A Thanksgiving Menu

Sorry! I skipped a couple of weeks, but I’m still here, living in this beautiful, wonderful, lovely world. There is just so much to be grateful for! This season just makes me so excited, family, friends, traditions and so much more!

Thanksgiving was wonderful! I had my hands full, planning the menu, cooking it all up, and preparing for guests. Recipes for all the thanksgiving feast are at the end of this post 🙂

Before I get ahead of myself let me update y’all on some of the amazing blessings I am grateful for lately in my life…

FAMILY

I love my family sooooooooo dearly!!!

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FRIENDS

Ahhhh I have to tell you!!! I got to go to my first Velour concert!!! A friend took me to see Moth and the Flame, I had been wanting to go to Velour for like forever and my wish finally came true! It was so fun!

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THE GOSPEL

My friend and I have a goal of visiting every temple in Utah, so we went to the beautiful Payson temple, it was gorgeous! I am so grateful for temples. I am so grateful for the amazing blessings and eternal perspective we gain in the House of the Lord. I love to see (and be in) the temple!

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SCHOOL

I got the opportunity to be a floor director for BYUTV 12pm news! I am super privileged and excited to work with the amazing faculty and have learned so much already! I’m so excited to be working hands on in a newsroom and see what I could be doing soon! Its so exciting!!! I’m still working as a journalist for BYUSA and covered a few events lately.

MY MISSION

In two days it will be exactly 3 months since I’ve been back from my incredible experience of serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. An amazing blessing I got this week is that the Ramirez family visited from Omaha! I love them more than words can express! Sister Ramirez was the the relief society president in an area I served in for about 9 months and I had the privilege to work closely with her, she is an angel! Her and her family came to spend thanksgiving with us and we had a wonderful time!

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THE LITTLE MOMENTS

After dinner we reminisced on mission memories, had a game night, and eventually it turned into a dance party… as usual haha

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LAUGHING!!!

I got a hold of a limited edition Sangria Martinelli’s and out came this perfectly timed photo haha.

I promise it’s not what it looks like 🙂

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I could literally could go on forever, my life is perfect, I don’t know why I am so blessed. I haven’t done anything amazing in my life to deserve all these blessings, I am forever indebted to my amazing Heavenly Father.

I just want to share all the things I’m grateful for with all those around me! Where much is given, much is required. Looking outward, always abounding in Charity, trying to be the Lord’s hands here on the Earth is what brings true joy and happiness in our lives.

That is the biggest blessing we can have is a clear conscience and knowing that you are always doing the Lord’s will. Sometimes it’s hard, but I have never followed a prompting of the Spirit and regretted making that decision. Sometimes the reason why you were supposed to do something or not getting what you wanted doesn’t come to fruition until later on down the road, or sometimes at all. BUT I promise if you, “care more about  what God thinks, and let the consequence follow,” everything will be alright in the end. Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning, he is our creator, our daddy if we are trying to be faithful he will not let us fail. Fear of the future and Faith in God plan and timing cannot coexist. Choose today to trust the Lord, and let go of that fear.

Let it go, it will make you free.

This year, I was in charge of the food for Thanksgiving. It was kind of a big challenge to take on single handedly, but I love to cook as you know, and had fun doing it! Besides it let my mommy relax a little this Thanksgiving, she already does so much 🙂

THANKSGIVING MENU
Butternut Squash Soup
Turkey (obviously)
Cornbread
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potato Casserole
Rolls
Stuffing
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Personally probably my new favorite soup, and not that hard to make!

6 Tb diced onions
4 Tb butter
2 butternut squashes
3 cups (or more! feel it out) of water
4 cubes (or 4 tsp) chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne (I dosed this soup up with cayenne I like the kick, so I added a lot more than this, just season to taste)
2 packages cream cheese
1/4 C brown sugar

Peel and cut the butternut squashes each into 8 pieces. Smother in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put in the oven on 350 degrees F for one hour.

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Take out of the oven and cut into cubes.

