American Thanksgiving

We have already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada but in the US Thursday is coming up on Thursday.  I posted a bunch of recipes and decorating ideas in time for Canadian Thanksgiving back in October and those of you getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in America might find some of those useful to you.  Here’s the link to that post:

Some other posts you might find helpful are:

Apple recipes

Pumpkin recipes

Cranberry recipes:

Sweet potato recipes:

An adorable, easy, and inexpensive Thanksgiving centerpiece for children or adults to make:

Since our Thanksgiving, I have found a number of other wonderful ideas that I may be using for Christmas or filing away for next year’s Thanksgiving.  Here are those ideas:

~ Some wonderful bloggers have joined together to share ideas on having a budget friendly Thanksgiving celebration.  Check it out here:

And here’s another site where they give ideas on reducing costs for your celebration:

More Thanksgiving meal recipes:

A super moist, different take on making your turkey:

Macadamia and ginger stuffing:

A different take on the cookie treats made to look like turkeys:

Rachael Ray did a show on simplifying Thanksgiving recipes for the first time cook – these would be great timesavers for anyone!

Pretzel tailed Rice Krispie turkeys

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

A holiday cheeseball made to look like a turkey

This pie combines pecan pie and pumpkin pie all in one!

Some make-ahead recipes:

A cake shaped like a turkey

Holiday cooking tutorial videos

A free Thanksgiving recipe e-book

More cranberry recipes:

Baked cranberry sauce

This spinach salad will be on my table for Christmas – I can’t wait until next Thanksgiving to try it out!  Sounds soooo good!

Spinach Salad with Brie Toast

Ingredients for the dressing:

2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (pear vinegar would be so good here too I can imagine…problem is my local stores stopped carrying it 😦 )

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3/4 cup EVOO

2 tsp. finely minced fresh sage (reduce the amount if you are using dried instead)

1/2 tsp. sea salt or Fleur de Sel

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions for the dressing:  Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a pan over medium heat and cook until the cranberries begin to pop.  Stir frequently.  Allow this mixture to cool enough to handle (and so you don’t crack the glass of your blender).  Put this in the blender and blend on high until smooth.  Blend in the mustard and juice and then slowly stream in the oil until you have a nice creamy dressing.  Remove from the blender and whisk in the spices.

For the Brie toasts:  Cut 16-1/4 inch slices of baguette and top with 16-1/2 oz. slices of Brie.  Preheat your broiler and place the cheese topped baguettes about 5-6 inches from the broiler for about 1-2 minutes until toasty and the cheese is melted.

For the salad:  Toss 10 oz. washed baby spinach, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, and 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds together with the dressing.  Serve with Brie toasts alongside the salad.

More pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Milkshake

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes from Paula Deen

More apple recipes:

Apple Cider Milkshake

Apple Pie Smoothie

Delicious Salad with Apples
Whisk together 1/4 cup EVOO, 2 T. red wine or apple cider vinegar (if you can find something like pear vinegar it is a really delicious substitute), 1/2 a green onion finely chopped, and salt and pepper to taste to make the dressing.  For the salad itself, slice 2 apples (your choice…some like the tartness of Granny Smith; I tend to use Royal Galas for this recipe) into the dressing and toss.  Next toss in your greens – I like a combination of greens such as Bibb lettuce, red leaf lettuce, iceberg (not my first choice for this recipe though), etc. You need about 1 1/2 small heads of lettuce in total or you can buy one of those pre-made bags of mixed lettuces for this.  The final touch is to top the salad with about 1/3 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds.  Yum!

Entertaining, Crafts, and Decorations:
Pecan Pie Martini
Mix together 1 tsp. corn syrup with 2 tsp. brown sugar.  Dip the rims of your 4 martini glasses into this mixture and then into 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans.  In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour in 1/4 cup vodka, 1/4 cup corn syrup, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  Shake well and strain into the glasses (this makes enough for 2 of the martinis).  Repeat for the other 2 martinis.
An alfresco Thanksgiving celebration

Thanksgiving placecards
Entertaining tips for the holidays
Thanksgiving survival guide to a calmer holiday
Adorable Thanksgiving craft and decoration ideas:
More Thanksgiving crafts and fun stuff:
Salt dough turkeys
A turkey carved from an apple
How to make a bread cornucopia
All kinds of turkey crafts for kids to make
Thanksgiving place cards
Thanksgiving plates

Some fun Thanksgiving crafts and activities for kids

Thanksgiving centerpieces
A craft paper tube turkey
Adorable turkey napkin holders
Table settings
Simple stylish Thanksgiving ideas
Adorable and different table favours!
A bunch of free Thanksgiving printables
Turkey earrings

Helping kids develop an attitude of gratitude:
~ When I was teaching, one of my favourite books to share with children of all ages was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  It’s a truly lovely story about the true spirit of giving and I think it’s a wonderful one to share at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Recently, I saw this lovely activity to do with children after reading the story with them and I think this would be a delightful activity for the whole family to engage in at this time of year.  It involves creating your own “giving tree” by decorating plastic bottles (small pop bottles or water bottles) and then writing or drawing pictures of things you are grateful for on pieces of paper and placing them in the bottles.  Hang the bottles on a tree and voila! Your own giving tree! Here’s more information about the idea:


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