For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes four day weekends, feasting, football games, floats, and an introduction to Christmas festivities. The first Thanksgiving was neither a feast or holiday. It didn’t actually become a legal holiday until 1941. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock in 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the loss of 46 of their original 102 colonists. The remaining Pilgrims were able to survive the winter with the help of Indians, ending in a traditional English harvest festival in 1621 that lasted three days.

In June 1676, the community of Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for their good fortune. This day was not celebrated with the Indians since the colonists had a recent victory over the “heathen natives”. Over one hundred years later, all 13 colonies participated in a Thanksgiving feast.

We all love the different food we get to enjoy on Thanksgiving. The one day of the year that we don’t regret eating too much! Here are a few recipes to get you started for your day of festivities!

Perfect Roast Turkey

Total: 3hr 20 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 20 min
Cook: 2hr 30 min
Yield: 8 servings


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 whole lemon, halved
1 Spanish onion
1 head garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter. Add zest & juice of lemon and 1tsp of thyme leaves to butter mixture. Set aside.
  3. Take giblets out of turkey & wash turkey inside and out. Place turkey in large roasting pan. Liberally salt & pepper the inside of turkey. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, onion, and garlic. Brush outside of turkey with butter mixture & sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast turkey about 2 1/2 hours. Remove turkey to cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 mins then serve.

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Total: 45 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 35 min
Yield: 12 servings


Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
3 ribs celery, small dice
Kosher salt
1 pound spicy sausage
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
10 cups stale cornbread, cut into cubes
2 cups dried cranberries
3 to 4 cups chicken stock


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add onions and celery and saute over medium heat. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft. Add sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add walnuts, sage and rosemary then cook for another minute, remove from heat.
  3. In large bowl mix together cornbread, cranberries, and sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and mix until bread is very moist.
  4. Bake stuffing until it is hot all the way through and crusty on top, about 30 to 35 minutes, then enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Total: 45 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. 2-quart baking dish
  2. For the filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter the 2-quart baking dish.
  3. Whisk together butter, mashed sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and eggs in large bowl. Transfer to baking dish.
  4. For topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl until moist and mixture clumps together. Stir in pecans and spread over top of the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Bake until mostly set in center and golden on top. 25 to 30 mins. Serve hot.

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

Total: 37 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 22 min


12- ounce bag of frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 strip of orange or lemon zest


  1. Empty 12-ounce bag of cranberries into saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup into small bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 1 strip of orange or lemon zest and 2 tablespoons water into pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook until cranberries burst, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir reserved cranberries. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.
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