Thanksgiving Meal Plan

I hope this post finds you all planning a warm, cozy meal that you will be sharing with loved ones.  Our Thanksgiving meal traditions are a combination of three generation favorites with a strong influence from the in-laws, who are fabulous cooks.

2005 was the last Thanksgiving I shared with my father.  Thanksgiving was our holiday.  We would spend weeks on the phone planning the menu and days in the grocery store buying everything in sight.  My father would never turn down a recipe because of its long list of ingredients.  It was as if he chose the recipes where the ingredient list spilled onto the second page.  No matter what meal my father was preparing you would never see a box, can, or jar of anything.  If you could make it from scratch, he did.  Back then those recipes didn’t bother me either.  They meant more time by his side sharing with him something he loved to do.  In 2005 we made it onto the front page of the local newspaper because of our multiple carts full of food.  Our Thanksgiving gatherings were never small and always very eclectic.

Each Thanksgiving meal brings back memories of candle lit table settings, smells of all that these fabulous recipes can conjure up, and the overwhelming feeling that you are loved and that you belong.  Because of these memories I make every effort to recreate them for my friends and family.  The joy of having my children cooking along side me is the best gift of the season but watching them bake our “upside down pumpkin pie” with GMa is as if the world just makes sense.

Please find some of our family recipes below and let us know what you think.  We will be updating and adding to this post so check back often.  We would also love to hear what dishes you will be serving around your holiday table so comment below and share with all of us.  Here at CEOoftheHouse we are very thankful to our readers and hope you all have a blessed holiday.

Thanksgiving Meal Plan

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Onion Dip & Chips
  • Cheese Onion Pennies
  • Turkey
  • Rich Pan Gravy
  • Traditional Cornbread Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Peas
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Julie’s “Copper Penny” Carrots
  • Green Beans & Corn
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Corn Bread w/ Honey
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Ice Cream
  • Vanilla (Homemade)
  • Whip Cream
  • Coffee
  • Sparkling Cider
  • Sparkling Water

Thanksgiving Meal Plan Recipe Box

Thanksgiving dessert

Pumpkin Seeds

Grab those un-carved pumpkins off the pillars and start digging out those tasty seeds.

Dad’s Onion Dip

Onion Dip

Since 2005 my dad’s onion dip has been the star of the appetizer table due to this little nugget climbing up on the table when no one was looking.


2 Yellow Onions diced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sour cream

1-cup mayo

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Dash of salt

Dash of pepper


Sauté the onions in the olive oil, on low until they are translucent.  Patience is the key.

Let onions cool

Fold the onions into all the remaining ingredients.

Serve with chips or veggies

Mamie’s Cheese Onion Pennies

Cheese Onion Crackers


1 stick Butter cut into 8 Slices

1 cup Flour

½ lb sharp cheddar cheese grated

½ package onion soup mix

Pinch cayenne pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put everything in a food processor until ball starts forming.

Form into 2 rolls- wrap in waxed paper or saran.

Freeze-or least refrigerate several hours.

Slice and place on cookie sheets

Bake for 10 minutes

Serve hot or cold

Can be frozen again after cooking if there are any left.

* Doubling the recipe is recommended-people really like them!


We always cook a full turkey as well as some extra turkey breast for all of the white meet eaters.

Whole Turkey

White Meat


Rich Pan Gravy- Coming Soon

Pepperidge Farm Corn Bread Stuffing

In this family it isn’t Thanksgiving without this stuffing.  You must buy it early in the season because it will be sold out everywhere.  Don’t be fooled by the other types of stuffing by Pepperidge Farm.  We always buy a few extra bags to use for special family dinners throughout the year.

Corn Bread Stuffing


Mashed Potatoes – Coming Soon

Sweet Potato Casserole


3 1/2 Pounds of Sweet Potatoes

6 tablespoons of butter, melted

2 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons of butter, softened

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup mini marshmallows

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and pierce the sweet potatoes before placing them on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until soft.

