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The BIG week is finally here! I, for one, am shocked that Thanksgiving is here already. Wasn’t it just Labor Day? Is that really a Christmas wreath I spot over on the neighbor’s door?
Anyways, I’m not complaining. I absolutely love Thanksgiving and the fact that my sister and her family are visiting for the week makes this holiday all that much more special.
We don’t have any “set in stone” traditions in my family, so our holidays are usually pretty low-key and casual. Just the way I like them. We don’t get all dressed up to eat the meal or serve dinner off of fancy china dishes. With a toddler in the family now (my sister’s little one), we are getting more and more laid back with every year!
2012 Thanksgiving Menu
We usually have an early dinner on Thanksgiving around 5 o’clock or so. On this year’s menu…
- Baked Citrus Halibut: Yep, no turkey this year. We all love fish and so we thought we’d break the mold this year and splurge on a few pounds of wild Pacific halibut instead of a big turkey. I’ll prepare it simply with garlic, olive oil, citrus zest and juice, and sea salt.
- Cranberry Sauce: Growing up, my mom never made cranberry sauce so I never knew how easy it was to make until I tried it for myself one year. It is now everyone’s favorite part of the meal! I might make this recipe, or try something new.
- Mom’s Stuffing: My mom makes her own special stuffing recipe that everyone loves. It’s made with traditional bread and butter, so I haven’t eaten it in years, but Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without the scent of her stuffing wafting out of the oven.
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes: These are another specialty of Mom, and a favorite of my dad’s!
- Salads and Veggies: Since I don’t eat the stuffing or the mashed potatoes, we make sure to always have other sides on the menu. I’ll make a big vegetable salad this year with a creamy balsamic dressing, and probably another side dish, too. (These Brussels sprouts from Ali are amazing! I typically like to try something new, but I love these so much I might just make them again this year.)
And for dessert…
- Cranberry Upside-Down Cake (or crumble?): It’s a new (grain-free) recipe that I’m testing out for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. Risky, I know. But if it’s a flop, my family won’t care. (You know they love you when they’ll eat your cranberry crumb mush.)
- I might also make something else, like cookies or my Maple Pecan Tart, to have on hand for back-up in case the cake doesn’t work out.
My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
If you’re still looking for a few things to serve up with your T-Day meal, try these:
- Spiced Pear & Cranberry Relish
- Last-Minute Skillet Green Beans
- Spiced Carrot Hummus with Garlic Herb Crackers
- Roasty Toasty Carrot & Squash Soup
- Shredded Balsamic Beet & Kale Salad
- Mustardy Green Beans with Raisins & Pecans
- Maple Pecan Tart
- Cranberries & Cream Tart with Chocolate Crust
- Two-Bite Orange Walnut Crumble Cakes
I think it’s safe to say that all of us have too many blessings to count. And if we tried, it would take far more than just one day to express our gratitude for everything we’ve been given. May the Thanksgiving spirit be with you all throughout the year, each and every day.
Have a happy, blessed, joyful Thanksgiving! With gratitude,