I truly do love all holidays, but there is something special about Thanksgiving. Everyone gets together on the same day every year and stuffs themselves with turkey and all the trimmings. The camaraderie makes me smile, and the fact that the main focus of a lot of people (myself included) is the food makes me love the day even more. For one day I am not the only one doing all of the food talk.
My sister Lara and I made the Thanksgiving meal for our family again this year. We have such a fun time doing it and have been thinking about it and preparing for weeks. Instead of going full out and roasting an entire turkey we decided to do something a little different this year. One of my biggest pet peeves about Thanksgiving is that the turkey hogs the oven for the entire morning and I can't use it for anything else. (I am jealous of everyone who has more than one oven in their house.) We decided to utilize the grill instead. And for a different spin on the traditional we skipped the whole turkey and decided to grill up a whole bunch of turkey kabobs.
It turned out great! I loved not cooking an entire turkey, and it was fun to use the grill while standing in a bit of snow. An experience for sure. We tried to keep the sides simple and light as well because that's how we like to eat. Everything went off without a hitch, we were so happy with how it all turned out. I would definitely do it again next year!
As for the rest of the meal, it started off with some butternut squash soup with leeks and carrots, finished with a little yogurt for creaminess. Next, the salad was a spin on the Fuji apple chicken salad from Panera; we sliced up a few apples and dried them out for apple chips, toasted some pecans with a hint of cinnamon sugar, thinly sliced red onion, dried cranberries and some feta cheese rounded out the toppings. The mixed greens were dressed with a simple white balsamic, apple cider vinaigrette with honey and dijon. It was a fantastic salad, Panera sure knew what they were doing when they created it!
We also served some homemade bread and my favorite Clementine Brown Rice Salad. A few extras finished the meal off, a simple cranberry sauce as well as a yummy lemony sage yogurt sauce, both for dipping the turkey into if desired (which I did!).
While we were finishing up the cooking we served our guests a simple platter of cheese and crackers with some grapes and carrots. Just a little something to whet the appetite. I made a simple sangria and had some apple cider for some festive drinks to go along with the meal. And finally, a pumpkin bundt cake added the finishing touch to a fantastic Thanksgiving. I was so glad to be able to share my love of cooking with my family on this festive day. I am so thankful for all my family members who were able to come and celebrate the holiday together, as well as for all the delicious food we were so privileged to eat. I am so blessed, and for that I am extremely grateful, all year long! God is good is an understatement.
Simple, yet scrumptious appetizer
A little cold weather grilling never hurt anyone
Plenty of drink options
Dried fruit, pecan and feta salad
And don't forget the turkey!
Turkey kabobs, my take on the traditional
This is what I like to see on Thanksgiving
And never, ever forget about dessert