Thanksgiving Recipes to Thrill Your Guests

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

It’s no big secret that being the family’s Thanksgiving host for the year can get a little hectic. Between the family being in town and having the weight of an entire meal on your shoulders, your life will definitely be a bit busier than normal. There are often times when people’s Thanksgiving Day is ruined by the craziness that is preparing Thanksgiving dinner.


For a holiday that has its roots so deeply embedded in a foundation of being thankful, spending time with family, and giving back, I have never heard people complain more. I do understand where they are coming from, though. The preparation can be grueling but there are ways, of course, to cut down on the stress of being this year’s host or hostess while still providing your friends and family with an amazing atmosphere and meal. To do this we are going to need to take Thanksgiving back to the traditions of our grandparents with these tasty recipes guaranteed to thrill even the pickiest of dinner guests!

First up, we have some fabulous turkey recipes, as well as a twist if you are up for breaking tradition this year and trying a delicious prime rib recipe! You can’t go wrong with these three different ways to cook up your Thanksgiving dinner’s most important component, the main dish.

Citrus Marinated Grilled Turkey

Lentils and Smoked Turkey

Arizona Rancher’s Prime Rib

Here are two ways to create the dish that holds Thanksgiving dinner together. With its tangy taste and ability to be paired with any side dishes, cranberry sauce is a must have for your dinner.

Cosmo Cranberry Sauce

Popping Cranberry Sauce

We all know that everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish is homemade stuffing. You can’t beat the comfort-food-feel of this special dish that only comes around once a year. This recipe will give you that same home style taste of grandma’s famous stuffing, with a twist that will leave people thinking you’ve just graduated from culinary school.

Dru’s Special Holiday Stuffing

Another staple of many people’s Thanksgiving tables is yams or sweet potatoes; and although it seem like there aren’t many ways to prepare these yummy vegetables, here is one that will surely delight!

Orange Coated Yams

One last side dish to try this season is stuffed pumpkin. Not something typically served at Thanksgiving dinner, stuffed pumpkin will add an autumn feel to your table and add tastiness to your spread!

Stuffed Pumpkin

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without the desserts, and pie has always been a go-to for all dinner hosts. Nothing is better than the smell of a freshly baked pie. Actually, I take that back. Eating that freshly baked pie is the only thing that can top the sweet smell they create. Here for you are two family favorite, tried and true recipes for the best kinds of pie to concoct for your meal!

Grandma Gertie’s Pumpkin Pie

Grandma Howard’s Apple Pie

Thanksgiving is a time of joy that should be spent with family and friends celebrating all that we are thankful for. It should NOT be a time of stress. So this Thanksgiving sit back, relax, and let these wonderful recipes do all the work for you!

And remember, Fill Your Plate has an endless number of recipes, including holiday ones! For Thanksgiving, we even have an entire category called “Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner.”



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Great Grandma Griffith’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

If I were to ask you what the best Thanksgiving side dish is, what would you say? Stuffing, right? Well that’s good, because the recipe I’m sharing is the recipe to my great-great grandma’s famous stuffing! Since Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, I thought it might be a good idea to bring out this recipe for the festive and tasty addition it could make to your holiday table!


My great-grandma Griffith, whose recipe this is, was a considered by many to be a ‘dynamo.’ She was proficient in so many things her family and friends couldn’t keep up! She was born Gertrude Berryman in South Shields, England in 1880, and moved with her family to America when she was a little girl. When she was young, she quickly mastered not only the art of cooking, but also embroidering, sewing, and knitting among other things.

On September 2, 1907, Gertrude married Moses Griffith, and they soon after had their only child, Margret. After raising her daughter to adulthood, Mrs. Griffith took on the daunting task of raising her two grandchildren, Margret and Matthew, until they were in their teens. My grandma (Gertrude’s granddaughter Margret), remembers her grandmother in her prime, “She was a housewife, and only five-foot-three, but she had more energy than any six people I knew.”

Gertrude raised her family through two of the most prominent wars in U.S. history, World wars I and II, all the while continuing to cook the best food the neighborhood had ever tasted. My grandma often tells a story of her life with her grandmother during the thick of World War II, saying, “We had to blackout the windows because we were in a region of Pennsylvania that was considered a target if the enemy ever reached the mainland. We had to make sure all the shades were down and there was no light showing through; but she made a game out of it and we never were afraid.”

My great-great grandma Griffith is a legend in my family; not only for her cooking but for the amazing and full life she led, as well. Her recipe that I share here has been in my family now for over a century, and has served us very well. I hope it can now serve you well, too!

