How to: Thanksgiving (part 2) Planning Your Menu

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Be sure to check out the rest of my "How to: Thanksgiving" series here! 

Have you figured out your menu for Thanksgiving yet?  If not, here are some ideas to get you started.  If you've already started planning, check out these recipes - you might want to add one of them to your menu this year! 



As guests start arriving, and you're finishing up meal preparations, it's a good idea to have something to much on.  This will keep your guests happy, and the kids (relatively) quiet and out of your hair.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread (recipe here)
Thyme Popovers with Ginger Pear Butter (recipe here)
Radishes with Herbed Cheese (recipe here) 

Smoked Salmon Bites (recipe here)

White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip (recipe here)

Kid-Friendly Veggie Platter (recipe here)
This one is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike, and might even get your kids to eat their veggies!

After all the cooking is done and the appetizers have been eaten, 
it's time for the Main Course.  


Is there a "right way" to cook a turkey?  There are so many different recipes, it can get really overwhelming.  These are two recipes I've had on my list to try for a while.  However, this year I think we will be doing a "spatchcocked" turkey.  It cuts down on cooking time, as well as resulting in a more juicy bird and crisper skin.  Check out this list of 5 reasons to Spatchcock your Turkey, and the accompanying video.  I'm convinced!  :)

Pear-Thyme Brined Turkey (recipe here)

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter (recipe here)

Roast Spatchcocked Turkey (recipe here)


How can you have a Thanksgiving meal without potatoes? A heaping bowl of mashed potatoes is almost as iconic as a beautifully roasted turkey.  This Crispy Potato Roast has great flavor, and brings something new and different to the table when it comes to the classic potato dish.  Cooking your mashed potatoes in the crockpot is very intriguing.  You can turn it on and forget about it while you work on other dishes, and you don't have to use tons of water!  We'll be trying out this recipe this year.  The Sweet and White Mashed Potato swirl is a favorite in our family, and I find myself making it far more often than regular mashed potatoes.  Plus, it's pretty.  :)  The last recipe - the sweet potato casserole - is my sister in law's recipe and is absolutely delish.  Thanksgiving just isn't the same without it.
Crispy Potato Roast (recipe here)
Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (recipe here)

Sweet and White Mashed Potato Swirl (recipe here)

Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecan Streusel (recipe here)

Veggie Sides

There are so many options when it comes to vegetable sides for Thanksgiving dinner.  It's hard enough just deciding between cooked and fresh/raw sides.  My favorite is always a heaping pile of roasted veggies (pretty much any veggies will do the trick).  This time of year, I love a blend of Brussels sprouts, beets, and carrots.  It's easy to toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw under the broiler.  Here are *just a few* other veggie sides to try.

Parmesan Roasted Carrots (recipe here)
Roasted Fall Vegetable Orzo (recipe here)
  Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (recipe here)

Pear, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad (recipe here)

Apple Cranberry Bacon Candied Walnut Salad (recipe here)

Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas (recipe here)


These are more just fun, less-traditional ways of serving stuffing, rather than navigating the many taste variations of stuffings/dressings... (with fruit, berries, sausage, etc, vs without; homemade vs from a box...) You could serve up just about any stuffing recipe like one of these.  

Stuffing in a Bundt (recipe here)
Stuffing Muffins - "Stuffins"? (recipe here)


Time to load up on that carb-filled goodness.  You can't have Thanksgiving dinner without rolls, and you definitely can't make leftover sandwiches without leftover rolls.  Be sure to make plenty!  

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls (recipe here)
Steakhouse Sweet Brown Molasses Bread (recipe here)

One Hour Dinner Rolls (recipe here)


Probably the most important part of your Thanksgiving meal, is the dessert.  :)  This is barely even scratching the surface on all the amazing Thanksgiving desserts out there.  What dessert do you just love for Thanksgiving?  

Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie (recipe here)

Pecan Pie Cheesecake (recipe here)

Pumpkin Roll (recipe here)

Pears with Chocolate (recipe here)

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