Saturday, November 18, 2023

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Life has been hectic as usual around here.  Winter came in hard, although it did come in late, which was nice.  We've had bad combos of snow and ice the last week, making for some pretty hairy driving conditions and we've already had to shovel two feet of snow off of our deck, and it could probably use another shoveling already.  Life in the North.  What can you say *laugh*.

I do feel pretty darned good this year on my Thanksgiving preparations.  Since the earthquake it has felt like we've just shot from one crisis to another (not excluding the 2018 quake).  For some odd reason, even with my crazy welting incident a few months back, some horrible health issues my half sister is dealing with across the country and other stuff, I am still feeling pretty together this holiday season, which is nice.  Lack of anxiety sure does help to make you feel better about the holidays.  

This week I focused on getting some fun stuff done for Thanksgiving.  I made four different desserts (we'll choose which one to eat for Thanksgiving and then eat the rest over the coming months for fun desserts) and also some sourdough rolls to eat with Thanksgiving dinner.  The cranberry relish is already made up and in the freezer from previous holidays (by the way that stuff freezes AWESOME!  I am still using up cranberry relish from 2020 that still tastes great as soon as it is defrosted!  I am super duper happy about with it!), ready to be pulled out and defrosted the night before Thanksgiving.  The rolls are now in the freezer, ready to be pulled out on the big day.  Stuffing is also all ready to go.  Basically, on top of having some fun desserts to choose from (I've been using Farmhouse on Boone's recipe for sourdough pie crust and it is awesome!  I just mix mine all up in the food processor and it comes together great!), I already have done a bunch of things I always have to do for Thanksgiving (including getting the turkey into the fridge on Wednesday, so it has plenty of time to defrost before I put it into the brine the day before Thanksgiving).  Basically, at this point all I have to do on Thanksgiving is make the turkey, the green beans, the cheesy potatoes and heat some stuff up.  I'm thrilled as this will make my day a lot less stressful and a lot more relaxing :).

So, for fun, I thought it would be neat to share the dessert and treat recipes I have made for this holiday season so far, why I chose some of them and hopefully give you guys a few, actually pretty easy, recipes to make if you are trying to save time and sanity this holiday season.

1.  Mystery Pecan Pie

This is, by far, one of my favorite holiday recipes to make as it is SO good!!!  You would think that cheesecake in a pecan pie would make the pie incredibly heavy to the point it is inedible, but it is the exact opposite.  It makes the pie lighter, somehow, and less sweet, so it is the perfect pie to me as I love both cheesecake and pecan pie :).

This year I took a page ala Alton Brown on an old Good Eats episode and replaced the corn syrup (I am out) with Lyle's Golden Syrup (it is kind of hard to source in the US, but if stores don't carry it, Amazon does, which is where I got mine).  It came out looking so pretty and I can not wait to try it out :).

2.  Perfect Pumpkin Pie

I made this recipe because my evaporated milk is in a container that is currently buried under about a cubic ton of donations for the used store that were sourced from my bedroom closet and I was just too tired to dig it out.  So, I found this recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk instead.  That I have in the pantry, so I went with it.  I have to say it came out looking wonderful from the oven.  It didn't crack or anything.  I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped it in tons of plastic wrap and aluminum foil for the freezer, but if you look at the pictures on the site, mine turned out pretty much just like theirs.

3.  Apple pie

Really, I doubt that one needs a recipe link since I just used some canned pie filling, added a jar of home canned apple slices to it and then sprinkled some additional cinnamon on top of it before adding the top crust.  It came out really nice, probably the prettiest from scratch pie crust I've ever made, but I forgot to take a picture of it before putting it into the freezer (I'll try to remember to share a picture when I serve it).

4.  No Bake Cheesecake

This recipe is really good and it only takes a few minutes to put it all together, and the ingredients are few and simple.  I've never tried to freeze it before, but I am going to and see how it goes.  My plan is to serve it with fig jam on top as one of my favorite appetizers is to take some home made Heavenly Fig Jam on top, so I figure that a fig cheesecake HAS to be good!

5.  Sourdough Cheese Crackers

I made these so we'd have snacks on Thanksgiving.  Have you guys SEEN the price on crackers lately???  No way, Jose for me.  Way out of my budget.  So, I did this instead.  They came out OKAY...biggest complaint I have is that they needed more salt and came out kind of bland.  I think they needed salt in the actual cracker itself (even 1/4 tsp would be enough I think), but I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on them while they were still warm and that helped to up the saltiness a tiny bit, which made them much less bland.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things I've made this holiday season.  My life has been hectic, so sorry about the erratic blogging schedule.  Hopefully that will improve soon.

Hope you guys are having a great holiday season and getting to spend it with people (or animals) that you care about.  If I'm not online next week, have a Happy Thanksgiving (for my friends in the US) and be safe and warm!



  1. Happy Thanksgiving from Alabama

  2. All sounds yummy! Sounds like you are getting ready. Glad to see you post - wondered how you were with the snow! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  3. Hi Erika, I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. You inspire me so much. I have a number of blogs which I never miss: yours, Thriftymominboise/tireless retirement/ Home Joys/diaryofaretiredteacher etc. It makes my heart happy to see you thriving. Hugs, Heloise in England.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Erika, to you and your family. You have certainly done some great preparation ahead of time. I have been pulling out ingredients for pumpkin pie and am going to bake a butternut squash today. Also have diced my celery and onion for the dressing/stuffing and cleaned and cut up some onion and celery chunks, along with garlic to stuff inside the turkey, while it bakes. I'm trying to do a little bit each day so that there isn't as much to deal with on Thanksgiving. It's just the 2 of us, so simple fare and lots of leftovers plus bones for broth making. The turkey is free from my husband's work, or we would probably just do a turkey breast. The turkey is nice, and my husband loves leftovers so it will make many meals. I hope your holiday is all you hope for, and I am pleased to hear that you are feeling much less anxious. It makes life so much more pleasant, doesn't it? (I too have anxiety issues) Ranee (MN)

  5. I've been thinking about you and wondering what kind of things you are doing for Christmas. I'm wondering what you and / or your daughter are making for gifts this year, as I know you are both creative, and given enough time, come up with some perfect gifts for your family. I'm also betting that you are putting together your Christmas day meal, baking ahead, and getting last minute items ordered for delivery. You are an inspiration, knowing how busy you are every day. It's motivating when you share all that you have been doing. If you don't post beforehand, I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I know many of us have had a challenging year, but I hope we can all put it aside for this one day. It is very unlikely that we will have a white Christmas. There is still time, but the predictions are not good. Take care, Erika
    Ranee (MN)