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In large pot brown onion in the butter. Then add squash, water, bouillon, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne.

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Bring to a boil and cook until the squash is super soft, around 20ish minutes.

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Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor. Here is where you add water if needed.

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Return to sauce pan and heat throughly, add the brown sugar, and keep checking the taste and add spices (like cayenne!!!) accordingly.

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TURKEY

12 lb whole turkey
6 tb butter
4 C warm water
3 Tb chicken bouillon
2 Tb dried oregano
2 Tb dried minced onion
2 Tb seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rinse and wash turkey. Place in a pan. Mix together water with the bouillion, then add the oregano, died onion, and seasoning salt.

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Separate skin over the breasts and cut out little pockets, put the butter in these pockets between the skin and mean, this will make the turkey juicy. Pour over the turkey the bouillon mixture.

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Cover with foil and bake in preheated over for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internet temp of the turkey is 180 degrees F. For the last 45 minutes take off the foil and take out when the turkey browns. Drain and keep the dripping we will use these later for GrAvY 🙂

CORNBREAD

I’m going to be straight up honest, I don’t love this cornbread recipe… It’s not sweet (you could try throwing in some sugar? hmmm that’s a good idea), BUT if I do end up making a fabulous cornbread someday… I’ll let you know.

1 C cornmeal
1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tb baking powder
1 C buttermilk (easy trick add 1Tb vinegar to 1Tb less than a cup of milk, let sit for 5 min, and Boom you have 1 C buttermilk, you’re welcome!)
1/2 C milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 C shortening
2 Tb shortening

Preheat over to 450 degress F. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.

Add together buttermilk, milk, and egg. Stir together and add the baking soda and mix.

Pour the liquid mix into the dry, stir until combined.

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In small bowl melt 1/4 C shortening, and slowly add shortening to the batter, stir until just combined.

In oven safe skilled, melt remaining 2 Tb shortening over medium heat. Pour in batter onto hot skillet (listen for the sweet sizzle).

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Cook on stovetop for 1 min, then bake for 20-25 min or until golden brown. 

MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY

5 lb potatoes
3/4 C butter
1 pkg cream cheese, softeend
1/2 C half and half (I just melted 1/2 tb of butter in a half cup measurement and filled the rest of the measuring cup with milk)
2 Tb seasoned salt (honestly to taste, I might have used half the bottle :/ it tasted good though!)
1 Tb black pepper (ditto to the seasoned salt)

Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into cubes. In large pot boil enough water to cover 5 lb of potaoes (I’m good at being exact, haha), bring to a boil and cook until easy to slide a fork into (20ish minutes?, like I said exact).

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Drain and mash the potatoes over low heat. Turn off stove and add butter, cream cheese, half and half, and mash it together. Put some muscle behind it 🙂

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Then add seasoned salt and black pepper (like I said to taste, trust me the more the merrier the taste buds)

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Stir and ta-da all done!

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Remember I said to keep the turkey drippings… look at it, perfect!

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Mix 1/2 C flour with some of the dripping and mix until smooth. Add it back in the dripping and let it come to a roaring boil.

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Then set it aside, easy as pie! BTW pie recipe coming up… If you feel like your gravy is too watery or thick add water/broth depending on the saltiness or mix a little more water and flour and add to the mixture until desired consistency. Just remember it thickens as it cools.

GREEN BEANS

salt
1 lb frozen green beans
3 Tb sliced almonds
1 Tb butter
2 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 Tb oregano
ground black pepper

First off I guess I was caught up in the thick of things, because I have only one picture to prove I made this. Lo siento!

In skillet caramalize onions in the butter and olive oil.

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Add the almonds cook for 2 minutes, then add the oregano and green beans. Add salt and pepper to taste!

