MSJ’s Thanksgiving Buffet

The Turkey
Ways to cook the turkey:


Emilie’s Cheesy Bacon Deviled Eggs
12 eggs
1/2 cup of mayo
4 slices of precooked bacon
2 Tbl of finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbl of mustard

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool. Too cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold running water.  Meanwhile, cook precooked bacon in microwave (follow directions on the box).  Let the bacon cool then crumble it.  Peel hard-cooked eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayo, bacon and cheese.  Stir in mustard.  Fill egg white halve with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving.

**Tips – I used more bacon and cheese than this recipe called for.  My friends and family looove cheese and bacon, so I added a lot!  Also I seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Sam’s Bacon Wraps

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons of garlic salt or powder (whichever you prefer)
12 slices of bacon (you can use turkey bacon if you’re trying to cut back on fat)
24 long, thick pretzels

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cheese and garlic salt (or powder) in a shallow bowl and set aside. Cut the slices of bacon in half and wrap a piece around each pretzel. Swirl the bacon so that it starts at the bottom and ends at the top. Place each pretzel stick on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Back for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is browned. Take the bacon wrapped pretzels out of the oven and immediately roll bacon wraps in cheese and garlic mixture. Serve pretzels at room temperature.

Pumpkin Pie Dip
1 can of pumpkin
1 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the cream cheese and pudding thoroughly. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla and mix. Serve with ginger snaps or vanilla wafers.

Sam’s Baked Pizza Dip
1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-14 oz. pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup onion, minced
1-6 oz. can sliced black olives
1-4 oz. can mushrooms
Sliced pepperoni Sliced ham or Canadian bacon
Corn or tortilla chips

Press cream cheese in bottom of 9-inch glass pie plate. Spread pizza sauce over cream cheese and spread shredded cheese over pizza sauce. Spread on remaining ingredients as you would for a pizza. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Serve with corn chips or your favorite crackers.

Emilie’s Ham and Cheese dip
1 round loaf of bread (I think sourdough is best)
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz sour cream
4 oz can chopped mild green chilies, drained
4-5 medium thick slices of ham, chopped finely
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Hollow out the center of the round loaf. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Put mixture into bread; replace top of bread; wrap in foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.

Jodi’s 30 second spicy ranch dip
container of sour cream
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of ranch seasoning

Mix it all up and serve it with your favorite chip!

Sam’s 30 second sweet sugar dip
1 container of cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix it all up with a spatula and enjoy with pretzel sticks!


Jodi’s favorite spinach salad
1 bag of baby spinach (or regular sized)
1 cup of strawberries – halved
1 cup of pecan halves (toasting optional)
2 handfuls of goat cheese or feta cheese (your choice)
1 handful of real bacon bits (I like the Oscar Meyer brand – in the little bag)
Balsamic Dressing (I like to use Good Seasons brand)
Toss dressing in salad just before serving. Double if making for a crowd. For whatever reason – this combination of strawberries and spinach just works.  You can substitute walnuts for pecans, or red grapes (cheaper) halved instead of strawberries.  But be sure to use a good crumbly cheese.

Broccoli Salad  (Great to make ahead and refrigerate)

5 cups broccoli flowerets
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2  tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of bacon bits
Cook broccoli in boiling water to cover 2 minutes; drain.  Plunge into ice water, drain. Combine broccoli, carrot and cheese, toss gently. Combine mayo, sugar, and vinegar; stir well. Add to broccoli mixture, toss well.   Cover and chill (if desired). Sprinkle with bacon just before serving.  Double recipe if making for a crowd.
Easy Waldorf Salad   (must make ahead and chill)
3 Red Delicious apples, chopped
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup golden raisins (or whatever kind you have)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients.  Cover and chill at least 1 hour.  Makes 6 servings.  Double if making for a crowd.

Sam’s Dad’s Carrot Souffle
3 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 lbs sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup flour
6 eggs
1/2 lb margarine, softened
Powdered sugar

Boil carrots until extra soft. Drain well. While carrots are warm, add sugar, baking powder and vanilla. Whip with mixer until smooth. Add flour and mix well. Whip eggs and add to mixture, blend well. Add margarine to mixture and blend well. Pour mixture into a baking dish about half full as the souffle’ will rise. Bake at 350 for an hour or until top is light golden brown. Sprinkle top lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Sam’s Corn Souffle’
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 oz) package dry cornbread mix
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14.75 oz) can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, cornbread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish and bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven or until the top is golden brown.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
4 (lb) cans sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat potatoes in juice. Drain. Mash well.  Add sugar, butter, whiskey and enough milk till it’s the consistency of mash potatoes. Place in buttered casserole. Sprinkle pecans on top. Heat at 350 degrees until bubbling, then cover top with marshmallows and brown.
Serves 8-10.

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup margarine, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup margarine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, salt, sugar, vanilla, milk and margarine. Blend until smooth and pour into 9×13 inch baking dish. Prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, flour, pecans, coconut and melted margarine. Sprinkle mixture over potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray one 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, 1/4 cup butter, milk and vanilla. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, margarine and coconut; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cornbread Dressing

4 cups of crumbled cornbread (homemade or a mix)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
chopped onion (about a cup)
chopped green pepper (about a cup)
chopped celery (about a cup)
broth from the cooked chicken
whole chicken – cut up and boiled

Saute the onions, pepper and celery in butter. Boil a chicken (let it cool) and take the meat off of the bone. mix up the crumbled cornbread, soup, chicken and all other ingredients. Put in a casserole dish – the cornbread should be moist. Flatten it out across the top. Bake at 350 degrees until golden on top.

