Thanksgiving Meal is a Bargain

Most Americans will sit down to an incredible Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and count their blessings. As I run through the many things for which I’m thankful, I’ll be sure to remember the farmers and ranchers who helped put delicious food on my family’s plates.

Each year the American Farm Bureau analyzes the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner. This year the cost to feed 10 people averages $43.47.  I think it’s absolutely incredible that for $4.35, we can enjoy a home-cooked, wholesome meal. (For less than many fast-food restaurant’s value meals, our family will enjoy a delicious buffet!)

If you’re still planning your Thanksgiving menu, get some recipes ideas from proud Iowa turkey producers here.  I’m also sharing with you some of my favorite quick-fixes for the holiday season.

Mini Pumpkin Tarts and Pumpkin Pudding both taste like pumpkin pie but neither recipe requires you to make a flakey crust.  The tarts are simply cute and irresistible.  You may not have room for a slice of pie at the end of your feast, but there is always room for one little tart. Also included is a recipe for Gram’s Yams, which I got from Guideposts magazine.  I’m looking forward to trying this recipe for the first time tomorrow and even going to use sweet potatoes that I grew in my garden.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding


  • 1 can (15-oz.) solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (12-oz) evaporated milk
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ½ c. Bisquick
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all together and place in a crock pot.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Gram’s Yams

Click here for the recipe.

May you also enjoy the fruits of an abundant harvest this holiday.  From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Mini Pumpkin Tarts



  • 3 packages (15 tarts each) prebaked, mini pastry shells like Athens Mini Fillo Shells
  • 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 c. (plus extra for garnish) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (plus extra for garnish)
  • 3.4 oz. package cheesecake-flavor instant pudding



  1. Remove shells from freezer and let thaw at room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin, whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth.
  3. Add the pudding mix and whisk until thick and smooth.
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each shell.  (NOTE:  You can also pipe the filling with a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with one corner snipped off.)
  5. Top the tarts with whipped topping and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.


Makes 45 tarts
Photo from Land O'Lakes