Thanksgiving is a beautiful celebration of an American holiday. It is a time of sharing and giving thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. It is a time for our families to gather together and to express our thankfulness for each other. But let’s be honest, although you may be thankful for your brother or sister, you still get great satisfaction from knowing that the dish you brought to Grandma’s house is more delicious than what your sibling cooked up. Whatever your motivation, here are five recipes that will make your Thanksgiving meal amazing.
Turkey Crescent Rolls
Did you know that you would not have found a fork at the very first Thanksgiving in 1621? The Puritans living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, believed forks were too fancy for their humble lifestyle. Every year I try to convince my wife that we should celebrate a historically correct Thanksgiving and not use any forks at the dinner table… and every year I lose that argument. Regardless, here is a delectable appetizer you won’t need a fork to eat.
3 8-ounce packages of refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup of finely chopped cele
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
2 cups of finely chopped turkey
1 10-3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 teaspoon of butter or margarine
Use a nonstick skillet to sauté the celery and onion in butter for 3 – 5 minutes or until tender. Mix in the turkey and soup until you have a nice blend then remove from the heat. Separate the crescent dough into 24 triangles. Spoon one tablespoon of the mixture on the wide end or each triangle. Start at the wide end and roll them each up. Place the pointed side down and space the rolls about two inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Curve the ends of the rolls to form the crescent shape. Sprinkle the dill over them. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -9 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes two dozen.
Cranberry Pork Chops
Are you getting together with just a small group this year or perhaps your family will be feasting alone? Don’t want to mess with cooking a bird this time? This is a simple meat dish that can be done in 30 minutes or less but will still deliver some of the sweet flavor of Thanksgiving.
4 boneless pork chops (about 1-1/2 pounds each)
1 16 ounce can of whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 cup of French salad dressing
5 teaspoons of dry onion soup mix
Pour the oil in a skillet and cook the pork chops, flipping occasionally, for 12-15 minutes or until the juices run clear. Meanwhile, in a micro-wave-safe bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, salad dressing, and soup mix. Cover and microwave on high for two minutes or until heated through. Serve over the pork chops. Serves four.
Cherry Dream Cake
At the time of that first Thanksgiving in 1621, the Pilgrims had not built any ovens yet so there were no pies that day. Also, their sugar supply was running low which meant there was no cranberry sauce or sweets of any kind. Can you imagine a Thanksgiving meal without dessert? Thankfully, our sugar supply is doing just fine, so we can bake this enticing white cake. It tastes great and your guests will be impressed with the eye-appealing marbled effect they’ll see when they cut into it.
1 18-1/4 ounce package of white cake mix
1 3-ounce package of cherry gelatin
1 21 ounce can of cherry pie filling
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of whipped topping
1-1/2 cups of boiling water
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Spoon mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Dissolve gelatin in the boiling water. Cool the cake for 3-5 minutes on a wire rack. Using a meat fork, poke holes in the top of the cake and then pour the gelatin over the cake to get the marbled effect. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is light. Fold in the whipped topping. Carefully spread over the cake. Add the pie filling on top of that. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 12-20.
Gobble the Goodness Turkey Cookies
My mom made these for my two daughters a few years back. They absolutely loved them! These cookies were so cute that my girls refused to eat them. They wanted to make toys of them. Putting these together will make for a fun family activity, especially if you have young kids. Plus, it’s a great way to get rid of that left-over candy corn from Halloween.
Double Stuf Oreo Cookies
Mini Oreo Cookies (one snack pack will do)
Miniature peanut butter cups
Canned chocolate frosting
Canned vanilla frosting
Orange food coloring
Miniature marshmallows halved
Take one Double Stuff Oreo Cookie. Insert candy corn in a fan shape (like the fanned feathers of a turkey) in the top half of the Oreo. Hold that Oreo perpendicular to another Double Stuff Oreo and attach the two with chocolate frosting. With the chocolate frosting, attach a peanut butter cup to the vertical Oreo to make the turkey’s belly. Above the peanut butter cup, frost on a Hershey Kiss to make the turkey’s beak. Above the beak, again with the frosting attach two miniature marshmallow halves to make the eyes. Twist a mini Oreo cookie apart and remove the cream filling. Attach a Rollo to each mini Oreo half to make a Pilgrim’s hat. Attach the hat to the top of the turkey. Mix the orange food coloring with the vanilla frosting and use it to pipe on the legs, smile, eye pupils, or any other feature you want to add to your turkey.
Thanksgiving in a Baking Dish
The big meal is over. Grandpa has fallen asleep in the recliner. The last football game of the day is entering the fourth quarter. Now what do we do with all these leftovers? Use them in this meal-in-one dish that will taste like a big Thanksgiving dinner without all the work.
1 6-ounce package of stuffing mix
2-1/2 cups of cubed cooked turkey (thick deli turkey meat will also work)
2 cups of frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 12-ounce jar of turkey gravy
Pepper to taste
Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Transfer to a greased 11x7x2-inch backing dish. Top with the turkey, beans, gravy, and pepper. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Serves about six.