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(WGHP) — We all have our traditions. Those dishes we always think about as the holiday seasons roll around.

Those recipes we remember our moms or grandmas sharing with us that we’ve painstakingly perfected, or those dishes that our kids loved when they were small.

Thanksgiving is a time of thanks, yes, but it can also be a time of that warm nostalgia that comes with eating something lovingly made year after year, forming a tradition not only from the food, but from the process of making it.

So on this Thanksgiving, our morning anchors are sharing their favorite recipes and some of the stories behind them.

“Tis the season to be thankful.” (Getty)

From Cindy Farmer: Kylie & Abby’s Favorite Mac-n-Cheese


  • 1 lb box of Elbow Macaroni
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Add macaroni, butter, water, chicken broth, mustard, salt, and pepper to your Instant Pot. Secure the lid, select manual, and high pressure for 5 minutes.
  2. Once complete, use a quick release. Open lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select saute, and cook for another 2 minutes until pasta is cooked.
  3. Add in evaporated milk and each of the cheeses. Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste. Typically I will pour into a greased baking dish, and top with more cheese. And put into the over on low heat until the cheese melts before serving.
  4. Serve hot!!

From Melissa Painter: Grams’ Cornbread Dressing


  • Cornbread
  • Sandwich bread
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Sautee onion and celery in butter, add cream
  3. Combine cornbread and toasted bread cubes
  4. Add in vegetable and cream mixture
  5. Whisk together chicken broth and eggs
  6. Stir in seasonings and add to bread
  7. Pour into 9×13 pan
  8. Cook 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered

From Bob Buckley: JM’s Cranberry Sauce


JM’s Cranberry Sauce
  • 12 oz cranberries rinsed (discard any softened ones)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 slices of orange peel


  1. Combine in a large saucepan, heat on medium, stirring occasionally until it reaches a boil.
  2. Cover and simmer until berries pop.
  3. Remove from heat once all berries have opened.
  4. Remove orange peel.
  5. If you want mostly whole berries, just smash them a bit with a spatula. If you’d like fewer whole berries you can add an emulsifier.
  6. Serve warm or chill overnight. Enjoy!

Bob says there are all kinds of variations which you can make with spices and such. Get creative!

An extra holiday hint: instead of discarding the used cinnamon sticks and leftover orange rind, put it in a pot with some water. Throw in some cloves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let the aromas fill your home. It’s a natural atomizer!