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Thanksgiving Menu

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I realized a couple of days ago that Thanksgiving is next week already. I’ve been in living in cave for the last couple of weeks since my daughter’s surgery. Fortunately, some lovely friends came over today for a delightful afternoon and I’m feeling a little more inspired to tackle life! I finally decided it’s time to start thinking about the Thanksgiving menu.

This year marks a new adventure in Thanksgiving meals for our extended family. In previous years, we’ve either been far away from all family and have enjoyed lovely meals with military friends, or I’ve hosted one or both sets of parents (pre-kids). Since we moved to Iowa in 2006, though, we’ve always had Thanksgiving at my husband’s Grandpa and Step-Grandma’s house. His grandpa died last year, however, and his Step-Grandma isn’t able to host the enormous group that the two families were in her new apartment. So we won’t have the big extended Thanksgiving we’ve had for the last 5 years.

Instead, we’re enjoying Thanksgiving at my Mother-in-Law’s house. We’ll have my daughter in a spica cast and her 10-year-old cousin who has hip dysplasia surgery on both hips tomorrow and will be in a wheelchair. Sara is in fine spirits after her surgery and I hope her cousin will be doing well by next week, too.

None of that has anything to do with my Thanksgiving Menu, I guess, but I felt like writing it! 🙂 I won’t be making all of these dishes this year, but this is my standard Thanksgiving fare when I am in charge of the meal. I’ll be sharing some of the recipes in the next few days:

World’s Best Turkey
World’s Easiest Crock Pot Ham
Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
Rosemary, Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Grandma’s Best Three Bread Stuffing
Mandarin Orange and Almond Salad
Whole Grain Artisan Bread
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese
Cranberry & Orange Relish
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Real Whipped Cream
Apple Pie with Homemade Ice Cream

What do you eat for Thanksgiving? I’d love to know! I’m linking up to Simple Lives Thursday, Real Food Wednesday, and

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About Michelle

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankLisa says

    Your menu looks so yummy. What is your recipe for your World’s Easiest Crock Pot Ham? Matt has to take a ham into work for 3 in the afternoon and I’m super busy that day so it would be nice if he could just cook it in his office at work. It’s just us this Thanksgiving so we are being super duper lazy and going to the buffet at the Bellagio. I miss your Thanksgiving meal in Okinawa 🙁 It was a great time!! Wish that we could go on one of our walks/runs too, miss you!!!

    • blankMichelle says

      Awww, Lisa, miss you too! That Thanksgiving in Okinawa is my all time favorite Thanksgiving ever. 🙂 What a lot of lot of fun.

      Crockpot ham – put 3/4 – 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (depending on the size of the ham) in the bottom of a crockpot and cook on low all day!! That’s it. Super easy, super yummy. Hope it works for Matt and you!

        • blankMichelle says

          I’m not sure, Lisa. If the ham includes a seasoning packet, you could always leave it out. I usually get sugar hams. I have also had good luck just sticking the ham in the crockpot all by itself!!! Still good.

  2. blankAmy says

    A must at our Thanksgiving is mashed potatoes we usually make 15 to 20lbs and there will be no leftovers and thats only with 16 people.

  3. blankCara Ivey says

    When I host Thanksgiving I serve the SAME meal I’ve had since I can remember.

    Maple Sage Turkey (even if I only expect 5 people it MUST be a 20 lb turkey or larger… I just LOVE the sight of huge Turkey that took hours to cook)

    Cornbread Sausage Dressing (even the cornbread is from scratch. Made 3 days earlier)
    Cranberry Orange Relish
    Turkey Giblet Gravy (made with homemade turkey stock and minced giblets.. Oh and those LOVELY maple drippings)
    Fresh Green Bean Casserole
    Mashed Bacon Chive Potatoes
    Cardomom Sweet Potatoes
    Sweet Yeast Rolls
    Memosas (usually these begin first thing in the morning… hey it’s Thanksgiving!!)
    Friend/Family Bring Wine and Cheese and Crackers for snacking.

    Broubon Pecan Pie
    Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Pecan Crust
    Apple Pie
    Pumpkin Maple Pie
    Chocolate Cream Pie
    Banana Cream Pie
    We used to have a Pie Night party the night before Thanksgiving. Many drinks with great friends and tons of pie eating!! Usually it turned into half drunken kareoke after the kids were put down into wee hours of the morning!! Everyone looked forward to it and always requested that night off from work. We had so much fun!!
    I’ll miss those days, until we move back to Maine!! Hopefully this will be our only year away!!!

    • blankMichelle says

      Yum! Cara – we also make dressing from scratch with bread made from scratch. That’s the only way!! 🙂 I’m coming over for mimosas and pie!! Where in Texas do you live? Hope you make it back to Maine soon. You know, I have NEVER been to Maine.

      • blankCara Ivey says

        We live in South East Texas right on the border of LA. It just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving when it’s 80 degrees out!
        I’ve been and lived all over theUS and I’ll tell you what, Maine is the best place in the world. You get the small town country living feel, the “beyond southern hospitality”, not a lot of crime, the beautiful ocean, and the picture perfect seasons. Living there is like being in a movie. We are hoping to move back in a matter of months….

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