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Thanksgiving Driving and Road Trip Advice for Floridians, Pt. 2 Recipes

Written By, NowCar Team

Even if you have a long drive for Thanksgiving, there are still ways to bring a side dish or dessert to the host’s home, it just takes a little more planning. Here are a few different recipes you can prepare the night or morning before your drive. The desserts will be ready to serve when you arrive at the host’s house and the appetizer and side dishes will just need to go in the oven for a little bit  before ready to eat. Additionally, the recipes that will need to be heated will need to be kept in a cooler in the car during the drive.  You can also find more travel-safe recipes here. Bon apetit.



Artichoke Dip
Serves 6

What needs to be done at the host house: Cook in oven for 15 minutes


1 cup of mayonnaise
16 oz. Bottle of crushed/grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can of artichokes
Garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Drain water from the can of artichokes.
  1. Chop artichokes into tiny pieces.
  1. Once the whole can is chopped up into bits and pieces put all of the pieces into a bowl.
  1. Mix in one cup of mayonnaise and one cup of the grated parmesan cheese.
  1. Add a pinch or two of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Stir all ingredients together in oven safe bowl, top with parmesan and cover.

Be sure to keep mixture in a cooler during the drive. Dairy should not be kept room temperature for extended periods of time.

Instructions at host home

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Once preheated, cook for 15 minutes.
  1. When the top is bubbly and brown (but not burnt), take out, let cool and then enjoy.



Twice-Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

What needs to be done at host house: Bake in oven for 20 minutes.


2 large sweet potatoes (1/2 pound total)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light- or dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pierce each sweet potato twice with the tip of knife to allow some heat to escape before putting them in the oven.
  1. It should take about 50 minutes for everything to get soft and warm, but cool enough to the touch. Like biscotti, we’re gonna do a little more before throwing it back in the oven.
  1. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, and cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out its insides like a pumpkin and place it in a medium bowl, while being mindful of its skin. Reserve as many of the skins that you can. Now, add the pineapple, oil, butter, sugar, zest, cinnamon, and salt to the potato flesh.
  1. Whip it all up until it’s nice and fluffy, but not too much.
  1. Add the mixture into the potato skins and try to make mixture into a rounded mound. Place skins into a shallow oven safe dish and cover. Keep skins in a cooler during the drive. Dairy should not be kept room temperature for extended periods of time. Also, don’t forget a baking sheet - the host may not have a spare one available.

Instructions at host home

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  1.  Bake for 15 minutes, sprinkle with pecans, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Glazed Carrots
Serves 8

What needs to be done at the host house: Reheat carrots.

2 pounds of carrots, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch diagonal pieces
¼ cup of brown sugar
¼ cup of butter
2 tablespoons of bourbon (or more if you like)


  1. Place carrots in pot of water and bring to boil
  1. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until al dente.

             **Since you are preparing this in advance and you will need to reheat before serving, the carrots don’t need to be completely soft because they will cook more and soften when you reheat. 

  1. Mix butter, sugar, and bourbon in small saucepan
  1. Simmer and stir for roughly ten minutes
  1. Immediately pour onto carrots
  1. Package in microwave or oven safe dish. Store in cooler during drive.

Instructions at host home

  1. Reheat carrots in dish until soft.


Cranberry-Orange Scones with Melted Sugar
Makes 14-16 scones

What needs to be done at the host house: nothing


4 cups, plus 1/4 cup, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional sugar for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. When that’s all mixed up, add in the cold butter and mix it slowly until the butter is the size of peas.
  1. Add the eggs and heavy cream while still mixing slowly. Now mix again until it’s all blended together and lumpy.
  1. Take the dried cranberries and an extra 1/4 cup of flour, and mix it all slowly again until blended.
  1. Time to get your hands a little messy. Dump the dough mix onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a large ball. Add some more flour to your hands and flatten out the ball of dough with a rolling pin until the dough is about a ¾ of an inch thick. As you do this, move the dough around so it doesn’t stick; bits of butter may surface, and that’s fine.
  1. Flour a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut out circles of the dough. Place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. You can roll around the leftover dough again to make an extra mini scone.
  1. Put the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water (or milk) into a bowl and mix for the egg wash. Now, take a basting brush if possible and brush the circles with the egg wash. Sprinkle on some sugar, and pop it into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the tops are browned and the insides are cooked through. The scones should be firm to the touch.
  1. Let the scones cool for 15 minutes while you whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice to drizzle over the scones.
  1. Package them up and bring them on the drive.

Pecan Puffs
Serves: Everyone

What needs to be done at the host house: nothing

Shell ingredients and instructions

2 cups of all-purpose flour
One 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cups of softened butter

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together into a crumbled pie-like texture.
  2. You’ll need two or three mini muffin pans.
  3. Roll the mixture into little balls and then press them into the mini muffin pans. Shape them like the paper sleeve around the bottom of a muffin by pushing the dough to the sides of the inserts.

Filling ingredients and instructions

2 eggs, blended
2 cups of light brown sugar
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecan nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and spoon the filling into the shells. Only fill it each cup to the brim.
  1. Bake for 15 minutes.
  1. Lower temperature to 250 degrees, and bake for 10 more minutes.
  1. Let the puffs cool before removing them from the mini muffin pan.
  1. Once cooled, package them up and bring them on the drive.

Apple and Spice Cookies
Makes 18 cookies

What needs to be done at the host house: nothing


2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
½ cup of shortening
1 ⅓ cup of brown sugar
⅓ cup of apple juice
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 cup of chopped apples
1 cup of raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  1. Mix together the shortening and brown sugar
  1. Add in the spices including the salt.
  1. Add in the apples, walnuts, and raisins
  1. Drop by tablespoon the mixture and leave each drop 2-inches apart onto a cookie sheet.
  1. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, let cool and pack up!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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