Thanksgiving favorite foods

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that I get to make this recipe. When I tell people about it, they often say, “Well, I don’t really like sweet potatoes.” My response is, “Do you like butter and sugar? Because there’s more of those ingredients than sweet potatoes.”

What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
½ c brown sugar
½ c butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 t vanilla
½ c milk

1/3 c melted butter
1 c brown sugar
½ c flour
1 c chopped nuts

Mix together first six ingredients and put into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Mix together topping and spread on top of potatoes. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.

EmilyCC lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She currently serves as a stake Just Serve specialists, and she recently returned to school to become a nurse. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.


  1. Agreed, EmilyCC. Sweet potatoes prepared in this manner are truly delicious.

    My brother-in-law once brought a sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving that was really good, and I asked him for the recipe. His reply was simple: “Oh, use any recipe you want, but be sure to double the amounts for butter and brown sugar”.

  2. I have long maintained that whenever something has a ‘secret ingredient’ it is probably a ridiculous amount of either butter or sugar.

    Anyhow, I make a pear pie that is pretty good.
    Have enough pears peeled and chopped for one pie- I’d guess about 3 cups. I normally use canned bartlett pears in light syrup.

    1.5 C Flour
    .5 C Shortening (crisco)
    .3 C Ice cold water
    Cut together flour & shortening until mealy. Stir in just enough ice water to make it easy to handle.

    Line the pie tin with the crust, fill with pears, then cover with a lattice top.

    In a medium saucepan melt:
    .5 C butter
    Add 3 T flour to form a paste then add:
    .5 C White Sugar
    .5 C Brown Sugar
    .25 C water
    Heat to boiling, allow to boil for five minutes. Pour the entire sugar mixture into the pie through the lattice, being sure to coat the crust. Go slowly because it spills. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil- it will boil over and is a nightmare to get off the bottom of the oven- at 350 for 45 minutes or until pears are tender.

  3. Have y’all tried Recipe Thing? You can swap recipes with friends, mix and match your recipes into weekly menus, and it even comes up with grocery lists for you.

    You can also rifle through strangers’ recipe boxes for everything they’ve labeled “Thanksgiving”…some lovely ideas there…and copy them with one click.

  4. Mark IV, oh good, I was worried I was the only person who used such quantities of butter and sugar.

    Starfoxy, thanks for the pear pie. It sounds quite tasty and easy (always a plus for me).

    Beijing, thanks for the link. That recipe site is such a nice idea. I wonder how long it’ll take me to transfer my recipes over…

    Deborah, I can’t give up these sweet potatoes (and we’ve already modified most of our Thanksgiving dinner to be hypoallergenic), so I’m making two versions this year: one for the rest of us and .

  5. Emily:

    Are eggs still out in your house, cause I found the most wonderful gluten-free waffle recipe . . . I’m having fun with garbanzo bean flour these days.

  6. Emily: And I meant it about the milk — do you think the recipe would fall flat without it (cause it looks great, and butter isn’t a problem, just milk)? Would water work as a substitute? Apple sauce?

  7. Deborah, eggs are still out (and probably always will be according to blood tests), but we did get wheat back last month (making nursery a lot easier!). I would think that a substitute milk (oat or rice is what we use) would work or probably water.

  8. Make mashed potatoes with cream cheese instead of butter. So tasty. I usually add 1 c sour cream (or as much as you want), 6 oz cream cheese, and a pinch of garlic salt for every five pounds of potatoes. This year I’m making over 15 pounds. Yikes, I’d better get peeling!

  9. My favorite thing to cook for Thanksgiving is pie. I always cook pie. I have experimented with quite a few pie crust recipes, and my favorite is the one in “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman. It’s a recipe that is completely made with butter (using all butter and no shortening gives the crust a better flavor) but is also flaky (which is hard to do without any shortening). I can post it if others are interested.

  10. Sorry for not posting it sooner–I’ve been off-line a couple of days. I suppose if you needed it for Thanksgiving, it won’t do much good now, but I’ll go ahead and post it so people can use it in the future if they’d like.


    1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
    at least 3 tablespoons ice water (I usually need much more than this)


    *Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the container of a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add the butter and turn on the machine; process until blended and the mixture looks like cornmeal (if you don’t have a food processor, you can also do this with a knife, a pastry cutter, or your fingers).
    *Place the mixture in a bowl and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over it. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to gradually gather the mixture into a ball; if the mixture seems dry, ad another 1/2 tablespoon ice water (when I made this crust the other night, I ended up needing about 5-6 tablespoons of water–you should add water until you have just enough moisture to form it into a ball, but no extra).
    *Once you have the mixture in a ball, wrap it in plastic, flatten it into a small disk and either freeze it for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 30.
    *Take out the dough and roll it out on a floured surface.

    This is obviously only the recipe for a single crust pie. If you want to do a double crust, you should double the amount of the ingredients, and split the dough in half when you get to the rolling stage.

  11. How about an After Thanksgiving recipe? I don’t know about the sexist name here, but the soup is good. It’s a recipe from the Fort Restaurant in Morrison, Colorado:
    Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson Soup
    6-8 servings

    3-4 pounds turkey legs or thighs, or 1 turkey carcass
    2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
    1 medium bay leaf, crumbled
    2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    8 whole black peppercorns
    1/4 cup raw long grained rice
    1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    meat from turkey legs and thighs, or 3 cups leftover turkey cubed (this can come from the turkey that you’ve simmered in the first step)
    1/2 cup chopped canned mild green chilies
    1 teaspoon finely chopped, seeded jalapeno peppers, or to taste
    1/2 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
    2 avocados peeled and sliced

    Put turkey legs or carcass, onions bay leaf, salt and pepper corns in a large soup pot with enough water to cover an simmer 1 hour, or until turkey legs are tender. Remove turkey legs and set aside, or remove carcass and discard. Strain stock and return to pot.
    If using turkey legs and thighs, remove meat and set aside, discarding skin and bones.
    Bring the stock to a boil. Add rice and simmer for 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, oregano, turkey meat from legs and thighs or 3 cups leftover turkey meat, chilies and jalapenos. Simmer to heat through.
    Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with grated cheese and avocado slices.

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