Can you believe it is already almost Thanksgiving? I swear I sneezed and the year was almost over. Although this year has certainly held its ups and downs, I try never to take for granted just how much I have to be grateful for.
This year, my mama is hosting Thanksgiving dinner at her house. We’ll have some very special guests too, as my stepdad’s parents are coming into town from Florida. Since nothing warms my heart more than hanging with my family, I’m unabashedly excited. Let the love-filled weekend of gluttony begin!
Which brings us to today’s #NaBloPoMo prompt: What was your worst Thanksgiving food fail? So, here’s the thing… I don’t have one. And, don’t worry, it’s not because I’m an exceptionally good cook. Rather, it’s because I don’t cook at all on Thanksgiving.
Well, I take that back. Ish. I take it back-ish, because I usually do get in the kitchen with my mama and sister and contribute something. Last year it was the green bean casserole.
But, you see, I come from a big Southern family, and the family matriarch traditionally hosts Thanksgiving. That role belonged to my Grandma Hazel, or “Goodness,” before she passed away. Now, it belongs to my mother.
To be fair, my sister and brother usually kick in a few dishes, too. If I’m really being honest, I’m an anomaly in my big Southern family of home chefs and baking extraordinaires — my husband jokes that I’d use my oven for storage if he’d let me.
Alas, I have no funny anecdotes about my misadventures in the kitchen. In light of this alarming lack of any culinary prowess, I turned to my dear ol’ friend Pinterest for inspiration. She (of course Pinterest is a woman) loves me even though I never cook anything I pin.
Perhaps this will be the year that changes, though. The following recipes are fun and different. They aren’t the classics that get cooked year after year; they are fresh new spins on old favorites. That’s definitely an idea I can get behind.
Besides, they’re all so gosh-darn beautiful. It would almost be a shame to eat them. Almost.
Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread
Source: She Wears Many Hats
True story — I actually made this dip recently for a girls’ night, and it was a huge hit. Bonus? It is literally so easy that even I can’t mess it up.
Hot Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprout Dip
Source: Closet Cooking
I don’t know why brussels sprouts get such a bad rap! I find them to be totally delish. Since we all know cheese makes everything better, this dip should boost their mass appeal.
Source: The Idea Room
Well, if these pumpkin-shaped rolls aren’t just about the cutest thing that’ll ever go down your gullet, I just don’t even know what. Someone bring me a basket full, please and thank you.
Sweet Potato Casserole Bites
Source: Dine & Dish
Dear God, who thinks of these things? The amuse-bouche version of classic sweet potato casserole, these bite-sized beauties basically beg to go in your belly.
Rosemary Roasted Carrots
Source: Oh My Veggies
I’ve always thought having whole carrots on a holiday table offers tons of charm, and this rosemary-roasted heirloom version proves the point perfectly. And, presumably, deliciously.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Source: Carlsbad Cravings
Confession: scalloped potatoes make me weak in the knees. The fact that these feature sweet potatoes (my fave!) with bacon and gruyere has me close to swooning.
Green Bean Casserole Cups
Source: Let’s Dish Recipes
We’ve all enjoyed traditional green bean casserole, and I personally can’t get enough. But I adore the idea of these lighter, more portable casserole cups.
Greek Stuffed Acorn Squash
Source: Some the Wiser
My dad introduced me to acorn squash a few years back, and it was one of those food discoveries I wish I’d made much sooner — especially seeing this tasty recipe.
THE MAIN EVENT
Spiced Apple Cider Glazed Turkey Breast
Source: The Noshery
In full disclosure, I’m a vegetarian and don’t eat turkey. However, this spiced apple cider glazed turkey breast sounds nearly good enough to convert me.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce and Balsamic Drizzle
Source: Will Cook for Friends
Be real with me — would it be weird to say that if I ever go to prison that I would want this to be my last meal? ‘Cause that’s kinda what I’m thinking.
Slow-Cooked Turkey Leg with Honey Glaze & Garlic
Source: Eat Well 101
No ifs, ands, or buts about it, my family would devour this slow-cooked turkey leg with great gusto. Particularly my husband who — poor thing — hardly gets meaty treats around here.
Sushi-Inspired Thanksgiving Turkey Rolls
Source: Arts & Crackers
I mean, right? Not only are sushi-style turkey rolls just precious, but they also boast built-in portion control. It’s a win-win, y’all.
Nutella-Stuffed Pumpkin Beignets
Source: Half Baked Harvest
Nutella? Pumpkin? Beignets? Be still, my heart! Wild horses couldn’t keep me from at least attempting this recipe this year.
Pecan Pie Bars
Source: Just a Taste
I like pecan pie and I like dessert bars, so it stands to reason pecan pie bars could be my new holiday dessert soul mate.
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
Source: Chocolate with Grace
Anytime you combine salted caramel, pumpkin, and cheesecake, you’ve got a recipe for success. It just feels so very right.
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Marshmallow Frosting
Source: Overtime Cook
Cupcakes make everyone happy! These are made with sweet potato, so you can technically say you’re eating your veggies. Er, with maple marshmallow frosting on top. (YUM.)
What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?