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A Holiday Tradition Thanksgiving REcipes by collins group realty

This is a collection of treasured family recipes from members of Collins Group Realty. Some of these recipes have been passed down from generation to generation - and some are newer additions that that beg to be shared. Our hope is that the stories with each recipe will warm your heart and that you'll be inspired to try a new dish from someone else's family tradition.

Wassail

by Carl Girth Teresa’s Irish family has been passing this recipe down for generations and we have it at every holiday and at most family celebrations. My German grandmother also made it for holidays. It is often a tradition in many families of Irish and German heritage. The smell of the wassail simmering fills the house.

  • LARGE pot
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups frozen orange juice concentrate (usually in small cans)
  • 3 cups lemon juice
  • Spice pack
  1. Heat cider, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice to a boil
  2. Meanwhile, put 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon all spice in cheesecloth and tie at the top. Place bag in wassail and simmer for two hours or longer.
  3. Make ahead of time and store in refrigerator. When ready to serve, put in crock pot and heat.
  4. Brandy is optional. We usually make two batches, one with and one without. Add the brandy just before wassail is served.

Orange Jello Salad

by Gail Bonnett This is a great side dish especially with Tom Turkey. It was a favorite in Denis’ family and the girls and I adopted it when they were very little as it became a favorite of theirs and so easy for them to make!

  • 1 package orange Jello
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • Orange juice
  • Dash of lemon juice
  1. Soften crème cheese and mash. Make Jello as directed with the hot water but add 1 cup of orange juice with a dash of lemon juice in place of the cold water. Stir in crème cheese and continue stirring until well blended.
  2. Pour into Jello mold ( or dish ) and place in refrigerator – it will need to be stirred several times as it is setting so crème cheese blends throughout.
  3. Just prior to serving, release the Jello from the mold and enjoy!

Cranberry Salad

by Dawn Hoffman This dish has been served at my family Thanksgiving dinner for at least 50 years. In the past 10 years we started adding pomegranate to the dish after hearing an Elvis Duran Phone Tap prank where a daughter-in-law called her mother-in-law and said she was making her cranberry salad better by adding pomegranate. Her mother-in-law was so mad.

  • 2 small packages of raspberry jello
  • 12 ounce bag of cranberries, crushed
  • 2 oranges, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1 pomegranate
  1. Mix water with raspberry Jello. Let mixture cool slightly.
  2. Mix cranberries, oranges and sugar. Add slightly cooled raspberry Jello, stir to mix, refrigerate overnight.
  3. Next day add walnuts, apple and pomegranate, stir to mix.

Great Grandmother Knapke's Chicken Noodle Soup

by Taylor Standen This soup is served at every thanksgiving, when you are feeling sick or on a cold day and has been in our family for over 60 years. My great grandmother Knapke would make the noodles fresh for the soup overtime she made it. Its sounds very odd but once you try it you will never want you chicken noodle soup served any other way.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1- 2 bags fine egg noodles
  • 2, 64 oz. containers of chicken broth
  • For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 5-7 large potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces for boiling
  1. Roast a whole chicken. Reserve all the broth.
  2. Let the chicken cool then shred
  3. Boil the egg noodles according to the package
  4. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender
  5. Warm ½ cup of milk
  6. Drain and blend potatoes in mixer while slowly adding the warmed milk until potatoes are fluffy
  7. Serve the noodles over the mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sausage Stuffing

by Gail Bonnett This was a favorite from my Mom’s family. It was great to be involved as kids getting it ready for Tom Turkey day. We all enjoyed breaking up the bread, cutting the onions and celery, and adding all to the big bowl as my Mom prepared the turkey.

  • 2 or 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • Celery 2 or 3 stalks chopped
  • Sausage
  • Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix (or crusty bread broken up. Enough to fill a large bowl. you will need to add spices)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. If using fresh bread, break up the Bread into little pieces, enough to fill a large bowl
  2. Saute onion and celery in butter until translucent
  3. Meanwhile sauté the sausage
  4. Add the stuffing mix (or bread), and mix together all ingredients
  5. Add spices, salt and pepper to taste
  6. Mix all together and cover bowl. Store in refrigerator until ready to stuff “Tom Turkey!”

