Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. It’s always been my favorite holiday, bringing family and friends together to ingest an ungodly amount of delicious food and drink while catching up on all the happenings of the past year. And because all I do is think about food all day anyway, I decided to share some possible menu options with you all from my little space here and around the web.

I’ve also fallen terribly behind on sharing updates on other activities I’ve been up to. First and foremost, I have finally updated my portfolio, which you can see here and on the “Work With Me” tab. It took a really, realllly long time to get everything together and organized, but I did it. Huzzah!!! I also did a guest post for some Salted Caramel & Walnut Chocolates over at Sonia’s Italian blog Oggi Pane e Salame Domani, you can see the recipe in English towards the bottom of the post. And I finally took a long awaited trip to Napa with Jeremy a couple weekends ago and will be posting about it all soon. There was such an insane amount of good food and wine in such a tiny and beautiful geographic area that I felt like the sensory part of my brain was going to explode from over-stimulation. But alas it did not, and it even held strong while we were atDean & Deluca’s, where I discovered that goats milk butter exists. Goats butter, you guys.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about that later. For now I’m just going to share some really great recipes in hopes that it will help you plan your Thanksgiving spread. And now, for the mains…

Mains

Roast Turkey with Pears & SageI made this last year after hearing a friend talk about an amazing turkey her mother made with pears. The pear glaze on the turkey adds just a hint of fruit and sweetness, but the saltiness of the bird and the stuffing create a wonderfully rich mix of flavors. I’m actually making two of these guys this year (yes, I am celebrating Thanksgiving twice because I love it so much).

Bacon & Zucchini Quichefrom Drizzle & Dip – Oh my sweet Lord. I could not get over how beautiful this dish was, and how wonderfully straightforward it was in its execution. A great main dish to serve alongside a bird or in place of it if you’re not a poultry fan.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Caramelized Onions from Reclaiming Provincial – If you read my blog regularly, you know how much I love squash (a LOT), and also how much I love caramelizing things (a WHOLE lot), so when Carey paired them together in pasta-form it seemed as if the heavens had parted and bestowed a wonderful butternut-filled gift upon the earth. Thank you Carey, for bringing this heavenly creation to life.
Heirloom Shakshuka with Eggplants from Wandercrush – If you want to bring a little spice to your Thanksgiving table, a shashuka is an excellent choice. A hearty mixture of tomatoes, eggplant, chilies, and onions with poached eggs on top, it’s a flavorful and gorgeous dish for those looking for something healthy to serve alongside the bird.
 
Roast Chicken with Winter Vegetables – Not all families are large, and if you want to size down the bird to a roast chicken, this is hands down my favorite recipe. The brussel sprouts get caramelized roasting slowly away in the pan with the chicken, and the sweet potato flavor seeps out into the broth and is absorbed by the other vegetables and the chicken, creating a wonderful hint of sweetness.
 

Sides

Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas & Cauliflower with Pickled Mustard Seedsfrom Reclaiming Provincial – Roasted chickpeas are a magical thing; salty, crunchy, smooth, creamy, while still being actually good for you. Pair that with some tasty cauliflower and the tang of pickled mustard seeds and you have a crazy-good flavor combination.
 
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup from Honey & Jam – There’s nothing like a thick creamy soup to warm you up from the autumn chill. This soup combines the deeply nutty flavor of roasted kabocha squash with the richness of pancetta, making for a wonderfully hearty soup.
 
Pumpkin & Parmesan Scones with Thymefrom Drizzle & Dip – If you’ve never had pumpkin and parmesan cheese in combination before, you need to try these scones. There’s just something fantastic about the way the creamy pumpkin interacts with the sharp and salty parmesan. Plus, everybody loves scones, so you’re sure to please with these guys.
 
Chantarelle Popovers from The Vanilla Bean Blog – Mmmmm chantarelles. I think you know how I feel about them from my last post. They have a wonderfully delicate, warm, and earthy flavor to them, and incorporating those guys into the fluffy, buttery interior of a popover is kind of the best idea ever. And have you ever seen a popover? They’re like the Porsche of dinner rolls. Really kicks the Thanksgiving spread up a notch.
 
Jalapeno Cornbread & Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffingfrom Local Milk – I had cornbread stuffing for the first time last year, and it pretty much blew my mind. The idea of putting jalapenos and buttermilk in it, though? ZOMG. I can only daydream about what the inside-the-bird version of this stuff would taste like…
 
 
 

Goat Cheese Spread with Pistachios & Chutney from Nothing But Delicious – Spreads are one of the best sides for the holidays because they’re almost always really easy to make, and serving anything alongside an assortment of crackers always makes it look fancy. Plus, the flavor combinations in this sound amazing. Goat cheese, pistachios, and mango chutney? Count me in.

