Thanksgiving Menu + Giveaway

November 4, 2011

Hi all, happy Friday to you!  I was on the phone with my sister yesterday planning our Thanksgiving feast and informed that for the first time in our family’s history of feasts, my brother-in-law has plans to deep fry our turkey this year. This is new to me having grown up on an oven roasted bird, but from what I’ve heard (thanks to plenty of tweets yesterday to reassure me) deep fried turkey is excellent. I’m intrigued and looking forward to it, but just might roast up another smaller bird for old times sake.

The big feast is less than three weeks away, and we’re busily assigning who’s cooking what. It’s just not Thanksgiving without turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie which requires my attire include my most stretchy pants on that day. (I can’t be alone in that.)

thanksgiving menu 1

menu template via must have menus

So let’s talk about food.  A gorgeous keepsake cookbook arrived in my mailbox last week celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Do you watch the Parade every year?  We always have it on while we prep the feast (yet another T day tradition).

Did you know that every single float travels from Hoboken to Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel the midnight before and must be able to fold up to between 6 x 12 feet to pass through it?  This I did not know.  The book tells all about the history and timeline of the parade and how 4,000 people work together to pull it off every year.

macys cookbook

It’s not only a keepsake and history of the famous Parade, but also a gorgeous cookbook filled with stunning images that are a collaboration of over 80 favorite holiday recipes from 13 famous chef’s that make up the Macy’s Culinary Council (including Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, Wolfgang Puck and many others).

macys culinary council

I’m bookmarking several of the recipes inside like Crab Cakes ‘Benedict’ and Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle.  There’s also a few day-after-T-day grilled sandwich recipes that look amazing, yum!

thanksgiving recipes


I’ve got two copies to giveaway this weekend, just in time to get you in the mood for Thanksgiving. Want to win one of these beautiful keepsake cookbooks?

Eligibility to win one of two keepsake Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbooks:

1. Answer this question:  Other than turkey, what’s the one recipe or tradition your Thanksgiving is incomplete without?    Leave your answer in a comment!

Giveaway ends Sunday November 6, 2011 at 8 p.m. PST.  US only.  Two winners chosen at random.  $24.95 retail value.  Macy’s is not a sponsor of this giveaway or blog.  By entering to win, you agree to this blog’s giveaway policy and Official Rules of Entry.  If you’d like to purchase the keepsake cookbook, you can do so here. Complimentary cookbook provided to me for review.

Pssst… were you one of the winners of the Decorative Pillow Giveaway from last weekend?  Winners announced here.  (If you won, check your inbox, there’s an email from me.)

That’s all folks, wishing you a lovely fall weekend !


cg kate signature


Winner #304 LaLa, email sent to the winner!






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556 Responses to “Thanksgiving Menu + Giveaway”

  1. Robin Whiting says:

    mashed potatoes and turkey gravy!

  2. Kristen says:

    Dry stuffing! I grew up with wonderful stuffing that cooked inside the turkey of course, but now we also have dry stuffing that has become a favorite. It will not be Thanksgiving without it now!

  3. Lindy says:

    Mashed potatoes and stuffing

  4. Deb W. says:

    My grandmother’s (who passed many, many years ago) sweet coleslaw with fresh bay shrimp folded in. I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but believe me it is delicious. My family would pitch a fit if we didn’t have it on the table. One year I slipped in the kitchen after dinner while holding the bowl of slaw which promptly went everywhere. Needless to say the cries of “Oh no, not the slaw” could be heard all through the neighborhood…..

  5. Deborah in Atlanta says:

    We always have a broccoli/cauliflower salad. And also that cranberry/orange relish you have on your menu. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving or Christmas without those on the table.

    Loved the info about the floats having to travel from Hoboken to Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel, and would love to learn more information like that. Cool giveaway!

