Tag Archive for: Thanksgiving food

Clicking Our Heels: Thanksgiving – Our Special Memories

Clicking Our Heels: Thanksgiving – Our Special Memories

Thanksgiving holds special memories for each member of The Stiletto Gang. Some are personal memories of family, some of food, and some … well you be the judge.

 Donnell Ann Bell – Sweet potatoes. It’s the only time I make them because my husband doesn’t like them.

Lynn McPherson – Mashed potatoes. And butter. That’s all.

Saralyn Richard – My husband’s Uncle Hank was a master turkey-carver. He could get every speck of turkey from the bone without hacking the meat into shreds. He also prepared sweet potato casserole that was heavenly. Many have tried, but failed to replicate his Thanksgiving gifts.
Debra Sennefelder – I love Thanksgiving side dishes. Stuffing is my favorite!

Barbara J. Eikmeier – My mother-in-law always made a fresh cranberry salad with grapes, grated cranberries, marshmallows, and dream whip. It’s sour and sweet and oh so dreamy.

Linda Rodriguez – I am not a huge fan of the United States Thanksgiving holiday, since it originated in Pilgrims celebrating a massacre of a Native tribe that had helped them, but I just consider my Thanksgiving Day a continuation of the Cherokee traditional New Year which takes place normally in late September/early October.

Debra H. Goldstein – The only Jell-O mold I like. Between the nuts, cream cheese (?), candied fruit, cranberries, and other goodies stuffed into it, the texture and the color changed so I never remembered I was eating Jell-O.

Lois Winston – I’m a sucker for great turkey stuffing with gravy, but the stuffing has to cook inside the bird for optimal taste.

Dru Ann Love – When we were younger, we would go to my aunt’s house for T-day, but the best day was having Thanksgiving on the next day with my immediate family.

Shari Randall/Meri Allen – My mother’s family is Italian so the holiday feast has always included an antipasti platter and lasagna in addition to turkey and all the fixings. I remember the first time my husband had Thanksgiving with my family – the surprise on his face when he saw the lasagna! He quickly became a convert and all these years later, I wouldn’t dream of a holiday without lasagna, too.

Mary Lee Ashford – In our family, Thanksgiving is the big family get-together with all of the immediate family. My brothers and their wives, their children, and grandchildren. When I was younger, I was the only one still at home as my brothers were much older than me. Because of that, I was much involved in the preparations for Thanksgiving and I have great memories of time spent with my mom making the pumpkin pies, mashing the potatoes, and stuffing the turkey. Because there are so many of us, we now do more of a buffet style Thanksgiving dinner with everyone bringing a dish to share.

Kathryn Lane – I’m a little non-traditional about Thanksgiving food – lamb roast is my favorite.

T.K. Thorne – A childhood memory—Tasked with bringing the Thanksgiving dessert from the downstairs refrigerator at Thanksgiving, I ended up with two chocolate pies flipped upside down on the floor. In tears, I told my mother I had ruined Thanksgiving. I will never forget her response. She plucked up a spatula like an Amazon grabbing her spear, marched downstairs and carefully scooped up the chocolate pies, (leaving the layer that touched the floor to clean later).  Upstairs, she arranged the pie mess into rough wedges on separate plates and covered each generously with whipped cream.  Nobody knew the difference.  So now, when a crisis threatens to overwhelm me, I try to channel Mom’s “warrior” mode.






Turkey pileup on aisle 10!

 by Sparkle Abbey

Like most of the
world, we “canceled” our traditional Thanksgiving gathering. Instead, we celebrated
with only the family members we lived with, which was 2-4 people, and Zoomed
with the rest of the family.  And while the
size of the turkey was reduced from the typical twenty-two pounds to a paltry
ten pounds, one of us doesn’t know how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for less than
10 people. So we were left with a pileup of turkey, ham, stuffing, glazed carrots,
green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, corny cornbread, and
rolls. What to do with all that leftover food?

The truth is, you
can only eat so many boring ham or turkey sandwiches, right? Eventually, even
we have to get creative and transform those bland leftovers into something we want
to eat.
Plus, we need room in the fridge
for Christmas cookies and fudge. After a quick Google search, we actually found
a couple of recipes we liked, that was not only super easy to make but pretty
quick to throw together. Sorry, we didn’t take any photos of our actual dinners,
but we promise the meals were delicious!


