Did you know Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is one of the most popular family vacation destinations during the Thanksgiving holiday?  This area has something to offer for the entire family including shopping, site seeing, hiking, Aquariums, fine dining, museums, theaters, ice-skating, log cabin lodging, & so much more.  Your entire family will want to make your Thanksgiving vacation a family tradition.
Celebrate Thanksgiving in the beauty of the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge areas. Surround yourself in the beauty and old fashioned feel of the area. You can enjoy the majestic Great Smoky Mountains or check out Dollywood during you stay.

A wide range of other activities await including music shows, museums, tours, recreational activities, and amusement parks. Tasty treats and delicious food finds can be found throughout this festive day.

    • 2 oranges
    • 2 apples
    • 4 cups cranberries
    • 1 cup sugar 

  1. Make this dish a day ahead of time, so the fruit juices and sugar combine. Wash all of the fruit. Cut the oranges and apples into chunks, leaving on the orange rind and apple peel (do remove the seeds and apple cores). Coarsely chop the cranberries in a blender, food processor, or meat grinder–be careful not to over process–and transfer them to a large bowl. Next, process the oranges and then the apples, adding both to the cranberries. Stir in the sugar, mixing well. Chill the relish in a covered container until you’re ready to serve it. Makes 6 cups
  • 4 sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated unsweetened coconut, dried or fresh
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup margarine


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, sugar, margarine, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until crumbly. Distribute the topping over the sweet potatoes. Then bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 6 to 8.
Caramel Apple Pie

  • PIE
  • Pastry for one 9-inch piecrust
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch caramel ice-cream sauce (Amy recommends Mrs. Richardson’s brand)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place the pastry in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and crimp the edges. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Next, toss the apples with the sugar mixture and pour them into the prepared piecrust.
  2. With a pastry blender, thoroughly combine the crumb topping ingredients. Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture. Bake the pie for 20 to 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until the apples are tender. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle on the pecans, then drizzle with the butterscotch caramel sauce. Cool on a wire rack and serve with ice cream. Makes one 9-inch pie.
(Great for Crackers, Fresh Cut Vegetables, or on Toasted Bread)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound red salmon steak, 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound smoked salmon, diced
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the shallots and carrot. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Rinse the salmon steak, cut it in half lengthwise, and place the pieces atop the vegetables. Drizzle with the chicken stock. Cover the skillet and resume cooking for 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Then remove the skin and bones from the fish.
  3. Blend the fish and vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the smoked salmon is finely chopped but not smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until a few minutes before serving time. Makes 3 cups
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 pounds fresh corn (or frozen corn, thawed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon, then chop it into bite-size pieces and set it aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, celery, and peppers until soft. Stir in the flour, then the sour cream, until well combined. Add the corn and most of the bacon bits and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle on the remaining bacon bits and the parsley. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned. (Note: for a lower-fat version of this casserole, use half the bacon, butter, and flour). Serves 6 to 8.


BARBEQUE CHICKEN is a great American family recipe!  Southerners take a special pride in cooking this meal for friends & family.  Why not try it on your next visit to the Smoky Mountains?  Here’s a recipe you can cook at home or the next time you visit us in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 chicken thighs, skin removed


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the water, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt, mustard powder, and chili powder. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken thighs into an oblong baking dish, and pour the sauce over them. Cover tightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake for one hour. Remove cover, stir and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

When cooking out on the grill, please show caution to protect our parks & forestry!  Many forest fires start from charcoal, lighter fluid, or matches when cooking outdoors.

The Fire
If using charcoal, be patient. After lighting the grill, give it 45 minutes before putting any food on.Self lighting charcoal will be OK after 30 mins but beware, it doesn’t last long.

Easy Selflighting Charcoal

Briquettes are OK but difficult to light and leave a cementitious residue in the base. Lumpwood charcoal & a firelighter and you can’t go wrong. Always use fresh charcoal – if you’ve kept it over the winter it absorbs moisture and simply won’t get up to temperature.
If for whatever the coals don’t light well, do not be tempted to add more lighter fuel or blow on the coals. If you do, you’re risking your own health and safety and those around you. Click here for tips about recycling charcoal
If you’re already thinking that this is too much – get a gas barbecue!

When grilling, barbecue flavour is derived from the fat in the food dripping onto the coals and creating smoke, whether those coals are charcoal or lava is irrelevant. So if you’re a pyronaught like me, get the charcoal out but if you want hassle free cookouts then maybe gas is a better option.

The Barbecue Cookout

  • Plan your cookout – think about what needs to be ready and when.
  • If it’s too much pressure, take the Tapas approach and do small quantities of lots of different things.
  • Always start grilling on the highest setting to avoid flames.
  • Food cooks with heat, not flames. Flames are BAD!
  • If you do get flames either take the food off, raise the grill height or dampen down with a water spray.
  • When doing kebabs on wooden skewers remember to allow at least 30 minutes for soaking
  • Don’t get caught with tough meat. If in doubt use a Barbecue Marinade
  • A Teflon BBQ mat will keep your vegetarian food “meat free” and also stops patties sticking to the grill and disintegrating.
  • For moist meat when smoking use a water bath

The next to you choose a luxury log cabin rental here in the Smokies, you can choose to cook them a fantastic meal in the Great Outdoors!  Here are some other BBQ Tips:

So BBQ Chicken can be a food health hazard huh? Well not any more.

My first TIP is so simple but essential:-
Be patient. If on gas or electric, cook it gently. If on charcoal allow at least 45 minutes for your charcoal to settle down before even considering to put the chicken on.

Cooking barbecue chicken should be about spit and sizzle. If there’s any sign of a flame near your drummer, get the tongs and whip it off. Leave your coals for 15 mins and try again.

I have a home made barbecue design that allows me to raise and lower the grill plate according to the state of the charcoal. It’s a great asset for chicken and gives me that extra “volume control” on how the BBQ progresses, but if you haven’t got that luxury?

It’s the fat from the skin that causes the flames so take the skin off! I know there’s lots of flavour in the skin but apply one of my barbecue rub recipes and boy oh boy the flavour is back!