  6. DeboraR says:

    Sausage dressing and green been casserole:)

  7. Our favorite is a pecan/marshmallow/brown sugar sweet potato casserole!!!

  8. april pierce says:

    My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is that no matter where we live (Atlanta, San Francisco, Little Rock or where ever), my sister flies in to shop with me on Black Friday! It has nothing to do with the shopping (many years I have come home empty-handed), but everything to do with knowing that is our one “sisters only” day together each year!

  9. Susan McMenamin says:

    Besides our standard “real” mashed potatoes, green bean casserole is a must!

  10. Donna Olander says:

    Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese, Pumpkin Pie & Pecan Pie without fail.

  11. Ke says:

    Green bean casserole!!

  12. Palvena Pace says:

    Scalloped Oysters!!! Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition.

  13. Jen C. says:

    We always need apple pie with vanilla ice cream!!

  14. Brenda M. says:

    Stuffing of any kind. This year I am thinking about trying cornbread stuffing – even testing a recipe today. Yumm!

  15. Nicki says:

    Sweet potato casserole. It isn’t thanksgiving without that!

  16. Cindi says:

    My mom made her own special version of Waldorf Salad! In her memory, using her recipe,
    we enjoy her salad every Thanksgiving…
    Thanks very much and Happy November!

  17. paula says:

    Homemade garlic mashed potatoes and banana pudding!

  18. Barbara P. says:

    Two kinds of home-made cranberry sauce. One with nuts and pineapple…it’s delicious! And one traditional, for the kids. Also, our home made turkey gravy is always outstanding!

  19. Molly says:

    My stepmother makes this cranberry jello mold that is right out of the 1960s, but it’s delicious! It has minced celery and orange pieces and it seriously so, so good.

    I’m also totally into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I think I’s my favorite part of the whole day. :)

  20. Karen Y. says:

    My favorite Thanksgiving food. Mashed Potatoes!!

  21. sarah says:

    My Thanksgiving is not complete without my cornbread stuffing and green bean casserole….I know, I know, super generic but it is just a classic!

  22. Patti says:

    The one thing that we can’t go with out at Thanksgiving in my family is sweet potatoes. Smothered with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows. This is probably my kids favorite part of the dinner besides homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

  23. Andrea D. says:

    My parents use to have Christmas at our house but their stuffing recipe is one I use for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. It would not be Thanksgiving without it.

  24. Cami N says:

    My mother-in-law makes the best rolls incomplete without home-made honey butter and strawberry butter. Mmmmm!

  25. Savina says:

    Pumpkin pie, good wine and my mom’s piping hot mashed potatoes…we fight over the crunchy, browned edges.

  26. Debbie G says:

    My homemade Martini Cranberry Sauce…one year made with gin…the following year made with vodka….and I make enough and put up as gifts for all the guests!!

  27. Colleen S says:

    Sweet potatoes with melted mini marshmellows on top!

  28. I can’t live without cranberry sauce because it’s the only way I can eat turkey. I also can’t live without a green salad at the table. Call me crazy, but it’ makes me feel better eating all that starch.

  29. Kate says:

    I have to make my homemade cranberry relish. It’s the perfect dessert.

  30. Diane Kuffler says:

    We have two dishes that if they don’t make our holiday table, the meal just isn’t complete: my paternal grandmother’s version of a cranberry salad (always served in a crystal bowl with a silver serving spoon), and my mom’s “scalloped asparagus” dish. MMMmm… I am getting hungry already!

  31. Clara says:

    Cranberry relish and sweet potatoes!

  32. micah Tjeerdsma says:

    Without a doubt its the whipped sweet potatoes filled oranges! We take the sweet potatoes and add fresh orange juice to them along with all the other yummy things like brown sugar and butter!! Then we refill the orange halves with the sweet potatoes, top them with marshmallows, then brown them in the oven! Perfection!!

  33. Karen M says:

    Definitely sweet potatoes with brown sugar glaze! Can’t have Thanksgiving without them :)

  34. patti says:

    I love sausage stuffing and creamy cheese mashed potatoes and cranberry and….oh I can go on
    and on! I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year!!

