Easy, Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner

Introduction: Easy, Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner

Looking for easy recipes for a homemade Thanksgiving dinner? We have compiled the simplest, most delicious dishes to serve on our favorite holiday! We have also included tips for setting the table and decorating your home to really make it feel like the holidays.

Note: Though these recipes are simple and easy, great care should still be taken to practice safety in the kitchen. Here are a few tips to avoid having your holidays take a turn for the worse:
-Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
-Use hot pads when handling hot dishes.
-Cook turkey to a minimum of 165 degrees F and all other meats to at least 160 degrees F.
-Exercise proper cutting techniques and knife safety.
-Clean up spills promptly.

Bon Apetite!

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Step 1: Yike's Award-Winning Turkey

Ingredients:

A turkey
Onion, carrots, celery
Salt, peppercorns, bay leaves
Water, salad oid, cooking wine
Fruits and vanilla

Directions:

1. If you buy a frozen turkey, reference the weight, place the packaging bubble into cold water and often replace the water to defrost it. If you get a living turkey, you need to clean the feather and remove the pluck first.  Then place the turkey in water for more than half hour, and pour out the water with blood.
2. Peel and wash onion, carrots, then slice into pieces; cut of the roots and leaves of celery, wash and cut into sections.
3. Wash the turkey and place in a bowl, add the salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery, brandy mix, marinated for 4 hours.
4. Set marinated turkey in a baking pan and (tie up the turkey legs with string), place ingredients which used to marinated turkey into the turkey’s abdomen.
5. Add water and salad oil, and poured over the turkey body, then add 100mL cooking wine into the baking pan
6. Heat the oven to about 300 degrees Celsius, and push in the baking tray.
7. During 2 hours baking in the oven, use a spoon to pour the soup in baking pan on turkey, when the whole turkey body become golden, pull the turkey out and transfer to a plate.
8. Skim the oil in the roast turkey soup, and then pour the soup over the turkey.
9. Wash several kinds of fruit such as peach, apple, pineapple and cranberry, place the fruits and some herb such as vanilla or Asiatic wormwood into the plate.

Taste your delicious turkey!

Step 2: Mouth-watering Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 large russet potatoes, about a pound each
Olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp cream

Directions:

-Bake the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode. Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. Place directly on the middle or top rack of the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed.
-Allow the potatoes to cool to touch. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, forming a potato "canoe", leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.
-Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, cream, and butter into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. If you want a creamy texture, beat with an electric beater until desired consistency. Note, do not over-beat potatoes, they can turn glue-y.
-Mix in the extras with the potatoes. Reserve some of the extras to sprinkle on the tops of the potatoes. Spoon fillings into the potato shells. Sprinkle with extra toppings.
-Heat oven to 350°F. Place potatoes on a roasting pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through

*Cheddar and bacon version
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Blue cheese and chives version
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt

*In the cheddar and bacon and blue cheese and chives versions, use the listed ingredients as extra toppings on your potato!

Step 3: Grandpa's Blue Ribbon Stuffin'

Steven's mother's father's mouthwatering, stick-to-your-ribs stuffin' adds a down-home touch to any Thanksgiving feast! This is a quick, easy recipe that anyone can make at home. Yes, even college students.

Ingredients:
1 lb sausage - you can also add the liver if your turkey came with one.
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped (one large)
2 to 6 celery ribs (depending on how much you like celery), finely sliced
1 (16 ounce) can chicken stock or equivalent in cubes. 
1 (14 to 16 ounce) bag cubed crouton herb stuffing mix
1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried sage
*Fresh basil, ground pepper, and a little garlic are all optional, but certainly nice additions to the recipe if you have them handy!

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Chop up the sausage and cook in a large skillet on medium heat. As this is beginning to brown, add in the finely chopped celery, onion, sage, and poultry seasoning. Stir occasionally, adding seasoning as desired. Remove from heat once the sausage is fully cooked. 
In a large bowl, combine together half the sausage skillet, half of the croutons, and half of the chicken stock. Mix thoroughly, and then do the same thing with the other half of the ingredients.
Put the stuffing mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until light, golden brown. Serve in the turkey or on the side!

Step 4: Kim's Amazing Secret Family Gravy Recipe

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons roast turkey drippings
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons minced celery (optional)
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (or 1 small can)
8 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon Gravy Master
salt and pepper, to taste
onion and garlic powder, to taste

Directions: 

Remove cooked turkey to plate.

Pour off as much of the top fat as possible from roasting pan. Remove all but 10 tablespoons of pan drippings from roasting pan. Using a baster, obtain the dark flavorful drippings from the bottom of the pan, discarding the clear fat portion. Return the drippings to the pan.

Add 1 onion, thinly sliced and 2 cloves garlic, minced. A few tablespoons of finely minced celery and 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms may optionally be added.

Blend in 8 tablespoons flour and stir, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan, until mixture bubbles.

Add 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth and simmer for 5 minutes. (If you have turkey or chicken soup base, this can be used; follow directions on container to reconstitute to make 4 cups).

Stir in 1 teaspoon Gravy Master. After simmering for 15 minutes, adjust consistency as desired by adding more flour if the gravy seems too thin, or more water or broth if the mixture is too thick. Simmer another 5 to 10 minutes after adding flour to give it a chance to cook.

Add salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, to taste. Stir in parsley during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Step 5: The Better-Than-Any-Other-Pie-You-Have-Ever-Had Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

As is the case with most baking recipes, the oven will need to be preheated. Turn it up to 400 degrees F before you start cooking, so it will be fully heated by the time you're ready to throw the pie in!

Preparing the Crust of the Pie:
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, shortening, and 1 tablespoon of water. Continue mixing until the dough is completely homogeneous, and moist enough to hold together.
Form the dough into a ball, and then roll out into a rough circle on a lightly-floured board. The dough should be thin, roughly 1/8th of an inch, but be careful to avoid making holes in it. 
Carefully transfer the dough to the pie tin. Mold it along the contours of the tin, and cut off the extra dough from around the edge.

Preparing the Pumpkin
Beat the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, evaporated milk,  and salt together in a large bowl, with the mixer speed on medium. Once it has been mixed well, pour/scoop the mixture into the tin with the crust.

Baking
Carefully place the pie into the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and comes out clean.

Remove and let cool for a few minutes, then serve with your choice of whipped topping or ice cream. Enjoy!

Step 6: Setting Your Thanksgiving Table

Now that all the food is prepared, the only thing left to do is to make your guests feel like they are at a true Thanksgiving meal!  Decorations and table preparation are fun and festive.  We will share a quick and easy way to make your table fit for a holiday meal.  A simple and classic dish and silverware setup is shown above.  Nothing fancy and difficult is going to be highlighted here-only setups that are quick and fun!  In addition to dish setting, there are some cute ideas for color combinations and centerpieces for the table shown also.  Using fall colors such as oranges, browns, reds, and yellows is always a great idea!

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