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Thanksgiving Menu 2015

Thanksgiving Menu 2016

Thanksgiving Menu 2016
Thanksgiving Menu 2016

Every year I share our Thanksgiving Menu. We are huge foodies in our family, and I love Thanksgiving, mostly because I love the idea of having a day devoted to giving thanks to all of our blessings. We always host Thanksgiving at our house, as I absolutely love to shower our loved ones with an abundance of awesome food. All of our family members bring a part of the meal, so everyone else gets to experience the joy of giving too.

For years our Thanksgiving menu consisted of the same ol’, same ol’, but over the last couple of years I’ve been working to add some new things in, and we’re switching it up a bit this year as well. Check out what’s on the menu and let me know what you think:

Thanksgiving Menu 2016

Turkey and Ham

We do both a turkey and a ham on Thanksgiving. Main reason being my stepdad abhors turkey. I used to have a “tough luck, buck up” attitude about his disdain for turkey, until I learned this summer that it stems from the fact that he had to work on a turkey farm when he was a kid. Most of my midwestern readers will know full well that turkey farms exude an almost unbearable smell. Having driven by many of them over the years, this revelation gave me new compassion for my stepdad and his disdain for turkey, so I’m making a ham this year as well to help make Thanksgiving dinner more enjoyable for him πŸ™‚ .

Turkey Brine

If you’ve never brined your turkey before cooking it, you have GOT to take advantage of this wonderful way to make turkey more delicious. We’ve been brining our Thanksgiving birds for about five years ago and we’re never going back. The brine recipe we use makes our turkey super moist and flavorful.




mashedpotatoes_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeJust mashed potatoes this year. We like to useΒ Tyler Florence’s mashed potatoes. If you’re not a mashed potato fan you might like myΒ dad’s homemade AuGratin potatoes. My dad’s recipe is easy and delicious and I’d highly recommend it for any Thanksgiving or other meal. Β OH, I’ll also be roasting up some sweet potatoes.









My dad’s bread stuffing recipe is the best EVER. Onions, celery, sausage and green olives help adorn this stuffing with goodness.Β 334800265_f4a2a3c698_m


We’re vegging it up big time this year for Thanksgiving. Along with corn (my mom insists on having corn πŸ™‚ ) we’ll be having Green Bean Casserole. We’ll serve an abundant veggie salad this year, and also this fan favorite, Β Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (we’ll be adding some onion too).Β RE0304_Brussel-Sprouts-with-Bacon.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape










Recommended Reading: Thanksgiving 101: Celebrate America’s Favorite Holiday with America’s Thanksgiving Expert (Holidays 101)


lefse_10_packThe breads we serve at Thanksgiving are a mix of frugal and affluent. πŸ™‚ Β We’re being extra frugal this year by serving dinner rolls we froze when they were leftover from a church bonfire we hosted last month. Then we add in to the mix Jacob’s Lefse. For those not in the know, lefse is a Norwegian potato bread that’s super thin and perfect with a spreading of butter. If you’ve had the store-bought lefse and found it disgusting, that’s because it is. But Jacob’s homemade lefse ROCKS. We have it shipped from northwestern Minnesota every year. It’s our one fancy Thanksgiving splurge, and well worth every penny. Order now if you want it shipped to your house in time for Thanksgiving.


Recommended Reading: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations


What is Thanksgiving dinner without an abundance of dessert? Β Here’s our dessert lineup for this year:

banana creamPampered Chef’s Banana Cream Supreme. We do our own version of this but it’s pretty similar to the classic and is highly sought after every year, especially by my brothers. πŸ™‚

Homemade Cheesecake. We did this last year but we’re not doing it this year. If you love cheesecake, thisΒ homemade cheesecake recipe is easy to make and always comes out quite fine for us, even though many homemade cheesecakes are said to be difficult to make.perfect-cheesecake-600-dm

Pie. And more pie. Apple, Pumpkin, Pecan and whatever other fun types of pies my food-loving father finds at Sam’s Club. πŸ™‚

Orange Jello Salad. We’re changing it up this year. Usually we doΒ Pistachio Salad.Β but we thought orange would be a better compliment color-wise. πŸ™‚

We’re using this Orange Jello Salad recipe, minus the pineapple and the cottage cheese.

And of course, cranberries. Canned. Jellied whole and jelly.

