The holiday season is fast approaching, with families and friends across the country gathering together to celebrate. This joyous time of the year is often filled with conversation, laughter and lots of food.

Looking to make an impression on your family members this year? These recipes are sure to be conversation starters at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip 

This appetizer is savory, sweet and comes with a hint of heat. It’s the perfect start to a large Thanksgiving meal. 

The cranberries are perfect for the season and the hidden jalapeño gives it a unique twist. Coming from a family that can’t handle intense spice, this cranberry dip has been a hit at every family event.


  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper 
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • Salt to taste 


  • Chop green onion, cilantro and jalapeño into small pieces.
  • Put cranberries into a blender or chop them up.
  • Add all ingredients, except for cream cheese, into a bowl and mix.
  • Cover and store for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Spread cream cheese into a perring platter or plate.
  • Pour cranberry mixture over cream cheese and spread over cream cheese.
  • Serve with crackers and enjoy!

[Netflix continues its lackluster live action streak with ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’]

Hashbrown Casserole 

These crispy and creamy potatoes  might just outshine mashed potatoes altogether. There is nothing like some sizzling hot hashbrown casserole to complete your Thanksgiving plate.

I have a distinct memory of the casserole being brought out minutes before my family’s Thanksgiving dinner began to admire the crisp, baked top. We learned over the years that a few minutes in the broiler before serving the casserole creates the best crispy top.


  • 32 ounces of frozen hashbrowns 
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup onion, chopped 
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 8 ounces of sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Grease a baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Aunt Leanne’s Mac and Cheese 

There is a heated discourse about whether mac and cheese should have a crisp top or breadcrumbs, but this creamy, delicious dish will end any debate. You have not lived until you have tried this mac and cheese. 

Every year, this dish is always the first one gone at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The only downside is that you may not have leftovers, but you’re sure to have a full belly and a huge smile.


  • 1 box of corkscrew pasta 
  • ½ a Velveeta cheese block 
  • 1 bag of sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ a stick of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Pepper to taste


Pumpkin Bread: 3 loaves 

This pumpkin bread is a perfect dessert, appetizer or light breakfast to eat while watching the Thanksgiving Day parade. Nothing screams fall like some pumpkin bread.

This recipe is my grandmother’s, and she has been making it for as long as I can remember. It  has a special place in my heart. I hope other people who try the dish enjoy it as much as my family. 

Sift together:

  • 4 cups of flour 
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt 
  • 1 teaspoons of baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon of allspice 
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger 


  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • ⅔ cup water 
  • 4 eggs 


  • Use a beater to mix everything together.
  • Pour mixture into 3 greased loaf pans.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, check it after 50 minutes.
  • Enjoy!