Prepping for Thanksgiving

by Jenn on November 16, 2011

in Gluten Free,Tastes

Berry Bushes

One of my favorite things about New England in the Fall is waking up early while it’s still dark, sipping my hot tea, and watching the dim blue of nighttime fade into twilight and eventually watch the trees glow in yellow golden hue of the morning sunrise.  Even in mid-november, there is still some color on a few trees and bushes (those that are still standing after Alfred), and even some fruit left hanging in the orchards.

This precious time spent home has been rejuvenating.  Seeing all of my favorite places, people and food, enjoying independent little cafés with both internet and hot tea (something I desperately miss in Europe), and so many little details that just remind me how much I missed home.

It seems appropriate to be home at Thanksgiving, more so than Christmas even.  Thanksgiving seems to be one of the few holidays that has yet to succumb to the cheapened commercialization that so often plagues many of the holidays of today.  Because at its roots, Thanksgiving is about one thing that can never be put into a plastic box and sold for $5.99 – celebration with friends and family at a table, sharing food, laughter, and memories.

This Thanksgiving, just a little over a week away, I’m excited to make all of our favorite traditions, and try some new ones as well (and of course all gluten free this year!).  I’m also excited to spend time in New England with my parents, my husband, my sister and her family, friends from long ago, and new friends alike.  This whole season is about sharing and giving, and understanding what matters most in our lives.


To get ready for Thanksgiving, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite dishes that I love or am excited to try as part of next Thursday’s festivities, and hopefully give you some ideas as well – it’s important to remember that the holidays shouldn’t be about the stress of making everything perfect – in the kitchen what will happen will happen, success or not.  The main thing is that we all remember for what and whom we are cooking – each other.



Pan Roasted Almonds with Thyme and Truffle Oil
Sweet Potato Chips
Chestnut Pumpkin Fritters
Smoked Salmon Pâté


Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad 
Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Salad


Cream of Chestnut Soup
Butternut & Red Pepper Soup
Clam Chowder
Pumpkin Shrimp Bisque
Buttercup Squash Soup

Breads and Rolls:

Gluten Free Cornbread
Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

_PAG0116orchard Birch Tree, New Hampshire

Side Dishes:

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Baked Pumpkin Chicken and Noodles
Pan-Fried Butternut Squash
Mustard Roasted Potatoes
Celery Root Mash
Pommes de Terre au Gratin
Buttered Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Green Beans in Morel Cream Sauce
Sautéed Spinach and Arugula with Goat Cheese
Artichoke Sausage and Parmesan Stuffing Epicurious – *use your favorite GF bread in this recipe, also make sure broth and sausage are GF


Cider Brined Roast Turkey


Pumpkin Cheesecake with Vanilla Riesling Poached Pears
White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles
Maple Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Mini Apple Pies
Poached Apples with Frangipane Cream
Flourless Chocolate Torte

Connecticut Pumpkins

What flavors will you be enjoying this holiday season?


Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Can I come over for Thanksgiving? :) Pumpkin Cheesecake with Riesling Pears? Sign me up!!


Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:26 am

Thanks Heather!

Rosa November 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Lovely clicks! I’d love to visit New England in autumn.

A great list too.



Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:26 am

Thanks Rosa!

Barbara | Creative Culinary November 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I’m heading to a friend’s for Thanksgiving and feeling way too melancholy about it. If I could renege I would…I am going to miss the fuss and the dishes I wait all year to eat. Especially since hearing they don’t do turkey. How can that be she sobbed?

What time is dinner…think I’ll drop by your place instead.

I have gathered all of my Thanksgiving dishes into one place; hope you don’t mind if I share:

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:27 am

No turkey?! Oh that is rough!

Fuji Mama November 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Everything on this list of ideas sounds so good that it makes me want to have GF Thanksgiving…not just to do it GF, but really just to eat all of this!! Wow!

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:27 am

awww thanks!

David @ Frenchie and the Yankee November 17, 2011 at 12:05 am

I like everything about this post. Thanks for the ideas.

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:28 am

Thanks so much David!

Alison November 17, 2011 at 1:05 am

White Chocolate and Pumpkin Truffles??!! Wowee, you know how to do it right! :) Have a great holiday, Jenn!

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 1:28 am

Oh thanks!

Priscilla - She's Cookin' November 17, 2011 at 2:18 am

Beautiful images of fall – it’s what I miss most about living in SoCal. Have a wonderful visit to NE for Thanksgiving with your family! Thanks for the ideas, too – I didn’t miss the gluten at all.

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Thanks Priscilla!

Sara - Home Is Where The Cookies Are November 17, 2011 at 4:40 am

Wow. Such great photos. I love New England in the fall. Your menu looks scrumptious. I might try to sneak one or two in on our family!! I agree with the heartfelt sentiments about Thanksgiving – have a wonderful holiday!

Jenn November 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Thank you, you as well!

Nancy@acommunaltable November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Ok, that does it… I am crashing your Thanksgiving!! I seriously think Thanksgiving should be extended to at least a month – I mean with all of the amazing dishes you’ve listed we should be given the time to properly savor them all!!

Jenn November 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Thanks so much Nancy!

Jonathan November 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

So beautifully put, Jenn. Truly touching because of the powerful truth behind those words – Thanksgiving is about gratitude, for the life we are blessed with and those with whom we are blessed to share it. Thank you for the reminder. :)

Jenn November 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Thanks Jonathan – I think everyone has a tendency to get stressed out putting together holiday meals, it’s just good sometimes to remember it’s not all about the stress of perfection :)

InTolerantChef November 19, 2011 at 1:48 am

I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving over here. Perhaps it would be nice to start our own family traddition and hold one in our Autumn, maybe next year?

Jenn November 23, 2011 at 4:40 am

Sure!! I love Thanksgiving, and everything it celebrates :)

Michelle Lee November 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Omg such an amazing post!

Jenn November 23, 2011 at 4:40 am


Winnie November 23, 2011 at 4:38 am

Such lovely photos, and all of the recipes you linked to sound just amazing. Happy Thanksgiving Jenn…hope your time here in the States with your family is fantastic :)

Jenn November 23, 2011 at 4:40 am

Thanks Winnie, you too!

Gen November 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

These pictures are beautiful, the colors are just fantastic.

Jenn November 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Oh thank you!

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