Three EPIC Thanksgiving Recipes (AKA How To “Win” Thanksgiving Dinner)

Every fall I begin to notice a slow transition in my cooking to fall and winter flavors and ingredients. I always end up experimenting with new fall recipes. Some are fails, Apple Pie Cookies for one, but then there are those EPIC “wins”. I sound like such a bro.

No, but really, the idea for this post came about when I was asked to bring a salad to Thanksgiving dinner. A salad. Really?? I was a bit disappointed to say the least. But, then an idea popped into my head. I was going to make the MOST epic fall salad Thanksgiving ever saw. That would show them. 😉

How thankful of me… I know…. Terrible.

Anyways, I think I have found the perfect Thanksgiving salad (Thanks Tyler Florence) along with two other awesome, tried and true recipes you should try!

Recipe One: Tyler’s Fall Salad


Tyler Florence created my ideal, fall salad. Here is the recipe. The only changes I would make is to add some red onion and use blue cheese instead of parmesan. The Maple-Balsamic dressing sounds amazing. I have not made it yet, but I have all of the ingredients and will let you know how it turns out!

Recipe Two: Roasted Root Veggies

This is one of the first recipes I posted to the blog and it is still one of my go to’s, especially in the fall. Here is the recipe.

roasted root

There are so many variations on this, as you will see in the blog post, but in the fall I recommend the following: butternut squash, brussels sprouts, carrots, onion and possibly beats with curry powder, dried cranberries and almond slices. Check out the post for all of the details! Everyone loved it at Thanksgiving last year!

Recipe Three: Vita Nova Pumpkin Muffins

Now this recipe is near and dear to my heart. I definitely saved the best for last. I went to University of Delaware and spent three semesters in our student run restaurant, Vita Nova. We played every role whether it was the dishwasher, front of the house manager, wine sommelier, or (my favorite) chef. Vita Nova’s famous Pumpkin Muffins were everyone’s favorite. The recipe is not the easiest as it is completely homemade, but it’s so worth it.

pumpkin muffins


8 ounces butter at room temperature

2 2/3 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, cracked into a cup

1 pound canned pumpkin puree

2/3-cup water

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-teaspoon ground cloves

2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted* (optional)

2/3-cup raisins, either golden or brown (optional)

*to toast walnuts, pre-heat a convection oven to 300 degrees. Place the walnuts onto a sizzle pan and roast for 5 to 7 minutes, until they become slightly darker in color and become fragrant


1.Spray a 48-cup mini muffin pan with pan coating. Set aside.

2.Preheat the convection oven to 300 degrees. (If using a conventional oven, preheat it to 350 degrees.)

3.In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves.

4.Place the sugar and butter into the workbowl of the 12-quart mixer. Attach the paddle. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Stop the machine, lower the bowl, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a white rubber spatula.

5.Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next one. Then add the water and pumpkin. Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, however, the mixture may not be thoroughly smooth.

6.Stop the machine, lower the bowl and again scrape down the sides of the bowl using a white rubber spatula.

7.Lower the mixer to low speed, and then add all of the dry ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients have been incorporated, stop the machine, add the nuts and raisins, and mix briefly until the have been combined. Stop the machine and scrape it down again, then mix for an additional 30 seconds.

8.Using the black-handled ice cream scoop, fill the 48 tins-3/4 full. Bake for 10 minutes on a middle rack, then rotate the pan from front to back, baking for an additional 7 minutes. (If using a conventional oven, bake for 15 minutes, and then check for doneness.)

9.Transfer pan immediately to a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully insert a paring knife down the side of each tin, then turn each muffin on its side in order to cool.

Hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving and if you try any of these recipes out, you HAVE to let me know!

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