Ah, Thanksgiving. There is no American holiday that centers more around family, togetherness, gratitude, and … FOOD! And what’s not to love about that?
I will be honest – this has not been the easiest month for us. This has resulted in, among other things, fewer blog posts going up recently than I would like. But, I recently read a passage reminding me that “gratitude is the most healing of human emotions,” and so I’m making an extra effort this year to focus on the (many, many) things we have to be grateful for. Always a good idea. 🙂
One of the other things that always gives me a boost is planning a big meal, and it’s also very exciting to be “back” home in our house in Virginia for our first Thanksgiving in awhile. I thought I would share our menu. I know it will be fun to look back on next year, and maybe it will be fun for some of you to read about, too!
We’re keeping this easy with cinnamon rolls and eggs. I love making breakfast rolls from scratch, but I’ll be up tonight making pies and prepping side dishes, so tomorrow, the cinnamon rolls are coming from a can. And, mimosas, clearly.
One word: cheeseboard!
Pretty basic here. We’ll have champagne on hand for a pre-dinner treat, and then a selection of beer, apple cider, sparkling water, soda, and other basics. I thought about making a cocktail, specifically this cranberry cider punch, but decided it wasn’t worth it this year.
What I’m excited about it in this department, though, is the wine selection. One of our last trips before we left Brussels earlier this year was to the Champagne region of France, and in addition to a healthy amount of champagne, we also purchased and brought back several bottles of a red wine specific to the region, called, appropriately, Bouzy Rouge. We loved it when we tasted it and immediately thought it reminded us of a pinot noir and would go great with turkey, so we brought back the bottles with the specific intention of drinking them for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to open those up!
- Turkey – we always do Alton Brown’s recipe! Love it!
- Gravy – using my dear friend Lila’s amazing red wine gravy recipe this year. Cannot wait!
- Traditional bread stuffing – using this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. I tested it last week for dinner with a roast chicken, and it’s fantastic!
- Our favorite mac and cheese – so easy to make ahead!
- Mashed potatoes – trying these in my brand new Instant Pot! Nervous but excited to see how it goes. Also just happy to be freeing up stovetop space.
- Green bean casserole – all I can say is, if Bon Appetit tells me it’s OK to use French’s fried onions… I am down with that.
- Oat maple sweet potatoes – my step-kids are making this one, and I am excited!
- Brussels sprouts pomegranate slaw with buttermilk dressing – love this one for something fresh. And no cook!
- Honey yeast rolls
- Cranberry sauce – the easiest make-ahead!
I mean, let’s be honest, for me, this is the main event. 🙂 Fortunately we have a few neighbors coming over for dessert, which gives me more of an excuse to make all the dessert I want.
- Bourbon molasses pumpkin pie – I’ll never make a “regular” pumpkin pie again. This one is THE BEST.
- Pecan pie – using this recipe from Sally, but subbing half of the corn syrup with maple syrup. Just like my mother-in-law used to do!
- Dutch caramel apple pie – when I saw this one on Facebook, I couldn’t not make it!
So that’s our Thanksgiving menu!
I sincerely hope you and yours have a pleasant holiday, whether it’s a massive gathering or not, full of family or maybe a solo hike in the woods. Under any circumstances, gratitude does our hearts good, so I wish you a full belly, a happy day, and happy heart. ♥