This was the first year Scott and I have ever attempted to host our own Thanksgiving. As nervous as I was, I have to say it was a great success!
With Scott’s parents in town and spicy chili dinner on last year’s menu, we wanted to move back towards more of a traditional holiday and eat the regular Turkey Day staples we agreed upon serving. Before company arrived, I put together a list of sides I would like to make, and most of them were more on the healthy side.
While the thought was great (and I did sneak in two things I was rooting for!), we agreed that for this one day we don’t need to fret about calories and substitutions like I normally would in the kitchen, and eventually my arm was twisted. A standard Thanksgiving menu it was.
The morning started early with Scott working the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit. Last year, the three of us (Scott’s Dad, step-mom and I) went with him. This year, we decided to stay home and start cooking, just in case he didn’t get back home until the afternoon. In the end, it was a wise decision.
The day before, we planned out the entire menu down to the grocery list with every ingredient needed. We also went to a few grocery stores to buy everything so it was home and ready to go in the morning. Even so, we ended up sending Scott’s dad out two times for last minute purchases.
I know Scott was exhausted by the time he got back home on a more than chilly morning of being outside. While I anticipated him resting for a bit, he hopped in the shower instead and got right to work on a handful of dishes he wanted to prepare. Kay and I started early, and the three of us worked throughout the day and early evening putting everything together.
(In the butternut squash scooping zone, clearly.)
While the three of us worked hard side by side, I can’t take much credit for what ended up on the menu. I voiced my ideas and helped with everything, but in no way was I the head of the kitchen here. Kay has years of cooking experience as well as a culinary degree, and Scott has more knowledge of putting recipes and spices together than I ever realized.
My job was to help out with everything, clean up, and make it all look good.
With less than ideal lighting after sunset, some of these photos turned out blurry but are way to great not to include here. ^^^ I just can’t with these slippers anymore. 😉
Friends started arriving around 7 p.m. and a few of them came armed with side dishes and dessert. I was very grateful to have them!
It was a lot of hard work and planning, but it was really neat to see everything finally come together ready to serve around 8 p.m. Here’s what was on the menu!
• Scott’s Homemade Spicy Queso Dip and Chips (<- I swear I will share this with you one day…)
• Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly Dip with Crackers (similar to this Sweet & Spicy Cream Cheese Dip)
• Scott’s Cream of Butternut Squash Soup
• Scott’s Roasted Corn and Bacon Wild Greens Salad
• Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Butter + Chunky Applesauce
• Kay’s Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (<- recipe coming to you tomorrow!)
• Jalapeno & Corn Casserole (<- similar to this recipe. Can you tell our family likes spicy?)
• Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole
• Maple-Glazed Carrots with Pecans
• Adam’s Homemade Mashed Potatoes
• Cranberry Sauce
• Dinner Rolls
• LIBBY’s Famous Pumpkin Pie with homemade whipped cream
• Spiced Pumpkin Bread (<- recipe coming to you soon!)
• Maw Maw’s Blueberry Salad (<- recipe coming to you later this week!)
• Dutch Apple Caramel Pie from Yates Cider Mill
We might have outdone ourselves on the menu a bit, but I am never one to complain about having Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers for the days following.
As the night went on, people we invited over trickled in and out, most of them leaving fuller than they arrived. Even through the stress of the anticipation and pressure to be responsible for hosting a holiday dinner, it was a great feeling to know we tackled our first Thankgiving Dinner! (With the help of this wonderful woman, of course.)
Thank you so much, Kay, for teaching us (well, mostly me) your ways! We had such a great time with you guys in town and can’t wait for the next visit home.
Cyber Monday Deals
You probably thought I forgot, but I didn’t! As soon as I hit publish I plan to peruse the online deals going on for Cyber Monday and thought you might like some I found in my email inbox:
• 30% off everything Reebok, including the CrossFit gear (except for custom shoes and the Nano 3.0s) with promo code CYBER30.
• 40% off everything Saks Fifth Avenue (Saks outlet!) <- visit website for details.
• Super savings on Nordstrom boots and fall accessories. <- visit website for details.
• 15% off and free shipping over $75 from Macy’s with code CYBER.
• 50% off bracelets and 20% off silver jewelry from Things Remembered, plus free shipping with the code CYBERSHIP5.
• 25% off your entire online Bath and Body Works order with the code HAPPYMONDAY.
• 40% off Banana Republic and GAP with the code CYBER.
• Free shipping at Hearts with the code MONDAY2014.
*Most Cyber Monday sales are only valid online, until midnight EST.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and Happy Shopping!
Questions of the Day
• Did you do much of the cooking for Thanksgiving this year?
• What is your favorite recipe to make and bring to dinner parties?
• Any recipes you’d like to share? Link ’em up below!
We played Thankful Sudoku with our family and friends. Everyone got a paper and pen and listed 5 things they’re thankful for that start with each letter of the word THANKFUL. (5 things that start with T…etc.) And we took turns reading our lists.
Everything looks yummy! I always forget something too when I’m grocery shopping.
Miranda @ Lovely Wife Lovely Life
Yum! I made my mom’s stuffing and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and heated up a veggie burger for me and Christian made some bison burgers for him. #collegekidprobs haha!
Everything looked so yum! We didn’t because we’re living out of a suitcase until we get to our next base. But we did eat good!
WOW that all looks so delicious! Congrats on a successful hosting endeavor. Blueberry salad??? Yeah I’m going to need to know how to make that 🙂
Ummm… Is that a leg lamp magnet on your fridge?! #amazing
Kristy @ Southern In-Law
How exciting! I can’t wait until we can host our own holiday dinners. We’re still living with my family (the cost of going from LDR to married and living in the one country does that to you!) but this year we had our first ever thanksgiving dinner as it was Jesse’s first thanksgiving whilst here in Australia.
We had mac and cheese, turkey, green beans and even a healthy pumpkin pie! (That Jesse said was the best pie ever!) I’m always the cook so I cooked everything whilst everyone else was at work.
My favorite thing to bring or make when entertaining is our healthy chocolate cake – it’s always a HUGE hit!
Everything looks delicious! Mothers and grandmothers (as well as in laws) have the best recipes ever! They make everything look so easy! The best part everything they made is delicious! You seem like a great host!
Don’t they?! Thank you… it was certainly a learning experience but hope to host many more dinners for years to come 🙂
Looks like you all did a GREAT job!! Hope you had a great time hosting your first Thanksgiving!
We loving being there to celebrate Thanksgiving with both of you. I really enjoyed our time cooking together! Can’t wait to see you guys again soon….Love you!