Thanksgiving Ideas: FFA’s 2011 List

4 Comments 09 November 2011

Last weekend, sis blogging partner and my immediate family went on vacation.

We did zero food blog cooking. Frankly, we needed a break.

Instead we went to the beach! We frolicked in the sand. A bucket full of shells was collected. Fresh oysters and shrimp were consumed. Hubby and sis ate the oysters, not I. Shudder. I’ve never managed to get one of those down. We did wrap those shrimp in bacon, though, so all was not lost! As always, we salute you, Bacon. Shaaa-wing.


Kidlet became one with the sand. And the waves. The waves may have been a little intimidated by her – cuz that’s my girl! I think she hooted and hollered and squealed every single time she came in contact with water, all the way down the beach and back. It was a glorious time. She conquered the place and took names while she was at it. This was fine by us since we almost had the beach to ourselves and therefore couldn’t actually bother anyone or take real names. (All the beach images were taken by the sis.)

In the meantime we decided that since no cooking took place for this place, we’d offer up some reminder links for your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner instead, as well as call that our cutoff for Thanksgiving-specific recipes this year (even though it would have been nice to do a couple more). I’d kind of hoped to do this every so often anyway when we’d built up a decent recipe database here, so I’m actually quite psyched to offer you all our first ideas post that will hopefully inspire you for your family’s Thanksgiving meal. Or make you slobber and drool at the very least. Every time you drool, a cooking fairy gets its spatula.

All corresponding links for images below start at the top left of the collages and go clockwise around.



Mini Blue Cheese Popovers; Roasted Squash, Sweet Potato & Garlic Soup; Garlic and Cheese Crostini; Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Marinated Feta; Gougeres; Pie Pops

Whether you’re looking for something to start off guests and family while the larger feast finishes whipping up (it staves off those wandering, snatching fingers while you’re cooking the grand finale), or you need some kind of beginning course, one of these might suit. The pie pops are a fun alternative to the usual savory appetizers, but the stuffed tomatoes and crostini do have some killer savory tones. The gougeres and the popovers make for simple yet fulfilling bread-like choices. The soup shown is intensely Fall-driven and was a huge hit with my taste buds.



Creamed Corn Gratin with Fried Onions & Bacon; Creamed Spinach; Cumin-Roasted Carrots; Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Bacon Vinaigrette; Herbed Sweet Onion Pie

You may notice that there are no potatoes shown in our side suggestions above. That’s because we’re pretty confident that you already have a good mashed or gratin potatoes recipe, or you know where to find one. Just in case, though, I can personally attest to this one being oh so good as I’ve made it for Thanksgivings Past. But this time we decided that maybe you needed some different ideas, and we hope you enjoy the above offerings. We’ve tested them all and definitely approve. The onion pie is practically a year-round staple at my house and the current lead favorite is probably the creamed corn gratin. Worth every step – steps that even can be done mostly ahead of time!

The carrots are, admittedly, possibly a tad odd with their cumin flavor, and they were originally part of a chicken masala dish, but can also work wonderfully as a Thanksgiving side. I love to make them to accompany many different meals. We never have leftovers of those carrots.



Main Course

Stuffed Turkey Breast

There’s only one recipe for the main course this time, but the fact that it’s a stress-reducer and time-saver will hopefully make up for that. We posted this one just last week and loved how it turned out. Instead of making the whole bird, why not go for the star, the breast meat, instead? Stuffing it with a traditional-style stuffing, which you can either follow as-is or dress up your way, makes it a little more fun and takes care of two meal options in one. Think of it this way – the whole bird will take several hours including the prep and cooking, sometimes which one even has to start a day or two before. This one only takes a slim two at the most, which makes it very do-able the day of. It tastes wonderful and leftovers are great, too, but also less in number if you get tired of those leftovers.



Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting; Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Creme Brulee; Skillet Apple Cobbler; Tarte Tatin; Mini Apple Crisps; Zucchini Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My family’s actually not that big on dessert – except for me, of course. I think the fact that we have more dessert options tested on this site rather proves it beyond a doubt. But since I’m probably the only one who will eat something sweet on Thanksgiving day, I’ll probably make a Tarte Tatin. It’s very easy yet incredibly tasty. It really gives traditional American apple pie a run for its money. If you’re making dessert for a dessert-loving crowd, though, you might like the Pumpkin Spice Cake or even individual mini apple crisps. Either way, there’s plenty out there besides pumpkin pie – although I love pumpkin pie, too. Hmm, maybe I’ll make pie and tarte tatin. I’m ever so thankful for dessert after all.

Speaking of being thankful, thank you to everyone that stops by to glance through this place. Thanks so much for your comments and thoughts and suggestions. I hope my sis and I have managed to inspire you a little and, most of all, make you a little hungry from time to time. Caused a dribble of drool to kerplop onto your shirt without you noticing. Made your tongue wag – that kind of thing.

From our cyber home to your table, hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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4 Comments so far

  1. Natasha A. says:

    YUM! I know you all are organizing for Thanksgiving, but I’m totally stealing some of these for Christmas!

    • KMont says:

      Excellent idea, Natasha! So much of Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking can definitely be interchangeable. Glad some of the ideas work for you. 🙂

  2. I was just going over our Thanksgiving menu with my neighbor (we always have a joint dinner) and the Creamed Corn Gratin with Fried Onions & Bacon and the Deep-Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb Topping have made the list. The Garlic and Cheese Crostini looks yummy so I think I’ll go check that out too.
    I’m going to try the pie pops this weekend because the look so cute and fun.

  3. Penny says:

    What a beautiful post! I am going to pick some of these for our crazy family get-together. It’s Filipino-American, so we have turkey and cranberry sauce, and pancit and lumpia. It’s fun and kooky…and tasty!

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