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Thanksgiving Recipes & Decorations

Thanksgiving is coming up so quickly this year! It seems like just yesterday was Halloween, some of you may still have your decorations up in the yard.

Here at Just Like Family, we love a good Thanksgiving meal. It brings everyone together around a shared common interest: food! It’s a great way to get everyone thinking about the present and what they are grateful for, right before the rush of Christmas and the winter holidays comes along.

If you’re like us, you can’t wait to start making that delicious stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. We have some fun recipes that are a little different from the usual, along with a few decoration ideas to make your space feel festive.

At the bottom of the article, we also have links to a few of our other Thanksgiving-themed posts that include tips for not going crazy during the holidays and more fall decorations and recipe ideas.

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie

We’re starting with dessert! Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie are two favorites for this holiday, so why not combine them?

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Bacon Cheddar Chive Petite Scones

Don’t force yourself to eat plain rolls this year. Spice things up with these scones that have bacon, cheddar, and chives.

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Stuffing Cupcakes

These stuffing cupcakes are so cute! Use stuffing for the base and mashed potatoes with gravy for the “icing” part.

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Apple Cider Moscow Mule

Have a little pick me up ready for the big day with this made-for-fall drink recipe.

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Apple Pie Turnovers

Too full for dessert? These bite-sized apple pie turnovers are just small enough that you won’t feel too guilty about eating them.

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Maple Bourbon Tamarind Toast Turkey

Of course we can’t forget the turkey! To spice things up from the traditional turkey, add a bit of maple, tamarind, and bourbon.

Bonus!

If you haven’t seen our other holiday related articles here are a few you should check out. They cover topics like staying sane during the holiday rush, decorating ideas, recipes, and more.

How to enjoy the holidays without going crazy

Thanksgiving recipes

Age-friendly Thanksgiving

Fall decorations


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Fun Family Halloween Recipes

We can’t wait for Halloween to get here! It’s the first taste of slightly cooler weather down here in southwest Florida, and a chance to dress up and make some spooky treats. Have a loved one in town? Plan a baking party or throw a Halloween bash with them.

We put together some fun Halloween treats you, the kids, friends, and other family members will enjoy eating and making.

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Spiced Chocolate Bat Cookies

Chocolately little bat cookies with a hint of spice

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Cheesecake-Stuffed Baked Apples

Baked apples. Check. Stuffed with cheesecake? Oh yeah!

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Meringue Ghost Tartlet

You won’t want to eat these ghosts, they’re too cute!

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Halloween Marshmallow Pops

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Frightful Fruit Kebabs

A healthy Halloween treat for everyone.

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Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake

Everyone will rave about this cake. You’ll be the hit of the party!

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Caramel Apples

Don’t get stuck with plain old caramel apples. Spice them up!

Short History of Caramel & Candy Apples

Who thought to put sweet stuff around apples? Well it’s said that in 1908 William Kolb created the first candied apple by combining red cinnamon candy and an apple to sell for Christmas.

In the 1950s, Kraft Foods invented the caramel apple. This was yet another holiday candy experiment where employee Dan Walker took excess caramel, melted them, and added it to apples.

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Graveyard Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

Spooky, yet oh so delicious.

 

Be sure to check out our previous articles on Halloween.

DIY Halloween Party Decorations

Halloween Movies That Aren’t Too Scary

Fun Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween Costumes for Seniors


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Summer recipes you can’t wait to try

Summer is a time for the beach, swimsuits, and backyard BBQs. With July 4th coming up soon, you need some delicious summer recipes and drinks to bring to the bash. Get ready to impress your friends with these tasty appetizers, meals, desserts, and beverages! Once you see the recipes below, you won’t want to wait ’til July 4th to make them.

Some of these dishes take just 15 minutes to prepare and require no cooking (Watermelon Feta Skewers) while others will take a bit more time and energy to get everything ready (Grilled shrimp tacos). Be sure to read the recipes and decide whether you want to make these dishes on the day you plan to eat them or the day before.

If you plan to have your BBQ out on the beach without much shade, don’t let the sun and a sunburn ruin your day. Read our article on sun safety so you keep safe all day long.

Now onto the recipes!

Appetizers

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Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers
Impress your friends with these intriguing summer-friendly appetizer that take ust 15 mins to make. (Bites of Bri)

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Tex Mex Fresh Corn Dip
This creamy, cheese corn dip has a touch of spice and goes perfect on any chips. (Five Heart Home)

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Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze
A sweet and savory mixture that your friends will love. (Foodie Crush)

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BLT Sliders with Basil Ranch Mayo
Tasty little bites of BLT with a hint of basil. (Mom by the Beach)

Entrees

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Best Homemade Chicken Strips Ever
Make your own strips, you’ll love them! (Buter with a Side of Bread)

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Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wrap
Add a little Hawaiian style to your BBQ chicken (Tastes Better From Scratch)

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Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers
The perfect grilling recipe! (Jo Cooks)

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Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos
For the seafood lovers (and taco addicts!) (The Healthy Maven)

Desserts

Sand-pudding

Sand Pudding Cups
Cute little puding cups that are beach inspired. (Food Fun Family)

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Strawberry Kabobs
Because who doesn’t love things on a stick? (Sugar Apron)

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Classic Oreo Icebox Dessert Nice and cool for a hot summer day. (The Kitchen is My Playground)

Beverages

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Mango Green Tea Lemonade
So many flavors in this tasty summer drink (Strawberry Blonde Kitchen)

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Southern Sweet Tea
A must have for any backyard (or beach) BBQ (The Country Cook)

 


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Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is a time for romance, fancy dinners, and lots of tasty heart-shaped treats! If you’re hoping to make a great impression on your loved one for the most romantic day of the year, you can’t go wrong with baking some delicious treats. We recently did a blog on homemade Valentine’s Day gifts, which included a few baked goods. But now we want to go further. We’ve got the recipes you can’t resist. The trouble will be in picking just one to make.

