Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it's time to start prepping for the ultimate holiday feast. We're talking mouthwatering turkey, sensational sides, and delicious desserts that'll leave your guests in awe. So, grab your apron, put on your chef's hat (or not), and let's embark on a culinary adventure that'll make this Thanksgiving the best one yet!

1. Perfect Roast Turkey

Let's start with the star of the show – the turkey! This recipe will help you create a golden, juicy, and tender masterpiece. 

- 1 whole turkey (12-14 pounds)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves

- Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).
- In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then rub the seasoned butter all over the turkey, even under the skin.
- Stuff the turkey cavity with onion, lemon, and garlic. 
- (I prefer to cook the stuffing/dressing separately in a baking dish)
- Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan upside-down - breast side down for 2 1/2 hours.  (This is how you can avoid using aluminum foil, which many people find undesirable due the leaching of aluminum into food)
- For the last 30 minutes, turn the turkey over (breast side up) for browning
- The turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C).

2. Vitality Cranberry Relish

Don't even think about reaching for that canned cranberry sauce! Homemade Vitality Cranberry Relish is the way to go.

- 1 bag of fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup water

  • Wash and rinse cranberries, removing stems.
  • Add maple syrup, cranberry juice and water to a large saucepan, and bring to a boil
  • Add cranberries and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Simmer on low for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes.
  • Add essential oils and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving

3. Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Cooking your mashed potatoes in the slow cooker makes everything easier!  This recipe for creamy and fluffy potatoes will become your favorite!

- 5 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (1/2-1 inch pieces)
- water to cover potatoes
- 1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. of Real Salt or sea salt 
- 6 qt slow cooker
- 1/4 tsp. pepper (optional)

- Peel and rinse potatoes.  Cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces and add to 6-qt or larger slow cooker
- Pour water to cover potatoes, but do not fill to the brim - leave at least 1/2 inch at the top
- Place the lid on slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 hours
- When the cooking time is up, strain the potatoes (dumping out all the water) than add the potatoes back into the slow cooker.
- Add the stick of butter to the drained potatoes, burying it into the potatoes while you set up a hand-held mixer.  Blend the butter into the potatoes on medium speed and then add the heavy cream, salt and pepper (if using it).  Blend until smooth and fluffy (avoid hitting the sides or bottom of your cooker with the beaters). 
- Taste test and add more Real Salt or sea salt (if warranted).
- Serve & Enjoy!

4. Classic Green Bean Casserole

This nostalgic dish will transport you back to your childhood Thanksgivings. 

- 4 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/3 cups crispy fried onions

- In a bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup and milk.
- Stir in the green beans and half of the crispy fried onions.
- Pour into a baking dish and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes.
- Top with the remaining crispy fried onions and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

5. Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving isn't complete without a slice of pumpkin pie. 

- 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
- 3 eggs separated
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream

- Preheat your oven to 450°F 
- Combine sugar, salt, pumpkin & essential oils
- Separate eggs, preserving egg whites, and beat the egg yolks well.  Add egg yolks to pumpkin mixture
- Add the sour cream.
- Beat egg whites well until stiff peaks form, then fold gently into mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 90 minutes.
- Cool and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Homemade Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    *Pro tip:  Put mixing bowl and beaters in freezer long enough to get them good and cold before mixing.
  • Beat cream,, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve
Ultimate Gravy

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup einkorn flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Real Salt or sea salt
  • 2 drops Vitality Sage essential oil
  • 1 drop Vitality Thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop Vitality Black Pepper essential oil
  1. Melt butter over medium heat
  2. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until mixture is light brown and smooth
  3. Slowly whisk in stock
  4. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, whisking occasionally
  5. Stir in salt and garlic powder
  6. Simmer, stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until desired thickness
  7. Stir in essential oils after it has cooled a bit, but is still warm.
Now you've got the ultimate Thanksgiving feast that'll make your friends and family sing your praises! Go on, get your apron on, and let the Thanksgiving magic begin. Enjoy your culinary adventure and, most importantly, have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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