Thanksgiving Throwdown

While searching my blog for Thanksgiving menu ideas I found so many great ones of years past, I couldn’t pick just a few of my favorites so I thought I would put them all in one post for you to pick and choose. I have been collecting these for years from sources like or The Pioneer Woman…..I love you Ree!

First up is what I am making this year instead of turkey. I recently had this on a trip I was on. Hubby and I both loved it and I thought to myself….this is what we are having for Thanksgiving!

Kosher Salt Encrusted Prime Rib


  • 2 cups coarse kosher salt
  • 4 pounds prime rib roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt


  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees F.
  2. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a layer of kosher salt. Place the roast, bone side down, on the salt. Season the meat with the ground black pepper and seasoning salt, then cover completely with kosher salt.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for 4 to 5 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees F.
  4.  Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes. This sets the juices and makes the roast easier to carve. (Note: Be sure to remove all the salt from the roast before serving.)

Slow Cooker Sweet  Potatoes


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes or yams (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted


  1. Place sweet potatoes in 2 to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Mix remaining  ingredients except nuts; spoon over potatoes.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very  tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook nuts in ungreased heavy skillet over medium-low heat 5 to 7  minutes, stirring frequently until browning begins, then stirring constantly  until golden brown and fragrant; set aside. Sprinkle nuts over sweet potatoes.

Au Gratin Potatoes


  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.
  6. Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful. Delicious!

Mashed Potatoes


  • 3-½ pounds Potatoes
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 dash Salt, Black Pepper, And White Pepper, To Taste
  • 1 whole Egg


  1. Peel potatoes, chop into large chunks, and cook until tender in well-salted water.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, saute chopped onion in butter for a few minutes, just to soften and sweeten the onion. Add minced garlic and saute one more minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Drain cooked potatoes. Add onions and garlic. Add cream cheese and milk. Whip really well with an electric mixer. Season, taste, and adjust seasonings. Let cool to just warm and add egg. Use mixer again to incorporate the egg.
  4. Put into a buttered casserole dish. Mashed potatoes can now be baked or placed into the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  5. To cook: Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove cover for last 10-15 minutes to get a nice golden crust. Remove from the oven. Cover. And set aside. These will stay hot for hours until ready to serve!

Cranberry Butter

  • ¾ cups Frozen Cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons  Grated Lemon Peel
  • 6 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 2 sticks Butter,  Softened And In Cubes
  1. Put cranberries, lemon peel and powdered sugar in  the bowl of a food processor. Pulse/chop until the cranberries are finely  chopped, occasionally scraping down the sides.
  2. Add softened butter to the  cranberry mixture. Continue chopping/pulsing until everything is incorporated, occasionally scraping down the sides.
  3. Serve at room  temperature.

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin  olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly  chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbs. rough chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs.  plus 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3  (8 1/2 oz. cans quartered artichoke hearts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy  cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 12 to 14 cups cubed day  old French bread
  • 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2 inch  cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with olive  oil.
  2. Steam the spinach and wring it out and finely chop it, set aside.  Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and cook until  golden brown (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning,  sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30  seconds. Add the artichokes and spinach and continue stirring for about another  2 minutes, set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, cream, chicken stock, lemon  juice, remaining Italian season, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Whisk  to combine. Add the bread, vegetable mixture, brie, 1/4 cup Parmesan and  parsley. Stir to combine. Let it rest until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Pour  the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese  and drizzle with 2 tsp. olive oil. Bake until firm in center and golden brown,  about 1 hour.

Mystery Pecan Pie



  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1  cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 oz.) package  of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 unbaked deep-dish (9- inch) pie shell
  • 1 1/4  cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all  topping ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine  cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg until combined. Pour into pie shell.  Top with chopped pecans. Pour topping over pecans. Bake for 45 minutes. Chill  and serve the next day.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at

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