Alright, let’s get to the baking!

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Chocolate Dipped Krispie Treats {Heart Shaped!}
Mels Kitchen Cafe

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Mozzarella Cheese Filled Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Hungry Happiness

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Valentine’s Day White Chocolate Bark Bites
No. 2 Pencil

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Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownies
Kevin and Amanda

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Love from the Oven

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Valentine’s Apple Rose Tart
Green Healthy Cooking

Meringue Hearts

Meringue Hearts

Chocolate Dipped Meringue Cookies
Your Home Based Mom

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Individual Fruit and Brownie Trifles
Just a Taste

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Warm Chocolate and Caramel Cakes
Country Living

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
Country Living


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Homemade Valentines Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day, like most other holidays, has become all about the spending. You have to go out and buy a card, chocolate, stuffed animals, a nice dinner out. Or do you? Do you really need to buy all this stuff to make Valentine’s Day special? Or can you just stay in and enjoy each other’s company?

Buck the trend! Stay in this Valentine’s Day and make some homemade gifts, and a heartfelt dinner and dessert. Your significant other will love it, I guarantee it (and if they don’t…well…).

Here are some ideas to help you have a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day this year!

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DIY Leather Conversation Hearts
Polkadotchair.com

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DIY Valentine’s Day Succulent Planters
vitaminihandmade.com

honey

Bee Mine Valentine
eartnesthomeco.com

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Candy Bouquet
iheartnaptime.net

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Custom Fingerprint Art
mandmadediy.com

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52 Things- A Year in a Jar
thegunnysack.com

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Red Velvet Chocolate Swirled Brownie Bars
averiecooks.com

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Pink Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls
lovefromtheoven.com

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Pink Velvet Cupcakes
blahnikbaker.com


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Tasty Christmas Treats to Get you in the Spirit

Christmas is a time for family, festivities, and, our favorite, FOOD! Who doesn’t love walking in to the smell of fresh baked Christmas cookies? Or cooking the holiday ham? Maybe you have your own family Christmas traditions. It’s always fun to make those good ol’ recipes, but it’s also fun to change it up and make some new items. Here are some delicious Christmas recipes we think you should be trying this season.

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Christmas Crunch
Cookingclassy.com
A perfect treat while you wait for dinner or snack on while the kids open presents.

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Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
Gimmesomeoven.com
It’s a spicy take on the traditional Christmas beverage.

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No Bake Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecakes
Cookingclassy.com
No baking? Count me in!

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Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites
Afewshortcuts.com
Bet you can’t wait to make these.

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Eggnog Snickerdoodles
Amyshealthybaking.com
Combining two of the classics of Christmas: cookies and eggnog.

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Krispie Treat Christmas Trees
Raininghotcoupons.com
These are too cute not to try and make.

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Kahlua Hot Chocolate
damndelicious.net
The hot chocolate for adults.

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
therecipecritic.com
Ok, these aren’t really a treat, but they’re sweet and delicious.

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Oreo Peppermint Bark
Crazyforcrust.com
Oreos AND peppermint? What could be better?

Reindeer Cupcakes
withsprinklesontop.net
These are perfect to make with the kids!

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Chocolate Covered Pretzels
lovefromtheoven.com
Salty, sweet, and just a touch of festivity.


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Hanukkah Decorations and Treats

With December comes those big holidays many of us look forward to. Maybe you celebrate Christmas, maybe it’s Hanukkah, or maybe it’s something completely different like Festivus (Seinfeld fans will understand). If you are planning to celebrate Hanukkah this year, or maybe you are hosting the festivities at your house, you want to have your house decorated in the Hanukkah spirit.

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Star of David Garland
You can buy this cute blue and white Star of David garland, or even make it yourself.

Star of David Wreath
Let everyone know you’re celebrating Hanukkah with a Star of David wreath.

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Dreidel Appetizer Plate
Don’t be surprised when all your guests ask where you got this plate.

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Tea-Light Menorah
See how to make this simple, cute glass tea-light holder set. It’s a classic take on the menorah.

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Dreidel Gift Box
Use these festive gift boxes shaped like dreidels to hide small treats or candy.

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Dreidel Garland
Make this paper dreidel garland to decorate the mantel, window, or doorway.

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Pumpkin Challah Bread
Turn the classic Challah bread into a new favorite by adding pumpkin!

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Spiced Apple or Pear Fritters
Make plenty of these, they will be gone before you know it.

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Curried Sweet Potato Latkes
Spice up those plain potato latkes.

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Mandel Brot
Think of this like the Jewish biscotti. Mandel means almond and Brot means bread in Yiddish.

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Nutella Sufganiyot
This delicious Jewish doughnut just got better with some Nutella!