Thanksgiving Food Favorites

by - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

With Thanksgiving a mere day away there are so many things I am excited about and many more things that I am extremely thankful for. One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving is being able to be surrounded by the people that I love. I am so thankful for my family and everything they do for me every day. Being able to share that with them makes Thanksgiving even more special. But let's be honest here, I am overly excited about the Thanksgiving food we will be cooking and enjoying as well! I have a few Thanksgiving favorites that are always required in our household for Thanksgiving or I might throw a fit. Seeing as I am no chef it is a feat that I a) have recipes for these b) can actually make these 100% on my own. GO ME!!!

Sweet Potato Casserole
I am a sweet potato lover through and through! Add some more sweet marshmallows to it and you've won me over! This may just win the spot for my favorite Thanksgiving side....along with the fact that it's simple to make!
Here's what you'll need...
- 5-6 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 package of miniature marshmallows
Set the oven to 350 degrees
Once you have boiled the sweet potatoes for approximately 15 minutes, drain the water. Once this is done mash in the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice. Be sure it is all mixed in together. Then, spread it evenly into a greased pan (we use 9x13). Top it with marshmallows. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (or until the marshmallows are golden brown).
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Let it be known that I love anything and everything pumpkin. So, when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to add this to our Thanksgiving menu. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! I made it for the first time last year and it was a huge hit with my family! it was the perfect after dinner dessert.
Here's what you'll need.....
- 1 package of plain spice cake mix
- 1 package of vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup pumpkin (I just buy the canned pumpkin)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Cream cheese icing (I bought vs. making it last year!)
set oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin, oil, water, eggs, cinnamon, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on high speed for two minutes.  The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into a lightly greased pan and let it bake for 32-35 minutes.  Once the cake has cooled frost with cream cheese frosting.

Green Beans with Vinaigrette
Now I will be the first to tell you I'm not the biggest fan of greens...of any kind, but I love crispy French green beans! These are a great green side for Thanksgiving.

Here's what you'll need.....

- 2lbs. French green beans with the stems cut
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

You will need to steam the green beans for approximately 8 minutes, then place in ice water to cool. While they are cooling mix all of the other ingredients together in a bowl. Once the green beans are cooled pour the mixture over the beans. I eat mine warm, so I heat mine before serving.

Those are some of my favorite (and easy) Thanksgiving recipes! If you're still looking for that extra side dish or dessert I highly recommend these to you!
Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!
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Written by Emily from Life with Emily

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