Broccoli Casserole

by Chip and Carrie Collins This recipe was created by Carrie's grandmother, and enjoyed now by 4 generations. All of them love(d) cooking, and this dish is a must-have addition to any bountiful Thanksgiving spread

  • 2 boxes frozen chopped broccoli
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 minced onion
  1. Cook broccoli til tender
  2. Beat eggs in medium bowl. Add soup, mayo and cheese
  3. Saute onion in butter until tender
  4. Combine everything and mix well
  5. Bake 45 minute at 350 degrees

Sweet Potato Casserole

by Ashley Smith My story isn't about this recipe specifically, but rather about a special holiday tradition. The women in our family get together a day or two before Thanksgiving and prep all the food. It started with my mom and her mother while we were at school - they would turn up the music and break out the wine while they cooked, talked and laughed. As my sisters and I got older we started joining in on what has become one of my favorite memories of the holidays. I live across the country from my family now, and my grandmother is no longer with us, but I have started carrying this tradition on with my own daughter, she's now 14, and i look forward to when I have my own grandchildren in the kitchen too.

  • 5 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (about 5-6 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup sugar (alternative Turbinado sugar 1:1 ratio)
  • 8 tbsp butter, softened (alternative: ghee or clarified butter)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (alternative: lactose free milk, almond or coconut milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • For streusal topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tbsp butter (alt: ghee or clarified butter)
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Scrub sweet potatoes and boil or bake in the oven until tender
  3. Cool, peel and mash potatoes. Stir in sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs. Mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into 9x13 casserole dish
  5. Prepare the topping: Mix brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter together and spread evenly over sweet potato mixture.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes until topping has browned. If using mini marshmallows, add them the final 10 minutes of baking.
  7. Remove from oven and serve

Edith Browning's Pulled Turkey

by Chris Sanders Memories of Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house in Greenwood SC always seem to include an incredibly moist turkey full of flavor. There was never a bland or dry turkey. I use to watch intently as she prepared the turkey, and was always available for “samples” when it was being picked. The “picker” has the right to sample as desired! You will never have a more flavorful turkey, guaranteed…

  • Turkey
  • Enough olive oil to cover the bird (including rubbing down INSIDE the skin)
  • Suggested seasonings: Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder – be generous! You will want at least a half cup of the mixed seasoning (depending on the size of the bird). Be sure to use most of the rub inside the skin. We tend to portion the ingredients somewhat equally, but you can adjust to individual taste.
  1. The Day Before:
  2. Clean turkey and remove the giblets
  3. Place turkey in a roasting pan that has a cover
  4. Premix the seasoning in a separate bowl
  5. Rub down the turkey inside and outside skin with olive oil
  6. Rub down the turkey again with the seasoning mix (see below)
  7. Cover and let it sit (refrigerated) overnight
  8. The Day of:
  9. Prior to cooking, let it sit at room temp for a few hours
  10. Bake (breast up) at 350 until temp inside the turkey gets to 165 (time varies based on size)
  11. Once at desired temp, take out of oven and let sit for a few hours to cool (note that the inside will continue to cook for a while)
  12. Suggestion: Separate the bird from the broth by using both the lid and the bottom of the pan ***KEEP ALL THE JUICE***
  13. Wash your hands real good and then begin picking the meat, placing the pulled meat (without skin/bones) into the broth
  14. Let it soak up real good and then serve from the pan it is sitting in or add to your serving dish

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

by Taylor Brunn My favorite part about The Holidays is the desserts. Baking is a family tradition passed down for generations. When planning our holiday meals, dessert is usually decided on first and is the most popular dish at the table!

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • For cream cheese frosting:
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease loaf pan
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking sda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Make a well and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, thoroughly beat together the eggs, sugar, puree, oil and water. Add to the well of dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 60—70 minutes but tent a piece of foil over the top halfway through (you need to pinch at the ends so it forms a dome and the bread can rise) to prevent the top from browning too much. Start checking the bread at 50-55 minutes and if it looks wet on top take off the foil to finish cooking. Cook until toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let the bread cool completely in the pan before removing
  6. Make the frosting by creaming the ingredients together
  7. Chef’s notes: I added pumpkin spice and less nutmeg. Once in a pan, sprinkle some more cinnamon and raw sugar on top before baking. After baking and cooling, drizzle icing and add more raw sugar.

Sicilian Rice Sticks

by Kathy Fotia Below is a family holiday recipe that has been in the Fotia side of the family for many generations. This has been a big treat that everyone looks forward to over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday. I vividly remember dating Jeff in high school and going to their house for a holiday visit and as soon as these rice sticks came out of the oven they were gone instantly.

