2 Foolproof Thanksgiving Recipes

I seriously can’t believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday, 2017 has flown by! I hope I’m not the only one who mixes Thanksgiving and Christmas lol. I loooove Thanksgiving for the food, friends, and family, but I’m that girl who has my Christmas decorations up and Christmas music playing on Thanksgiving ;). Sorry not sorry! Today I wanted to share two (super) easy recipes that I make every year for Thanksgiving, and they’re always a hit – the best mashed potatoes in the world (seriously, amazing) and vanilla almond cupcakes.

^ love the way all of my WATKINS spices look lined up on my counter – so pretty!

Okay, mashed potatoes are definitely not the most photogenic of foods, but they’re hands-down my favorite Thanksgiving side! Especially this recipe (full disclosure – I did not make up this recipe lol, but I make it every year and they’re the first thing on the table to be gobbled up)!

5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cream cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup butter (your preference)
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (depending on how garlic-y you want them, I used WATKINS)
sea salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
fresh chives (you can leave out if you don’t like chives)

– Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until tender but still firm. Drain and return to stove over low heat to dry for 1 to 2 minutes.
– Add butter, Parmesan cheese, chives, cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher (or a mixer like I did…much easier) to mash until smooth, and serve. ENJOY!

Okay, onto the dessert – vanilla almond cupcakes. These are seriously so good & I use store-bought frosting to make it easier (just scoop it into a small plastic baggie, cut the corner off, and you’ve got a frosting dispenser!).

1 1/2 cup flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon WATKINS vanilla extract
1 teaspoon WATKINS almond extract
3/4 cup whole milk
frosting (I used store bought)
sprinkles or any preferred toppings (at Christmas I love to crush candy canes and sprinkle on)

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
– In a bowl, mix the sugar and 1/2 cup of margarine until very well blended (creamy). Add eggs, beating in one at a time, until thoroughly combined, and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk (do this gradually!) until everything is mixed well. Fill cupcake cups about 2/3 full.
– Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes (or more depending on your oven, just don’t over-bake them!).
– Frost and top with any toppings you like! We used buttercream frosting, sugar sprinkles, and I added a star anise to the top just for decoration (don’t eat that lol).

ENJOY and have a Happy Thanksgiving! PS – we will be hosting a giveaway with J.R. WATKINS for their gourmet line which is perfect for the holidays…and the spices are soo pretty displayed in the kitchen (would also make an amazing hostess gift)! Stay tuned! xx

In collaboration with J.R. WATKINS