Thanksgiving Favorites: Recipes We Love

It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means in between making festive jewelry for the holidays, we’re planning for this year’s big meal. Every family has their own favorite recipes and traditions for this holiday. Some are all about the turkey while others prefer ham. Maybe your family can’t live without sweet potato casserole or perhaps they just have to have pumpkin pie (or all of the above!). As you plan, prep, and search for the perfect recipes for your Thanksgiving, we thought we’d share some of our Thanksgiving favorites.

Our email marketing specialist Katie has a few favorites for a festive Thanksgiving:

We always serve a big crowd at Thanksgiving and we like plenty of variety, so many of the side dishes that have become our favorites over the years are quick and easy so that we can make more of them. After dinner we always do some type of craft. We’ve made everything from jewelry to Christmas wreathes.

Watergate Salad was one of the first things to disappear when I was a kid. It’s easy to see why since the two main ingredients are pudding and Cool Whip! It was a special treat reserved just for Thanksgiving. You can find the recipe here:

As we got older, we gravitated toward two other favorites. One is Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish which is loaded with flavor and goes perfectly with turkey. It’s only three ingredients. You can find the recipe here:,-Sides-Salads/Fresh-Cranberry-Orange-Relish.aspx

The last recipe is Kiwi Orange Ginger Fruit Salad, and it’s the current favorite:

Kiwi Orange Ginger Fruit Salad Recipe

Kiwi Orange Ginger Fruit Salad

  • 1 can Mandarin Oranges
  • 5-6 Fresh Kiwi
  • Several Candied Ginger Slices (adjust to your taste)
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Water


  1. Drain oranges and add them to a bowl. Cut up the kiwi into bite sized pieces (rounds or half-rounds look prettiest) and add to the bowl.
  2. Dice up the candied ginger into tiny pieces. You’ll be eating them in the salad later, so make them small enough that people don’t get a giant spicy ginger surprise. If you really like ginger, you can add extra ginger slices.
  3. Add the diced ginger, sugar, and water to a saucepan. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved into the water.
  4. Pour the ginger syrup over the fruit and stir to coat. Let sit for several hours for the flavors to meld (it’s best the next day).
  5. Serve with a slotted spoon so that the syrup drains from the fruit.

Becky, our copywriter and content specialist, loves traditional recipes for Thanksgiving, but she always tries to put a little twist on them to make them her own:

 One of my family’s favorite side dishes is stuffing. A fun way to make your stuffing stand out is to bake it in a pumpkin!

Thanksgiving Stuffing in a Pumpkin

The recipe I use has gruyere cheese, French bread, bacon, and green onions in it. I mix the ingredients for the stuffing together and bake it in a hollowed out pumpkin for two hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I keep the top of the pumpkin on and then remove the top 30 minutes before it is done to get that top layer nice and browned). Baking it in a pumpkin adds even more flavor and looks great on the table. You could easily adapt this method for your favorite stuffing recipe.

Another wonderful dish that makes a beautiful presentation is baked pears.

Baked Pears with Gorgonzola and Honey

I like to halve my pears and drizzle them with honey to bake for 10 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I fill them with Gorgonzola and chopped walnuts. This is a great dish to serve as a first course or even alongside all of your other dishes.

Artbeads Designer Cheri shared some delicious classics we think you’ll love:

My mother began making this carrot recipe when I was in high school and it quickly became everyone’s favorite and a tradition not only on Thanksgiving but Christmas and Easter, too. It is even better the next day, so we make plenty for leftovers:

Special Carrots

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves
  • ½ large onion
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 T butter
  • ½ t dill weed


Peel the carrots and slice ¼ inch thick. In a pan, combine carrots with celery, diced, including the leaves, diced onion, and the wine, sugar, butter and dill. Cook covered until tender.

My family also loves this recipe for sweet potatoes:

Candied Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 T water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pecan halves


Cook un-pared scrubbed sweet potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes. Cool.  Peel and halve lengthwise. In a shallow baking dish, place the butter, corn syrup, water and brown sugar. Arrange the potatoes on top, with cut sides down, then add the pecans. Bake, uncovered, basting occasionally, at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until well glazed.’s CEO and co-owner Devin Kimura loves his mom’s yummy yam dish for Thanksgiving:

I don’t know the exact recipe, but she does apply her artistic background to this dish.

A Yummy Yam Dish for Thanksgiving

For sure, it includes everything you see here plus lots of maple syrup.

These are just a few of our Thanksgiving favorites here at Artbeads. If you crave even more Thanksgiving inspiration, check out our Thankful for Harvest Time Pinterest board, where we share recipes like these, craft ideas, jewelry inspiration, and more. Feel free to share your favorites with us in the comments below – we love hearing from you and who doesn’t love discovering new ideas for the holidays? We hope your Thanksgiving is filled with food, fun, and family.

Happy beading and baking!

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