Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving at Our House

Thanksgiving prep day two was filled with baking. My little chefs and I made 48 mini pies (pumpkin and apple) and then a small apple pie. I also prepped everything for the stuffing. While the baby was asleep my son and I took a timeout from Thanksgiving to go outside and do some serious sled riding. Well maybe not serious sled riding, we don't live on a mountain top and thank goodness because after mom releases the sled, she follows down the little hill to pull the sled back up. Not much work at all but he had a lot of fun seeing how far he could sled through the yard. I also forgot to mention that I had planned on doing the pies by myself but my son's preschool was cancelled so having him help me took a little longer than expected. 

The pies looked pretty great, although some of the crusts on the pumpkin ones got a little too brown for my liking but I wasn't going to try any until Thanksgiving dinner. This was a mistake - although, even knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have remade the pies because there just wasn't enough time. 

Okay, so on Wednesday night I had my game plan for Thursday morning which consisted of recipes, drop dead times that stuff had to be started or I'd be in trouble, the nursing and sleep schedule for the baby, and the table and chair layouts. 

Thursday morning rolled around and everything was going pretty good. I had the turkeys cleaned, seasoned, bagged, and put into the roasters. Everything seemed to be under control with the tables and chairs so I decided to go shower and get ready before I really started cooking. WELL…when I came down into the kitchen and checked the turkeys to make sure everything was going good - HA - I blew the breakers - the turkeys had not cooked for the 45 minutes I had assumed they were. Yep, a little freak out, Thanksgiving with no turkey, so I needed to get back on track. Oh my! Luckily everything else went smoothly. I was rushing and moving around the kitchen but when I say let's eat at 12:30 p.m. I want to eat at 12:30 p.m. Also a special thanks to my husband for helping as much as he did - a ton! 

I'd like to share some of the recipes that were a hit and tell you what was a miss!

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar - new recipe
Macaroni and Cheese - new recipe
Green Beans 
Small Apple Pie - traditional pie

Mini Pumpkin & Apple Pies

A short few notes on the misses. The mini pies looked so cute and fun but the taste just wasn't the same as a piece of a full pie. I enjoy my pie dough crust with a bunch of sliced apples inside, the heat and steam staying in the pie while it cooks. When I made the mini apple pies, I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and it just wasn't what I thought it would be. They weren't bad but next year will be full apple pies. Now for the pumpkin pies, they were bad. Not only did I get them darker than I wanted, they were dry, there wasn't enough pumpkin in each cup and I have a pumpkin pie cake recipe that is so much better, thanks to my aunt for that one. The stuffing, well I purchased store bought bread crumbs and followed their recipe - nope, not next year. 

Okay so I want to share with you the the recipes for the best mashed potatoes, pretty good macaroni and cheese, and fantastic green beans. 


Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar - from the Food Network
2 pounds whole Yukon gold or red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 stick softened butter or 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Put the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.

Add the butter to the potatoes. Add the buttermilk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or fork.

Stir the parsley, dill and chives into the potatoes. Fold in the cheddar. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish.


Baked Macaroni and Cheese - from All Recipes - but slightly changed for our tastes
1 box spiral pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened - divided
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mild Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle macaroni with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir 1/2 cup butter into the pasta.
Mix 1/4 cup butter, sour cream, cream cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, and egg yolk together in a bowl. Stir flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and milk into the sour cream mixture.
Stir sour cream sauce into pasta and pour into baking dish, sprinkle mild Cheddar cheese over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and cheese topping has melted, about 15 minutes.


Green Beans
3 pint size bags of frozen green beans from our garden
5 cloves of fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper

In a large skillet heat all ingredients until beans are cooked through, tossing occasionally. 


Overall, everything was great and I enjoyed spending time with family, especially seeing my son have so much fun with his cousins. 


  1. Sounds like your Thanksgiving was great. You should bring him up the hill for some serious sled riding. Just make sure your husband brings the 4-wheeler! We could all use it to get back up the hill!

    1. Yes, it was very nice - thank you. Hope yours was too. Yes, you have serious sled riding. I don't know how many times I could walk that but we already have the plow on the front so we're ready for all the snow.