Halloween has come and gone and now it is time to move onward to my absolute favorite holiday of the year…Thanksgiving! Of course all of the fall and winter holidays have something special that I love, like on Halloween I love roasting the seeds from our carved pumpkin. Christmastime is when I have the annual tradition of making my mom’s sausage ball recipe. And on New Year’s Eve we like to enjoy a big spread of appetizers with friends while playing board games. You may be sensing a theme here – most of my favorite holiday traditions revolve around food so Thanksgiving is pretty much the ultimate celebration, in my opinion.
My husband and I have always loved cooking together for a group. Now that we have three little people running or crawling around our house, cooking together is less frequent, which makes Thanksgiving even more meaningful because it is the one day a year where we are able to be in the kitchen together. He makes the most delicious turkey, and I love to gather a list of sides and desserts that will be sure to please the masses.
I am in the midst of planning our Thanksgiving spread and wanted to share five classic Thanksgiving recipes that have appeared on our table over the years, as well as a few resources I find helpful when planning our Thanksgiving meal!
1. The Bird
We have been using this Thanksgiving turkey recipe for years, and it never fails to deliver the most tender, juicy, delicious, well-seasoned meat. It’s not the most traditional way to roast a whole turkey, but by spatchcocking the bird you are able to achieve a more even roast throughout and shorten cooking time (freeing up space in the oven for all those sides!).
Cranberry sauce and turkey are the ultimate Thanksgiving couple. I started making our own cranberry sauce a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. The orange is zesty and fresh and I like to play with the sweetness level of the sauce. Sometimes I will even throw in a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice.
The first Thanksgiving we hosted, I decided that I wanted to try bread making. It was an unfamiliar culinary challenge that I wanted to dive into, and now our table would be incomplete without these Parker House Rolls. They are fluffy, sweet, salty, and a perfect introduction to bread making.
Crispy salty bacon, charred Brussels sprouts, and I like to finish this dish with a nice drizzle of balsamic glaze (my favorite is this one from Trader Joe’s!). This recipe is always a crowd favorite!
5. Mom’s Stuffing
My gift to you this Thanksgiving is the following recipe; my mom’s stuffing truly can’t be beat! The flavors and textures create a Thanksgiving symphony in my mind that will always remind me of the celebrations of my childhood.
Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton
This book is my Thanksgiving bible. I bought it the first year we hosted Thanksgiving, and it is filled with the essential knowledge you need to know for hosting your own Turkey day. It includes tips for everything from serving times to beverages and how and which ways to roast your bird. There are a few blank pages in the back, and each year that we host I like to write down our menu and notes of what worked and what didn’t.
My love of cooking has been reinvigorated recently thanks to the Bon Appétit test kitchen team. Their YouTube Channel is my current favorite, and they have a series on making the best Thanksgiving dinner that is definitely inspiring my menu plan this year!
What are some of your classic Thanksgiving recipes? Do you have any recipes that are an absolute must on your Thanksgiving table? Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is spent enjoying family, food, and fun (and hopefully a nap!).