Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and all the other delicious side dishes and desserts. I also appreciate the fact that it’s one holiday which hasn’t become an overblown, commercialized extravaganza. Food, family and gratefulness. That’s all that’s required. And it’s enough.
This year will look different for many of us but we can still make it a lovely occasion and a time of giving thanks.
Here are my basic Thanksgiving recipes as well as a handful of other resources to help you plan a beautiful Thanksgiving.
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Thanksgiving Recipe Basics
From thawing to cooking, I’ve got you covered. I’ve even included information on how to cook a turkey breast in a crockpot – perfect for sandwiches or for smaller gatherings.
Instant mashed potatoes are gross. Here’s how to make the real deal.
Ditch the packets and make homemade. Not difficult and SO much better.
No need to buy canned sauce when homemade is so easy!
Additional Thanksgiving Resources
Want to have a more organized Thanksgiving? This Thanksgiving Planner can help. Includes the following:
- Host Cheat Sheet
- To-Do List
- Guest List
- Menu Planner
- Shopping List
- Cooking Schedule
- Next Year Information Sheet
I discovered Perfect Potluck several years ago when helping to organize meals for a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy. It’s a great way to make sure that the recipient doesn’t receive lasagna four nights in a row. It’s also great for planning a holiday potluck. The creator of the event can list the menu items needed and attendees sign up for what they plan to bring. We have huge family gatherings for the holidays and this makes it super easy. The host family can then see that all the basics are covered.
Are the kids getting bored? Need something to do besides fill yet another plate of food? Check out these family friendly game ideas. Or if your gathering only includes adults (fun, not easily offended adults, that is) there is nothing quite like a round or two of Cards Against Humanity. You definitely need to judge your audience well before playing this one, though. 😉
I think it’s quite lovely to have a puzzle set up in an out-of-the-way corner. Especially in a large gathering there may be an introvert or two who would enjoy a little break from the main action.
No money in the budget for table decor or just want something truly unique? Watch this video for inspiration. Use what you have or make use of nature’s gifts for a truly stunning Thanksgiving table.
After the last of the guests have gone home, make yourself a turkey sandwich, curl up on the sofa and watch one of these Thanksgiving-themed movies.
Or my personal favorite:
I love both the original AND the remake:
Yes, I know this is more of a Christmas movie but it begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which is reason enough to watch it on Thanksgiving.
And speaking of the parade, this year, things are different. They won’t be marching down the streets of NYC but you can still watch the parade from the comfort of your home. Here is more information about how to view the floats, giant balloons and performances:
I’d love to hear your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, activities and traditions. And what does your Thanksgiving look like this year in light of the pandemic?