Let's Talk Thanksgiving Dinner

I mentioned last week a desire to focus on the individuals around our table this Thanksgiving rather than all the stuff that comes with the holiday season. So let's talk food ladies. I think most would agree prepping and cooking the food can be the most stressful and not life giving part of Thanksgiving Day. We've all witnessed our family members rising before dawn to get the turkey prepped and in the oven, only to find themselves post-prepping the turkey, consumed with an endless list of side dishes that needed to be prepped and cooked, all while being timed out perfectly with the always limited oven space. You feeling the tension yet? How in the world can we focus on the individuals around the table when we're stuck in the kitchen preparing so many dishes and courses?

Enter a few well thought, possible to prepare beforehand, and filled with simple ingredients recipes I've been swooning over way before it was appropriate to be looking up Thanksgiving dishes. I know you all have staple recipes that appear each holiday, the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy; so I've gathered a list of side dishes and desserts to round out your meals.

When choosing a dish I look for a simple ingredient list that can be found at any market, easy preparation that requires less than an hour of my time, and the option to make ahead of time and reheat when I arrive. All of these beautiful dishes fit my criteria. I hope you'll find a few inspiring ideas for your Holiday gathering!

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1. Cranberry Ginger & Orange Chutney // 2. Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Bacon // 3. Roasted Winter Squash with Herbs & Garlic // 4. Apple Cake // 5. Pumpkin Pie Bars // 6. Green Bean Casserole with Red Curry & Peanuts // 7. Olive Appetizer in Squash Bowls // 8. Broccoli & Cheddar Casserole

Which Dish is your favorite? I'm very partial to the Green Bean Casserole with Red Curry & Peanuts.

As you're planning for your Thanksgiving Dinner, either hosting, or just contributing a dish, is their a recipe that will free you up to invest in the people sitting around your table?

What are your tips for keeping Thanksgiving enjoyable and truly focused on what we are thankful for?