Once cooled, scoop out the pulp and throw away the skins.

Increase to oven heat to 375 degrees.

Whisk 4 tablespoons of melted butter into the pulp.

Fold in the 2 beaten eggs into the pulp mixture. Set aside.

In a small saucepan warm up 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Combine both mixtures and pour into a large baking dish.

Topping Instructions:

Combine –

4 tablespoons of softened butter,

1/2 cup of brown sugar

4 tablespoons of butter, softened

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)

Crumble on to and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.  If the topping begins to burn you can lightly drape aluminum foil over the top.

We sprinkle mini marshmallows on one half to please the “kids at heart”.


Mandarin Oranges

Mamie’s “Copper Penny” Carrots

Sautéed Carrots


2 lbs carrots

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 head garlic sliced 


Braise carrots for 20 minutes covered (moderate)- stirring regularly.

Add garlic, salt, and stir. Reduce to low and cook until carrots are almost caramelized and garlic is soft and tender-about 15 minutes.

Green Beans & Corn

Thanksgiving Side-dish


Cranberry Sauce – Coming Soon

Cranberry Sauce & Pomegranate Seeds

 Dinner Rolls

Dinner Rolls & Honey

 Corn Bread w/ Honey

GMa’s Upside-Down Pumpkin Pie

Homemade Pumpkin Pie


Adapted from Café For All Seasons Pumpkin Pecan Pie and Caramel Sauce

This recipe makes two pies. 

Pie Ingredients:

1 29-Ounce Can Pumpkin Pie Mix

1 5-Ounce Can Evaporated Milk

3 Eggs, Lightly Beaten

1 Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

1 Pillsbury Plus Yellow Cake Mix with Pudding

½ Pound Butter, Melted and Cooled Slightly

11/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

Pie Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 9” pans with parchment paper.  Mix together pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, and cinnamon.  Pour into pans.  Sprinkle cake mix over the top.  Distribute chopped pecans over cake mix and drizzle melted butter over all.  Bake one hour.  Chill.  Invert and cut into wedges.

Top with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

2 Sticks Sweet Butter

2 Cups Light Brown Sugar

1 Cup Heavy Cream

Caramel Sauce Directions:

Cut butter into pieces and melt it in a small heavy bottomed pan.  Stir in the brown sugar and cream.  Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until all is melted and blended.  Whisking the sauce helps to bring it together.  Serve warm.  Refrigerate what is not used and reheat on low heat.

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

3 Tablespoons Powder Sugar

11/2 Teaspoons Vanilla

Whipped Cream Directions:

Whip cream in a medium in a bowl.  Add sugar and vanilla slowly.  Whip into soft peaks.  Refrigerate until ready for use.

Olympia’s Orchard Apple Crisp 

Homemade Apple Pie

Back in the Fall I picked up this recipe while visiting one of the orchards on the “Farm Trail” tour.  It tasted so good on that crisp Fall day that we just hard to try it this week. Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum is all that I can say!

Pie Filling Ingredients:

5 lbs organic apples

grated zest of 1 orange

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons juice from the orange

2 tablespoons juice from the lemon

¼ cup sugar (optional)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Topping Ingredients:

1 ½ cups organic four

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup organic oatmeal

½ pound Straus Family Creamery cold, unsalted organic butter, diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter 9×14 baking dish

Peel, core, and cut apples into wedges. Add the citrus zests, juices, sugar (if desired), and spices.

Stir and pour into the baking dish

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

Spread topping over the apples

Pace the crisp on a baking sheet and bake for one hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly.

Serve with Vanilla Ice cream and Enjoy!!!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

Whip Cream


Sparkling Cider

Sparkling Water


Question? Sauce or Jelly? Leave your answer in the comment section below.  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!



  1. Liz Houser says:

    This sounds amazing! Love to all he Duffs. Xoxo

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