Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday, especially if you can ignore the commercialism and the whole black Friday aspect of it (which I can).  I love nothing more than being in the kitchen surrounded by family.  I do wish Thanksgiving was celebrated on Friday to have more time to prepare and travel, but I’m happy to work with what I’ve got!

I’ve never made a whole Thanksgiving dinner on my own and never intend to – it defeats the whole purpose of spending time with family and friends!!  Here’s a list of some of the yumminess we enjoyed this year.

Apple Pie topped with Granola

6 medium or 8 small baking apples (I used a mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)

1/3 c brown sugar

1/3 c white sugar

1 t Ceylon cinnamonIMG_4777

1/2 t ginger

pinch of salt

1 pie crust

Granola Topping

1 1/3 c oats

1/4 c brown sugar

3 T coconut oil

Core, peel, and slice the apples.  I prefer thin slices, but note that thicker slices may require a few more minutes in the oven.

In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, seasonings, and 1/4 c water.  Cook covered over medium-low heat until the apples are softened, about 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove lid, and allow excess liquid to evaporate.

While the apples are cooking, preheat the oven to 425’ and prepare the pie crust. (I had defrosted a Wholly Wholesome vegan crust from Whole Foods.  If interested in making your own, check out Vegan Pie in the Sky by Moskowitz and Romero.)  Transfer the pie crust to a baking sheet so it’s easier to get into and out of the oven.

Add the oats and brown sugar to a medium bowl.  Melt the coconut oil and add to the oat mixture.  Stir to evenly coat the oats in oil.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple pie filling to the crust.  (Use any leftover apple pie filling for Apple Pie Oatmeal.)  Cover the apple filling with the oat mixture, gently pressing it down in order to mound it as much as possible.

Bake at 425’ for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350′ for another 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.  Warning: this is messier than a traditional double-crust apple pie but it’s worth it!!

Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Ganache Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash

12 servings

3 c wild rice mix, rinsed and cooked according to directions with water, broth, or a combination [usually 3:1 liquid to rice and 30-45 minutes on low after an initial boil)

1 large butternut squash cubed (see helpful tips here) or 2 bags of frozen butternut squash (about 4 c), lightly sprayed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted at 400’ for about 20 minutes

1 large onion, diced and sauteed in water until soft with garlic

3 cloves of garlic, minced, and sautéed in water with the diced onion

1.5 c dried cranberries soaked in warm water

1.5 c pecans, roughly chopped and toasted for 5-8 min at 350’

Italian parsley, chopped


3 T red wine vinegar

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1/4 c fresh orange juice (I used Simply OJ)

1 T fresh ginger

1/4 t Ceylon cinnamon

optional: lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

Add the onions, garlic, and cranberries to the cooked rice.  Gently fold in the roasted butternut squash.  Add the pecans, parsley, and dressing just before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  The dressing adds a bright flavour but the dish is fine without it.  If you prefer a more savory dish, omit the dressing and add rosemary or poultry seasoning.  A ginger dressing would also be delicious here, although it works very simply without a dressing.

Green Bean Casserole

Apple Pie Oatmeal

I also made a pumpkin bread pudding that turned out really well but didn’t measure all of the ingredients (and as usual, no picture).  So I’ll do better the next time I make it.

Here are pics of my most favorite tablecloth ever.  One year when Thanksgiving was particularly tough (after it is for everyone after the loss of a loved one), our extended family enjoyed using Sharpies to note the things they were thankful for on a large piece of canvas.  It was an easy project everyone could participate in and it’s always healing to focus on what we are thankful for.




  1. nice post!