Thanksgiving Menu

I have been working on my Thanksgiving menu and I’m so excited about it. If you are stumped with what to make I am here to help. I will share with you what I’ll be serving and other recipes that you might like. There are some recipes I do not have links to and those are the ones that I have yet to post about but I do plan to.

If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving, please don’t stress. It’s really all in the planning. Plan your menu ahead of time and then break it down. You do not need to be cooking all day on Thanksgiving. I like to enjoy the day and spend time with my family and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along with football. To help you out, I will share with you how I’ll be planning the days to Thanksgiving.


  • Make Parker House Rolls and Freeze


  • Make Spinach Dip
  • Make Cranberry Compote
  • Prepare napkins and table cloths (iron if necessary)


  • Make Pumpkin Cream Pie
  • Make Apple Pie
  • Make Cranberry and Apple Cake


  • Brine the Turkey
  • Make Green Rice and Bake
  • Make Mashed Potatoes
  • Make Spiced Apple Cider
  • Make Sweet Potatoes and Apples and Bake
  • Cut veggies for tray
  • Set the tables

Thanksgiving Day:


  • Roast Turkey
  • Make Brie en Croute
  • Make Stuffing
  • Mix the Spiced Apple Cider with Wine to make Sangria
  • Roast Brussel Sprouts
  • Reheat All Side Dishes
  • Throw rolls into oven
  • Carve Turkey and enjoy dinner
Now here is my menu along with other dishes you might like. 

*Brie en Croute
*Veggie tray
*Cocktail Shrimp (already cooked and frozen)
Special Drink:
*Spiced Apple Cider Sangria
Main Course and Sides:
*Brined Turkey
*Mashed Potatoes
*Roasted Brussel Sprouts
*Cranberry Compote
*Pumpkin Cream Pie
*Apple Pie
*Cranberry and Apple Cake
*I will be serving

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

Tomorrow, most of us will be surrounded by family and friends for Thanksgiving and telling each other what we are grateful for. One of the things I’m very grateful for is this blog and my readers. This year has been especially tough for my family. Some of you already know what has been going on and some don’t. For those who don’t, my husband lost his job back in March, which is why we have moved to be back around family. For that I’m also grateful for. I created this blog to keep me focussed on something other than the other things happening in my life. It’s been an amazing ride so far and I can’t wait to share more recipes and what is going on in my life with you. The feedback I’ve received has meant so much to me and it helps keep me driven to do better, not just for you the readers, but also for me. Thank you to all my readers!

If you have any questions, requests or anything you would like to see please email at I would love to hear from you!

Now for the Thanksgiving Wrap Up. I’ve compiled links to my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving. I truly hope you have a beautiful day this Thanksgiving.  If you are going shopping Friday morning for Black Friday like I am, good luck!

Baked Corn

Italian Style Stuffing with Sausage and Fennel

Green Rice

Sweet Potatoes with Apples

Apricot-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Goat and Cheddar Cheese Ball

Pumpkin Mousse

Apple Crisp

Apricot-Ginger Cranberry Sauce

I love finding new ways to make cranberry sauce. A few weeks ago I picked up the Holiday Entertaining magazine by Cook’s Illustrated and saw this one. I was very excited to try it with the apricots and ginger.

At first the only thing that sorta freaked me out was that it called for cayenne pepper. Luckily, after trying it I didn’t have to worry. The cranberry sauce turned out really good, Cook’s Illustrated has never failed me. To grate the ginger use a microplane or the small holes in a box grater.

If you have never tried making cranberry sauce before, this is the one you must try. It’s very easy to put together and you can make it in advanced, which makes this even better.

Apricot-Ginger Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped fine
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups apricot preserves (I used sugar free)
  • 1 12oz bag cranberries, picked through for stems
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  1. Bring water, apricots, sugar, salt, cayenne, and apricot preserves to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add cranberries, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer mixture until slightly thickened and two-thirds of berries have popped open, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ginger and stir mixture to combine before transferring to serving bowl and cooling completely. Serve.

Source: Holiday Entertaining by Cook’s Illustrated

Goat and Cheddar Cheese Ball

Holidays are upon us and that means getting together with families and going to parties. One of the more popular things to serve at these gatherings are cheese balls. Instead of buying the processed kind at the store, make your own. It tastes better and doesn’t take long to make. This one combines some of my favorite cheeses, goat and sharp cheddar. You can use either the white or the orange cheddar, I used white. Make this at your next gathering, your guests or hosts will thank you.


