turkey
Photo courtesy of Flickr, by user Jennie-o

Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together and be thankful for what they have and the family in their lives. It is a time to eat way too much and not feel bad about it, to catch up with cousins that you rarely see and reminisce about how things were back in the day. Thanksgiving dishes can have an emotional sentiment to them as many times they are passed down for generations, or were created recently by your mother or father. The food makes us think of happy times and the upcoming holidays sparking that holiday spirit. The APN staff gathered together their favorite family recipes to share with you this Thanksgiving season.


The Sweet Potatoes

By Angela Lince

Once you arrive at the Thanksgiving table, a cloud of overwhelmed-feelings hover over you. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy… The options are endless. This is the struggle I battle with every Thanksgiving. “Should I devour everything or eat a couple things and stick to them?” I ask myself. Although I contemplate my decision, I always know that when it comes to my mom’s sweet potatoes, devour seems to be the best option.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of peeled red-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. On the side, combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring it until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Evenly pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Cover dish tightly with foil.
  4. Bake potatoes for 50 minutes and once finished, uncover the potatoes. From there, bake the potatoes until potatoes they’re tender. Keep an eye on the thickening of the syrup. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Next is my favorite part: Add the marshmallows to the mix! Once you return the potatoes to the oven, bake until marshmallows melt.

Pineapple Cranberry Sauce

By Keely Breen

Thanksgiving is always a whirlwind at my house and with so many family members present it’s hard to make a dish that everyone enjoys. Thankfully, we stumbled upon this recipe for pineapple-infused cranberry sauce which is both simple to make and tastes great! It’s always a hit at the dinner table as it is a flavor explosion in your mouth. Perfect for Thanksgiving, I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) can pineapple chunks with juice
  • water as needed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries

Directions:

  1. Drain juice from canned pineapple into a measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup with enough water to equal 1 cup liquid altogether.
  2. Stir pineapple juice mixture and sugar together in a saucepan; bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cranberries burst, after about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix pineapple chunks into cranberry mixture. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Taylor Family Dressing

By Amanda Johnston

Dressing or stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, I really love the dressing that I have had at my boyfriend’s house the past few Thanksgivings so I asked his mom if she would share her recipe with me.

Sandy Surman (Taylor) remembers making dressing with her late mother when she was a child. She remembers helping her spread the bread out over towels she placed on the dining room table for the night and in the morning helping tear the bread into pieces. Once she was married, Surman became the hostess for holidays and continued making the family recipes and continued the traditions on with her children.

Ingredients:

  • 3 loaves of white bread (separated and allowed to dry overnight)
  • 5-6 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 bag dried cranberries
  • 8 hard boiled eggs – peeled and chopped
  • Turkey (or chicken) broth
  • Stick of butter
  • 1 lb. Cooked and crumbled Italian sausage (optional – not the original, added by Surman)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Melt 1 full stick of butter in a large skillet and add celery and onion.  Cook until softened and browned – put aside to cool.
  3. Tear the bread into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl, add enough turkey broth to moisten it (but not make it soggy). Add in the cooked onion and celery, dried cranberries, chopped eggs and cooked sausage.  Mix well.
  4. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  5. Pour mixed stuffing into pan and cook for about an hour. The edges should brown and the inside should be moist.
  6. Serve hot — enjoy!

Holiday Fruit Salad

By Sarah Trafton

This recipe has been in my family for generations. It makes a regular appearance at Thanksgiving; I can remember cutting up the fruit while watching the parade when I was younger. It’s a really great light dessert if you’re too full from the Thanksgiving feast or just a precursor for all the pies and other sweets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can of pineapple chunks
  • 3 peeled and chunked oranges
  • 3 peeled and chunked apples
  • 3 sliced bananas
  • Red, seedless, grapes, cut in half
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the fruit into a large bowl
  2. Combine the pineapple juice, sugar, flour, eggs (beaten) and lemon juice (from two lemons) and cook until thickened in a double boiler. Chill.
  3. Fold whipped cream into chilled sauce.
  4. Pour onto fruit, mix and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Go ahead and try some of these delicious recipes at your own Thanksgiving table this year. Happy Thanksgiving from APN!

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