Holiday Recipes | Family Thanksgiving

The beauty of this sweet potato soup, besides the rich, spicy and slightly tangy flavor it delivers, is that you can make it almost entirely ahead and it actually benefits from time to "marry" in your fridge. Simply chop the apple and herbs for garnish while it reheats and serve.

I didn't think I was ready to give up my family's recipe for mashed potatoes, either - but this slow cooker recipe will convert you on your first try (and your stove top will thank you come Thanksgiving Thursday). I've tried to improve upon the original with celery root and other changes, and I can tell you with certainty: Follow this one to the letter, and you'll be glad you did.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm just not a pie girl. Tarts offer less fussy crusts and can be prepared in advance and reheated with more success. Unless you drop this on the floor (as I did on my test run), there's virtually no way to mess it up, and the silky pecans and sweet chocolate topping will leave you just as satisfied.

Holiday Planning | Family Thanksgiving

Downloadable print available from GusandLula on Etsy.com

It should come as no surprise to you that Thanksgiving is one my favorite holidays: After all, it's an entire day devoted to creating and sharing food with those you love and those who might be without in some way.

In the coming weeks, I'll share tips and tricks on simple but handsome holiday decor, clever ways to keep your guests entertained while you're in the kitchen (hello, adult crafts!) and to send them home with leftovers, and, of course, recipes for all that extra turkey you might have. But today's post is about feeling in control of the chaos that can creep into Thanksgiving day meal preparations.

If you haven't heard of Sam Sifton's Thanksgiving, it's well worth picking up this fall for a dose of humor and calm with your side of mashed potatoes. And, if you're like me on my first solo prep for Thanksgiving years ago, you'll find this timeline from Real Simple a great guide for how to organize your cooking.

That's all for now; take a few moments to digest, and check back tomorrow for a menu that brings together our favorite Thanksgiving menu items, with an eye for load-balancing your stove and oven demands - but without sacrificing flavor.

Weekly Meal Plan | 2

Weekly Meal Plan | 2

Weekly Meal Plan | 2


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MEATLESS MONDAY

Spaghetti squash is a great way to lighten up while still getting a filling meal. You won't even miss the pasta in this Squash Lasagna with Spinach!


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TACO TUESDAY

While your go-to might be a fish taco or earthy chicken recipe, these butternut squash tacos will hit the spot.


WEDNESDAY

Use your leftover spinach for protein-rich Spinach Quinoa Cakes with Red Pepper Relish that will keep you full for your evening.


THURSDAY

Leftover roasted meats? Make a quick and fragrant broth and prepare to be dazzled by a light and healthy pho.


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PiZZA FRIDAY

Fridays call for an somewhat indulgent treat. What better than a Roasted Garlic Pizza with Bacon and Arugula to top off your week?

 

Weekly Meal Plan | 1

Weekly Meal Plan | 1

Weekly Meal Plan | 1


MEATLESS MONDAY

Start the week off right with this nutritious and filling roasted sweet potato and crispy chickpea salad. A creamy tahini dressing tops it off!


TACO TUESDAY

Breakfast for dinner? You betcha. These potato tacos are hearty enough for supper.


WEDNESDAY

Celebrate being halfway through the week with a BBQ chicken sandwhich topped with slaw.

 

 

 


THURSDAY

You're going to love this beet, farro, and watercress salad with a fig vinaigrette.

 

 


FRIDAY

You're going to love this beet, farro, and watercress salad with a fig vinaigrette.

Wordless Wednesday | 17

Wordless Wednesday | 17

There's nothing seasonally appropriate about this recipe, nor, I'm guessing, does it seem particularly like a traditional Po' Boy you might find in New Orleans. I have to admit that it's a bit of a creative outlier. But if you trust in the genius of making your own seasoned cornmeal and a homemade remoulade, you will be rewarded with a ridiculously crunchy, flavorful and satisfying sandwich. Connoiseurs Veg's recipe for Cornmeal Crusted Tofu Po' Boy Sandwiches comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner and I promise - will become a staple in your house on Meatless Monday...or any other day of the week.

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Wordless Wednesday | 16

Wordless Wednesday | 16

In the depths of winter, when comfort is the name of the game (or the best looking thing on a menu), there's nothing quite like pillowy gnocchi in a flavorful sauce for supper. My obsession with these texturally elusive dumplings began with Kefi's sheep's milk dumplings with spicy lamb sausage and feta in New York City and continued into my kitchen not too long after.

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Game Changer Mini-Series | Favorite Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Game Changer Mini-Series | Favorite Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

You might be perfectly fine with a thin pour from a brown bottle, or you might have fallen in love with the dense, dark chocolate coconut version sold at your local grocery store. Like your first romance, you'll always think of them fondly, but this recipe might be The One you always keep.

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Not Your Average Breakfast Links | 24

Not Your Average Breakfast Links | 24

There's something calming about a weekend morning spent with a good, strong pot of coffee and light reading material. But if you've had a busy work week, or perhaps just a cloudy mind for one reason or another, getting outside can be a little salve for the soul. Coming back to a clean home and kicking your feet up feels practically indulgent! Here's what's on my reading list after today's big hike just west of Seattle

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Game Changer Mini-Series | Better than Bouillon

Game Changer Mini-Series | Better than Bouillon

It might feel like a stretch too far to call a stock base a game-changer, but trust me: It is. Perhaps, like me, you used to wince at a recipe that calls for 2 or more boxes of liquid stock, anticipating heavy grocery bags with broken handles. Or, possibly, you've been known to collect vegetable scraps in bulky freezer bags, only to later make homemade broth that seemed inconsistent in flavor.

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Game Changer Mini-Series | 30-Minute Roasted Cauliflower Rice

Game Changer Mini-Series | 30-Minute Roasted Cauliflower Rice

Like everything else in life, cooking relies on a subtle equilibrium, and yet, on any given day, that dynamic can veer toward an uncomfortable imbalance. While I certainly subscribe to the philosophy "nothing ventured, nothing lost," there are times (whether in my kitchen or elsewhere) when I simply need something to work.

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Holiday Menu | Fast and Light Roasted Tilapia

Holiday Menu | Fast and Light Roasted Tilapia

We have a rule on every vacation: All bets are off when it comes to what we should and do eat. It's a time - and I think rightfully so - to relax, indulge, and stop worrying about things for a bit. Invariably, though, we return to daily life and feel a little less than fit and fabulous.

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Not Your Average Breakfast Links | 20

Not Your Average Breakfast Links | 20

It's almost the holidays! It's almost the holidays! This time of year always leaves me feeling like I could shout from the rooftops with gratitude for everything the year has given us. But short of sounding any kind of barbaric yawp (or revisiting one of my all time favorite films), this season also provides ample opportunity for introspection. Here's to some weekend reading that can both entertain and enrich:

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Holiday Menu | Cookie Gifts

Holiday Menu | Cookie Gifts

Every year, just after the Thanksgiving holiday, I set aside time to write my holiday cards to friends and family. Inveterate planner that I am, this week generally also marks the start of methodically weeding through the onslaught of cookie recipes I've collected in the weeks prior, as well as re-evaluating old favorites.

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