Goat and Cheddar Cheese Ball:

  • 2 10oz blocks extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 4oz goat cheese logs, softened
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Stir together all ingredients. Shape mixture into a ball. You can then shape the ball into a pumpkin, if desired. Use your fingertips to make the vertical grooves of the pumpkin. To make the stem use a braided pretzel and flat leaf parsley works well for the leaves. Serve with crackers.

Source: Southern Living Magazine

Sweet Potatoes and Apples Casserole

It took me till I was an adult to really enjoy what the sweet potato has to offer. When I was little I wouldn’t touch the sweet potato casserole even if it had marshmallows melted all over it. The first time I really tried the sweet potato casserole was when my mother-in-law made it. She put apples in it and I figured I’d go ahead and try it.

I was very happy I did, and surprised at how yummy it was. The apples, brown sugar and spices took it to another level. I’ve been making it this way ever since.

This recipe is very forgiving. I rarely go by a strict a recipe for this one. I tend to buy more canned yams than I need. One year I didn’t have enough to my liking but it still turned out ok. I use 3 apples and found that’s a good ratio to 2-3 large cans of canned yams. You can adjust the amount of yams as you make this.

Sweet Potatoes and Apples Casserole:

  • 2-3 40 oz cans Canned Yams, drained
  • 3 Apples, peeled and cored and diced in 1 inch cubes. I use Gala or McIntosh
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar ( I use splenda brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground or fresh nutmeg
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 bag small marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep, medium size baking dish, set aside.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, Cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples together in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Slice the yams into 1/2 inch rounds or cut the larger pieces into smaller pieces. Layer half the yams into the baking dish. Add the apple mixture and top with the remaining yams. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
  4. Just before serving, pour as many of the marshmallows on top that you want, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the marshmallows get a golden brown. Serve.

Baked Fontina

I got the new Ina Garten “How Easy is That?” cookbook a couple weeks ago. When I saw this recipe I knew it would be perfect for the cheese party we were having with my sister-in-law and her husband. This would make a great appetizer for your Thanksgiving get together.

The next time I make this I might not add as much olive oil as the recipe calls for. We felt there was a bit too much. I will leave the recipe as is because some might be ok with that much oil. I used a shallow baking dish instead of a cast iron pan and it worked just fine. I don’t think there anything better than melted cheese and crusty bread to dip into it.

Baked Fontina:

  • 1 1/2 lbs Italian Fontina, rind removed and 1 inch diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 crust French baguette
  1. Preheat broiler and position oven rack 5 inches from the heat.
  2. Distribute the cubes of Fontina evenly in a 12 inch cast iron pan or shallow baking dish. Drizzle on the olive oil.
  3. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to turn brown.
  5. Serve with the crusty French baguette

Source: How Easy is That by Ina Garten

Green Rice

Green Rice has been apart of our families Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners since before I was born. It’s not the prettiest photo subject, but the way it tastes makes it a star. The name might fool you, Green Rice is basically a broccoli and cheese casserole. I remember as a kid, always fighting with my brother over who gets the biggest scoop of the Green Rice. I would rather have had a plate of Green Rice than turkey or stuffing. It’s that good!

If you are looking for side dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time, this is the perfect one. You will make the recipe up until you have to bake it. Once you have put it in the casserole dish, cover it with foil then refrigerate till ready to bake. Anything to make your Thanksgiving day a little less stressful is a good thing.

Green Rice:

  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 13 tbs unsalted butter plus 1tbs to butter casserole dish
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 15oz jar of Cheez Whiz
  • 2 1/3 cup Minute Rice (I use the brown kind)
  • 2 10 oz packages of chopped broccoli, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.
  2. In a 10 inch saute pan set over medium heat, melt butter and add the onions and celery. Cook until onions and celery are soft, about 8 minutes, take off heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup and Cheez Whiz. Add the butter, onions and celery, stir to combine.
  4. Add the rice and broccoli and stir till everything is combined. Pour mixture into the buttered casserole dish. At this point you can refrigerate it or bake it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly on top. Enjoy!