Favorite Thanksgiving Foods

When I was younger, I always considered not Christmas, but Christmas Eve, to be my favorite holiday. However, as I’ve gotten older, Thanksgiving is slowly fighting for my number one spot. Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is all about family and ever since coming to college I don’t have the chance to see them as much as I did in high school. Or, let’s be real, maybe it’s just because of the yummy food. With that, I am going to share with you my favorite Thanksgiving foods that my wonderful mother so lovingly concocts every year (often times with displeasure due to her overwhelmingly busy work schedule). These specific foods have become a tradition in my family and will cease to be altered - god willing that the recipes are passed down to my siblings and me. 

Brussel Sprouts:

Listen guys - I know not everyone is a fan of brussel sprouts, but you must try my mom’s Thanksgiving version of them. Obviously, I don’t know the recipe, but what I do know is that these green veggies are mixed in with cheese, prosciutto, cream, and other herbs and spices to make the utmost tastiest side dish you will ever eat. I already love brussel sprouts, but I have many family members who do not and still absolutely adore this creation. It pairs perfectly with turkey or on its own and I find myself heating up the leftovers everyday after Thanksgiving until I have consumed every last morsel. 

Sweet Potatoes:

As a kid, I did not dare to touch the sweet potato mash beautifully presented on my plate. I always thought they were too sweet (which completely contrasts with my insatiable sweet tooth). Each year I would hesitantly take a bite, hoping my mind would change since everyone else in my family raves about them, until finally one year it did. These aren’t just any sweet potatoes, however; these are mashed sweet potatoes coated in a brown sugar crust concoction that further caramelizes the yummy starch. The texture becomes silky smooth, topped with a thick, chunky crunch that accompanies the more savory items on my plate. I cannot wait to have this again in just a few weeks!

Baked Brie:

One thing my family loves is appetizers, which can get a bit tricky on Thanksgiving since you want to save room for the bountiful meal waiting to be served shortly after. However, I find it hard to restrain myself when my mom puts out her famous baked brie. If you have yet to try even just plain baked brie, you must do so. If you want to level up, however, put a homemade chutney on top. My mom makes an apricot and cranberry chutney mixed with a bunch of different spices and herbs. I love this dish and probably eat way too much of it considering I’m technically lactose intolerance. Pairing this with you favorite crackers (I prefer fig crackers with this) makes the most amazing pre-Thanksgiving snack that will not disappointment. I plan on consuming A LOT of this this year. So yummy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake:

Cheesecake is probably my favorite dessert of all time competing with my undying love for cupcakes (I’m addicted to frosting). Similarly, I will eat anything pumpkin. My mom makes the best pumpkin cheesecake by far. This rich dessert is made of a crunchy graham cracker crust at its base, a thick layer of plain cheesecake, a fluffy layer of a sweet pumpkin mixter, topped again with a cheesecake-like frosting layer and decorated with whole pecans encircling the circumference. I cannot rave enough about it enough. This is the perfect way to end a Thanksgiving meal if your stomach still has room for it and provides a subtly sweet and creamy flavor that will leave you fully satisfied. I also munch on leftovers of this cake for the days following. It’s irresistible!(http://simply-susie.blogspot.com/2010/12/bourbon-pumpkin-cheesecake.html)

One thing that I love most about Thanksgiving is that everyone has their own traditions and dishes that they share amongst their friends and family. There is no rigid way to celebrate this holiday, so make it your own this year and maybe add one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods to your menu! Or stick with with your trustworthy cuisine, passing it down for generations to come. I hope that everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving alongside their loved ones and that you leave the day with a full belly!