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Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

As Thanksgiving is exactly 20 days away, we thought you all might enjoy our post from last November on our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

These are tried and true recipes that we know you and your family will enjoy! Within the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing our traditions that our families have loved through the years as well.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Every year, I try to find the perfect Roasted Turkey recipe. Last year, I tried this recipe that my friend, Donna, passed along to me and my family loved it!! It was so moist and delicious. Needless to say, I'm making it again this year for our entire family to enjoy!

1 (18 lb. turkey) - I like to get organic and brined, if possible

If not using brined, rub olive oil or butter and seasoning on bird

1 pound carrots

2 large onions, roughly chopped

Package of celery

fresh thyme - chopped

fresh sage - chopped

fresh rosemary - chopped

fresh parsley - chopped

1 (750 milliliter) bottle chilled Chardonnay wine

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees . Remove the neck and goblet package from inside the turkey. Rinse the bird thoroughly, inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey onto the roasting rack. Rub the turkey with butter and seasonings or olive oil for extra flavor.

In a bowl, mix the carrots, onions, celery, two garlic halves and the seasonings. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the vegetables and seasonings. Lift the turkey upright and pour the whole bottle of Chardonnay into the bird so that the wine flows into the pan. Lay the turkey back down onto the rack breast side down. Cover with large aluminum foil but don’t let the turkey touch the foil. You are creating a "tent" for the turkey to steam in.

Roast in preheated oven until no longer pink and juices run clear. Start checking the temperature after roasting for 3 hours. Always use a meat thermometer and place into thickest part of the thigh (should read 180 degrees). Remove the turkey from the oven, remove the foil and roast until the skin turns brown and crisp (25-30 minutes). Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy! Gigi Susie

Gigi Lori's Cranberry Sauce

I love everything about Thanksgiving! It is more than just a meal. It is the love of family and the traditions passed down from generation to generation. From the setting of the table to the "I can't eat another bite but still have room for dessert."

I love all the cousins eating at one table, laughing, and sometimes misbehaving.

We are a foodie family. We relish the family favorites looking forward to leftovers the next day.

My cranberry sauce is a holiday favorite.

1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

1 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of sugar

zest from one orange

One can of drained pears

Add the orange juice and sugar to a large pan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and the orange zest and pears and return to a boil, then lower the heat and boil gently for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Put in the refrigerator overnight.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Gigi Lori

Gigi Susie's Southern Sweet Potatoes

This side dish has been a staple at our Thanksgiving table for at least 24+ years. I’m not sure where I even got the recipe but it definitely lives up to its name. Sweet and delicious!

1/4 cup butter 3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs

1/2 cup whipping cream 3 cups sweet potatoes (canned or fresh)

If using canned, drain and mash potatoes. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in whipping cream and sweet potatoes. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour. I usually check after an hour and if it’s not crusty on top, I cook longer. Enjoy!!

Lala Malana's Cornbread Dressing & Kentucky Buttermilk Cornbread

I have posted earlier our favorite, do not show up without on Thanksgiving, recipe of Grandma's Noodles. There is one other recipe that my family would frown upon should it not make an appearance at our Thanksgiving feast. To be honest, a frown would be the least of my worries. I have never been a fan of dressing. My mom would always make two kinds. Regular bread dressing and oyster dressing. It most definitely had to be my issue because it was usually all devoured by others that certainly appreciated my distaste. My mother-in-law also made a dressing passed on from her Kentucky roots that has found its way into my heart and the hearts of my children. So we have the Noodles from Grandma Janet, and Cornbread Dressing from Grandma Flo. Fond memories and very much appreciated blessings to share at our family table. I hope you enjoy it should you decide to give it a try.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


1 pan of crumbled Buttermilk Cornbread

( see below)

4-5 slices of bread

1 onion, diced

4 stalks of celery, diced

Salt,Pepper,Sage to taste

Boiling Chicken or Turkey broth


Saute celery and onion until tender. Crumble cornbread and mix with toasted bread that has been broken into small pieces. Mix in celery, onions and spices. Add boiling broth until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. I have always baked it in a glass pyrex bowl as did my Mother in law. I think it keeps it more moist. It may require a few more minutes of cooking time but who likes a dry dressing? If you choose to do a 9-13 just keep an eye on it according to your oven. You can also add more broth after removing it from the oven if it needs it. It should be spooned out, not cut in squares.


