Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

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Published Nov 23, 2015

Whether you are hosting for the first time, or a seasoned Thanksgiving host or hostess, you are sure to find some good ideas here, from An Affair from the Heart.

Tagged in Healthy Eating & Advice, 'Tis The Season

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Thanksgiving is this week, can you believe it?  Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Independence Day at the lake with fireworks and grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs.  They say the years tick by quicker and quicker the older we get, the older that our kids get.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?  Maybe it’s your tradition year to year, or maybe this is your first year?  Regardless, I have put together a few of our family’s traditional foods that make up a delicious Thanksgiving, right down to an idea for a quick and easy centerpiece for your table.

Hosting a big family meal doesn’t have to be stressful.  It all comes down to planning. Planning your store list and shopping for everything at once.  Making ahead what you are able to, and hey, if you can get away with it, become a master delegator! When someone asks “what can I bring,” give them something.  Even if it’s as simple as a bottle of wine, it’s one less thing to worry about, right?

Get your kids in the kitchen and let them help you.  Kids love to cook, and if you get them started at an early age, they most likely, always will.  Give them tasks they can manage.  Have them help set the table.  Setting a table is a lost art in this day and age, and one that kids should know, don’t you agree?

This easy Cranberry Centerpiece would make a great addition to your table. Don’t feel like you have to spend oodles of money decorating the table, use things you have one hand.  Find berries from the trees outdoors, as well as twigs, and incorporate some gourds or pumpkins.

I like to have a light relish tray when guests arrive, something to snack on.  Cheese plates or a cheese ball are always a nice addition. This Cream Cheese Party Ball is one of our favorites.

Of course, the main focus of the meal is the turkey. This Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey from Aunt Bee's Recipes is sure to please!

My most favorite part of Thanksgiving is the dressing.  (Or stuffing, depending on what you grew up calling it.) My Grandma’s recipe is a Sausage and Sage Dressing that is (dare I say) EPIC.

Grandma's Sausage and Sage Dressing -

Traditional Thanksgiving calls for mashed potatoes, if you want to switch it up these Loaded Mashed Potatoes are amazing, and hey, there’s bacon.  What’s not to like?

Loaded Mashed Potatoes:

I will tell you that when I was a kid, I didn’t really enjoy cranberry sauce.  These days, I adore it.  Especially this one my Mom makes, it’s made with orange, and the flavors are truly amazing.

What’s a meal without a roll or biscuit?  These Quick Crescent Knots are simple, and start with refrigerator Crescent Rolls.  Cute!

Then, my friends, we all know it’s ALL about the dessert.  First off, there is Pumpkin Pie.  I make all of the pies every year for both sides of our family.  Last year I tried this recipe for Eggnog Pumpkin Pie from Yesterfood,  and it was sensational!

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie:

Another must have in our family is Pecan Pie!

Pecan Pie -

Have those who aren’t crazy about pie (gasp?) – This Cinderella Cake – Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, will give you something for everyone!

Cinderella Cake -

Of course, the most important part of Thanksgiving is FAMILY! From our house to yours,Hhappy Thanksgiving!

Michaela Kenkel - An Affair from the Heart






Written by Michaela Kenkel

Michaela is a native Omahan, and a stay-at-home-mom to her four children. She began her website, An Affair from the Heart, in 2011. It is primarily a food blog, but Michaela also throws in the occasional party she has planned.

You will find a little bit of everything on her site, from brunch ideas to cocktails, from easy weeknight meals, perfect for families, to decadent desserts. It’s not all about the recipes though. Food and family and the connection between the two is what Michaela writes about most; sharing recipes and stories from her childhood, as well as current ones from her own family.

She named her blog An Affair from the Heart, because she loves celebrating, cooking and baking, and when she makes something, she puts her whole heart into it.

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