Thanksgiving recipes

As I promised earlier from our Canadian Thanksgiving celebration post, here are some recipes to share with those of you celebrating American Thanksgiving soon. And before you go oohing and ahhing over my lovely food photographs, they’re a flicker specialty today since I didn’t think to take any pics of the Thanksgiving dishes (besides the yummy desserts courtesy of Grandma) during our family gathering.


The first recipe I’ll share is from the Canadian Living Christmas Book, and is a tried and true Roast Turkey with Nutty Stuffing recipe we’ve been doing for years. And I’ll give credit where it’s due…hubby likes to put this one together.  You can find the recipe here.

The next recipe to share is also found in the Canadian Living Christmas Book, and always a hit in our household.  It’s called Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole.  Online versions are slightly different from my ancient cookbook, so I’ll just go ahead and share our version from the old book (but that doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead and look up what their altered version offers).


Make Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

10 potoatoes

1/2 lb(250g) cream cheese

1/4 (50ml) butter

1 C (250 ml) chopped green onions

1 C (250 ml) sour cream

1/2 C (125ml) minced fresh parsley

Pinch of marjoram

Salt and Pepper

1/2 C (125ml) coarse fresh bread crumbs

Cooking instructions:

Cook potatoes for 20 mins or until tender but not mushy. Drain and let cool slightly; peel.

-With potato masher, mash until smooth; blend in cream cheese and butter until melted. Mix in onions, sour cream parsley, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste.

-Transfer to 8-inch (2 L) baking dish; smooth top.  Sprinkle with crumbs.  (Casserole can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 week.  Let thaw in refrigerator for 24 hrs.  Add 10 minutes to baking time) 

-Bake in 400 F oven (200C) for 20 mins or untile heated through and top is lightly golden.  Makes about 10 servings.


Next in line is a recipe courtesy of my sister.  We had a squash dish in mind but realized not too many of our kiddos favour this vegetable that much. So she sided with a sweet potato dish instead.  You won’t be disappointed! Here it is:


Sweet Potato Bake with Crispy Garlic Topping



2 lbs (1 kg) (about 2 large) sweet potatoes

4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp all purpose flour

1 tsp dried basil

¼ tsp each, salt & pepper

1 ¼ cups milk



1 ½ cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp dried basil

2 Tbsp butter, melted



Preheat over to 375F (190C). Butter a 13×9 inch glass baking dish.


Scrub potatoes under running water; pat dry. Cut into 1 inch chunks and place in single layer in baking dish. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes or until almost tender.


Meanwhile, in a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy; beat in flour, basil, salt and pepper. Gradually beat in milk until blended. Pour over sweet potatoes in dish. Cover and bake for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and sauce is bubbly.



In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, basil and butter; sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Broil for about 2 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.


Yields 6-8 servings


Another great one to add to the colour of the Thanksgiving plate, is a tasty green bean dish, courtesy of my sister-in-law.  The crispy topper just makes it! Enjoy!


Green Bean Casserole:
1.5-2 lbs of green beans
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of milk
2 packages of fried onions

Cook green beans until they are slightly crisp (don’t over cook)
Mix in milk and both cans of soup
Mix in one package of fried onions
Flavour with pepper

Cook at 350 degree oven until bubbling (approx 30-40 minutes)
After cooking sprinkle the casserole with the remaining package of fried onions and serve



For anyone interested in children’s books to read around the historic occasion, we like to read Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas. Another more crafty favourite is A Pioneer Thanksgiving: A Story of Harvest Celebrations in 1841 by Barbara Greenwood. It’s one packed with craft ideas, games, recipes, and a family story line as one makes their way through the book’s activities.  Pioneer Crafts by Barbara Greenwood and Heather Collins (but I see it’s going for the low price of $65 Canadian, so you  might want to check the library system for it instead) also features a pile of craft ideas, one of which we had fun making with friends last year on American Thanksgiving.




Yes, folks, we still celebrated American Thanksgiving even though we were back in the great white north. (How could we not after six years with y’all?) We thought since American Thanksgiving falls so closely together with the Christmas season,  we’d have some friends over to eat turkey and make punched tin lanterns that were oh so delightful to see all lit up while the kiddos pranced and played in the snow that evening after the meal. They fitted in nicely with the Advent season for us, and since we were living in a rather limbo stage and had most of our belongings still packed in storage last winter–with no sign of our advent candles and wreath in the hodge-podge of boxes we did have with us–we opted to use these hand-made lanterns as our Advent table setting for the month, with a larger tin in the centre and the four smaller ones surrounding it, all with led lights inside (to be on the safe side).  There’s always a way to make things work in unforeseen circumstances.

And just because I came across a whole wad of photos from years gone by with the celebration of Thanksgiving in our early years city-homestead, I just had to include the cutie-pa-tooties with their turkey craft (isn’t my baby blue girl so proud of hers?!), and their food cut-outs for a Thanksgiving meal.  What a hoot! I love those years, and am so glad I left the pile of laundry alone (in the left-hand corner) in order to do crafts with the munchkins. Seizing each moment is so much more worth it!

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A happy Thanksgiving to all my dear American friends!

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