3 Thanksgiving Tips & Cornbread Stuffing

It’s the big week…Thanksgiving!

Are you stressed? Are you excited? Are you gathering last-minute recipes?

No matter what you’re feeling, you’ve come to the right place!

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time last year, and I feel like I came away some helpful tips. Trust me, there IS a way for you to survive Thanksgiving and really enjoy it. I believe! Will you believe with me?

My 3 Thanksgiving tips:

1. Divide & Conquer

I was very lucky that my first year to host Thanksgiving brought with it several kitchen helpers (my in-laws and husband). It made me realize that yes, this meal is a little crazy when it’s up to one person to make it happen. So, divide and conquer. Take 1 or 2 dishes yourself and ask family to help make the others (or visitors to sign up to bring things). Unless you’re really into doing Thanksgiving on your own, share your cooking responsibilities. It will help lighten your load and still get everything on the table.

2. Keep it Simple

I was listening to the recent Thanksgiving episode of The Sporkful, and I totally agree with Dan that the great thing about Thanksgiving is the traditions. The reason most of us love the T-day meal is because it’s filled with same dishes we loved when we were young. Most of us only eat those dishes once a year, so I suggest sticking with the classic. This will also help you stay away from trying too many new things and stressing out about the unknowns. And don’t feel like you need to do 10 different dishes. Make your family’s favorite 5 and do those well.

3. Forget Perfect

While you’re keeping it simple, throw perfection out of the window. A perfect Thanksgiving is not a real Thanksgiving. It’s just like a community, imperfect but beautiful. Focus on the fact that you’re sharing the table with special people, and don’t freak out if the mashed potatoes aren’t piping hot. Everyone will love it. I promise!

Another great Thanksgiving tip: Make stuffing and a lot of it!

cornbread stuffing

Stuffing/dressing is my favorite dish, and my family has a fabulous Cornbread Stuffing recipe. It’s filled with herbs and seasonings, and it’s just moist enough and delicious topped with gravy, sharing a plate with every other side dish you love. (For a great homemade cornbread recipe, I like this one.)

cornbread stuffing

I also cooked this stuffing in the slow cooker for my work’s Thanksgiving meal this year, and it worked well. Whether you’re cooking in the oven or the slow cooker, it is a classic (for a reason).

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge, screenshot or save.

My Dream Thanksgiving Meal

family meal

Let’s take a few moments from our normal busy lives and dream a little…because we can (and I think it’s good for our brains).

What if you could plan the most delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal, without cooking any of it, breaking a sweat or having to worry about what anyone else wanted to eat.

If you can’t tell yet, this is a totally hypothetical situation.

What dishes would you have on your dream Thanksgiving table? What cocktails would you sip to start and what desserts would finish it all off?

Here’s my dream Thanksgiving meal:

Read more

Counting Our Blessings

blessings

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it’s cliche, but when is it not a good time to be thankful?

Being grateful forces us to recognize others, to enjoy the good and bad in life, and it helps us see past the mundane of the day-to-day. Being thankful literally lifts our spirits and helps push us to be better people and make a better world.

I believe in the power of thanking each other and our Creator.

Today, I’m thankful for:
  • The fact that I get to be an aunt for the first time next year
  • Having special times this week with my in-laws lounging, eating together and sharing good memories
  • Being able to count on two hands (or more) the amount of new friends that I have made in NC
  • Having found new blog friends and places for community on the interwebs
  • Seeing lives changed across the world while being a part of Firefall International
  • Being able to have a full-time job, a few freelance ones and time to still have fun
  • Celebrating another year of a beautiful marriage that blesses me daily

This is not a list to make you feel like you’re missing things or make anyone jealous. This is a list for us to all share in thankfulness for, and to inspire you to maybe even make your own list.

There is always much to be grateful for. Let’s share in each other’s joy.

Thinking Thankful

This is a special day.

And not just because we’ll all be enjoying a cornucopia of amazing food and restful naps after eating that food.

And not just because we’ll be surrounded by a few or a roomful of loved ones and family.

And not just because it gives us an excuse to say thanks and count our blessings.

For me, it’s all of those things combined.

Read more

Our Thanksgiving Menu

The week is upon us and maybe your Thanksgiving menu is set or maybe you’re still looking for a few new ideas.

This year, my husband and I are spending T-giving with my parents and sister and brother-in-law in Oklahoma City. I can’t wait to have our first holiday celebration in my sister’s new house and I love her kitchen and can’t wait to cook together there!

Read more

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Isn’t it nice to have a day to spend with family and to be reminded of all our blessings.

I’m overwhelmed with my blessings this year: a wonderful husband, a great God, a fabulous family, a great job and a trip to Burma in less than two weeks!

This year, we spent our Thanksgiving with my husband’s family in Siloam Springs, Ark.

It was a fun day of cooking, eating, napping and playing games.

Read more

24-hour Thanksgiving

Happy post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas! It’s officially that time of year when you feel obligated to start rolling your Pandora Christmas station, stop to drink some peppermint hot cocoa and constantly hum Christmas songs. I am loving this time of the year: the Christmas movies, music, gift buying, sales and family time.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was a 24-hour, wonderful whirl of family, friends and food. Since I had to work the day before and after Thanksgiving (and by a huge blessing got Thanksgiving day off), I drove home Thursday early morning and spent 24 hours there. We cooked, watched the parade and had a great time celebrating the season. Isn’t being thankful wonderful?