November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Brainstorm Time!

I’m gearing up to host my first Thanksgiving next week so it’s BRAINSTORM/CRUNCH TIME. You with me?!

Let’s brainstorm!

Baked Artichoke Squares

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be thanksgiving without my mom’s Baked Artichoke squares. The best part is that you can totally make these the night before & reheat.

Apricots w/ Basil Goat Cheese & Almonds

Don’t they look pretty?!

Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

Another on you can make the night before. You could also try this with eggplant if you’re into it.


Herbed Flatbread

Serve this with a cheese plater and you’re golden!

Mini Cheddar Popovers

So simple yet BOLD. People will be touched at your effort…they don’t have to know it’s easy!

Orange Spiced Cashews

Who doesn’t like a bowl of spiced nuts?

Roasted Butternut Squash & Arugula Salad

If you’re looking for an awesome/unique salad, this one is your winner!

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts

I mean…just DO IT.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

You’re guests will love this combo! There’s cranberries up in it too!

Pumpkin Bourbon Milkshakes

You could serve these milkshakes in addition to your dessert. Imagine them in mini glasses. Perfect!

Clove-Scented Sidecar

It’s clove season! Let’s warm up the holidays with a nice clove/sugar rimmed cocktail.

Holiday parties should have signature cocktails, don’t ya think?

Hot Vanilla Cider

Something for the kids if you take out the bourbon and something to make your old Aunt Bessie tolerable if you feel like adding bourbon.

Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to always been about pie! You can make cheesecakes!

Fluffy Pumpkin Parfaits

It’s like pumpkin pie in a cup!

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream

Imagine scoops in little glasses…served with a dollop of whipped cream & some pralines. OMG.

pumpkin cake with brown butter icing

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

You could easily turn this recipe into cupcakes. Your guests will LOVE the brown butter icing & moist cake.

Pumpkin Cream Pie

You just gotta. This one has a gingersnap crust! It’s light/ fluffy and you don’t have to bake the final pie.

  • ElisabethSpace

    Pumpkin parfaits with added fluffiness?? *dies of happiness*
    Every year, no matter what, I make an updated version of green bean casserole (recipe by Sara Moulton) that I saw on the Food Network years ago. It’s like gooey green mushroomy heaven in your mouth. Good luck preparing your spread. Sounds like your guests are in for a treat!

  • Jess

    The goat cheese apricot app is making me drool… My oh my. Last year I made the pumpkin cream pie and it was a huge hit.. Will have to break it out again totally forgot about it. Many thanks. My waist, however, does not thank you. By the way, have you sampled the pecan pie ice cream at TJ’s? It’s…. insane… Happy turkey day!

  • amanda (simplemittens)

    oh maaaaan. can I come over? I’m pregnant, so this post is pretty much just torture if ya feel me..

  • Victoria

    Everything looks so good! We keep it simple….Same menu, same house, same cooks. The only things that change are the guests and the weather!

    It’s a good life. 🙂

  • tara

    Okay, I’m planning on just coming to your house. Deal? kthx

  • Julie

    Wow, those recipes all look fantastic! Your guests will leave very happy. But additionally, I love that you posted your brainstorming/planning ideas; menu planning is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. If you want, check out my blog, I just posted my top tips for hosting Thanksgiving, all gleaned from my own experiences.

  • Jane M

    ONLY THE BEST DANG HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR! T-DAY/EATING HOLIDAY!!! WOO HOO! Not to brag or anything BUT yep I’m a pro at this holiday! My Mom (who sadly passed a week ago) REALLY taught me well. Now I’m teaching my children. But that’s how it’s supposed to work – at least I think so.

  • Bailey

    I’m totes making your pear custard pie for a Friendsgiving. It’s gonna be epic.

  • Megan | Eats Daily

    Your Thanksgiving meal is going to be AWESOME.

  • Michelle

    Ohhh, signature thanksgiving cocktails. Yes, please, thank you. Because my favorite holiday deserve something special!

  • stacy

    i made your roasted brussel sprouts/squash lst year and they were a hit! making again this year………YUM!

  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    Everything is so unique and nontraditional! In a good way 🙂

  • jackie @ marin mama cooks

    Love these ideas. I got lazy on my blog and am just featuring a kale and squash salad and some kale mashed potatoes. Can you see my kale obsession here? I’m loving the looks of those apple pie cheese cakes and that pumpkin cream pie. I’m also loving our cozy rainy day, aren’t you? I’m so going to put a fire in the fireplace when the kids get home from school. Have a great weekend Tracy!

  • Marilyn

    MOIST?! gah.

  • Sample Saturday « Homekeeping Adventures

    […] Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup – In case you don’t have your Thanksgiving menu planned yet, here are some recipe collections from great blog: Cook Like a Champion, The Pioneer Woman, and Shutterbean. […]

  • Kasey

    Can I come over?

  • Jessica McLeod

    Just starting to plan Thanksgiving because going out to eat idea has failed. I KNEW you would have an ‘awesome ideas for Thanksgiving’ blog post! Thank you. I’m doing your brussel sprouts and cream pie!

  • Cortnie

    Tracy – I made your roasted brussels sprouts last year and they were a HUGE hit. But I’m really feelin’ the fried brussels sprouts this time around – do you think it be kosher to fry them up at home, travel 1.5 hours to the family’s house, then put the dressing on?


    • Tracy

      They might not be crispy if you do that. How about roasting them and then putting that sauce on at the end? That way the oil isn’t saturating it.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Thank you for the reminder about those baked artichoke squares. I’ve been meaning to make them since you first posted them!

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