Remember, Fill Your Plate has an endless number of recipes including holiday ones. For Thanksgiving, we even have an entire category called “Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner.”


Recipe for a 12lb turkey, adjust to fit turkey size

2-3 Loaves of white bread

1 Stick of butter

1 Cup of diced white onions

1 Cup of chopped fresh parsley

1 Cup of diced celery leaves

2 Teaspoons of thyme

A dash of kosher or sea salt

A dash of pepper


The night before making this dish, leave bread out as it should be slightly stale. First, cut bread crusts off if desired. Put pieces of bread, a few at a time, in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have crumbs just a slightly smaller than peas. The crumbs should not be too fine. Next, melt a stick of butter in a large frying pan with the heat on medium. Add diced onions, parsley, and celery leaves and sauté until everything is limp. Add two teaspoons of thyme and thoroughly distribute into mixture. Add a dash of salt and a dash of pepper. Start adding handfuls of breadcrumbs into the frying pan until all breadcrumbs are used or frying pan is full.  Make sure to stir the breadcrumbs as they are being added so they can soak up the butter evenly. Now, turn the heat down to low and cook the mixture until it starts to get ‘dry’. It won’t completely dry out because of the butter, but you do not want the mixture soaking wet.

To stuff the bird:

Clean out the cavity of your turkey with a moist paper towel and pat it dry with a different, clean paper towel. Do not pack the stuffing in, just fill it. Start by taking spoonfuls of your stuffing and just sprinkling them inside the bird until the cavity is filled. Make sure to stuff the turkey from both ends, including the neck. Cook the turkey in an oven normally. Enjoy!


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Nutty for Nutmeg

By Veronica De Lira, Arizona State University Nutrition Student


When people think of nutmeg it usually gets associated in one way or another with the holidays; however, much more exists to nutmeg than simply being known as a holiday spice. 

 The best part: we can uncover a variety of health benefits to nutmeg!



According to the history of nutmeg use goes way back to the 1st century, where it was a popular solution for medicine. 1 In Ancient India, nutmeg was seen as a remedy for, “headaches, fever, and bad breath,” and known for helping stomach problems and as good aphrodisiac as well. 1 While nutmeg is known for its medicinal qualities it is important to note that unhealthy consumption of nutmeg can lead to “poisoning as it is toxic” according to 1


Health Benefits and Characteristics


According to, nutmeg when consumed correctly can be beneficial to ones health in the following ways 2:


  • Serves as a pain reliever especially for joints
  • Helps maintain digestive health
  • Keeps the brain healthy
  • Rids the body of toxins
  • According to, “nutmeg can induce cell death in leukemia cells” 2
  • Can help insomnia


According to, “Consuming too much nutmeg can lead to serious health problems it is important that you consume with caution and in small quantities”. 2


How can I purchase nutmeg?


  • As a nut
  • Powder form


How do I cook with nutmeg?


When cooking with nutmeg it is often used as a spice to season or mix within the ingredients and very little is needed, as nutmeg can be strong.  Plus there are negative effects it can have if overused. Favorites that can incorporate nutmeg:


  • Eggnog
  • Bananas foster
  • Cheesecake
  • Coffee
  • Pastries
  • Oatmeal
  • Tea
  • Rice pudding


Recipe To Try


This is a good recipe that everyone will surely enjoy from by Gale Gand Nutmeg Cheesecake: 3


Nutmeg Cheesecake:




3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 pounds fresh cream cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (pulse whole graham crackers in a food processor)




Thickly brush a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 of the melted butter and place in the freezer to harden, about 10 minutes. When hard, repeat to make a thick coating of butter.


Adjust your oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese until fluffy and very smooth.  Beat in the extracts, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.  One at a time, add the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Pour into the prepared pan and place the pan on a double-layer sheet of aluminum foil, with at least 3 inches of foil all around the pan.  Fold the aluminum foil up around the sides of the pan.


Fill a roasting pan large enough to hold the cake pan with hot water to a depth of about 1-inch, then lift the foil-wrapped cake into the roasting pan, keeping the foil turned up so that it prevents water from overflowing or seeping into the cake.  The foil should not be closed over the top of the cake.  Be careful not to tear any holes in the foil!


Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and dry to the touch, though still a bit soft in the center, about 1 1/2 hours.  It should “shimmy” a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools.


Remove the pan from the water bath, remove the foil, and let cool at room temperature 15 minutes.  Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 hours before removing the cake from the pan.


