Foodies looooove Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. The preparation, the smells, the amazing food, the impeccable company...it's just the coziest day ever. And we are so blessed that this year, our first holiday as a married couple, we get to enjoy TWO Thanksgivings: one with his family, and one with mine!

Gorgeous tablescape by Chic Celebrations, blooms by Heavenly Blooms

I know that I'll step up and host one of these days (which I secretly can't wait for), but I do so enjoy arriving at our loved ones' homes, smelling the seasonal candles burning for guests' arrivals, and just watching the smiles and hugs unfold. It's the best!

Now, I'd be remiss if I didn't give proper weight to the food, y'all. (No pun intended...well, yes, it is.) Vegetarian or otherwise, Thanksgiving is a proper feast and I love every second of it. We've gotten quite spoiled by the amazing cooks in our family, and it's so neat to see that more and more fresh, organic ingredients are being invited over to play. Some prefer the classic, bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good versions of sides and holiday staples, so it's fun to see the mix of traditional and foodie flare.

Thanksgiving is when I like to take a chance on some new recipes. Risky, maybe, but I generally go for flavor profiles and techniques with which I am comfortable, so it's never a total stretch. (Going for bold and trying something totally, spanky new would require a dry run, naturally.) 

Our Home Group was commissioned with green bean casserole duty for our community Thanksgiving over the weekend, so I gave Alton Brown's Best Ever Green Bean Casserole a shot, drawn in by it's from-scratch approach and relative simplicity. I was quite pleased with how it came out and really enjoyed the texture and flavors. The homemade onion topping was a little challenging, I will say. But I think I'll just try bigger slices and more turning in the oven next time.

No points awarded for presentation, right?

I'm also going to be making a gluten-free quinoa and red rice stuffing recipe from Williams-Sonoma (though I think they're getting a little fast and loose with the term "stuffing" considering this dish lacks bread, but I think it'll be quite yummy and worth ingesting some good grains), as well as trying the Simple Bites Butternut Squash Gratin. Autumnal produce, panko and parm? Done. I'll let y'all know how these turn out, as well be enjoying them this evening with M's family!

Wishing you all successful cooking/baking, stress-free gathering (especially for you brave hostesses), and (most importantly) a precious day to reflect on the incredible blessings from our Father!

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