This will be our 4th year celebrating Thanksgiving in Colorado. It’s hard to believe this is our 4th holiday season here.
I take the lead on our menu and most of the cooking with some assistance from Lawson (pumpkin pie) and Jim (turkey). I’m mixing up a side and trying to make stuffing from scratch for the first time, but otherwise keeping the menu consistent with years past. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Our turkey is ordered and my shopping list is prepared. It was making me anxious thinking about everything so making my grocery list early was helpful. I have no idea how people prepare meals for larger groups!
Turkey, although I’m tempted to try this dry-brine turkey recipe
Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes – taking our mashed potatoes up a notch with this roasted garlic option.
Gravy – if I get really ambitious, I’ll try this herbed gravy recipe. Otherwise, I will mix the turkey pan juices with corn starch.
Bacon Brussel Sprouts with Salted Honey – have never made these, but they look so good
Cranberry Sauce – the absolute best cranberry sauce (I think Jim secretly prefers it to the canned variety, but can’t bring himself to admit it so we still have both!)
Sweet Potato Casserole – Jim’s family introduced me to this side dish. I dream about it all year long. It is the highlight of my Thanksgiving meal. It’s more of a dessert than a vegetable side, but it’s Thanksgiving so anything goes. Recipe below.
Dressing – we had Thanksgiving with friends a couple of years ago and they made this simple dressing/stuffing, which I’m going to attempt.
Hawaiian dinner rolls – Going with the classic King’s Hawaiian if I can find them. Last year they sold out before I could get them.
Pumpkin pie with coco whip and/or vanilla ice cream – Lawson *loves* pumpkin pie. It seems like a strange pie for a kid to like, but I love that he loves it. We use the Libby’s can recipe.
For pre-dinner drinks, we’re going to enjoy the Cranberry Rose Spritzers we made last weekend or try a spiced apple cider margarita.
We bring out our china and fancy wine glasses for Thanksgiving even when it’s just the four of us. I’m going to put these charger/placemats under the plates and maybe Kraft paper down the middle for the kids to draw on. This tablescape is serving as my inspiration. With all the food at Thanksgiving, you have to remember to leave room on the table for it!
I also bought these acrylic cups for Lawson and Sybil. They get special holiday drinks at dinner (with cherries!).
I usually set the table the day before so we don’t have to worry about it in the midst of Thanksgiving day cooking. The kids love to help!
While I spend most of the day in whatever I find most comfortable for cooking, I do like to elevate my outfit before dinner. Lawson and Sybil (mostly Lawson) like an excuse to get dressed up too.
I’m planning on wearing this dress in the blue from Target (also cute in the other color options) (or go more casual in denim, white tee, cozy cardigan, and shearling Birkenstocks), Lawson will likely wear this fair isle sweater with denim and Sybil is a toss up between her favorite sweatpants and a dress. Our family photos are the weekend before Thanksgiving. We’ll probably repeat at least a few of these items!
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
3-5 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup pecan pieces
3/4 cup mini-marshmallows
Heat over to 400. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil and bake for 30-45 minutes until well cooked. Mix together the streusel topping until crumbly. Add the streusel and marshmallow toppings to the sweet potatoes. Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and brown.
Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash