My Pretend Thanksgiving

I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year (and it’s a good thing considering the state of my kitchen), but I absolutely love being the one to prepare a feast and gather around a table with loved ones.  If I were hosting Thanksgiving this year, this is the menu I would most likely prepare.  Pretty traditional dishes and all from scratch. Preparations started days before, a healthy mix of anxiety and excitement, and exhausting hours spent in the kitchen determined to make this the best Thanksgiving ever.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  :)Sunday Suppers - Fall TablescapeFirst things first: the table.  I absolutely love this hanging leaf decor from the Kinfolk and Sunday Suppers collaboration.  Honestly, this display could be put up weeks before so by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, a killer decor is already mostly taken care of.  And you get to enjoy it longer this way too.  Bonus points if you have kids and can send them out to collect the leaves!
THANKSGIVING INSPIRATION - MenuThis Orange and Herb Roasted Turkey looks so festive and bright with the citrus and herbs scattered throughout and I bet it tastes amazing too.  Turkey is actually the one piece of Thanksgiving that I delegate to Parker, and he’s done a fantastic job in the past.

Orange Scented Cranberry Sauce.  This recipe doesn’t call for it, but I like to add dried cherries to my cranberry sauce for a different texture and rich flavor.  Just don’t forget and leave it in the refrigerator like I did my first year hosting Thanksgiving.  Womp womp.

Jalepeno Cornbread & Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffing.  Oh my, this recipe from Local Milk looks so amazing.  Even if it does utilize turkey gizzards which kinda creeps me out intimidates me.  The gizzards and liver are supposed to add a richness and depth that makes it irresistible.  Beth sold me on it, I would definitely try this.  I just wouldn’t tell anyone about the chicken livers ;)

Browned Butter and Sage Sweet Potato Casserole.  I made this a couple of years ago and it was a big hit.  The recipe doesn’t call to brown the  butter, but you can’t go wrong doing it.  And the secret to this recipe is that there are both sweet potatoes and white potatoes mixed together to get a fluffier, creamier texture than traditional sweet potatoes.  And the sage is a perfect spice for this dish.

Browned Butter Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Toasted Almonds.  More browned butter (you’re welcome).  I like to go a little different than the traditional green beans usually found on a Thanksgiving menu.  Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite veggies and lend themselves nicely to a Thanksgiving feast since they can be made a little sweet, a little savory, or a little of both.  I think I would add diced bacon to this recipe.

Spiced and Spiked Cider.  Get everyone a little tipsy while waiting on the food and they won’t mind if the chef is running a few minutes behind ;)

Parker House Rolls with Rosemary Butter.  Dinner rolls can be an afterthought.  Throw some frozen ones in the cart as your headed to check out at the grocery store is how I’ve played it in the past.  But a really good roll is a special treat and should be given as much attention as everything else on the menu.

Now.  After a quick catnap, there’s still dessert to slip everyone in to a delicious and long food coma.  These are some I might like to serve.THANKSGIVING INSPIRATION - Dessert MenuMaple Pumpkin Tart.  I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie.  I’ve never really understood the mass appeal, other than the fact that it is the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert and it’s just traditional to have a slice.  But …meh.  This recipe looks so good though!  Sweetened with maple and pressed in to a nutty, oat and whole wheat crust, it appears to be an updated take on the Thanksgiving staple.  Also: I added cream cheese to the filling one year and have  been told by many that it was the best pumpkin pie ever.  I’ll make sure to get that recipe in time for next year!

Cranberry Grapefruit Shortbread.  A lighter option for those who stuffed themselves a bit too much.  Cranberries and bright citrus on a buttery shortbread, yum!

Pecan Pie.  I have to admit, I’ve never been a fan.  Growing up, I wanted nothing to do with any kind of nut, especially in baked goods and especially pecans.  But as I’ve gotten older, and my pallet wiser, I love pecans and might actually enjoy a piece of pecan pie.  My family loves it though, so even if I still don’t like it, I know this wouldn’t go to waste.

So that’s it!  My pretend Thanksgiving menu.  Did I miss anything truly important for a Turkey-Day feast?  What’s on your menu this year?  I’m always open to new recipes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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