Thanksgiving Feast Planning

I like plain pumpkin pie, my husband yearns for pumpkin cheesecake, this looks like a great compromise. Fell down a rabbit hole when I clicked the “thanksgiving” tab, it might be an all-Smitten-Kitchen meal here.


If we are talking about brussels sprouts, my favorite recipe is to roast them to a very rich brown with red grapes and bacon (actually for Thanksgiving we omit bacon so that vegetarians can enjoy), then when they come out of the oven, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Never a single bite left over. The original recipe also called for adding chopped walnuts at the end. We do this or not depending on the allergy situation around the table. Just the sprouts + grapes + balsamic is a great dish, although the additions do make it even more wonderful.

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Holy moly that looks amazing!

This year, we went a week early because plane tickets were crazy expensive. We had a series of very fabulous but not too decadent meals. Our trip coincided with my dad’s birthday, so there was also carrot cake at every meal.

Since we had all the celebrations a week early, this year we’re trying something different on the actual day - packing turkey sandwiches and sweet potato pie (no pumpkin pie for this house) and taking a big long hike.


We will be about 20 t mom’s house. At 89 she still insists on entertaining for Thanksgiving. She will make a turkey, stuffing and gravy and so will I. My sisters and nieces will bring everything else. I am trying a new artichoke, spinach casserole. I make Michael Simon’s make ahead gravy every year and it is great.

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Just 2 of us this year but will still be making a boatload of my dad’s stuffing recipe. Bread cubes, celery, mushroom, onion, apples, sausage, broth and eggnog. Takes me back to being a kid every year. The three of us kids would get up with dad at 5 am to assist with stuffing and turkey prep. We peeled and chopped and stirred until the stuffing was done. Then parked ourselves in the living room to await the Macy’s day parade.

Are you game to keep this thread going for Winter Holiday meal planning? We had some great success with our Thanksgiving meal - I used the latest Cooks Illustrated method for the turkey and it came out great (the secret - an under-the-skin dry brine and a pizza stone) Here’s a link.

I kinda went wild with that issue of the magazine and made French style whipped potatoes, which were smooth and creamy. Hubby loved 'em but I might prefer more traditional potatoes for next time.

Our friends brought over peanut soup - which was a dish at the very first Thanksgiving! It was the YUM.

Peanut Soup (2002 version)

King’s Arms Tavern
Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Serves 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced
½ cup diced onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat Add the celery and onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onions are translucent. Turn the heat to low, and stir in the flow. Cook the flour over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the chicken stock, and bring to a boll. Simmer for 3 minutes, and then puree in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender.
  3. Return the soup to the pan, and whisk in the peanut butter and cream. Heat over low heat until it reaches a simmer, then remove from the beet, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Garnish each serving with some chopped peanuts.
    Note: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat over low heat.

Finally, my hubby is Gluten Free, and we made our favorite pie - a Walnut Tart from the Cooks Illustrated GF cookbook. It is incredible and beats pecan pie by a mile in my book. Helps that the tart crust is basically a brown sugar cookie. SO GOOD. For anyone who’s living the Gluten Free life, I can’t recommend that cookbook highly enough. The recipes are fussy but come out PERFECT.

I think the turkey and the walnut tart are making a reappearance for our Christmas/Hannukah dinner… but maybe we’ll make latkes instead of the mashed potatoes!

I had a wheat-free, dairy-free Thanksgiving thanks to my sweetheart. And…I love stuffing/dressing, and we had cornbread stuffing leftovers as part of a shepherd’s pie the next day. The stuffing served as the bottom crust, the leftover turkey and veg were the middle, and the top was a mix of mashed and sweet potatoes. It was Good. Also, I am still searching for a wheat-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie which is still sweet, but not too sweet. How was yours?

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Yes. Thanksgiving is the big challenge for us gluten-free, dairy-free types, but the struggle continues throughout the holidays!:evergreen_tree:

It was good! Here’s the recipe. I confess I simply used milk instead of coconut milk. I probably need to eliminate dairy but it’s so hard! I love all my dairy products so much. :sweat:

Almost Paleo Pumpkin Pie
(Adapted from Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust in Guilt Free Desserts)
Start to Finish: 1.5 hours
Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups organic pecans
  • 2 Tbsp. Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1-15 oz. can organic canned pumpkin (or 1.75 cups fresh cooked pumpkin*)
  • 3 tsp. Simply Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice – or Pumpkin Pie Spice substitute
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch (or 1 T tapioca flour)
  • 8 Tbsp. Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Zero or Sinless Sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp SweetLeaf Stevia Extract
  • 1 cup Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk
  • 3 large organic pastured eggs


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • First, prepare the crust. Pulse pecans in a food processor until the consistency of almond meal. Add the melted coconut oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Blend until combined. Scrape the batter into a 9-inch pie or tart pan, smoothing and patting the batter out evenly. Spread the batter thinner across the bottom of the pan and thicker around the edges of the crust.
  • Place the crust on a cookie sheet (to prevent the bottom from burning) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients for filling (pumpkin, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, coconut milk, vanilla, arrowroot, stevia, erythritol and salt) into a food processor or blender. Blend well to fully combine ingredients.
  • Pour into the crust, but do not overfill. (Note: You will have some filling left over)
  • Transfer to the oven and bake 45-50 minutes.The center of the pie should be rather firm and only jiggle slightly if you shake the pan.
  • Cool completely and serve with homemade whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.