Easy Shepard Pie
Serves 2


  • 1 cup chopped leftover
  • 1 cup gravy
  • 1/2 cup frozen
    mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup stuffing
  • 1 cup mashed


  1. Preheat over 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two
    ramekins with cooking spray.
  3. Combine chopped
    turkey with gravy.
  4. Layer equal
    amounts of ingredients in each ramekin in the following order:

        Turkey and gravy
        Frozen vegetables
        Mashed potatoes

  5. Place ramekins
on a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes
slightly brown.

Serve warm.


Turkey Tortellini

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive
  • 1/4 cup chopped
    sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly
    sliced celery
  • 1/4  cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced
  • 3 cups turkey stock
    or chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped or
    shredded leftover turkey
  • 1 (9-oz.) pkg.
    refrigerated tortellini of your choice
  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher
  • 1/2 teaspoon black
  • Shaved Parmesan



  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring
    often, until vegetables begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic. Stir for about 1 minute.
  4.  Add turkey/chicken stock and cooked turkey, and
    bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.
  5.  Add tortellini, and simmer until tortellini are
    cooked per directions on the package.
     Usually 6-7 minutes.
  6.  Stir in spinach, salt, and pepper. Remove from
    heat. Top each serving with shaved Parmesan cheese

Leftover Ham & Cheese Brunch Bake


  • 10 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper 
  • 4 cups of cubed bread (Crusty bread, like French bread works best.)
  • 8 ounces of chopped ham
  • 1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (Can be regular cheddar or white cheddar.) 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, thyme, & garlic powder.
  3. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Butter a large baking dish. Add bread and top with ham and cheese. 
  5. Pour egg mixture over the top.
  6. Bake until eggs are cooked through – approximately 45 to 55 minutes. 
  7. Reserve a little of the thyme for garnish and add it before serving. 

Note: The bake is even better if you make it the night before, cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight

Here are the links to the original recipes:



Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don’t tell the other neighbors.) 

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Happy Thanksgiving

When I was a child my Thanksgivings were spent at my grandparents. I attended two Thanksgiving dinners, one just a few hours later than the other. My paternal grandparents served a sit down dinner with tablecloths and polished silver. My maternal grandparents served a buffet with paper plates and a scramble for spare forks and spoons. One was polite exchanges and tales of relatives and friends long absent from this world. The other was multiple conversations all going at once, the worries and joys of those present bursting forth in a loud medley of voices. As a child I was eager to take it all in – including the food.

I’m from Oklahoma and my family’s food of choice is a variety of traditional Southern dishes with some Tex-Mex and barbeque thrown in for good measure. At Thanksgiving we have roasted turkey, baked ham studded with cloves, cornbread and sage dressing, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, green bean casseroles, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry relishes, Jell-O molds, homemade yeast rolls, a variety of pies (at least one being pumpkin) and iced tea.

Iced tea is a staple in the South. No household is without it. I grew up drinking iced “sweet tea.” You might have to reach a certain age to drink coffee, but “sweet tea” was deemed suitable for all ages. Babies were given bottles filled with the sweet, cold liquid.

Some time in the late 70s, the custom changed to unsweetened tea or artificially sweetened tea. But I’ve noticed in the last five years or so, “sweet tea” seems to be making a comeback. If you walk into a restaurant in Oklahoma today, you’ll be offered a choice. I sweeten my tea with Equal now, but I remember the sweet tea of my childhood with great fondness.

Sweet Tea

To fix sweet tea – boil about six or seven cups of water, then add three large Lipton family-sized tea bags. Let the tea seep for 20 minutes, remove the bags. Pour the still hot mixture into a pitcher containing 1 to 1 ½ cups of sugar. (I have heard of people boiling the seeped tea and sugar, but that’s not how I learned to make it). Stir well. Add cold water to make one gallon of liquid. We would make one or two gallons of tea a day, sometimes more if we were expecting company.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes is the following:

Cranberry Ring

1 pound of cranberries
1 orange, peeled
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup of drained pineapple
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup of sugar, or less according to taste
2 packages of cherry, or raspberry gelatin

Put orange and cranberries through food chopper. Mix orange-cranberry mixture with nuts, pineapple, lemon juice, apple and sugar. Dissolve gelatin in 2 cups hot water. When gelatin has cooled slightly, add fruit mixture and combine. Pour into molds and chill until set. Serves 12.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Evelyn David