Let’s Blog Off - On Our Thanksgiving Tables

Posted on November 22, 2011 by Nora DePalma9 Comments

All set to feast? We can’t wait. O’Reilly/DePalma team members share the dishes that make Thanksgiving so memorable (and workouts so necessary).

Jen Datka: For the past several years I’ve been making Apple Honey Pie with Thyme for dessert. This year it’s being topped with homemade Maple-Rosemary Ice Cream, too

Erik Hoffer: My mom’s broccoli and cheese dish.

Mary Ann Blackburn: My favorite Thanksgiving recipe is Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping. It’s from my college roommate Linda (the roommate who actually cooks, not the other one). FYI, I am only allowed to use recipes at my house that have been made and recommended by Linda. This comes after several “experiments” with new recipes that didn’t go so well. As requested by my family.

Nora DePalma: Sausage stuffing, my mom’s recipe. With NO fruit. Do you hear me, Jim?


Jim Datka: World’s greatest gravy. Look for TWO fruits in your stuffing this year, DePalma.

Heather McCune: Cranberry Salad with Whipped Cream/Cream Cheese dressing. As light and luscious as it sounds.

Kelly Morris: I was given this Thanksgiving recipe 43 years ago when I was just a newlywed and it has been used in my kitchen since the day I said I do.  This is why I enjoy the holiday so much. Bon Appetit

Recipe for Thanksgiving

1. Prepare the table with your finest dishes, silverware, tablecloth and a beautiful centerpiece

2. Take time for yourself before the meal by taking a long hot bubble bath accompanied by some bubbly

3. Slip into that sexy black dress you have been saving for a special occasion

4. Dab a little of that expensive perfume you have been saving

5. Light the candles

6. Call the store from which you ordered your meal

7. Sit down and enjoy!

Have a safe, wonderful enjoyable holiday from all of us to you and yours.

PS: Download the recipes for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping, Honey Apple Pie With Thyme, and Maple Rosemary Ice Cream.

Read about more Thanksgiving food, fun and memories among this week’s Let’s Blog Off contributors. Learn more about Let’s Blog Off.

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  • Todd Vendituoli

    November 22, 2011 — 6:51 am

    My wife’s Aunt had the same recipe for Thanksgiving as Kelly. It was always fun and she was very relaxed about the whole holiday!

  • Joe Freenor

    November 22, 2011 — 9:42 am

    I enlisted in the Army in 1963. I had worked in restaurants as a dish washer for a number of years, liked kitchens, and wanted to be a cook. Everyone thought I was crazy. On the basis of my entry exams, I qualified for the Officer Candidate School test. I told them I didn’t want to take it because I wanted to be a cook. They told me I was crazy and that I was required to take the test. I passed it, and they told me I could go to OCS. I told them I wanted to be a cook, and they told me I was crazy. I said if I liked the Army, I would re-enlist and enter OCS at that time, but if I didn’t like it, I would at least have a skill. So I became a cook, hated the Army, and left in 1966 with a skill I have enjoyed ever since. The “trauma” of Thanksgiving has never affected me, because I once made this meal for 500 men, so a dozen or so is a walk in the park. To this day I love kitchens and love cooking, especially Thanksgiving, when I have the opportunity to do it.

    But that said, I have to say that Kelly’s recipe works too!

  • Lisa Woodward

    November 22, 2011 — 9:57 am

    Can you post Jim’s World’s Greatest Gravy recipe! I struggle with making gravy every year and I refuse to buy the “gravy in a jar!” Thanks much!

  • Kelly Morris

    November 22, 2011 — 12:16 pm

    Jim, I agree with Nora on the “no-fruit” I make a “mean” Sausage Dressing with homemade cornbread and have never put any fruit in it. I have had to double the recipe over the years because we never have any leftover.

  • Joel Williams

    November 22, 2011 — 1:13 pm

    While I struggle to cook for eight fickle eaters, I can’t imagine the pressure that Jim must have faced to cook for hundreds of hungry — and armed — men. It’s not so much the preparation, but the timing of the different dishes that always throws me off. Meanwhile, one of my favorites — and you should all know I have many — is Spinach Squares. My goal this year is to convince my girls that all of the nutritional value of the spinach has been negated with the cheese and butter.

    Spinach Squares
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pound shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
    • 1 tablespoon minced onion

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place butter or margarine in a 9×13 inch baking dish and melt butter in oven. Remove when melted, approximately 3 minutes.
    3. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Mix in flour, milk and baking powder. When the dough is well combined, mix in cheese, spinach, and onion. Spoon mixture into the baking dish with melted butter.
    4. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool 45 minutes then cut into bite-size squares.

  • Paul Anater

    November 22, 2011 — 3:04 pm

    Nora, I too am offended by fruit in stuffing. Stuffing is supposed to be savory, not sweet. Geez!

  • Kelly Morris

    November 23, 2011 — 11:12 am

    Joel, I am on the same page as your girls anything square better be mixed with chocolate, sugar and butter…..good grief Spinach???? No wonder your girls are picky eaters give them something good would ya!

  • Kelly Morris

    November 23, 2011 — 11:13 am

    Another thing Joel, there just isn’t enough cheese and butter in this world to cover the taste of Spinach!

  • Nora DePalma

    November 23, 2011 — 3:32 pm

    Lisa, I’ve been trying for 24 hours to get Jim to give me some gravy tips. He just keeps shrugging and saying he just does it, no secret. Which makes me think there is a secret! Kelly, my Mom made those spinach squares Joel is referencing. They are soooooooooooo good. You are missing out! Joe and Todd, thank you for commenting. Great story, Joe. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

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