Crystal Valley Blog

Have a Happy Throwback Thanksgiving!

POSTED November 16, 2021

Every November, Thanksgiving Day meals see a few traditional family favorites that are made practically only once a year. Some of those recipes are family secrets passed down from mothers and grandmothers to sons and daughters, and some are dishes with secret ingredients, known only to a privileged few. Take a look at these throwback Thanksgiving recipes and special ingredient sides to add to your annual festivities!

Family Recipes from Celebrity Chefs

It’s no stretch to think that famous chefs got started on the road to food love in their mother’s kitchens. We trolled the usual suspects to find the favorites of chefs who make a living putting recipes together for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

If you missed chef Fabio Viviani’s free online cooking class last week, we have some of his recipes right here. Choose from  recipe for roasted baby potatoes with parmesan and ricotta, crispy Italian sausage stuffing and/or a Michelin version of his caramelized Brussel Sprouts (this one by chef Wolfgang Puck).

©Matt Armendariz

This classic-made-modern take on the green bean casserole is as fresh as it is familiar. Chef Alton Brown ditches the traditional cream of mushroom soup and canned green beans, instead using real mushrooms, half-and-half and fresh green beans with garlic, nutmeg, and a crunchy onion and panko topping.

You might want to consider Andrew Carmellini’s Spicy Braised Escarole with spicy greens, crispy panko and a little oregano and for dessert, maybe Joanna Gaines Cranberry Pie or Apple Bread Pudding, just like Ina Garten’s! It’s a start-to-finish Thanksgiving menu of options!

Throwback to Yesteryear Recipes

s" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing from Grandma Ray Don’t Play is one of those throwback recipes that exist mostly in a relative’s head. She walks you through the entire process on YouTube with measurements like this: count to three as you pour and that’s enough.” The video is admittedly amateur and that makes it all the better. You may have trouble finding the stuffing spice, it’s called Bell’s Seasoning, but the end result looks SO moist and tasty good, we’re ready to try it, Grandma Ray!

Everybody has a favorite grandma recipe they guard with confidential zeal and this one has become a tradition for generations. It’s another good old-fashioned dressing recipe – Grandma’s Poultry Dressing. The secret ingredient here is bulk pork sausage which seasons the dressing perfectly, although some like to add an apple, sliced water chestnuts, and/or poultry seasoning. It may be a misnomer since it accompanies poultry instead of containing it – unless of course you use turkey sausage!

Grandma Moore’s Creamed Corn from the Food Network has two ingredients: fresh corn and bacon. They come together beautifully as the starchy corn cooks up into a creamy mixture and the bacon on top adds crispy, salty bites of goodness.

Mashed, Sweet, and Combo Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole is a classic topped with a scrumptious combination of cornflakes, pecans and marshmallows. This Southern living side is the perfect Thanksgiving casserole combining the sweetness of the tubers with crunch from the corn cereal and pecans. And don’t dare forget the marshmallows. Those puffy pinches of sweet confection are a must for this dish – and if you don’t use them all, keep a few for s’mores!

A dollop of this Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole is the perfect vessel for turkey gravy and may become a holiday favorite at your dinner table. The secret ingredient and technique is blending room temperature egg yolks and cream and stirring those – one at a time — into this dish. Once you make and bake, you also broil to brown the top.

This root vegetable mash is one way to add more veggies to your meal without adding more dishes! With russet potatoes, celery root, and parsnip boiled and mashed, one bay leaf, milk, butter and 

Three Chef Surprises

Chefs from the Food Network help jazz up three Thanksgiving Day meal perennials – pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole and cranberry relish with unexpected ingredients for a subtle spin on tradition. For a sweet and interesting twist to your usual sweet potato casserole recipe, try adding two roasted bananas. Bananas add a creamy sweetness and complexity of flavor. 

Another great way to perk things up is to add a little texture when you whip up your favorite cranberry sauce recipe with dried cranberries. They lend a surprising sweet chewiness, which complements cooked fresh cranberries. And what’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? To take this dessert staple from ordinary to extraordinary punch it up with a 3/4 teaspoon full of black pepper! Black pepper is a warming spice, so it blends nicely with other pumpkin pie spices.

Thanksgiving in Crystal Valley

Thanksgiving Day in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley means celebration meals, lots of turkey, sides, dessert, and fellowship with loved ones. Come and explore the new homes surrounded by nature and only minutes from the town of Castle Rock. With 10+ decorated models from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton, the diverse ranch or two-story designs are priced from the $400s.


Keep Me Informed about Crystal Valley

Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.

Download Brochure

Want to learn more? Simply fill out the fields below and we’ll send you a community brochure all about the Nature of Happiness here in Crystal Valley.

Keep Me Informed about Crystal Valley

Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.

Relocating to Colorado?

Schedule A Private Tour