thanksgiving-menu-diagram

What’s on your Thanksgiving Menu?

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Let me tell you a secret: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Why? Because Thanksgiving means cooking, eating, and (in my opinion) no-fuss quality time with friends and family. Today, I’m going to talk about twelve dishes that will be on my table. And, I’d love to hear from you: What is on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

Thanksgiving Speaks my Love Language

Because one of my primary love languages* is quality time, Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday. I get a lot of joy when I cook with family and friends. If you live in the US, this holiday gives many people a full day to simply enjoy catching up over a long meal. When else do you get permission to linger at the dinner table?

And, Thanksgiving feels less commercialized than other holidays. It gives you the opportunity to pull out your family recipe book and cook real food. And, from my perspective, it comes with fewer obligations (gifts, decorations, parties, outfits, stuff) than other holidays.

*NOTE: Want to learn more about the five love languages? Besides reading the book (I totally recommend it!), you may want to read what to do for Mother’s Day – where examples of each of the five love languages are introduced.

What’s on my Thanksgiving Menu: Twelve ideas

I love to cook (in case you didn’t notice!). And, it can be really fun when you explore recipes with others. Not so excited about the cooking part of Thanksgiving? Sometimes simply chatting with friends and learning about family recipes can be just as fun.

So, what’s on our Thanksgiving menu this year? The menu is a mix of family recipes, colorful veggies, and sustainable food. We made sure that green and orange veggies were a big part of the meal to offset some of the heavier stuff.

We plan to cook:

1. A sustainable turkey. We are getting our turkey from Earthstead Farms. Want to know why we chose local this year? Check out my post: sustainable food 101.

2. Mashed potatoes. Instead of adding cream, we use homemade stock.

3. Roasted root vegetables. One of my favorite dishes is honey herb roasted root vegetables, which has lots of colorful orange, yellow, and white veggies.

4. Lemony green beans. I love the freshness that comes with adding lemon zest with this recipe for lemon almond string beans.

5. Cranberry chutney. My mom’s recipe is a little like this cranberry chutney recipe. The mix of sweet fruit and savory aromatics is perfect on top of turkey.

6. Sweet potato casserole. It’s a family dish, sort of like this one. The lovely, sweet flavor from the sweet potato is enhanced by vanilla. And, that awesome pecan topping! Yum.

7. Oregano pesto brussels sprouts. We’ve made oregano brussels sprouts over the last few years. Roasting the brussels sprouts make these cruciferous veggies a little sweet.

8. Rustic stuffing. It’s my sister’s recipe, made with whole grain bread and mushrooms! It’s a little like this mushroom and leek stuffing recipe.

9. Carrot Souffle. Another one of my mom’s that is an amazing way to get your beta carotene!

10. Kale Salad. A new recipe this year – we will be making kale and brussels sprouts salad with maple tahini dressing. The dressing isn’t too sweet, and the tahini adds a nutty richness to the salad that holds up to the greens.

11. Crudite. We always have a platter of colorful veggies available throughout the day so that we are snacking on something light and delicious.

12. A bonus: I also enjoy my grandmother-in-law’s mushroom casserole! It’s a Howe family recipe that is savory and comforting. This year, we’ll probably serve it at brunch.

What will be on your Thanksgiving menu this year? Share your recipes in the comments!

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  • Kathy Boyle

    Hi Caitlin, Can you link the Mushroom Casserole recipe? Or maybe take a photo of the recipe and link that? We’re deciding on the Thanksgiving menu today. “Jewelry” will be coming home for the weekend! Thanks…Kathy (Boyle)

    • Wonderful! Great to hear from you, Kathy. Here’s the recipe:

      Ingredients:
      1/3 c diced onion
      2-3 cartons sliced mushrooms
      1/3 c mayonaise
      1 can cream of mushroom soup
      8 slices sourdough bread
      butter

      Steps:
      1. Sautee 1/3 c diced onion
      2. While the onions are cooking, butter both sides of your 8 slices of bread and dice into 1/2 inch cubes
      3. add mushrooms to the onions, stir
      4. add 1/3 c mayo into the mushroom and onion mixture and mix well.
      5. in a 9×12 baking dish, layer 1. cubes of buttered bread 2. mushroom mixture. Repeat layers until ingredients are all used up
      6. Add a can of cream of mushroom soup on top of the layers
      7. bake at 350 degrees until bubbly (usually 45 minutes)

      • Kathy

        Thanks, Caitlin!