To remove the cake from the pan, first remove the sides.  Cover the surface with plastic wrap.  Place a large plate over the cake, then flip the cake over and onto the plate, tapping if necessary to help the cake come away from the pan bottom.  If tapping doesn’t do the trick, try a blowtorch or stove burner to warm the bottom of the pan to loosen it.


Remove the pan bottom and evenly sprinkle the exposed surface with graham cracker crumbs.  Place a serving plate over the crumbs and flip the cake again so that the crumbs form the bottom crust and the top is covered with plastic.  Cover, refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before serving.




Photo Reference

“Unique Beverage Syrup Highlight: Nutmeg Facts & Trivia.” Amoretti Store Blog. 28 June 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


  1. “The History Of Nutmeg.” The History of Nutmeg. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


  1. “Health Benefits of Nutmeg | Organic Facts.” Organic Facts. 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


  1. “Nutmeg Cheesecake : Sweet Dreams : Food Network.” Nutmeg Cheesecake Recipe : Food Network. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


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All about the Ch Ch Ch Chia Seed

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

Yes, it’s the same chia seed you saw in those dorky Chia Pet commercials but you won’t forget the jingle! According to WebMD, chia is an edible seed that is grown in South America and dates back to the time of the Mayans and Aztecs. Today it can be found in most grocery stores and is used as a healthy ingredient that can be added to certain dishes. For example, these seeds can be included in recipes for pudding, bread, and smoothies, yum!


Chia seeds are a whole-grain food that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium, fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants and protein, among other things, and according to Aztec and Mayan legends, they pack a powerful punch when it comes to giving you energy. The two ancient groups were said to have used chia seeds as a kind of energy supplement before laborious tasks, so give them a try before your next workout and see how it goes!

It is also said that chia seeds help with weight loss, and although that has never been proven, they do absorb 10 times their weight in water which means when eaten they will make you feel fuller faster. All in all, the chia seed can add lots of nutrients to your diet in a new and interesting way, so the next time you’re at the grocery store pick some up and see what they can do for you; and if you need a bit of help figuring out what scrumptious creation to make with these little seeds, here are 10 recipes to get you started!

  1. Honey Wheat Bread with Chia and Flax
  2. Chia Seed Pudding
  3. Raspberry and Coconut Chia Pudding Pops
  4. Raspberry Lemonade Chia Drink
  5. Chia Crusted Salmon with Soy Bok Choy
  6. Mango, Coconut and Chia Seed Smoothie
  7. Chia Seed Jam
  8. Blueberry Oatmeal Chia Seed Muffins
  9. Healthy Multi-Grain Chia Waffles
  10. Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies

My personal favorite of the recipes above is the Superfood Chocolate Chip Cookies. While I haven’t tried it yet, it will be the first recipe I attempt with chia. The discovery of this unique food has left me thinking lots about chia!

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Krazy about Key Limes

By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern

When you think of key limes do you think of summer? Me too. But it turns out that in Arizona, key limes are in season in October and November! These little limes need a warm tropical climate to grow in, and Arizona, although not very tropical, is warm! Now, we don’t grow key limes commercially here, but we do have them available directly from some of our retail or direct-market farmers. Commercially marketed key limes are typically grown in places like Mexico and India, and in the United States we have some small growing operations in California, Florida, and like I said, Arizona.


Key limes are a great addition to holiday dishes, and even though it’s a little strange to have such a tropical-feeling fruit available in the fall, I think we should embrace it and add it to our list of favorite autumn ingredients. Maybe we can even make key lime pie a tradition at the Thanksgiving table!

If you can’t think of any recipes including key limes to make, I’m here to help! Here are 15 tasty key lime recipes ranging from meals to desserts that I’ve pulled together. Start trying them today so they will be perfected by the time your holiday guests arrive!

  1. Original Key Lime Pie
  2. Key Lime Danish Pastries
  3. Honey Key Lime Grilled Chicken
  4. Key Lime Fudge
  5. Key West Shrimp Boil with Key Lime Mustard Sauce
  6. Key Lime Spritz Cookies
  7. Key Lime Cake
  8. Key Lime Phyllo Tarts
  9. Shrimp and Florida Spiny Lobster Tails with Hot Key Lime Butter
  10. Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
  11. Key Lime Frozen Yogurt
  12. Fresh Key Lime Salsa
  13. Key Lime Cupcakes
  14. Grilled Salmon with Key Lime Butter
  15. Key Lime Blue Cheese Chicken

While Fill Your Plate might not have any specific “Key Lime” recipes, you should check out our dessert category section within the “recipes” tab and see the variety of citrus recipes, including ones for the holidays on Fill Your Plate!

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