If 50 pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and five women can peacefully sit down together despite a sordid history, language barriers, and no NFL football games on television, then no question our own families can enjoy an amicable dinner together, too. Thanksgiving is a beloved holiday because it centers around three simple facets: family, food, and football.

Although we can’t choose our family or the outcome of the in-state rival games, we can make sure the food outshines political debates and missed calls by the men in stripes. So, in order to help ensure that “bless” is the only four letter word spoken around your Thanksgiving table this year, try these tried and true family recipes, courtesy of NV Realty Group agents.

And from our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Dessert: Yes, we start with the good stuff. President Michael Nicklaus has fond memories of his mother’s pumpkin pie. Barbara Nicklaus is well-known for her excellent culinary skills, and this pumpkin pie recipe will make the most ornery guest smile.

PUMPKIN PIE by Barbara Nicklaus

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 quart milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 (9-inch) pie crusts, unbaked
  • Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425°. Blend together all ingredients except egg whites and 1/2 cup of sugar. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar. Fold the beaten egg whites into the liquid mixture and pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°. Reduce temperature to 325° and continue baking for 45 minutes. Before serving, top with whipped cream.


Another sweet treat favorite is Butter Pecan Poke Cake. NV real estate professional Heather Tumlin, who specializes in Palm Beach County properties, shares this special recipe, which is ideal for those who can’t decide whether to divulge in pie or cake.


  • 1 box Betty Crocker butter pecan cake mix
  • 16 oz can Betty Crocker Coconut Pecan Frosting
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ Cup canola or coconut oil
  • 1 Cup half-and-half for increased flavor (instead of water)
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grease or spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray
  • In bowl, combine all cake ingredients (including frosting) except for pecans. Mix well.
  • Add chopped pecans and stir to combine.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes; use toothpick to determine if done

Butter Pecan Glaze

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add condensed milk and stir.
  • Heat thoroughly, then add chopped pecans.
  • Stir again to combine and remove from heat.
  • Spoon sauce over individual slices of cake or spread over the entire cake after poking holes in it(much easier).

Important Notes:

  1. The Coconut Pecan Frosting is included in the cake batter. It is NOT an icing for the top of the cake nor included in the sauce.
  2. The cake took 50 minutes to bake, although the original instructions said 30-40 minutes for a 9×13″ pan and 50 minutes for a bundt pan

THE TURKEY by Johnny Tumlin

Often the most difficult or stressful part of preparing a Thanksgiving meal is the turkey. Johnny Tumlin, who specializes in commercial and residential real estate in South Florida, offers this easy, no fuss recipe for a moist, delicious turkey.

Thaw turkey and remove backbone.

Place back down and breast side up on the grill or roast pan. Season with salt and pepper. No oil no butter. Otherwise won’t crisp. 350 degrees in oven or green egg until internal temperature 160 degrees (approximately 1 1/2 hrs for avg size whole turkey).


With the turkey on the grill and the dessert done, all you need to do is add in a few sides for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Here are two easy dishes, both of which can be made the night before.


  • 3 cups zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 pkg Pepperidge Farm Stuffing
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Slice, cook and drain squash. Mix stuffing with melted butter. Mix all the ingredients with 1/2 stuffing mix and place in your favorite casserole dish. Top with balance of the stuffing. Bake at 350 until bubbly. This summer squash casserole is still just as good when one goes back for seconds if there is any left over.


A personal favorite of Chief Operating Officer Todd Vance, this sweet potato souffle is a nice compliment to sliced turkey.

  • 4-5 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ t salt
  • 4 T margarine, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ t vanilla

Boil sweet potatoes for 30-45 minutes. Remove from water. While hot, peel potatoes and put in mixing bowl. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well. (I use hand-held mixer). Pour into 9 x 12, glass pyrex dish.


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 ½ T margarine or butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour

Combine above ingredients and spread over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



If company is staying in your home, the last thing you want to do is have to worry about cooking a big breakfast. Instead, brew some coffee and serve this spectacular pumpkin bread. Beware: your guests may not want to leave!


This was my mom’s recipe for pumpkin bread that was a favorite in our family and continues to be a favorite for the Vance kids! It’s moist and delicious and perfect for Thanksgiving holiday.

  • One 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350° grease and flour three 7 x 3“ loaf pans. In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar and blend. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. With a rubber spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until blended only. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick Inserted in middle of the bread comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Be Thankful!

Several recipes for thankfulness, but it all boils down to having a grateful mindset, something that agents at NV Realty Group have been intentional about this month. Have a blessed Thanksgiving celebration!

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