Preparing For Thanksgiving

Eek this New England weather and day light savings time is getting to me! I have been so tired lately! Early bed times and 2 cups of coffee a day aren’t helping! Perhaps it’s my desire to just cuddle with the pup by the fire when temps are already dropping to low 30’s and below!

But anyhoo it’s Thanksgiving week and we are hosting so the show must go on!! Since this post is about getting ready for thanksgiving I wont have many delicious pictures to post just yet! So enjoy a little Thanksgiving poem instead


For the most part our Thanksgiving meal is on the traditional side: turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies, rolls, pie! But I try my best to incorporate great flavors and try to lighten everything up with our sparing flavor! know so you can have that extra slice of pie! See below for a few recipes!


  • Vegetable platter with cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, celery and bell peppers
  • Spinach and artichoke ‘quiche’ cups–always requested!
  • Cheese plate, I love cheese-have I mentioned that?

Main meal:

  • Roasted garlic and thyme turkey breast, we choose breast over whole birds as no one enjoys dark meat in our house!
  • Homemade gravy, I typically make it GF for my sister in law and utilize the turkey drippings
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Roasted maple cinnamon butternut squash
  • Peas
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cranberry sauce-not the canned stuff.
  • Snow flake rolls


  • My mother in  law bakes a wonderful pumpkin pie!
  • Chocolate mousse with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream

Spinach and Artichoke “quiche” cups

  • 8 oz package of neufchâtel cheese (1/3 reduced fat cream cheese), softened
  • 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise or 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, I alternate based upon what I have in the house
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 114 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach chopped, cooked and thoroughly drained (could use a 12 oz package of frozen spinach cooked and drained)
  • 2 tubes of crescent roll dough, rolled out and seems connected to form a large rectangle
How to make it:
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Spray a baby muffin tray with cooking spray; I only have 1 pan so I have to make two sets!
  • In a large bowl, mix together (I use a stand mixer) neufchâtel cheese, greek yogurt or mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, artichoke hearts and spinach.
  • Blend everything together until incorporated and set aside.
  • Roll out the crescent roll dough on a cutting board. You should have 8 triangles. Pinch the edges together to connect the seems and roll out the dough to thin it out a little bit.
  • Cut into 12 squares.
  • Take the dough squares and press them into the prepared muffin trays.
  • Place  the spinach artichoke mixture into each cup filling to the top of each ‘cup’Bake for 15 minutes, or until dough is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and run a knife along the edges of the cups to remove from pan.

Roasted maple cinnamon butternut squash 


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced 3/4 in cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp-1 tsp depending on preference of cinnamon
  • sprinkle of salt

How to make it:

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • In a large bowl, coat the butternut squash with oil, maple. Springle with cinnamon and salt. toss to coat fully.
  • Place in a baking dish, cover with foil and roast in the center of the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove foil, turn over the squash and bake an addition 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender

This recipe has been adapted from Skinny taste, where she makes a maple roasted buttnut squash in which she takes on sweet and savory together!:

Homemade fresh cranberry sauce


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, always on sale this time of year!
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (3/4 cup if you prefer a sweeter, less tart cranberry sauce)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of water

How to make it:

  • Pour  a 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries into a saucepan
  •  Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp lemon or orange juice and  water to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, you can add more water if you prefer a thinner cranberry sauce; up to 1 full cup.
  • When the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are softening which typically takes about about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.

**If you prefer a ‘whole cranberry’ type sauce you can reserve 1/2 cup of cranberries and add to the pot after the first cranberries burst and then reduce heat and cook for 5 more minutes.

I will have to post some pictures after the holidays, but I hope you find some of my favorite holiday recipes useful this year! What do you do for Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear! Happy thanksgiving!!

If you’re looking for Skinnytaste version of the maple butternut squash look here!:

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