Thanksgiving Plans

I love any holiday that has to do with food, family, and gratitude. This past year has been filled to the brim with awesomeness, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for that.

  1. I graduated college, finally
  2. I got a job before I graduated
  3. I enjoy my challenging job
  4. My husband is able to do school full-time while I work
  5. Wisconsin is all kinds of beautiful
  6. I was able to travel a lot, and even saw the Sequoia trees, a life-long dream
  7. Everyone in my family is healthy and happy

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And I could extend that list a lot, but I’d like to focus on the “food” part that I mentioned. I love to cook and bake for Thanksgiving, but since I live 5+ hours away from family, this year I’m focusing on easy recipes. I thought I’d share what I’m going to make! First, from my own brain: I’m wanting to re-make a Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake I made a few years ago. If that happens, I’ll be sure to share the recipe.WIth all the dessert-baking happening the next few months, why not make you own Vanilla Extract? It smells so fantastic! I recommend buying the vanilla beans on Amazon. Here’s what I buy (I ain’t getting paid for that, either).
IMG_0831Last year I made this Skillet Cookie. It’s simple and travels well, so I’m doing it again!
DSCN0111Want to be able to cut up some fruit for a party? Here’s a tutorial for pineapple, papaya, and mango chopping.
How to cut up tropical fruitsFor something a little different, I’m making a pitcher of tea for at least one get-together.
DIY iced teaCooking Classy has the right idea: Cannoli Dip. Yes, please.ccLife Love and Good Food made me drool with these Sweet Potato Skins. Holy wow.
sweetpotatoskins-2Naive Cook Cooks (love that name so much, plus she was a freaking Chemical Engineer) made me tolerate the upcoming cold weather when I saw her Butternut Squash Kale Risotto.
butternut-squash-kale-risottoTaste of Lizzy T made a delicious-looking version of my favorite Thanksgiving dish, so I’m going to try out her Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing!
grandmas-thanksgiving-turkey-stuffing-5This cheese ball from Crafts A La Mode is adorable, although I’d like to make the version from Gimme Some Oven and then decorate it like a turkey. Cheese balls are a Midwestern party food necessity!

This recipe is all over Pinterest, but guys, I made them and they are soooo good! Just a Taste has got it all figured out. I’m going to add some chopped chocolate to her Pecan Pie Bars and then go into a sugar coma. Bliss.
pecan-pie-bars-recipeI’ve no doubt that I’ll want to make more than that, but I’ll try to limit myself….Oh, one more for the leftovers you may have- the Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Mustard Panini from Just a Little Bit of Bacon is a fantastic idea:

turkey-brie-and-cranberry-panini-1

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