me hooked on this salad, and it’s one of my favorite recipes to-date. It’s also incredibly easy to throw together, so if you’re running out of time for the holiday, or just need a healthier option for the table, definitely try this one out.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
- 1 bag of salad
- 1/4 cup red onion (chopped)
- 1 package of feta cheese
- 1/2 bag of craisins
- Sliced almonds
- Briannas Poppy Seed Dressing
Pour salad into your serving bowl. Mix in the chopped red onion, feta cheese, craisins, and almonds. Once you’re ready to serve, mix in the dressing (I like mine chilled) and enjoy!
Fair warning: this is not a healthy recipe, but it’s frickin’ GOOD. One of my friends made it for me once, and I was obsessed. Now anytime I get invited to a Friends-giving, this is what I make…people love it.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick of butter (melted)
- 1 box of Jiffy corn mix
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 oz of sour cream (light)
- 1 can of kernel corn
- 1 can of cream style corn
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13 x 9 pan. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and pour mixture into the pan. Cook for 45-60 minutes (depending on your oven) – once it browns on top, you know it’s done. Use a toothpick to check. And voila!
Homemade Apple Pie, served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 2 – 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shortening
- 5 to 7 tbsp. ice cold water
- 6 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 4 large apples – I use Honeycrisp)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork until flour mixture is evenly moistened and clings together when pressed into a ball. Divide dough in half; shape each half into 1/2-inch-thick round. Wrap each dough round in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss apples with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in a large bowl; set aside. Place 1 dough round between two large sheets of plastic wrap; roll out dough with rolling pin to flatten. Turn over and continue rolling until dough round is about 2 inches larger than diameter of the pie plate.
Peel off top piece of plastic wrap, and flip the dough over into the pie plate. Peel off remaining piece of plastic wrap; and press dough evenly onto bottom and up side of pie plate, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim the dough hanging over the edge and keep it for decorations (I made two leaves with mine).
Fill with apple mixture; set aside. Roll out remaining dough as directed above, and place over the filling. Trim the top crust a little beyond the pie plate (about 1/2 inch). Fold edge of top crust under edge of bottom crust; pinch edges together to form a ridge (I didn’t do this very well and my crust ended up breaking off very easily). Cut slits near center of pie to allow steam to escape, and add your decorations as you’d like!
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly. Cool and serve! Vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect topping, especially when the pie is served warm.