thanksgiving week | food

Thanksgiving or not, I’m all about the food.

Though I may not be hosting Thanksgiving alone, or in charge of more a few side dishes, I love cooking on Thanksgiving day.

My parents live next door to my grandmother so we spread out cooking & baking duties between our ovens, stovetops and countertops. My mom, sister and I go to work on sides at our house while my grandmother commandeers the bird (& ham) in her double ovens.

As oven timers chime, we carefully walk over our food across the alley and are welcomed by my grandmother at the front door, house warm from the active oven.

I cherish the moment when we sit down around an array of food on a carefully set table. The prayer before we start serving is spoken, and bread is broken immediately after.

In our home, no Thanksgiving is complete without these staples:


Warm Herb & Jam Goat Cheese Spread from Joy the Baker

This is the perfect combo of tangy & sweet & warm and is not just for Thanksgiving dinner. I miiiiiiight have made it as a pre-dinner appetizer for me, myself and I on Monday night.


Also a ham. We’re a no-fuss family so we don’t go too crazy on our bird. However, this year Dad is planning on smoking the turkey in his new electric smoker so the life of the leftovers are estimated to be short this year. As for the gravy, this is what I aspire to. Also this


STUFFING: In all honesty, I’m neither a scratch-made or boxed gal. I’m a Praters gal. Every year we get our stuffing (aka dressing) from a local eatery in my hometown. I may already have plans to take back a tray with me back to Austin after Thanksgiving. But if I was completely without, this would be the way to go.

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE: Personally, the attractiveness of this dish starts and ends with those crispy fried onions on top. In fact, it’s exactly why I volunteer as quickly as possible to the one who assembles this casserole just so I can sneak in a handful of crunchy joy. Not a fan of the traditional? Try this!

MASHED POTATOES: I take full responsibility for making the best homemade mashed potatoes you’ve had all year. Though all the credit is due to the same recipe I found on Pioneer Woman’s blog years ago, all buttery and half-and-half-y. Also this recipe looks to die for.

CRANBERRY SAUCE: Confession time, I’m a can gal. But only because one slice will do me! Though you better believe I’m willing to try a homemade version like this one.

ROLLS: 3 words: Parker House Rolls.


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: No matter the occasion, chocolate chip cookies are my go-to dessert of choice. So it’s no surprise they top my list of favorite Thanksgiving desserts.

SWEET POTATO PIE: Okay, I don’t LOVE pumpkin/sweet potato pie. But I am OBSESSED with Joy the Baker’s image of her Dad’s Sweet Potato Pie. So it’s being included.

NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE WITH TOASTED MERINGUE: This is my kind of pie. Especially that it’s no bake. Your oven will thank me.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? Any interesting food traditions I should hear about?