  35. Arli says:

    Stuffing, stuffing, and more stuffing. Or dressing. Whatever you calll it and however you cook it….I LOVE IT! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  36. suzannebee says:

    The one thing that everyone always expects me to make and is differant than the usual- festive tossed salad. It has baby greens, fruits, nuts, cheese, and homemade red wine vinegar dressing.

  37. To our family, Thanksgiving is all about the stuffing (since we no longer actually stuff the bird, I guess we should call it dressing these days). I make an incredible sausage, pecan, apple, cornbread stuffing that could practically be a meal in itself. But for the past four years, I also make a companion stuffing which is the traditional sage stuffing my mom always made. She’s been gone four years now and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without making some of the old standards I grew up with. I like to think she’d love my recipe, too.

  38. Stephanie says:

    No doubt about it…my grandmother’s potatoes mashed with butter, cream cheese and sour cream. So rich and delicious!

  39. Kendra says:

    Definitely Stuffing…hands down!!

  40. Teslaca says:

    I must have creamed onions. It’s the only time I make them and I love them!

  41. Bridget says:

    Corn Bread stuffing, I usually start craving it in about september and we make it for both thanksgiving and Christmas, so yummy!

  42. Lana Decker says:

    Every Thanksgiving it’s been the same meal for over 20 years. But my favorite dish is mashed sweet potatoes smothered in marshmellows. But then homemade turkey soup a day or two after Thanksgiving ranks right up there.

  43. Becky Sowell says:

    Being from the South, we have to have a baked ham too. We never just have turkey! And we have to have my Mama’s baked macaroni and cheese.

  44. Cheri says:

    Pumpkin pie!

  45. Courtney Hammond says:

    We make our family’s traditional Cream Cheese Chewies which EVERYONE loves! I have yet to meet anyone who’s tried them tell me they do not like them. :) I took it upon myself to look the recipe up & leave it to those of you who may want to try it.

    1 Box Duncan Hines Deluxe cake mix (or make your own cake mix!)
    1 Stick butter
    3 Eggs
    1 Box powdered sugar
    1 (8oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese
    1 Cup chopped nuts
    1 tsp. Vanilla

    Combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg. Press in a greased and floured pan, 9×13-inch. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, 2 eggs and vanilla. Pour over cake mixture, then sprinkle nuts on top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

    SIMPLE! and absolutely DELISH!

  46. Maria B says:

    Our family switches back and forth between turkey and ham, but we always have to have our green bean casserole. My husband makes it from the recipe on the can. It sounds boring, but it is the one item every single person in our family likes, and it is nearly impossible to make a bad green bean casserole! :)

  47. Diane says:

    Home made Bread dressing and Pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream!!

  48. Laura says:

    Wathching the parade while prepping my turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving morning…and football of course!

  49. MB says:

    Our Thanksgiving Feast is not complete without green bean casserole. Not very healthy, but so yummy!

  50. Nicole says:

    Coming from a military family we’ve moved around a lot and been in a lot of different situations for the holidays – but the one thing that finishes a meal like no other is a good homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream topping. I am willing to experiment with different versions of the Thanksgiving meal, sampling specialties from wherever I am living, but I always always have a slice of pumpkin pie.

  51. Caryn says:

    That book looks gorgeous! My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is not food at all. Every year my family has the traditional “no-rules Thanksgiving football game.” It’s what I look forward to every year.

  52. Laura says:

    We love a Pancetta ciabatta stuffing (one of Giada’s recipe from food network).

  53. Imelda says:

    I have a big family and the bigger it gets the harder it is to get everyone together. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only holidays we can get all together. Mom likes to cook different meals every year, but the turkey is always a must!!! And we really don’t care what Mom cooks we know everything she makes is delicious!