  • 1 lb. rice (cooked)
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 3 tsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 heaping cup freshly grated cheese: 1/2 romano and 1/2 parmesan
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese cut in slender pieces (about 1 1/2" long)
  • Cracker meal or very fine bread crumbs
  1. MIX RICE AND POTATOES TOGETHER AND REFRIGERATE, OVERNIGHT
  2. NEXT DAY: MIX RICE AND POTATOES TOGETHER AND REFRIGERATE, OVERNIGHT
  3. ADD SEASONINGS, CHEESE, 5 EGG YOLKS AND 1 WHOLE EGG
  4. SAVE EGG WHITES FOR BREADING
  5. PLACE 1 SERVING SPOON OF MIXTURE IN THE CURLED PALM OF YOUR HAND AND PRESS THE MIXTURE DOWN WITH A SPOON TO FORM A SMALL INDENTATION IN THE RICE. PLACE A MOZZARELLA PIECE IN THE CENTER, THEN SURROUND IT WITH THE REST OF THE RICE IN YOUR HAND AND FORM IT UNTIL IT HOLDS TOGETHER
  6. PLACE EACH FORMED RICE STICK ON WAX PAPER UNTIL THEY AT ALL FORMED (approx. 25)
  7. DIP EACH ONE IN SLIGHTLY BEATEN EGG WHITES, THEN COAT WITH CRACKER MEAL
  8. LIGHTLY FRY IN 1 QT. HEATED OLIVE OIL AT 360 DEGREES UNTIL LIGHTLY BROWNED. PLACE ON PAPER TOWEL TO DRAIN
  9. FREEZES VERY WELL

Sweet Potato Pie

by Karen Lesch This is the thing I look forward to most and everyone in my family knows that the leftovers are MINE!

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into sweet potatoes. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
  4. Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add whipped cream if desired.

Spicy Autumn Crisp

by Annette Rothwell My family loves this dish because it so yummy, especially served warm! Also, being a dish from New England, it is a reminder to us of our ancestors in the Rothwell family that traveled on the Mayflower from England to Plymouth, MA and shared the very first Thanksgiving with the American Indians!

  • Topping:
  • 9 gingersnap cookies
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • Filling:
  • 3 ½ cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apples
  • 3 ½ cups coarsely chopped peeled Bartlett pears
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  1. Prep the topping:
  2. Food process cookies – pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form
  3. Combine cookie crumbs, sugars, & flour in med bowl
  4. Cut in butter with 2 knives until mixture is crumbly
  5. Filling:
  6. Combine apple, pears, raisins and rest of ingredients in large bowl and toss well
  7. Spoon mixture into 8” sq baking dish or 1.5 qt casserole
  8. Sprinkle topping onto filling and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Apple Cranberry Crunch

by Julie Smythe Apple Cranberry Crunch is the very first dish on the menu when our family is planning for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! Our family has been waking up to the warm cozy aroma of Apple Cranberry Crunch baking away in the oven for as long as we can remember. This is my mother’s signature dish. My brother and brother-in-law have been known to squabble over who has dibs on the last serving! They competitively tease each other too when mom is visiting to see who’s freezer she fills up the most with helpings inspired to tide them over until her next trip into town.

  • Filling:
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped, unpeeled McIntosh apple
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Topping:
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  1. Toss all filling ingredients in a medium size bowl. Turn into a buttered 13 x 9” baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl mix oats, pecans, brown sugar, and flour. Stir in melted butter until blended. Crumble over the apple cranberry filling; press down lightly.
  3. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes, or until topping is browned and filling is bubbly
  4. Serves 15-20 people as an accompaniment
  5. Serves 8-10 warm and topped with vanilla ice cream for dessert

Credits:

Created with images by Jennifer Pallian - "Apple Fruit Tart" • Jenni Peterson - "Wine cup and wine bottle" • Brigitte Tohm - "untitled image" • Pen Waggener - "Cranberries" • Monika Grabkowska - "Homemade bread" • dh_creative - "thankful from above table setting" • Einladung_zum_Essen - "broccoli potato casserole" • jules:stonesoup - "pecan crusted sweet potato-4" • danxoneil - "Turkey Thanksgiving 2013" • Element5 Digital - "untitled image" • Jorge Zapata - "Making Pasta" • ShebleyCL - "Pumpkin Pie Slices on Cutting Board" • tatiana.duiker - "apple crisp" • Alexander Mils instagram.com/alexandermils - "Slice of fruit pie"

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