Sam’s Quick and Easy Rice Dressing
1 lb. ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can water
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup raw rice
1 can onion soup
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef. Add celery and bell pepper and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients and stir until it begins to boil. Remove from heat, pour in greased 2-qt casserole and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Cheesy Bacon Green Bean Casserole
1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 ozs processed cheese food, cubed
1 T real bacon bits
1 (4 oz) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 (15 oz) cans cut green beans, drained
1 (2.8 oz) can french-fried onions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Heat the undiluted cream of mushroom soup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the processed cheese and bacon and continue stirring until completely melted.  Remove from the heat, stir in the mushrooms, then the green beans until evenly coated. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with fried onions, leaving a 1 inch margin around the sides. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes in the preheated oven until heated through and bubbly. Check near the end of cooking to make sure the onions aren’t getting too brown.

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
2 (14.5 ounce) cans green beans, drained
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place green beans and soup in a large microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and heat in the microwave on HIGH until warm (3 to 5 minutes). Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and heat mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer green bean mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with French fried onions and remaining cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese melts and the onions just begin to brown.

The Original Green Bean Casserole
2 cans green beans, cut
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can french fried onions
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put beans and soup in a large microwaveable bowl.  Mix well and heat in the microwave on high until warm (about 4 minutes).  Still in a 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and heat the mixture in the microwave again for 2 or 3 minutes.  Put the green bean mixture in a casserole dish and sprinkle the french friend onions and another 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese on top.  Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the onions begin to brown.  Enjoy!

Feta Cheese Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (4 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese (feel free to add more if your a feta fan!)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 to make it healthier)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place the potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl; mash. Add the feta cheese, cream, salt and pepper; beat until fluffy.

Deluxe Mashed Potatoes
4 large potatoes
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use french onion dip instead for some zip!)
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Peel and cube the potatoes; place in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until tender; drain. Mash until smooth (do not add milk or butter). Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, chives, onion salt and pepper. Spoon into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter; sprinkle with paprika if desired. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 4 servings.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
6 turkey wings
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 cup water
2 quarts chicken broth, divided
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Arrange a single layer of turkey wings in a large roasting pan. Scatter the onions over the top of the wings. Roast in the preheated oven for 1-1/4 hours or until wings are browned. Place browned wings and onions in a 5 quart stockpot. Add water to roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the the water from the pan into the stockpot. Stir in 6 cups broth, carrot, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours. Remove wings from the pot and place on a cutting board. When the wings are cool, pull off the skin and meat. Discard the skin and save the meat for another use. Strain contents of stockpot through a large strainer into a 3 quart saucepan. Press on the vegetables to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the vegetables and skim the fat off the liquid. Bring the contents of the pot to a gentle boil. In a medium bowl, whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth; simmer 3-4 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the butter and pepper. Serve immediately or pour into containers and refrigerate or freeze.

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Nestle Carnation evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4 cup volume) deep dish pie shell
whipped cream (optional)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

This recipe is from Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin.

Apple Pie
6 cups thinly sliced apples
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

Prepare your pastry for a two crust pie. Wipe, quarter, core, peel, and slice apples; measure to 6 cups. Combine sugar and cinnamon. The amount of sugar used depends on how tart your apples are. Arrange apples in layers in pastry lined pie plate. Sprinkle each layer with sugar and cinnamon. Dot top layer with small pieces of butter or margarine. Cover with top crust. Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold.

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts

Beat together cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

Fudgey Pecan Pie
1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry shell
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
sweetened whipped cream (recipe follows)
pecan halves (optional garnish)

Prepare pastry shell; set aside. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter, add sugar and cocoa, stirring until well blended. Remove from heat; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup and salt. Add cocoa mixture; blend well. Stir in chopped pecans. Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool. Cover; let stand about 8 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves, if desired.

Sweetened Whipped Cream –
In a small mixer bowl, stir together 1/2 cup cold whipping cream, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until stiff. About 1 cup topping.

Mississippi Mud Pie
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
3 T light corn syrup
dash salt
1 T vanilla extract
3 cups coffee ice cream, softened and divided
1 cup chopped toasted pecans, divided
sweetened whipped cream

Chocolate sandwich cookie pastry shell–>
2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies crumbs (about 40 cookies)
2 T butter or margarine

Prepare pastry shell; set aside. Combine whipping cream and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over low heat; cook until chocolate melts.  Add powdered sugar and next 3 ingredients.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool.  Spread 1/2 cup chocolate sauce into pastry shell.  Freeze 10 minutes.  Remove from freezer, and spread 1 cup ice cream over chocolate sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup pecans; freeze 20 minutes.  Repeat layers twice. Cover and freeze at least 8 hours. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over pie.  Pipe whipped cream onto pie.

Decadent Mud Pie
1 (11 3/4 ounce) jar hot fudge sauce, heated and divided
1 (9-ounce) graham cracker crust
1/2 gallon coffee ice cream, softened
Frozen whipped cream topping, thawed
blanched slivered almonds, toasted

Spread 1/3 cup fudge sauce over crust. Spread ice cream over fudge sauce; cover and freeze until firm. Let pie stand at room temp 5 minutes before slicing. Cut into wedges.  Top each serving with remaining fudge sauce, whipped topping, and almonds. Serve immediately.

Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 graham pie crust (6 oz)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
2 pkg (3.4 ox each) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Beat cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread into crust. Whisk the remaining milk, pumpkin, pudding mixes and spices for 2 minutes. Mixture will be thick. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving.

This recipe is from

Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake
1 pkg (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans. Bake 28 to 30 mins or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 mins. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in whipped topping. Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. Do not frost top layer. Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; top with nuts. Refrigerate leftovers.

This recipe is from

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