Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday. Even as a kid I looked forward to a delectable meal and time with grandparents and cousins. Since having my own family, and living away for most of our married life, I always tried to recreate that busy, happy, and full feeling on Thanksgiving for my own little boys. If the table was packed with food I couldn’t wait to eat and friends that had become family, I never finished the holiday empty.


After trial and error, I think I have decided on my perfect Thanksgiving menu.
Turkey: You are on your own for this one ;). Best of luck.
Cornbread, Toasted Pine Nut and Dried Cranberry Stuffing: I promise you will love this more than you can imagine. It is the favorite every year. (make ahead)
Slow cooker Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes -- helps you free up your stove top during holiday cooking!


Crockpot Rustic Mashed Potatoes: If you are working with a limited kitchen and time, these are ideal. They come out buttery and smooth, hot and perfect. I used this exact recipe. Give them a try! (make early in the morning)



Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Recipe: Yes, it tastes a bit like dessert. No, it is not fat free. Yes, you will love every mouthful. (make ahead)


Spinach Salad with Pears, Bacon and Blue Cheese: This salad is a delicious hit every year. It the perfect fresh bite of fall. (can make everything ahead except the pears)
Creamy Swiss Cauliflower: This one is a personal favorite. It is hot, cheesy and even sneaks in a vegetable. I love this dish! (make ahead)
Dinner Rolls: One year we tried not having homemade rolls, but it didn’t feel quite right. This recipe from Max + Lula is so good!
A Fruit Turkey: We don’t do this every year, but when we do it, the kids love it! Thanks Alyson for a great idea so long ago. Such a fun way to serve a little healthy treat! (make ahead, but dip the apples in sprite)
Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry SauceHomemade Cranberry Sauce: This is a MUST! It is incredibly easy and can be made a few days ahead. Once you try the homemade kind, you will never go back to the stuff in the can. We always use the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray cranberries; could not be more simple!

Mom’s apple pie: I really need to get her recipe. It is absolute perfection, every time.
Oreo Chocolate Marshmallow Pie: This one is grandma’s recipe and a family and kid favorite (must make ahead).
Put these dishes on your Thanksgiving table and your family will be more than Grateful!
Hope you have a wonderful holiday!