Chai Eggnog Cookies

This was another recipe I had saved from Southern Living because it looked like a winner for holiday cookies – and it was! This got a lot of thumbs up. I made some without icing as well, and I think people with a bit less of a sweet tooth preferred that version.

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

I think these were the prettiest thing in our holiday baskets for sure, and SUPER easy to make in large volume. There’s no recipe here, bags of pretzel rods, melted chocolate chips – two bags of semi-sweet worked for one bag of pretzel rods – and decorative sprinkles. Once the chocolate has melted over a double broiler on low, dip the pretzels (I did need to spread the chocolate a bit with a spatula), put them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and decorate! They were fun to make and very pretty in clear cellophane bags.

Turtle Cookies

The first cookie for our holiday baskets was definitely a hit this year! This seemed to be everyone’s favorite, especially the chocolate lovers. It’s fairly easy, and you could probably get more cookies out of each batch than I did – I just made them a little larger. The original recipe, which came from an old Southern Living issue, called for chopped caramel squares, and they ARE delicious if you’re up for cutting up the candy. If not, I tried subbing butterscotch chips, and the cookies still got good reviews – even if they were no longer, “turtles.” As an aside, I did not modify anything in our holiday baskets, but you certainly could make these gluten free, though I’m not sure how well they would come out if you subbed out the butter to make them dairy free. Worth a try for someone who loves chocolate, though!

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Spiced Cranberry Sangria

This was an easy and festive holiday cocktail that was quite popular with our Thanksgiving appetizers! One of my friends shared this recipe from PBS, of all places, and I’ll definitely look through their recipe archives after this! The recipe below is as is, but I doubled it for Turkey Day, and would do that again when making this for a crowd.

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Make-ahead Turkey Gravy

Soon after we moved to the farm, we changed to hosting an open house, buffet style Thanksgiving. We love entertaining, and is there a better holiday for cooking in bulk than turkey day? That said, I was suddenly struggling with the timing of everything, and began trying to figure out what I could make ahead of time. Gravy was one of the first things to get done before the big meal – and with this method, I had stock to use on Thanksgiving itself. I’ve made gravy this way ever since!

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Cranberry Baked Brie with Biscuits

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for quite a while, and I finally decided to go ahead and try it for our Thanksgiving gathering this year. It is incredibly easy to make, looks beautiful on the table, and is absolutely delicious! I got the recipe from Delish, and made no changes other than to double the size of the brie wheel and thus the amount of biscuits.

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Apple Cider Brined Turkey

This is our go to brine for our turkey every year. It comes from a Cooking Light recipe in the mid-2000s and we love it. The measurements for the spices are just a guide – add more or less to taste. Just make sure you have a pot big enough for your turkey to brine overnight!

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Green Bean Casserole

I have a few Thanksgiving recipes that I haven’t ever gotten around to adding, and in the chance I lose them, I figured better to post them! As much as I love green beans, I cannot stand, “cream of xyz” soup in recipes. After mashing together a lot of different recipes, this one seems to do the trick, with a really nice, earthy flavor of mushrooms without the soup. With a caramelized onion topping tosses in breadcrumbs, is a nice take on an old favorite!

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