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Irresistible Thanksgiving Recipes

November 1, 2023

The Florida Keys Home Teams FAVORITE Thanksgiving Items


1. Thaw the Turkey:

  • Make sure your turkey is fully thawed. It’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours of thawing time for every 4-5 pounds of turkey.

2. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).

Classic Roast Turkey Recipe


  • 12-15 pound whole turkey
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage) for the cavity
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth

3. Prepare the Turkey:

  • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity.
  • Rinse the turkey inside and out, then pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Season the cavity with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage), lemon quarters, onion quarters, and garlic cloves inside the cavity.

4. Season the Turkey:

  • In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, salt, black pepper, dried sage, and dried thyme.
  • Carefully loosen the turkey skin over the breast and legs. Spread some of the seasoned butter under the skin and rub the rest all over the outside of the turkey.

5. Truss the Turkey:

  • Truss the turkey by tying the legs together with kitchen twine. This helps the turkey cook evenly.

6. Roast the Turkey:

  • Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up.
  • Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the bottom of the pan to keep the turkey moist during roasting.
  • Cover the turkey with foil and roast in the preheated oven.

7. Baste the Turkey:

  • Every 30 minutes, baste the turkey with the pan juices. This will help keep the meat tender and flavorful.

8. Check the Temperature:

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the turkey’s internal temperature. The turkey is done when the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).

9. Rest and Carve:

  • Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes carving easier.

10. Carve and Serve:

  • Carve the turkey into slices, and it’s ready to be served with your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

Candied Yams Recipe


  • 4-5 medium-sized yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mini marshmallows (optional, for topping)


1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Boil the Yams:

  • Place the yam slices in a large pot and cover them with water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and cook the yams for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are slightly tender but not mushy.
  • Drain the yams and set them aside.

3. Prepare the Sauce:

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until it forms a smooth syrup.

4. Layer the Yams:

  • Arrange the cooked yam slices in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Pour the syrup mixture over the yams, making sure to coat them evenly.

5. Bake:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the yams are tender and the syrup has thickened.

6. Add Marshmallows (Optional):

  • If you like, remove the foil and scatter mini marshmallows over the top.
  • Return the dish to the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown and bubbly.

7. Serve:

  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Spoon the candied yams onto a serving platter, making sure to drizzle some of the syrup over the top.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


  • 12 ounces of Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of Orange


  1. Rinse the cranberries under cold water and remove and stems or debris
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, and sugar over medium heat
  3. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries start to burst. This usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken.
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat, and stir in the orange zest.
  6. Let the cranberry sauce cool before serving. As it cools, it will continue to thicken.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake


For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

  • Whipped cream for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Prepare the Crust:

  • In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan to form the crust.

Instructions Continued:

3. Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  • Add sugar and vanilla extract, continuing to beat until well combined.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • Fold the pumpkin mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth.

4. Assemble and Bake:

  • Pour the cheesecake filling over the prepared crust.
  • Smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the center is set.
  • Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar for about 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. Serve:

  • Once chilled, carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan.
  • Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

I hope that you enjoyed getting to know our favorite things to make when gathering with our family.

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Taylor Engel

Florida Native, living in the Florida Keys for over 20 years! Realtor, Property Manager, Animal Lover, & Consultant for Rodan + Fields Skincare!

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