I’m not typically a huge fan of the holidays, but I do get very excited for Thanksgiving.
I think it’s the carbs. All that rich food mixed with wonderful smells all day, combined with family festivities, it’s a recipe for some great memories.
It’s the one day out of the year I don’t even bother to try to be good. Why fight it?
I’ve been Pinteresting my way through Thanksgiving fails and wins over the years, and here are some of my favorite food bloggers AND their T-day recipes.
TURKEY VEGGIE TRAY
Yes, I made this but no, it did not look like this picture. Maybe yours will turn out better. I still like the idea and will work on perfecting it. At any rate, these are probably the only actual healthy things you will serve on this day.
CHEESE & CRACKER TURKEY APPETIZER
I have not tried this one yet, but plan on doing so this year.
CRANBERRY PECAN CHEESE BALL
Tangy, rich, and creamy with a unique cheese that you have to try!
Time for the main enchilada, and by enchilada I mean, of course, the turkey.
The 2 pins below are both really reliable methods of guaranteeing a great tasting, juicy bird.
Both methods suggest you thaw out the turkey before you brine, so you’ll want to plan to buy and start to thaw your turkey a few days before you need to brine, which is typically the day before Thanksgiving.
DRY BRINE TURKEY
For those of you who haven’t done a dry-brine before it’s a very good but simple way to retain the moistness of your meat.
WET BRINE TURKEY
The wet brine is a lot more work, and a lot more ingredients, but also comes out good. I’m kind of cheating by including Alton Brown’s (not an authentic Pinterest/Blogger) recipe, but a lot of the Pinterest recipes from bloggers are variations on his recipe anyway. 5000 or so 5 star reviews from people who have used it can’t be wrong.
What good is turkey without gravy? None, I say. It’s also great for your potatoes (really you could eat it with anything couldn’t you?)
Gravy shouldn’t be overly complicated to make – it’s best if you can get fresh turkey or chicken drippings but if you can’t you can still make it using the recipe below.
I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t actually care less about the turkey, it’s really all about the SIDES! OH YES.
I’m sorry, I can’t even look at these without getting hungry. In fact, I’m going to finish this post as soon as I can and run off to the store to have a “practice run” of these. Not even kidding.
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
This recipe is the one to try if you’ve never made sweet potatoes as part of your Thanksgiving day before. You will never go back to being without them.
Don’t even get me started on this food blogger because I won’t stop. I don’t think I ever cooked anything well until I stumbled upon her blog years ago. I heart her. Check out this recipe and don’t stop there, she has some of the most fantastic recipes out there in blogland.
LIGHTENED UP GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
A lighter version of the typical heavy on the cream cheese, cheese, and corn flake recipe.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH LEEK STUFFING
For those hosting, you might need to consider what to feed your vegetarian friends. This makes a great side dish OR a main dish alternative to turkey.
A lot of times we will just buy Rhodes from the supermarket, which I always love. However, there’s nothing like fresh bread.
Anyone can make a traditional pumpkin pie following the recipe on the back of the pumpkin pie filling (that actually comes out really good too), but if you want to go a little more exotic and give people something that will bring a WOW factor, try this pumpkin pie recipe that also adds candied yams.
PUMPKIN CAKE PIE
Another unique pie to make or bring – this is a combination of a pumpkin pie and a cake.
Not overly sweet – but adjust the cinnamon amounts to your liking.
CRANBERRY APPLE CIDER
WHITE CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN COCOA
These ideas should get you started on a fantastic menu for Thanksgiving, whether it’s your first or 31st one!