Desserts

 
Chocolate Chess Pie – I know chocolate pies are usually chilled, but trust me when I say that this hot fudge sundae of a pie will put that way of thinking to shame. The gooey chocolatey custard filling makes this pie a rich treat worthy of thanks.
 
Individual Blueberry Cakes from Top with Cinnamon – I love all blueberry baked goods, and these adorable individual cakes are at the top of that list. Not only do they contain just 5 ingredients (all of which are tasty), but they only take 30 minutes to make! A perfect dessert choice for the oven-frenzied relative-packed Thanksgiving kitchen.
 
Salted Caramel Apple Dumplings with Dried Cherries & Hazelnuts from Local Milk – Soooo I’m really obsessed with the photos of the apples in this post. Who knew apples could portray emotions? But aside from that, the ingredients are a delicious medley of fall flavors and the individual portions make for an incredible presentation. Who wouldn’t want to be presented with a single roasted apple wrapped in a flakey crust and drizzled with salted caramel? If you wanted to be the ultimate host, you could even gently indent each person’s initial onto the crust before baking. And if you wanted to be the ultimate-mega-host, you could do that with one of these.
 
Salted Licorice Brigadieros from Documenting Our Dinner – I wasn’t much a black licorice fan until I met my husband, who got me hooked. Now I find myself unable to get enough of the dark, sweet stuff. Brianne took that warm and almost nutty flavor a step further by melting them down, mixing them with salt, and rolling them in chocolate sprinkles. YUM.
 
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple-Chai Buttermilk Glaze from Reclaiming Provincial – Pumpkin always adds moisture and a wonderful richness to baked goods. Put that in a cinnamon roll and pair it with maple and chai and you officially have the best cinnamon roll that has ever shown its swirly little face.
 
Apple Honey Custard Pie from A Wooden Nest – I have a special fondness for custard and honey (they’re paired together in Greek desserts quite often), but bringing apples and pecans into the mix creates the perfect melange of custard and seasonal produce. And then there’s the fact that it’s in pie-form, and as we all know, buttery flakey crusts just make sweet fillings that much tastier.
 
Salted Caramel Roasted Nut Tart – If you want something a bit more delicate-looking, why not make a tart? And why not fill that tart with salted caramel and nuts? There is no reason not to do this. (Unless you are allergic to nuts, in which case a tart full of caramel will do just fine).
 

Beverages

 
Butternut Chai Latte – The spiced flavor of chai combined with the rich seasonal taste of butternut in a piping hot beverage. Non-alcoholic, it’s a crowd pleaser that even those averse to high levels of caffeine can enjoy. Take that, picky family member.
Hot Bourbon Apple Cider from Pastry Affair – I love the simplicity of this drink, it’s just bourbon, apple cider, and a splash of orange juice all mixed up. There’s just something about hot alcoholic beverages that feels like the holidays to me (maybe that’s just my family), but drinking them always makes me feel comfortable and cozy, and there’s something about the presentation of this drink with the floating apple slice that seems to beckon “come on home, friend.”
Blood Orange French 75 from Reclaiming Provincial – If you’re putting together a really elegant Thanksgiving spread, then this is the drink for you. It’s probably one of the prettiest cocktails I’ve ever laid eyes on. And with gin, champagne, and blood orange juice, it makes for a wonderfully tasty palette cleanser.
 
Mesa Mules from Happy Yolks – If you’re a fan of spicy cocktails, this is the holiday beverage for you. It contains a wonderful medley of tropical flavors that will make you remember what it was like to not be cold, such as: ginger beer, guava juice, tequila, and fresh jalapeños. You can heat yourself up from the inside out while remembering the good ol’ days of summer.
 
Gingerbread White Hot Chocolate from Nutmeg Nanny – Another non-alcoholic option, this decadent beverage has melted white chocolate and a dash of molasses in it for that signature gingerbread flavor. Creamy, velvety, and topped with a spoonful of whipped cream, it’s a beautiful treat for family members of all ages.
 
Roobios Tea Peach Punch from Simply Delicious – Think of this as a peach sangria with vodka and roobios tea instead of wine. Fruity, sweet, and with a subtle hint of mint, the fruitiness rounds out the alcohol perfectly to create a really refreshing drink. Great for kicking back and relaxing a bit once the family’s conversation starts to get heated.
 
~ ~ ~

Well friends, those are my suggestions. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving with your family and friends, and stay tuned for the Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whiskey I’ll be sharing in a few days. It’s delicious and toasty and made me forget that I didn’t even have a heater. Talk soon!!!

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