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On the Menu Monday + Thanksgiving!

On the Menu Monday + Thanksgiving!

Hey there y’all and welcome back for another On the Menu Monday! This one is extra special to me because I will be sharing my Thanksgiving menu with ya. Ohhhhh how I love Thanksgiving! But without further ado, shared below is this week’s menu!

 

Weekly Meal Plan Menu (36)

 

We still have some incredible pork chops left over from when we made a big purchase from Mike the Meat Man (do y’all remember that story?). And surprisingly the weather is still supposed to be beautiful this entire week in Calgary. So grillin’ pork chops it is!

We also are following two recipes from *It All Begins with Food. Y’all know I love the shepherds pie recipe from this book. It takes a bit of time to make, but is a simple recipe to follow and is a major comfort food for me. Plus it’s great for leftovers. Keenan and I love quesadillas, and these chicken, apple and spinach ones do not disappoint. We throw in some cheddar cheese and hemp hearts, and bada boom bada bam, we have a healthy, easy and delicious quesadilla!

Now onto what I am most excited to share with y’all today – my Thanksgiving menu! American Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays – football, food and family? It’s the perfect day for me. While football isn’t shown in Canada on Canadian Thanksgiving like it is on American Thanksgiving, there’s still food and family, which makes my heart happy. 

I started cooking Thanksgiving meals with my mom around the age of 8, and I have cooked it every single year since. It is a memory and tradition I truly cherish and hope to pass down to Andee. When I was in college I would always drive home and help cook the meal. And ever since I graduated in 2012, I have hosted a Thanksgiving meal every year.

Even when Keenan and I lived in a tiny apartment in Vancouver, his siblings and their partners would come stay with us for the weekend. I would send them out of the house and cook my little heart away. We’d then enjoy a lovely meal together, and it’s some of my favorite memories with them. And one year my dad and step mom came to visit Keenan and me in Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving. Talk about makin my heart happy! Now I only need to get my mom up here one of these days to celebrate with me. 🙂

I realize that everyone typically has a sentimental dish or two that they’ve always had for Thanksgiving. So I work really hard to incorporate some of these dishes with ones of my own into each Thanksgiving meal, especially since the traditions we are all use have changed as people get married and blended families occur.

So this year we will be having turkey, mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, salad, gravy, rolls, pumpkin pie and whip cream. Keenan and I usually like to have ham instead of turkey, but I got a free turkey this year, so turkey it is. I follow a stuffing recipe from Keenan’s grandma and my mom’s recipes for mac n’ cheese and sweet potato casserole. I also really enjoy the sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole because casseroles provide that extra little southern flair, which brings a little bit of home into my life.

My biggest suggestion, and something I learned from my mom after cooking Thanksgiving with her for so many years, is to make a plan. I get out all of my casserole dishes and serving dishes and write out on sticky notes which item I will cook in that dish as well as the temperature it needs to cook at. This helps me figure out how to fit everything in the oven ahead of time and takes the guess work out of which dishes to use for which items. I also prep some items the day before, also something I learned from my mom, like the sweet potato casserole, mac n’ cheese and pumpkin pie. This way I only have to pull them out of the fridge and let them warm up to room temperature before popping them in the oven. And cleaning up as you go makes a huge difference with a meal like this. 

Anyway, these are just some tips and tricks along with some of my memories of Thanksgiving. Do you have any favorite traditions or dishes that warm your heart? Let me know in the comments below, and happy day y’all!

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