Monday, November 11, 2013

Nothing Like a Good Ole Southern Thanksgiving Dinner

I was born and raised in Georgia by a very loving Southern Family. I never appreciated the Southern Family Dinners until the Southern Grannies were gone and so were their recipes. Were my Southern Grannies preserving and not sharing their precious "secret recipes "? NO. NO. NO.

As I grew older, they were always trying to share the recipes with me and stressing the importance of me knowing and using their recipes. Sadly, I never saw myself, ever, cooking an entire feast and had no interest in learning how to do that. The thought was almost laughable. Me cooking a big meal? I can see my kids and husband leaning in and "horse laughing" as they imagine me trying to do this.

After the Southern Grannies were gone, our first Thanksgiving and Christmas were so depressing. None of us knew how to prepare the meal and so we had none. Such a Pitty. So I spent the next year researching until I finally duplicated their recipes enough to win over the hearts and stomachs of my family.

I am sharing our annual Southern Thanksgiving Meal "Menu" and hope if you are looking for Southern Recipes, that you might want to try some of mine. Feel free to alter them to your liking.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all yours !

Southern Cornbread Dressing - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Southern Cornbread Dressing - Southern Thanksgiving Menu
Easy Peasy!

This was the dish that intimidated me the most. I was really scared to learn the recipes because I knew that I would never be able to do all the prep work like; Gardening, Brothing and such. Fortunately in my journey's, I have discovered an amazing find for Southern Cooks. Grocery Stores have all the ingredients you need. That's right! And you will see I take lots of shortcuts.

Half dozen Fresh Corn Muffins from Bakery at Grocery Store
Bag of Frozen Biscuits (Cooked the night before and left out overnight to harden)
Sleeve of Saltine Crackers
Stick of Butter
1 Large Onion Chopped
1 1/2 Cup of Celery Chopped
7 Cups Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Tbsp of Sage
5 Eggs Beaten.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add crumbled corn bread, biscuits, and saltines; set aside.

Melt the butter skillet over medium heat.
Add the celery and onion and cook 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour over cornbread mixture. Add the stock, salt, pepper to taste, and sage. Add beaten eggs and mix well.

IMPORTANT: Reserve 2 heaping tablespoons of this mixture for the giblet gravy. Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Serve with turkey as a side dish.

Honey Butter Green Beans - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Honey Butter Green Beans- Southern Thanksgiving Menu
For this dish, you can buy a bag of cut green beans or french green beans, or you can get fresh green beans. When I cook this during the year, I usually grab some frozen beans, but for Thanksgiving.... you guessed it. I don't have a garden, but I can buy fresh green in the produce department and that's what I do.

Bag of Fresh Green Beans. (Cut the ends off. You then can leave them long, or you can cut them smaller if you would like)
1 Cup of Water
4 tbsp of Butter
8 oz Bottle of Honey ( Use 4 oz to cook with, then dribble a little over beans after cooked and in dish)

Place all these ingredients in boiler and cook on medium until beans are soft.
Drain beans and place in serving dish. Dribble some extra honey on top.

Garlic Mashed Red Potato - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Garlic Mashed Red Potato - Southern Thanksgiving Menu
This is my favorite recipe, because you don't even peel the potatoes. That's right. Peels and all!!

2lbs Red Potatoes
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Stick of Butter (cut into small chunks)
1/2- 1 Cup of Milk
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Carton of Sour Cream
Green Onions, Chopped

Boil the potatoes until soft, then drain and place in large bowl. Add butter, milk, salt, pepper and sour cream. Use mixer to blend ingredients into potatoes. Add more milk if needed to moisten potatoes. Approx. 2-3 Minutes. Pour in Serving Bowl and sprinkle Green Onions over the top.

Sweet Potato Suffle - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Potato Suffle - Southern Thanksgiving Menu
You can use whole sweet potatoes for this, but my family can't tell the difference, so you guessed it. I cheat!

3 Cans of Sweet Potatoes
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Stick of Butter
1 Can Evaporated Milk
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs Beaten
1 Cup Pecans - Chopped
1/2 Cup Mini Marshmellows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add potatoes to a large bowl. Add the evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix together until smooth. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss together the peanuts, marshmallows. Remove dish from oven and top with the pecan mixture. Bake until the marshmallows are lightly toasted, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Creamd Corn - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Creamed Corn - Southern Thanksgiving Menu
Ok... So I really cheat here. The Southern Grannies would Plow the garden.... Plant the corn... Pick the Corn... Shuck the corn... Cut the corn and Blanch and Cream it. Well, it may surprise you, but I don't do that.

My secret? 3 Cans of Cream Corn (Any Brand). 1 Can of Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. Add a little butter. Add a little Salt. Warm on the Stove then serve.

My family loves it as if it were grown in the garden.

Frozen RIsing Yeast Rolls - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Frozen Rising Yeast Rolls
Yes, of course.... I cheat yet again.

1 Bag of frozen yeast Rolls.

Place on trey an inch apart and leave out at approx 70 degrees for 4-6 Hours.

Pre-Heat Oven to 350. Bake as per directions on bag. Brush with Butter.

Giblet Gravy - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Giblet Gravy - Southern Thanksgiving Menu
Giblets from neck of turkey
1 egg
Small Amount of Raw Cornbread Dressing Mix
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients in saucepan approx 20-30 Minutes then pour in serving dish.

Canned Cranberry Sauce - Southern Thanksgiving Menu

Cranberry Sauce- Southern Thanksgiving Menu
You didn't think I was going the hard route with this did you?

2 Can Cranberry Sauce.

Heat and pour into serving dish