Mom’s Cranberry Sauce (Slow Cooker)

One of the things I look most forward to on our Thanksgiving table is Mom’s Cranberry Sauce.  Growing up with this sweet sauce that is bursting with flavor, I could never understand why people would say they don’t like cranberry sauce.  Then I saw the canned stuff… 

Thankfully mom made a (ginormous) batch of her sauce last night and took pictures so that I could share the recipe with you.  She always makes a ton of it, but that’s ok with us because I incorporate the leftovers into other dishes.  It goes great with just about any meat, especially poultry.  Now that you have this simple and delicious cranberry sauce recipe, you will never have to serve your the cranberry blob again!

Greek Salad Skewers

I volunteered to make a Greek salad for a recent bridal shower I was attending and after contemplating how to make it pretty (and still accommodate 25+ guests) , I decided to go for an unconventional approach. Being that the gathering was going to be a more casual, mingling type atmosphere (with lots of finger foods), I thought it would be fun to make individual Greek salad skewers. They combine all of the elements of the salad, but with more pizazz- including a beautiful presentation. Serve these with the zesty dressing as a dipping sauce and you’ve got yourself a conversation piece for the party!

Restaurant Style Spinach & Artichoke Dip (Slow Cooker)

One of the most common appetizers ordered in restaurants across the US can now be made by you! I was able to create a Spinach and Artichoke Dip that tastes just as good, if not better than your favorite restaurant’s version. To quote a lovely lady at a bridal shower I brought the last batch to, “this is the best I’ve had anywhere!” Share in my pride and make this dip for your next gathering, but prepare plenty- it goes fast!

Tri Layered Pumpkin Spice Pie

A pumpkin pie with no pumpkin at all… who knew? Kim did! Thanks Kim for not only sharing the recipe, but making one of these amazing cinnamony, spiced, sweet pies for us to enjoy together (and leaving the leftovers at my house too)!! This recipe had me so excited that I went to the market and stocked up on a few boxes of the pumpkin spice pudding mix so I could savor these seasonal flavors far beyond the new year.

This recipe could be considered beginner level, but the results will make you feel like a pro in the kitchen. And of course, what do I love most about this Tri Layer Pumpkin Spice Pie besides the easy of putting it together and not having to bake it? It’s not packed with fat!

Juicy Roasted Turkey

I’ll start by saying that the USDA may not love my way of prepping a turkey for its roasting, but the method I use (and my mom uses, and her mom used, etc) dates back years before the government stepped in to tell us about “safe food handling.” If you use common sense and are careful about how and where you handle the raw meat, you will be fine. So there was my disclaimer. Now onto the process of getting Tom ready for Thanksgiving…

Ham with a Drunkenly Sweet Glaze

This post’s main intention is to share a beloved Drunkenly Sweet Ham Glaze recipe with you, but I feel guilty leaving anyone out there stranded that isn’t well versed at preparing a ham (flashback of me a couple years ago). This is why I will give you my two cents on the hams of the world. Cooked or not cooked? That is the question.

I gotta say that getting a fully cooked (spiral) ham seems like the most logical and convenient thing to do. Let’s face it, there ain’t much YOU are actually doing to the flavor of the meat regardless if it comes cooked or not! That being said, here’s my take on the options out there:

Caravia Cornbread Stuffing (Fan Submitted Recipe)

Every family seems to have their own rendition of the traditional stuffing side dish.  Even within my own, we have a few different varieties going on!  After discussing the variations out there with my foodie friend Julie, she bragged about her mom’s dressing, so I offered to give it a try and post it on the site.  This past weekend I conducted my Caravia Cornbread Stuffing trial and it went over very well.  I used a different cornbread (I was experimenting with low fat muffins), and didn’t have the turkey drippings (I used extra chicken broth instead), but the concept of combining the herb stuffing, cornbread, and the other goodies was all there.  I was curious as to why Momma Caravia grates the veggies (since I love the crunch of the celery), and Julie explained it was to trick the picky eaters who say they don’t like them-  I’m sure many of you out there have the same issue in your group 😉

Broccoli Casserole (Reduced Fat)

Tired of the old Green Bean Casserole?  Me either, but why not change it up this year and bring a new green veggie (masked by creamy deliciousness) to the table!  My husband’s aunt likes to liven up our holiday menu with this Broccoli Casserole (thanks to my personal demand) and was sweet enough to give me the recipe.  After going over the ingredients, I was not surprised to find out why this darn thing tasted so good- aside from the broccoli, everything else is what I consider to fall under the “bad for you” category.  Fortunately, most everything comes in a lighter version and the dish tastes just as good with the substitutions! Take my lead and skip out on some of the calories or live on the edge and go full out with the regular version of the ingredients.

Butternut Squash Souffle (Low Fat)

Move over sweet potato casserole (but not too far ’cause I like you too), there’s a new side dish in town-  Butternut Squash Souffle.  This recipe of sweet, cinnamony, warm goodness is derived from one that a family friend used to make years ago for Thanksgiving.  Since then, I have made it a number of times and tweaked it to the point where it has minimal fat, but still gets the rave reviews.  Add this sweet side to your holiday table and they’ll be sure to ask for it every year- and you won’t have to worry because a simple list of ingredients, including frozen squash, along with the 4 step directions, makes this recipe so easy to replicate.