November 26, 2014

happy thanksgiving!

image via chefstable

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you traveling or staying home? Allen and I are headed to Bozeman, Montana (where there will be real snow and cold temps) to see his sister and parents. Meanwhile, Natalie will be sticking around Portland to celebrate with family and put her ClassPass to good use. Thanksgiving is all about tradition. And although we can’t get enough pumpkin pie, corn casserole and mashed potatoes, we also love a good twist on an ole’ classic. So, to mix it up, Natalie and I are sharing some of our favorite family recipes…with a twist.

INSTEAD OF: Cranberry Sauce

TRY THIS: Cranberry Relish

My aunt Lori is a fabulous cook, and brought her own spin on this recipe several years ago. I feel like I can’t have Thanksgiving without it. I love the sweetness of the cranberries with the kick of jalapenos.

INSTEAD OF: Brussels Sprouts

TRY THIS: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Fresh Walnuts and Pecorino

I think every dinner menu needs a great salad, and a lot of the time, the salad is what gets skipped during the holiday. My sister made a brussels sprouts salad last year, and while I thought I would really miss the roasted version, I really loved the freshness the salad brought. If anything, it’s a dish that doesn’t get baked in the oven for hours and provides a nice crunch.

– Kelsey

INSTEAD OF: Mashed Potatoes

TRY THIS: Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Back when I was a vegetarian (past life), I struggled through meat-laden family dinners during the holidays and often wound up with a plate full of mashed potatoes and a buttered roll. So when we hosted Thanksgiving last year, I served these stuffed sweet potatoes with my vegan and vegetarian relatives in mind. You know who liked them the most? My meat-loving mom!

INSTEAD OF: Pumpkin Pie

TRY THIS: Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

My aunt Molly and I share a particular fondness for domestic goddess Ina Garten, so I was thrilled when she brought Ina’s beautiful pumpkin mousse parfaits to Thanksgiving a few years ago. The ratio of mousse to whipped cream to ginger cookie in these individual desserts is spot on (and oh so delicious). I think that was also the year that my cousin Ryan’s daughter was born, so between the adorable baby and the yummy parfaits, it was a particularly sweet Thanksgiving.

– Natalie