Thanksgiving Recipes – Something Old & Something New

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a lovely, food and family-filled weekend. I think I gained about 3lbs, but totally worth it. Oliver and I spent Thanksgiving at my parents with a crew of 25. This is my favorite holiday, no question. It’s all about food, not presents, just family being together, eating and drinking! This year also featured the coming together of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (Thanksgivukkah) for the first time in about 200 years and it will not occur again for another 7000 years! We lit the Menorah and Oliver got to open some presents, so win for everyone.

Every year, my mom and I make one of my Grandma’s recipes in her honor, Grandma’s Yammas, a very un-Jewish yam casserole with marshmallows on top. Actually, are they yams or sweet potatoes?? They are orange. I can never seem to get the definitive answer, so please, jump in to correct me if you know. Our recipe isn’t exact, I know the ingredients, but i have never measured them out. Honestly, you just have to mix it all together and make it to your taste. This is a staple of our meal and I love them, not just for the nostalgia, but because they taste awesome.

Grandmas Yammas

Grandma’s Yammas – courtesy of my Grandma Bessie


  • 8-10 yams, cut in half
  • brown sugar (about 1/4 C)
  • butter (about half a stick)
  • orange juice (about 1/2 – 2/3 C)
  • crushed pineapple (about 1/3 C)
  • small marshmallows


Boil yams until they are very soft and the skins are almost falling off, this takes awhile. Drain and let them cool a little so you can handle and take the skins off. In a large mixing bowl, combine yams, brown sugar, butter, orange juice and crushed pineapple. Taste along the way so it is the right mix of sweet for you!

Grease a large casserole pan and spread in the pan. Sprinkle marshmallows on top. You can make ahead and refrigerate like this or just pop it in the oven at 350 until the yams are heated through and marshmallows are melted and golden brown.

This year, I also decided to make something new and I decided on Smitten Kitchen’s Mom’s Apple Cake. It was delish, but a touch overdone, complete user error. I would def make again and just be more mindful of cook time.

Mom’s Apple Cake – courtesy of Smitten Kitchen


  • 6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples 1 tablespoon cinnamon 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Add in walnuts and toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.

I would love to know your favorite recipes so I can put together the ultimate Holiday Menu! Please share!

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