CRANBERRY SAUCE

1 12 oz bag cranberries
1 C cranberry juice
1 C honey
3 Tb any citric juice (I used orange juice)

Wash cranberries in cold water

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Pour in cranberry juice, honey, and the citric juice. Stir on high heat until boiling. Then turn heat to medium low and continue cooking until thick and almost jelly like (it took me over half an hour but you’ll just have to eyeball it). Turn off heat. Done 🙂

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE (my amazing co-worker gave me this recipe)

3 C canned sweet potatoes (you can do fresh and cook them too!)
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

topping
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C flour
1/3 melted butter
1 C pecans (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

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Beat them up, seriously, release all that pent up anger at the finals coming up soon, that guy who cut you off on the freeway, and beat those worries away. This sweet potato casserole will make all worries fade away, so yummy!

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Now combine all ingredients to the topping in a medium bowl.

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Put potato mixture in baking dish and sprinkle with the topping. Bake at 350 for 25 min.

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WAIT WAIT the amazingness isn’t over, take out of over and cover the whole thing in little marshmallows, put it back in the oven until the marshmallows melt and brown like they do when your making smores… Ahhh I love smores!!!! I should post smore recipes! Like Smores cake, bars, the possibilities are endless. Welcome to my mind!

ROLLS

2 C whole milk
1/2 C oil
1/2 C sugar
2 1/4 tsp / 1 pkg yeast
5 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix milk, oil, and sugar in large sauce pan and take off the heat once bubbles start forming. Let it sit for an hour.

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Sprinkle yeast on top after the hours up and let it sit for about 5 min.

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Then add 4 1/2 C flour and mix thoroughly.

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Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for an hour.

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When done rising add 1/2 c flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Flouring your hands a little, make little ball and line up your rolls on a pan, or cookie sheet.

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Let them rise for about an hour or until doubled in size, and bake them at 350 degrees F until the tops are barely tinging on golden brown.

PECAN PIE

1 Pie Crust (half of this recipe)
1 C sugar
3 Tb Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Corn Syrup
3/4 tsp Vanilla
1/3 C Melted Butter (salted)
3 eggs, beaten
1 C Chopped Pecans

First start out by making pie crust.

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This recipe always comes in useful, click for my Perfect Pie Crust recipe. (*p.s. make half of the recipe for one pecan pie)

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Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit, place pecans in prepared pie crust.

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Place sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

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Mix 🙂

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Pour over pecans and cover pie gently with foil. Bake until filling is almost set (60 Mish minutes for me, but you’ll have to eyeball it) then remove foil and bake until edges are golden brown. Cool overnight.

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PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS (my personal favorite, and aren’t the pictures great! Just saying…)

1 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C oil
1/2 C sugar
1 pkg / 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 C pumpkin puree
4 C flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 C flour (additional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

filling

1/2 C butter, melted
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 C finely chopped pecans

frosting
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 lb powdered sugar
1/4 C whole milk
2 Tb butter, melted
dash of salt

In a large sauce pan, combine milk, oil, and sugar. Heat until bubbles form and remove from heat and let sit for 60 min.

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Sprinkle yeast after the hour is up and let sit for 5 min, stir in pumpkin.

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Combine 4 C flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp giner and stir into the pumpkin mixture until it just comes together.

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Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour in a warm place.

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While you wait make the frosting! Combine all ingredients and beat.

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You can add maple flavoring to the icing, if desired 🙂

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Combine all ingredients for the filling in a small bowl except for the butter.

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I threw the pecans in my food processor so the would be a little smaller.

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Preheat over to 375, and grease 4 pie pans.

Turn out dough on a floured surface (adding flour because this dough is STICKY!)

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Rolls out to about 10 x 30 in and melt the butter for the filling and pour over the dough.

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Sprinkle the filling mixture all over…

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and roll it up carefully scrapping under as you roll so the dough won’t stick to the table.

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Isn’t this roll soooo pretty!

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Take some floss and sliding it under cross and pull to cut out your little buns. Don’t judge the Christmas apron, i’m super excited for Christmas!!!

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Place in the pans and let rise until almost doubled in size, the bigger the more fluffy and light these delicious cinnamon rolls will be!

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Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool a little, then ice them good!

Alrighty that was a lot of cooking, hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,
Kelsey

Sources A B C D E F G H

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