My Most Favoritest Thanksgiving Recipes Ever

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Thanksgiving is just so easy for our family. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. Sure, there is occasionally some family drama during the meal. But Mr. V and I never really discuss where we are going or have to deal with logistics. We always go to visit my grandparents in Ohio. We always go up a day or two before the holiday and come back on Sunday. We enjoy being around many relatives. It’s lovely.

We’ve only spent two Thanksgiving at home since we got married. The second one after we married we decided to host both sides of our families at our little apartment in Nashville. (????) Then in 2008, Libbie was only 4 weeks old so we went around Christmas instead. It’s nice to have a solid tradition for our family.

This year, my cousin is getting married the Saturday after Thanksgiving and Libbie is going to be the flower girl. So we’re even more excited!

I usually just contribute a few dishes to each of my mom’s and dad’s side-celebrations. One side is very traditional and I don’t do much mixing it up – I almost always make Cherry Cheesecake Pie. But on the other side, I feel like more of a kid and let the grown-ups take care of the staples while I play around with appetizers and desserts.

Here are my absolute favorite Thanksgiving recipes, traditional and not-so-much. Hope you’ll be able to squeeze one onto your table this fall.

thanksgiving recipes
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Cranberry, Cherry, and Walnut Chutney can be ready in 15 minutes. Make it a few days before your celebration. Watch eyeballs get big as you serve it instead of that canned, jellied stuff. If you have some leftover, pour it over chicken and add mandarin oranges, and then bake. Fall perfection! {You can always leave out the nuts, too, if you aren’t a fan.}

Rachael Ray featured the Winter Fruit Cake with Caramel Glaze in her magazine a few years ago, and I’ve been obsessed since then! I love using fresh cranberries and pears instead of the crazy-sweet dried fruit of a “regular” fruitcake. I make this in a springform pan, and it’s always a hit.

Last year I served up Spicy Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip at my dad’s side “Thanksmas” celebration. The jalapeno just adds a little kick without being too overpowering or spicy. The dip is fairly healthy (depending on your personal definition, of course …) and gluten-free. And DELICIOUS.

Layered Salad is one of those dishes that is wonderful without rhyme or reason. Maybe it’s just because it’s been at every Thanksgiving for my entire life, or because my Grandma makes it.  It’s a good, basic salad and it actually keeps well, which you can’t say for most dressed salads.

Cherry Cheesecake Pie tastes good warm or cold, is creamy and sweet but not cloying (look, I learned new words from Chopped). People go nuts over it and the lattice top makes it look fancy when it’s really not.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving eats?

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