I know I’m behind in getting you a Thanksgiving planning post that you’ll actually be able to use since Thanksgiving is only a WEEK AWAY, but I just love the holiday too much to let it pass by without sharing some ideas.
This year, we’re hosting small group Thanksgiving (as usual), which I love because they let me be as creative as I want since they’ll all be having the traditional meal later in the week. Here is my menu as of right now, always subject-to-change based on my mood and cravings:
From top left to bottom right:
- Smitten Kitchen’s onion tart. This has become a tradition, and I try to resist making it most of the rest of the year so that I’m extra excited about it for Thanksgiving. Plus, I can make it ahead, which is a nice bonus for an appetizer on the big day.
- Root vegetable pie via Food52. We have a vegetarian in our group (and a few people who could always use some branching out in the vegetable department, if you know what I mean). I think this looks almost yummy enough to just skip the turkey altogether. Almost.
- Closet Cooking’s apple chutney. I actually made this last week to use up a boatload of apples that a friend dropped off, and it’s delicious. I plan on serving it with the turkey instead of cranberry sauce.
- Caramelized butternut squash with sage pesto via Food52. Wow, does this look and sound delicious! I plan on making it for small group Thanksgiving, hoping it’s as delicious as it sounds, and using it for official Thanksgiving as well. I’m probably not going to go get hazelnuts, so I’m thinking I’ll use pecans instead.
- Sara’s loaded potato mash-up. I have a loaded potato dish that I make that everyone asks for. One of these days I’ll have to actually write down the recipe.
- Gourmet’s sausage, cranberry, and corn bread stuffing. I’m actually going to make this without the sausage for the vegetarian’s sake and just to keep it a bit lighter. I usually make a stuffing with apples that everybody likes, but I want to shake things up a bit.
- Joy the Baker’s persimmon pudding. This is a traditional Hoosier dessert that I’ve never had but always wanted to try. Our new place has a (very sad) persimmon tree. We only got two-and-a-half persimmons off of it, but I supplemented with some pulp from a local farm up near Anderson.
- The turkey! Here is my go-to method for the bird, but, this year, Grant is going to spatchcock and smoke the turkey instead. Stay tuned for stories, I’m sure.
- A Couple Cooks’ roasted Brussels sprouts with Pecorino and pecans. The name of the recipe really says it all, don’t you think?
I have someone bring a salad, rolls, an appetizer, and a dessert, so between all of that help, we have a big, delicious meal and celebrate together.
We’re also hosting Grant’s family this year, and we’re excited to see everyone that we don’t get to see too often. Depending on how some of my more creative choices go over at small group Thanksgiving, I might switch things up for Thanksgiving with Grant’s family, but here is what I’m planning for now in case you need an idea or two:
From top left to bottom right:
- Roasted rosemary pecans via Real Simple. We’ll have several people on Thanksgiving with dairy and grain issues, so I have to be sure to full them up too. I thought this would be an easy make ahead crowd pleaser. I’m going to try making them with coconut oil instead of butter so the folks with dairy allergies can still try them.
- Roasted carrot soup via Food52. This looks delicious, light, and an option for people that aren’t too crazy about salad. Plus, I’ll make a big batch ahead of time and just reheat on the day of, which is always extra points in my book.
- SBTS’s Greek hummus dip. I’m going to make this with goat cheese instead of the usual feta, so that the dairy-free guests have another option. As an extra bonus, I disturbingly cannot like goat cheese as much as I try (ask me about my goat cheese theory), which means that I won’t stuff my face with this stuff like I usually do when I make it.
- SeriousEats’ roasted beets with balsamic glaze. I’m making this because it looks so delicious and will pretty up the table a bit.
- NomNomPaleo’s roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon. Because this is my go-to way to make Brussels sprouts, and it has converted many a sprouts-hater.
- King Arthur’s Pull Apart Butter Buns. I kinda feel like this are a requirement on the Thanksgiving table.
- Northern Spy’s Kale Salad via Food52. This is one of my go-to party salads because everyone loves it, and not only is it great to make ahead, it actually tastes better the next day if you ask me. I’ll leave the cheese on the side as an option.
- Ina’s herb and apple stuffing: Grant loves this stuff, and since I’m making something new for the small group shindig, I’ll go with the sure-thing for his family’s festivities.
- Deliciously Organic’s grain-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie. Someone is bringing a dessert, so I thought I would make something that the paleo people could still eat. Plus, I’m curious!
In addition, I’ll make my mom’s mashed potatoes (maybe I’ll take pics, so I can post a recipe before Christmas!), and we’ll have ham and turkey (which we will either smoke or roast, depending on how round one with small group goes).
Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving tips and tricks over the weekend. Check out past Thanksgiving roundups and recaps for even more inspiration and tips. What’s your favorite thing on your Thanksgiving menu?!