  54. Virginia says:

    We always have really good pumpkin pie! My job to make now. I garnish with white chocolate leaves and nuts dipped in the chocolate. Very festive and pretty.

  55. Jennifer says:

    My family has always referreded to it as pumpkin dessert. Butter cookie like crust, pumpkin pie like center and a strusel on top with nuts and brown sugar, serve with fresh cream. We make several jelly roll pans of these for thanksgiving.

  56. jessica w. says:

    We acutally do cornish hens rather than turkey, we also make cranberry fluff, and LOTS of pies

  57. Michelle says:

    Besides all the regular fixings, we have to have my mom’s pumpkin cake and my deviled eggs (my kids and husband’s favorite for every holiday!).

  58. Angie Evenson says:

    I think it your menue should say “Duo of Turkey” Just saying :)

  59. Mimi says:

    Along with all the Thanksgiving Day fixings our day wouldn’t be complete without some Korean bbq.

  60. Karen says:

    Our ‘must have’ recipe, besides roasted turkey, is Texas Corn Bread stuffing. A recipe that I found in the L.A. Times years ago.

  61. Terri says:

    Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Cake – there would be no peace for me if I didn’t whip one up for my hubby on Thanksgiving :)!!

  62. Shelley says:

    Definitely my grandmother’s cranberry relish. Mom makes it with Grandma’s old meat grinder to get all the goodies nice and fine. Yum!

  63. Kim says:

    Definitely my mashed potatoes.

  64. Joy says:

    Homemade cranberry/orange relish, canned jellied cranberries, pumpkin and pecan pies. No marshmellos on yams, no green bean, mushroom soup, french fried casserole. Somehow my family outgrew these, but they are a must have in my sisters family. Also we love crunchy on top, dressing.

  65. angela says:

    I would have to say homemade biskets and crossaints…. So good and the one time of the year that someone else cooks for me… :)

  66. Emily Reel says:

    Since I’m Korean, at any Thanksgiving that’s hosted by my family there is also kimchee and rice, in addition to the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc.

  67. Jen H says:

    My moms pumpkin pie with cool whip! Mmmm.. Nothing compares to it!

  68. Susan Moore says:

    Our Thanksgiving meal is not complete without my sister’s delicious Whipped Sweet Potatoes. She makes them every year! We have mashed potatoes with gravy AND her Whipped Sweet Potatoes. This is a Southern tradition in our family. Yum Yum! I can’t wait!

  69. Athena says:

    Thanksgiving isn’t complete without my mom’s Parker House rolls.

  70. JamieC says:

    Neither Thanksgiving or Christmas is complete without my Grammy’s chocolate pecan pie. With a little bit of whipped cream on top, melt in your mouth yumminess!

  71. Laurie says:

    Seems like everyone in our family wants the same things year after year! But cornbread dressing is a must, and some years we also have oyster dressing. We always have turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans (not casserole!) corn casserole, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, garden salad, pea salad, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, pecan pie bars & fudge. There are between 18-25 people usually.

    And now I’m starving!

  72. Doris Johnson says:

    Green bean casserole! LOVE it.

  73. Susan Day says:

    The Yoder Family Sugar Cookie. These are cake like cookies that have a thin coating of icing. I researched this family recipe and traced it to its Amish roots in PA. They are tricky to make well but as the oldest grand daughter, I have taken on the job of making them ever since our grandmother passed away. I’ll pass on the recipe if you’d like but I’m not promising that they’ll taste like G’ma Katie’s. Her cookies were amazing!

  74. Andrea says:

    Our Thanksgiving is not complete without a BIG laundry basket full of candy!! My husband’s cousin considers that his “contribution” to our feast, since he doesn’t cook! The kids ALL look forward to it…while the parents just smile! :)

  75. Melissa says:

    Thanksgiving isn’t complete without our “funeral potatoes”. That’s what my grandma always called them, but it is actually a cheesy potatoe casserole.

  76. Holly says:

    Scalloped apples…yum!

