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Lake Mary Life Grandmas share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Featured Photo from Lake Mary Life Grandmas share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. Personally, it’s my favorite holiday. It’s the day my parents met 42 years ago. I’m hosting our family at my new home for the first time, and I needed some help deciding what to cook. I asked the three Grandmas in our office (Sheila, Penny, and Pam) for their favorite holiday recipes. They all look pretty amazing, and I can speak from experience that Sheila’s stuffing gets rave reviews every year! From our Lake Mary Life family to yours- Happy Thanksgiving, and happy cooking!

Mamie’s Bread Stuffing


This recipe has been handed down several generations. It takes about ten days from start to stuff - but ask anyone who’s tasted or smelled the warm and pungent treat - it’s worth the wait.


  • 12 Kaiser rolls, wheat or white

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 medium potatoes

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • 3 lbs. of onions

  • 2 pounds of mushrooms

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 large eggs

  1. About two weeks before Thanksgiving buy a dozen hard rolls.(I started using whole wheat but white rolls will do.)
  2. Leave them out exposed to the air for several days until they get hard (as rocks). Once they’re hard, put them in a bag and save until you’re ready to make the stuffing.
  3. In a large bowl, soak the rolls until they are soft through and through. You’ll need to keep dunking them by hand because they will float until they absorb enough water. Squeeze every bit of water out of them and flatten until they are about 5 inches x 5 inches each.
  4. In a small pot, cut up and cover 2 carrots, 2 medium potatoes, and 2 stalks of celery with water. Cook at a slow boil until all are soft. Set aside, keeping the water to use as a moistener.
  5. In a large frying pan brown 3 lbs of onions in oil. Remove the onions and set aside. Brown 2 lbs of mushrooms in the same oil. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
  6. In the remaining oil (you may add more oil if needed) fry the round rolls until they are crisp all around. Move  to a large mixing bowl. Add onions, mushrooms, vegetables, salt and pepper.  Chop and chop and chop some more until everything is blended. Add two beaten eggs. Use the water that you saved from the vegetables to keep the stuffing nice and moist as you chop.
  7. HINT: Taste the mixture before adding the raw eggs to be sure that you have enough salt and pepper and mix in the eggs last.
  8. Save the stuffing in a bowl overnight. The next morning stuff that turkey front and back. The rounder the mound on both sides of the bird, the more stuffing will have a crispy texture. Extra stuffing can be cooked alongside the bird covered with tin foil the last two hours that the bird is baking.

Grandma Pam’s Rye Bread



  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degree F to 115 degree F)

  • 1/2 cup butter, cut up or Smart Balance Non-Dairy

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup light-flavored molasses or Honey

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 2 cups rye flour

  • Butter, softened or Smart Balance Non-Dairy

  • 4-3/4 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a small bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Set aside.Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl place the 1/2 cup butter, the sugar, molasses (or honey), and salt. Add the boiling water; stir until butter is melted. Add rye flour. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on medium speed about 3 minutes or until smooth. Gradually beat in yeast mixture until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the all-purpose flour as you can.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours).

  3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Shape each half into a loaf and place in 2 greased 8x4x2-inch or 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (40 to 50 minutes).

  4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. Remove from pans. Brush tops of warm loaves with a little softened butter. Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 loaves (24 servings).


Grandma Penny’s Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze

I credit my daughter Danielle with adding fresh beets to our family meals now. She is a mother of two small boys and cooks a made from scratch, organic meal every night after work. I always loved beets, but they were out of a can, so, my daughters never liked the pickled flavor. Now, these rich nutrient sweet beets are a favorite and the vibrant color brightens up our plates, especially for the holidays!  


  • 3 Medium Sized Red Beets   

  • 3 Medium size Golden Beets or just use red, if you can’t find golden. (Cut off the long leaves! Great in green smoothies, if you care.)

  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar

  • Salt and Pepper to your liking (I use close to a teaspoon)

  • 1 tablespoon of honey or a good maple syrup

Beets really stain your hands, some use gloves, I don’t mind turning red because it washes out easily. Watch your clothes though!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Scrub outside of beets

  3. Place foil wrapped beets on a cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes, or until they are fork tender.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, honey or maple syrup, salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick and bubbly, about 3 minutes.

  6. Use a potato peeler to peel off the peels. Slice the beets in rounds, we like french fries style. My grandsons pick them up with their hands. (Heck, we all do).

  7. Layer the beets on a platter and drizzle with glaze.  You can always add more salt and pepper.

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