Thanksgiving dinner

Weekend in Photos

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Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel photographed on the Gilmore Girls' set in Burbank, CA on SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016. Photographs by Chris Craymer Wardrobe Styling: Brenda Maben; Wardrobe Styling Assistant: Briana Heavener; Bledel's hair: Bridget Brager/Bumble and Bumble/The Wall Group; Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan/mark./The Wall Group; Graham’s Hair: David Babaii/ghd Tools; Makeup: Angela Levin/TRACEY MATTINGLY; Production: Allison Elioff/Sunny 16 Productions

 

How was your holiday?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yay! Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I am a huge fan of the holiday. It has some of my favorites foods. I love the mashed potatoes, I love stuffing, I love pumpkin pie!

Thanksgiving dinner is a feat in itself. I remember when Michael and I did Our First Bird. We had a bunch of friends over and did thanksgiving at our place. It went well but yeah…it was a lot of work!

Over the years I’ve written a lot of posts about the holiday and how to balance the splurge and still lose weight. You can read some of those old posts here:

Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie

Repost: Why You Don’t Quit for the Holidays

Repost: Setting a Skinny Table

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In the past I usually started reigning in the food and alcohol intake after Thanksgiving until Christmas, trying to be balanced and eat in moderation without going overboard. Inevitably I’d gain around 3-5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s but I’d lose it pretty quickly and easily in the new year. This year feels a little different, obviously. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m not too worried about gaining a few pounds, and my priorities have shifted a bit.

Instead, I wanted to share some favorite recipes you may want to try at your holiday:

Appetizers

Grandpa’s Atomic Garlic Dip – My grandpa’s famous dip. It’s super garlicky, like prepare-yourself-garlicky, but it’s SO good. It’s a fabulous appetizer to take to your holiday party and goes great with raw veggies.

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Buffalo Celery Appetizer  – Another easy appetizer that is low in calories.

Side Dishes

I love me some Brussels Sprouts! I have two favorite recipes I wanted to pass on. The first is a super easy and fast side dish (that we often do with just dinner on a regular night):

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions:

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This Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad was one I made for a previous Thanksgiving holiday and it was absolutely delicious and a hit. Plus, even people who weren’t fans of Brussels Sprouts, liked this recipe!

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Martha Stewart’s Mac n’ Cheese – I don’t know that this is really a “side dish” but it’s an AMAZING recipe and is a must-make for any holiday party Michael and I get invited to. He made it once and now it’s requested. By everyone. It’s seriously that good. This particular recipe is a huge time investment but it’s so worth the effort.

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Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews – This would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s healthy, delicious and goes with everything.

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Butternut Squash Cashew Soup – another great option for a side dish or appetizer. Make a small batch and serve it in tiny bowls or even in shot glasses!

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Main Dish

If you’re not a fan of turkey, but want to do something similar, check out this recipe that was a fantastic dinner: Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Another alternative to turkey: Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens

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We’ve done Cornish Game Hens instead of turkey a few times. On years when we were not getting together with family and doing the big “thing”, this was a nice option because it was MUCH less work, similar to having a turkey, but no massive quantities of leftovers.

Breads

Here are few recipes for bread type things:

Apple-Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

Star’s Cornbread – Her cornbread is amazing! Cheesy, moist, spicy…all my favorite things!

Cornbread Stuffing – Okay…for most of my life I was a firm “traditional stuffing” kind of girl…then I had cornbread stuffing and don’t want anything else now! I love cornbread stuffing and have had a few different variations of it and it’s all good…some cashews, some spicy sausage mixed in? Delicious!

Now it’s your turn: what are your favorite alternative recipes for the holidays? Share your links here!