Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

We hosted our first Thanksgiving this past Sunday, celebrating early since my husband is working the holidays.  Anyone in healthcare will understand!  This was the first official holiday we’ve hosted in our home and of course, I wanted it to be perfect!

My Kind of Thanksgiving

thanksgiving, carving the turkeyI planned my menu and wouldn’t allow friends or family to bring dishes.  I wanted to make the meal myself and I also wanted to control my kitchen space and not end up with too much food.  If it is in your ability, I would recommend this.  You don’t have to worry about guests arriving with large bowls that can’t fit in the fridge or something that needs warming… or worse, complete baking!  Instead for those that felt they had to bring something I recommended drinks: Riesling, beer, and Bloody Mary’s which worked out rather well.

We hosted 16 and had plenty of food and leftovers.  I was very paranoid about the turkey.  Many articles I read said plan 1.5 to 2 pounds of turkey per guest if you wanted leftovers.  I had a 20-pound bird and then bought an 8-pound breast to prepare as well.  My mother-in-law balked at the idea of this stating I would have way too much food.  So I went with her recommendation figuring I could always blame her if we ran out of turkey J and added an additional side at the last minute.

Prepping for a Big Holiday

For a timeline, I did my grocery shopping on Thursday evening, began cleaning the house Friday night, and began food prepping on Saturday afternoon.   I had prepared homemade pies over the weeks prior and stocked in the freezer. Our guests were arriving at 3 PM on Sunday so I had plenty of time that day to set the tables, cook, clean-up, and not go crazy before everyone arrived.

Knowing I had to work the next day I opted for throw-away dishes and silverware buying the nicer plastic set at BJ’s, chinet glasses, and heavy duty silver silverware.  This made cleanup much easier as there were plenty of serving dishes & pots to clean anyway.

Thanksgiving Table Setting

On the Menu

Links to each recipe are included here.  Of course in my typical fashion I would ad-lib a bit in terms of quantity or seasoning, but for the most part I stuck to the recipes.  This holiday was not going to be a time for me to experiment!


  • Assorted Charcuterie
    • Blue Cheese, Merlot Glazed Cheddar, Blueberry Coated Goat Cheese, Sliced Cheddar, Muenster, Havarti
    • Prosciutto, Sangiovese Salami, Summer Sausage
    • Bruschetta
    • Olive Tapenade
    • Assorted Crackers
  • Cranberry Cider Punch
    • 6 oz. frozen or fresh cranberries, 1 bottle brut champagne, 1-quart apple cider, 3 fresh rosemary sprigs



  • Butternut Apple Crisp
  • Maple Apple Pie
  • Pumpkin Maple Pie

Each from the Vermont Farm Table Cookbook found on Amazon here.  It’s an amazing cookbook for fresh foods!


Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy time with family and friends.  Share what you’ve cooked here or on Instagram @theeverafterblog



Continue Reading
grilled pizza variety

Summertime and grilling go hand in hand. It's great to get outside and enjoy the weather while cooking dinner, especially when friends are involved.  I had been seeing grilled pizza…

Yum This is a great summer recipe with fresh ingredients you can theoretically get right from your backyard garden!  Or your local Farmer's Market. I've never bought or used fresh…
Avocado Cream Sauce

This may sound weird but this avocado cream sauce has been life changing!  First of all, it is so quick to make this sauce.  Secondly, it’s delicious of course ……
Scallops Over Pea Shoots Final

One of my newfound favorite things to eat is scallops.  As a kid, and even in my early twenties I was never a huge seafood fan other than mild white…
Healthy Stuffed Peppers

A great way to get all your food groups into one easy meal is with stuffed peppers.  These are perfect to make for 1, 2, or an entire family and…