Okay, let me first start this off by saying I do not enjoy cooking. Honestly, if you were to ask my kids what their favorite meal that I make for them is, they would probably say Dominos. Now, it is not that I can’t cook, I just really don't enjoy it. I am too impatient and I get bored quickly. So I can start a meal but it is the whole finishing it that I struggle with. Now with that being said, I do cook a handful of meals each year:) and Thanksgiving is typically one of them. I am including a couple of my favorites and traditions. I want to hear what you can’t live without at your Thanksgiving dinners.
Now no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without rolls! I say that however this year I am doing the Keto diet during the holidays so I haven’t decided if I will skip the rolls or if I will choose to have a cheat day. Who am I kidding, I will be cheating because life is too short and I want to enjoy my day. My aunt is an amazing baker and she shared her roll recipe with me years ago and they are still the best rolls ever. They are easy to make, are so soft, and I dream of these rolls. Don’t forget the butter, which is one of the most important ingredients.
2 pkgs yeast, in ¼ cup hot water and 1 tbs sugar, put in a bowl and set aside to rise
3 eggs beaten, ½ cup shortening, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup warm of milk, 2 teas salt, 4 ½ cups of flour
Combine eggs, shortening, sugar, milk, and salt.
Stir in softened yeast and 2 ½ cups of flour
Beat until well blended
Add remaining flour, mix for at least 5 minutes.
Cover and allow to rise to double, punch down and let rise again, punch down and place in fridge, overnight.
Roll out and bake at 400 for 15 minutes
When my brother and I were kids we went over to our friend's house. Now I may not remember the story exact since it was probably 25 years ago, but for some reason, they were having an early Thanksgiving dinner and we got to attend. There was a jello dish that they had made and apparently, it was a hit with my brother. He came home talking about it nonstop and my mom decided that we would add it to our dinner menu. Now one thing to know about my mother is that she likes to make up names to dishes and most of the time they end with the word “surprise”. So since this was my brother's favorite dish, we have for 25 years now called it “Joshua Surprise”. Now I know you are wondering what makes it different and I don’t have a great answer for you but the recipe is below so feel free to try it. I will say now that my kids have had it, they love it as well and can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without it. Remember this recipe makes quite a big dish so be prepared for some major jello.
Prepare & cool 1 large orange jello
Prepare & cool 1 large cook lemon pudding
Whip together with a whisk and let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours
Prepare small box instant lemon pudding with 1 cup of milk, whip together with 9 oz cool whip
Layer in pan and top with cool whip and mandarin oranges
Now, this is a tradition that we added to our dinners about 10 years ago, my sister in law ended up bringing this dish to our dinner one year. OMG! Butternut Squash. This is amazing, and probably my favorite dish. I don’t know why but I only eat this once a year and it seriously is amazing and melts in your mouth. It is so creamy, rich and delicious. If you have not tried this, you have too!
2 cups cooked butternut squash (cut in half, scoop out seeds, bake on a rack over water for approx. one hour at 350 it should be soft
¾ cup butter, ¾ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla
Small can evaporated milk (⅔ cup)
Beat together and put in buttered square casserole dish. Bake at 375 for one hour, if you double the recipe it will require 2 medium squash.
Topping - 1 cup Rice Krispies, a ¼ stick of butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup chopped pecans, sprinkle on top and cook for 10 more minutes.
I feel like this is a classic and should be in everyone’s dinner plans anyways. I am obsessed with everything pumpkin so naturally, I would love pumpkin pie. The pie crust is essential, and my mom makes a pretty good one but honestly, I don’t know if a person can mess this dish up. Don't forget the cool whip or vanilla ice cream topping. I like the classic pumpkin pie but would love to hear if you have any new ideas on this favorite classic.