1 1/2 C Yellow Corn Meal

3 T Flour

1 t Soda

1 t Salt

2 C. Buttermilk

1 egg

2 T. Bacon Grease, oil or butter

Put iron skillet in the oven with the grease as it is preheating, just to warm the skillet and grease. Do not burn! When it is warmed, remove it from oven and swirl in pan to get over the bottom of the skillet and up the sides. Mix egg and buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients that have been mixed together. Pour all back into the greased skillet and bake 20 min in a 375 degree oven.

Remove from oven. For this recipe you can let it cool then turn out on plate. You will be crumbling this so it needs to be completely cooled and can even be made a few days in advance. However, I recommend you sneak a taste while warm with a little butter. You know, to make sure it is good.

Gluten free. Cornbread Dressing - leave out bread and add more cornbread crumbs

Buttermilk Cornbread - leave out flour and add more cornmeal

Mimi Jackie's Pumpkin Cake Roll

I came across this delicious Pumpkin Cake Roll at a local craft fair in Texas about 25 years ago. All it took was one bite, and I knew I had to learn how to make this cake roll. So, with that, it soon became a tradition and every year it was apart of our Thanksgiving desserts. Im excited to be sharing the recipe with you all! Please don't be intimidated by the steps! Just follow them carefully and you'll have an amazing cake roll that your family will love!!

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling


3 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

2/3 cup Pumpkin

1 teaspoon Lemon juice

3/4 cup All-purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking powder

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Salt


8 ounces Cream cheese - softened

4 tablespoons Butter or margarine

1 cup Powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla


In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating well. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well.

Spread batter into greased and wax-paper lined 10x15 inch jelly-roll-pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on a clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From the 10-inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.

While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream. Keep leftover slices refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well so you can prepare a week ahead of time.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

Nana Alison's Four Ingredient Broccoli Rice Casserole

Hi Friends, Nana Alison here. My Texas relatives shared a broccoli casserole with us many years ago and it became a traditional family side dish on Thanksgiving day. The original recipe called for Cheez Whiz (is that still a thing?), Minute white rice, and frozen broccoli, along with a couple of condensed soups. Yikes, talk about processed foods! Some years later, I found this in one of my favorite cook books and though it still calls for condensed soup, at least it uses fresh broccoli and cheese. So needless to say, this is our new tradition and it’s so easy that I’m almost embarrassed to share it, but it’s so good that my family insists on it every year.

1 package Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (original, not instant)

2 heads of broccoli cut into florets

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 and a half cups grated cheddar cheese, plus 1/2 cup (or more) for topping

Prepare the rice as directed and cook the broccoli until crunchy. Mix the soup and 1 and a half cups of the cheese. Butter a casserole dish. Alternate the soup mixture, broccoli, and rice in layers. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes, then add the topping cheese and cook for another 20 minutes or until heated through.

Tips-Fresh grated cheese is better than the pre-grated kind. I actually use a little more cheese for the topping because there’s no such thing as too much cheese! This can be doubled but you’ll need a really big casserole dish and might need to add a little cooking time.

Non-Alcoholic Autumn Harvest Punch*

This delicious fall punch cocktail is perfect for a crowd and kid-friendly. I made this for my grandchildren’s Halloween party and liked it so much, I will be making it for Thanksgiving dinner. Kids like to have “grown up” drinks and when my kids were growing up, I always served sparkling cider with cherries, but this will be my go to for Thanksgiving as it tastes like a fall punch.

Apple Cider

Pumpkin pie spice

Cinnamon Sticks

Sliced green and red apples (for fresh flavor and garnish)

Sliced orange (adding a fresh citrus flavor)

Ginger Ale

Fresh or frozen cranberries - for a pop of color

Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

*For the adults, you could always add a shot of your favorite vodka or whiskey for a stronger punch

We know this year Thanksgiving may look a lot different for a lot of us; however, we hope you take time to count all the blessings you do have!

We count you!

Gigi Connection Ladies


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