Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

Published Nov 23, 2015 | Updated Oct 28, 2019

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.

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






Michaela Kenkel
By Michaela Kenkel
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