5 Recipes To Take Your Thanksgiving to the Next Level

Thanksgiving very well may be the best meal we eat all year. Filled with tradition, a true feast of side dishes, and family (chosen or otherwise), this meal is like no other. And while we love our own traditional dishes, we also love drooling over recipes from other peoples’ tables. Any chance to celebrate taken, we met up with friends of Gwynnie Bee: Darlene of SuitsHeelsCurves, Maddy Jones, Editor of PlusModelMag, Margie Plus, Stephanie Nadia, and Bianca from Brooklyn for a Friendsgiving. Food looking so good you want to lick the screen? Never fear, our ladies have shared the recipe for their personal favorite below. Read on for recipes sure to impress at any feast you attend this year.


Bianca’s Sweet Potato Soufflé With Pecan Crumble


  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed, divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted (divided)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 ounces chopped pecans (1 cup)


  1. Heat the oven to 350 F
  2. Butter a baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes with 1 cup of the brown sugar, the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Blend thoroughly and spoon the mixture into the baking dish.
  4. In another bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup of melted butter, and the chopped pecans; blend thoroughly.
  5. Sprinkle the pecan topping mixture over the top.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the topping has browned.
Margies Boujee Creamy Garlic Mashed Potato Recipe: 


  • 1-2 lbs Ruset Potatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste (a few teaspoons)
  • half white onion finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • half cup heavy cream
  • pepper to taste
  • a tablespoon ADOBO seasoning


Boil mashed potatoes in a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt for around 30 minutes (test with fork to make sure soft). While potatoes are boiling in a separate pan fry the chopped onions and garlic in the butter until soft (4 minutes or so). Add the heavy cream to the pan and let simmer a few minutes while you add the Adobo. When potatoes are finished drain them and put them back in the cooking pot, add over the onion and cream mixture and mix up by hand. After a few minutes of mixing the potatoes by hand use an electric mixer to make the mashed potatoes have a creamy whipped texture. Add extra pepper and salt to taste and serve.

Stephanie Nadia’s Sweet & Salty Mac’ N’ Cheese


Mac’ N’ Cheese

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of shredded Aged Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 cup of shredded Asiago Cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Gouda
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 slices of Maple Bacon or Smoked Applewood Bacon

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 bag of Walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A pinch of sea salt


Candied Walnuts

In a small saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar into a syrup. When it starts to thicken add the salt, baking soda and walnut. Fold until evenly coated. (Optional) For a crispy finish spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 min at 350 degrees F.

Mac’ N’ Cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

In a small saucepan heat the milk, heavy cream and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fried bacon (render the fat and cook until crispy).

Pour the creamy cheese and bacon sauce over your cooked macaroni and fold until evenly coated. To serve, scatter the candied walnuts over the mac and cheese or if you prefer a sweeter mac, stir it right into the dish.

Maddy Jones’ Arroz con Gandules – “Rice with pigeon peas”


  • I use a big iron pot called (olla de hierro or caldero) to cook the rice in.
  • Boil some olive oil and add 2 cups of water, 1 pack of sazon, 4 ounces of tomato sauce, about 3 teaspoons of adobo and sofrito.
  • Let it simmer and add one can of pigeon peas.
  • Let that boil
  • Add 1 cup of short grain rice
  • Put the lid and let it cook for like 20 minutes and then uncover so it can dry up a little.
Darlene Lebron’s Puerto Rican Flan


  • 2 cans of evaporated milk
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 2 baking pans – one larger then the other


Step 1: Place all of the wet ingredients in the blender and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure all the ingredients are well blended.

Step 2: Place the baking pan you will be using for the fan on the stove with 1.5 cups of sugar. Put the stove on low heat and stir the sugar until it turns into a caramel consistency. You must stir the sugar consistently or it will burn. Do not leave the sugar unattended.

Step 3: Once you have made the caramel sauce, pour the flan mix into the pan. Do not stir.

Step 4: Grab your second baking pan (the larger one) and fill about half way with water. Place the pan with the flan inside the water pan to create a water bath.

Step 5: Place the pans in the oven at 375 degrees for one hour. To check for readiness use a fork to poke the flan, if it comes out dry your flan is ready.

Step 6: Once the flan is done, place it in the fridge until cold.

Step 7: The best way to serve a flan is to flip it upside down similar to an upside down cake. Also, make sure you are serving your flan cold for the best flavor.

Thanks for joining us, ladies! What’s your must-devour family Thanksgiving recipe? Comment below and share!

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