  77. Sherri says:

    Our own kid-friendly version of “cranberry sauce” – it’s cranberry jello with whipped cream!

  78. Jacqueline says:

    It isn’t Thanksgiving without my grandma’s toasted marshmallow yams. Yummy!

  79. Diana says:

    Tradition is what our Thanksgiving is all about too! It has always been my dream to go to NY for Thanksgiving weekend and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. If I don’t win, I might have to purchase this book as a way of living my dream for now.

    Plain old white bread stuffing is my favorite and that really makes it taste like Thanksgiving!

  80. Jolyn says:

    Pumpkin Pie, for sure! As far as traditions…the last 5 years, my sister-in-laws and I have participated in a Thanksgiving Day 5k. It’s a nice little “girl’s morning out” and makes us feel even better about going back for seconds during the Thanksgiving Day dinner :)

  81. DonnaK says:

    Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with my children while I cook. The recipe that is a tradition in our house is my roasted brussel sprouts with bacon. Even long-time brussel sprouts haters fall in love with that dish.

  82. Bri Dingee says:

    My thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without deviled eggs!

  83. melissa says:

    Sweet potato souffle!

  84. mollys says:

    Green bean casserole for sure!

  85. Gina Morrison says:

    My grandma’s sage dressing…YUM!!!!

  86. Michelle says:

    It wouldn’t be a holiday meal without ravioli in linguisa sauce at our house. Early on in our thirty years of marriage, we learned to combine two cultural family favorites which delighted my Siclian MIL and Azorean grandmother.

  87. SusanV says:

    I would feel Thanksgiving dinner was incomplete without stuffing! It’s not a special recipe, just a tradition that needs to be kept. (And pumpkin pie, REAL cranberry relish with fresh cranberries, orange peel, & pecans), mashed potatoes and gravy…yeah… that’s the ticket.

    I’m so hungry for Thanksgiving!

  88. debby says:

    I can’t live without my aunt’s sweet potato crisp (we have halved the butter and sugar from the original recipe and it’s still decadent).

  89. Kelly says:

    It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without stuffing and mashed potatoes :)

  90. Andrea S. says:

    I always look forward to corn pudding at Thanksgiving.

  91. Kristin M says:

    I must have green bean casserole on Thanksgiving! I used to hate it b/c of the onions but now I want extra onions! YUM!

  92. JaneO says:

    Pretty much the same menu as yours (only no fried turkey – I cook mine in a convection oven – perfect every time, in only 1 1/4 hr!!) – only pumpkin and mincemeat pies – and dressing must be cornbread! Our favorite meal – my daughter and I don’t mind the cooking on this feast!

  93. TiffanyS says:

    I know it’s simple, but tradition does not discriminate. Green bean casserole! mmmm…

  94. Clara says:

    My family is Italian so we always have ravioli with out turkey. Our celebration planning always starts out with “Let’s do is simple this year…” It never works and we end up with way more food than we can eat. Yea for leftovers!

  95. We’ve strayed slightly from what most people consider “tradition” but the best part is that we’re creating new “traditions” with our still very young family! We love to do cornish hens and filet mignon, and we usually have more side dishes than you can count! We also add champagne for the grown-ups! Thanks for the giveaway!

  96. jan says:

    my grandmothers sweet potato soufflé… delicious!

  97. Joyce Booth says:

    Scalloped corn. A favorite recipe from my husband’s side of the family. I’ve made it every year for 30 years!

  98. Laurie says:

    Sweet potato casserole!

  99. mattie says:

    Needing to have fresh tomatoes and plenty of bacon on hand to make the requisite Turkey Club Sandwiches later that night!

  100. Tara F. says:

    Candied Sweet Potatoes (Mashed or not), and Mashed Turnips & Mashed Potatoes mixed together. They are both recipes my mom has made every year and became traditions. It is not Thanksgiving without both on the table.
    sweetpeonies07 at gmail

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