That’s it! What do you think: do we have everything covered?

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?








  1. Ooooh sounds tasty! I also despise turkey; I’m all about hammin’it up. To me, turkey is really dry. For our Thanksgiving, I’m SUPER excited to be able to visit my sister’s farmhouse and see my nieces! She lives eight hours away so we don’t get to hang out much. This year we’re (unfortunately) having turkey, green bean casserole, tomato salad, and chocolate delight.

    • Laurie says:

      Wanna hear something funny? The gal who gave me the turkey brine recipe in this post said that her family members who despise turkey LOVE it when she makes it with this brine! You should try it! The farmhouse visit sounds so fun….. πŸ™‚

  2. Mr. SSC says:

    That sounds delicious! The last couple of times I brined our turkey I must have been heavy handed on the salt, because it was a touch too salty. Yipe! Since then, I’ve been frying our bird, so no brine necessary. I just inject it with some flavor infused butter I make ahead of time. So tasty… πŸ™‚

    This year we decided to do something a bit different and seek out new recipes for our typical foods. Like a different green bean casserole recipe, a variation on my homemade stuffing recipe, a potatoe gratin recipe instead of the usual mashed, and of course a healthy dose of collard greens from the garden. They are yuuge already! lol We’re also doing some other version of sweet potatoes, but I forget what kind.
    We’re even doing a pumpkin pie cheesecake instead of the normal pumpkin pie. Gasp!!

    One year, Mrs. SSC wants to do an “all pie” themed Thanksgiving. I think we’ll wait until the kids are a few years older and may be more amenable to that concept. I jsut ahven’t worked out how to the turkey, because turkey pot pie just won’t cut it for me on Thanksgiving. πŸ™‚

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, funny! Yes, turkey pot pie is NOT an acceptable alternative to turkey. πŸ™‚ You should try the brine again – it takes some tweaking to get it right sometimes…. So you’ve been deep frying? That can’t be beat either – yummy!

  3. Yum! Never heard of lefse before but it sounds good. We are having all the standard fare. My mother in law makes succotash (corn, lima beans, salt pork) which is my husband’s favorite. I’m always in charge of bread, and this simple crusty loaf is always a hit if it’s freshly made: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/no-knead-crusty-white-bread-recipe. I’m going to check out your mashed potato recipe because I never use a recipe and I probably should πŸ™‚

  4. Amy says:

    This sounds fantastic, Laurie!!

    While I don’t have as good as a reason as your stepdad does, I also dislike turkey. It smells like wet dog to me! πŸ™

  5. My mouth seriously was watering as I looked at these pics. I want to be invited to your house for Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

    We do the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread. But I have to say that I definitely want to try that turkey brine. That looks amazing!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, funny! You guys are welcome anytime! Ironically, I’ve never made cornbread for Thanksgiving!! I thought about adding it this year but just didn’t get around to it. Maybe next year. Yes, you have to try the brine – it makes the turkey SO yummy!!!

  6. We are going to my parents house for Thanksgiving this year and it will be an interesting one as it’s the first Thanksgiving that my wife and I are vegetarians. We are bringing a meat-free stuffing as well as a gravy with a veggie base instead of a chicken base. We’ll also be bringing my wife’s incredible blueberry pie!

    • Laurie says:

      That’s great, David!! You’ll have to let me know how that turns out! I went three years as a vegetarian. It was a wonderful experience on a number of levels.

  7. Iforonwy says:

    Sounds wonderful! No Thanksgiving this side of the pond although we only live about an hour away from the original Plymouth Hoe.

    Interested to see that you featured the Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond’s recipes.

    We discovered her on the Food channel a couple of years ago. I hate sprouts but she has a recipe for them roasted with cranberries and balsamic vinegar. I eat them now!!!!Made them a couple of weeks ago too.


    • Laurie says:

      She really is an amazing cook! I love her style. How is the weather treating you and Mr. I’m-indoors over there? We’ve been having a pleasantly mild winter until this week. Hoping the warm temperatures return soon!

  8. kay ~ the barefoot minimalist says:

    Oh Laurie ~ my my my OH my OH my! That sounds amazing! What a wonderful way to celebrate all of your blessings this year. Happy Thanksgiving Sweet Laurie and many MANY more! πŸ™‚

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