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Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start planning a menu for your family’s Thanksgiving feast. Here are several of my choice recipes to get started. Enjoy.


(Our favorite)

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

10 cups dry bread cubes

1 cup snipped parsley

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

4 teaspoons shredded orange peel

2 teaspoons marjoram, crushed

1 teaspoon thyme, crushed

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 cup water

1 (12-14-pound) turkey

Maple glaze: Combine maple syrup, Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons butter and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter melts; set aside.

Stuffing: Combine bread cubes, parsley, onion, orange peel, marjoram, thyme, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

Stir together 1/2 stick melted butter, eggs, orange juice and water in a small mixing bowl. Toss with bread mixture and if necessary, add more water for desired moistness.

Preheat oven to 325º. Season body cavity of turkey with salt and pepper. Spoon some stuffing into neck cavity. Skewer neck skin to back. Spoon more stuffing loosely into body cavity. (Do not pack stuffing too tightly or it will not get hot enough by the time the turkey is cooked.) Tuck drumsticks under tail skin or tie to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Transfer any remaining stuffing to a casserole; cover and chill in refrigerator. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast turkey about 4 to 5 hours until nicely browned. Cut band of skin between legs after 3 hours. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, uncover turkey and brush with maple glaze. Bake casserole of stuffing alongside turkey the last 40 to 45 minutes of cooking time. When done, remove turkey from oven; cover. Let stand 20 minutes before carving. Remove stuffing from turkey; transfer to serving dish. Carve turkey; serve warm. Yield: 12 to 14 servings.



2-3/4 cups self-rising cornmeal mix

1-3/4 cups nonfat buttermilk

1 large egg

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 tablespoon olive oil

1-1/4 cups celery, diced 1/2-inch

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

3 strips turkey bacon, cooked

1-1/2 cups sliced scallions

3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

3/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach leaves

1 (14-1/2-ounce) can no-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Cornbread: Preheat oven to 350º; grease 9-inch square baking pan. Whisk all ingredients in large bowl; spoon into pan. Bake 30 minutes, until wooden pick tests clean. Invert onto rack and cool. Cut into 3/4-inch diced pieces; place in large clean bowl. Let dry overnight at room temperature.

Vegetables: Preheat oven to 350º. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add celery and bell pepper; cook 8 minutes. Add chopped bacon; cook 2 minutes. Add scallions, sage, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper; cook 4 minutes. Add spinach; cook until wilted. Add to bread with broth; toss to moisten. Spoon into 2-1/2-quart baking dish; cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 minutes until lightly toasted. Yield: 12 servings.


6 pork chops, 3/4 inch thick

Salt and pepper to taste

Flour, to coat the chops

Hot shortening

1 large package frozen lima beans

1/4 cup chopped onion

1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

Scant teaspoon sugar

Coat and season pork chops with flour, salt and pepper. Brown on both sides in hot shortening. Place lima beans in casserole dish; sprinkle with onion. Place chops on beans and top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake, covered, at 325º for 1-1/2- hours until chops are tender. Yield: 6 servings.


5 pounds sweet potatoes

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur, orange liqueur or milk

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash sweet potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Bake at 350º on a foil-lined baking sheet about 1-1/4 hours or until tender. Cool slightly.

Cook and stir pecans, granulated sugar and the 1 tablespoon butter in a small heavy skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until sugar melts and turns golden brown. (Do not overcook.) Immediately remove from heat and spread nut mixture on a greased baking sheet or foil; separate into clusters. Cool completely and chop into small pieces with a knife; set aside. Scoop pulp from baked sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl, discarding peel. Mash by hand or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in liqueur or the milk, the 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Beat until fluffy. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Just before baking, sprinkle with candied pecans. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 12 servings.


6 medium-sized sweet potatoes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sage

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

About 1/2 cup milk

Vegetable oil for frying

Bake sweet potatoes at 400º for about 1 hour. Let cool. Cut each sweet potato into 6 wedges. Stir together flour, sage, cayenne, thyme, salt and pepper. Dip each sweet potato wedge into the milk and then dredge thoroughly in the seasoned flour mixture. Heat oil to 350º. Deep-fry wedges, without overcrowding, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve. Yield: 8 servings.


Mix together:

2 cups sugar

1-1/4 cups salad oil

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups canned pumpkin

Blend well and add:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup cherries, cut up

1/2 cup raisins, cut up

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Sift together dry ingredients; add to creamed pumpkin mixture, blending well. Add the cut-up fruits and gently fold into batter. Bake in lightly greased Bundt or angel food pan at 350º for about 1 hour or until tester inserted in cake comes out clean. Let stand on rack to cool for a short time; remove from pan and place on rack to cool completely.


(Iced cake will stay moist for a week if left in pan and sealed tightly with foil.)

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

2 sticks butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Pecan Icing (recipe below)

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside. Combine water and butter in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into dry ingredients, beating constantly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk; add buttermilk mixture and vanilla to chocolate mixture, beating well. Pour batter into greased and floured 15-by-10-by-1-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 325º for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread Chocolate Pecan Icing over warm cake. Cool completely and cut into 1-1/2-inch squares. Yield: 48 squares.

Chocolate pecan icing:

1 stick butter or margarine

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup cocoa

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped

Combine butter, milk and cocoa in a heavy saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread hot icing over cake. Sprinkle top with chopped pecans.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send your email to, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you.