I look forward to Thanksgiving every year.  Not just for the delicious feast, but because it’s a time to get together with family and friends.  For some it’s also about football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I too enjoy.  I’ve put together a handful of my favorite recipes and ideas you can use to host the perfect Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving.  

What’s a party without some appetizers?  Two of my favorite appetizers for Thanksgiving are Cranberry Crescent Bites and Brie and Apple Crostinis.  I think they are sweet and savory but also a little salty.  Both fit the holiday theme, are easy to make, and can feed a crowd.  The recipes can be found below.

Cranberry Crescent Bites              

Brie and Apple Crostini  

I’m a huge fan of sangria so I like to make a big batch of Cranberry Sangria to serve with the appetizers.  Each sip is tart from the cranberry, spicy from the cinnamon, and sweet from the apple cider.  Each glass is served with a cinnamon stick so the longer the sangria is in your glass the more it tastes like fall 😊

The recipe can be found here

Now for the main course.  I like to have a turkey dinner with all the fixings, so it really is quite the feast!  My favorite Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls.  I’ve been known to make green bean casserole from time to time too! 

My favorite turkey recipe is for a Herb Roasted Whole Turkey.  I know a lot of families have their traditions and ideas of what the tastiest turkey is, but this one is hands down my favorite.  The outside turns a nice golden brown, has great flavor from the herbs, and isn’t too hard to prepare for baking.

The recipe can be found here.  

You can’t have turkey without gravy.  I personally like this recipe because it isn’t too salty, tastes great, and is easy to make.  The turkey recipe above doesn’t provide a lot of pan drippings for gravy, so this is entirely homemade without pan drippings. 

The recipe can be found here.    

Mashed potatoes are a classic for any Thanksgiving dinner.  I am a huge fan of making mashed potatoes in the Crock Pot because you aren’t wasting stove top space with a big pot, you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling over, and you can let them cook for hours without having to fuss.  One of my favorite recipes is for garlic mashed potatoes because they have HUGE flavor! 

The recipe can be found here

Another classic is stuffing.  Stuffing is probably my favorite part of the meal (next to the cranberry sauce).  Seriously, I could eat a bag myself, so my mom always had to make double or triple what we needed because I wanted to eat leftovers for days!  This is a simple recipe using a store-bought bag of stuffing plus a few other ingredients.  It has a hint of citrus flavor in addition to the onion and sage.

The recipe can be found here.

Carrots are an easy addition to Thanksgiving dinner.  There are so many ways to prepare them and most are reasonably priced, so you aren’t breaking the bank to feed a crowd.  A popular recipe in my house is for bourbon maple glazed carrots.  The maple syrup makes these amazing but when combined with the fresh dill…it will change your life. 

The recipe can be found here

Last but not least, and one of my favorite as mentioned above, cranberry sauce.  There is nothing homemade or special about this item other than it is delicious!  It’s one of those items my mom always had on the table for Thanksgiving and I could never get enough of as a kid.  Granted this isn’t like stuffing so we didn’t need to have 10 cans on hand at a time, but I could eat a whole can myself. 

There is no recipe.  You’ll just have to find this at your local Festival Foods 😊 

Same with the dinner rolls.  Festival Foods has plenty of fresh-baked dinner roll options available in the bakery (click here to order).  If you’re feeling ambitious you can absolutely make your own but with all the other cooking you have to do during the day, store-bought rolls is usually the easiest option! 

One of the great things about Thanksgiving is you can make a complete homemade meal, part of the meal can be homemade, or the entire meal can be store-bought.  I personally love making a homemade meal for Thanksgiving.  I grew up helping my mom cook every year and its part of the tradition that I love.  If you aren’t great in the kitchen or don’t have a lot of time to plan a large meal you can always order a Thanksgiving dinner from Festival Foods. 

You can find many items that are ready to heat and serve to feed a few people to a crowd.  They come in oven ready aluminum foil pans which make them very easy to bake but also easy to clean up.  The nice thing about the “heat and serve” items is you can order any variety of items to fit your needs.  Otherwise, you can find a complete turkey dinner that serves 6-8.  No fuss, no planning, just heat and serve! 

Click here for a link to side dishes available to order.

Click here for a link to complete dinners available to order.

If you are going to order all or part of your meal from Festival Foods don’t forget about dessert!  There are fresh-baked pumpkin and apple pies available for order as well as other tasty treats. 

Click here for a link to the different pies and pastries available to order.

If you would prefer to make your own pie (I definitely do) there is a great recipe from Libby’s.  I love to bake so this is the route I always go.  Click here for the recipe for Libby’s Pumpkin Pie.  It’s a delicious recipe and pretty simple to make. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Cooking! 

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