Fab Food Friday Fotos: Awesome & Thrifty Thanksgiving Menu Ideas, Festive Tabletop Decor & Centerpieces, & Holiday Recipes Round-Up
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on November 15, 2013
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
~ Humorist Erma Bombeck
FOOD. GLORIOUS THANKSGIVING FOOD.
So many blessings to count, so many thanks to give. This week’s fabulous food edition is a festive Turkey Day culinary round-up of numerous menu ideas (many would also work well for Christmas dinners or Super Bowl gatherings), homey table centerpieces, and delicious recipes for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrift-minded recipe will always be included.
Adorable Thanksgiving veggie platter… something kids would enjoy helping to assemble. Photographer/cook Livin’ Spoonful wrote:
This creative veggie platter is a great homage to Thanksgiving tradition for the vegan or health conscious eater! Source: Eating With Food Allergies.
About her charming, inexpensive Thanksgiving apple-candle table decor, photographer Amanda provided this description:
My attempt at “centerpiece.” Some of the apples leaned a bit to the side, but I thought they were pretty, anyway. I forgot to take a photo of the table all set and with all the food, though. Rookie mistake!
Photographer Dennis Yang had three turkeys at his 2005 Thanksgiving (“Yangsgiving”) family dinner — he noted that the middle turkey in the photo was deep fried, the bottom one was barbecued. The top turkey was rotisseried (however, it didn’t fit), so was then roasted, then barbecued.
So cute! The recipe is here at photographer/cook/food blogger Jasmin Fine’s blog 1 Fine Cookie.
Photographer Rob Friesel wrote, “This 23-lb. Caw Caw Creek ham was The Main Event at the Friesel Family’s 2008 Thanksgiving. (Thanks Emile!).”
The sweet potato discs recipe is posted at Dishing Up Delights, with this intro written by food blogger/photographer esimpraim:
This was the second appetizer I made for the fancy-but-not-fancy dinner I cooked for the “Better with You” cast. I initially had a difficult time coming up with something and was hoping to avoid another appetizer with cheese since I knew I already wanted to make the crostini, but I could not get this out of my head. The original plan was to make baked sweet potato chips, but a few test runs at my apartment didn’t get me the results I wanted. I decided to go with thicker discs that I had recently seen on Smitten Kitchen and they worked out well. Ordinarily, I shun goat cheese, but when it packs an herby punch, it is difficult to resist. I found myself sneaking tastes of goat cheese when I could and saved a little for myself to recreate the dish at home.
Photographer/blogger Maegan Tintari wrote about her lovely Thanksgiving tabletop decor on her blog Love Maegan, and has many more photos (including another set of pics for her whimsical kids’ table), so check it out.
Photographer/cook Jenni Field’s recipe, more food prep photos, and a wonderful family anecdote for this Thanksgiving Shepherd’s Pie with Stuffing Crust are all posted at Pastry Chef Online.
Photographer/cook Rick Scully’s Thanksgiving dinner, starting at the top and going clockwise: Holiday Stuffing with Savory Veggie Gravy, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Kale with Balsamic Vinegar, and Herb-roasted Turkey. Rick wrote, “This is a close-up of my dinner. It was yummier than this low-light photo shows.”
Quick summary and spinach artichoke dip recipe link from photographer/cook Steven Labinski:
This spinach artichoke dip is a cold appetizer, not cooked or served hot. It can be prepared the night before a party and refrigerated, and you can snack on it all week long.
I posted this photo in a previous Thanksgiving food collection and am giving it an encore showing — from photographer Logan Ingalls:
For Thanksgiving, we made this huge veggie platter. In the center is a turkey made out of a pear and mushroom-and-raisin eyes and a red pepper wattle. From left to right, the platter had: smoked cheddar, grape tomatoes, fennel, carrot, marinated mushrooms, hot pepper artichoke hearts, more carrots, turnips, red peppers, and herbed cheddar. Not pictured are the (home-made) creamy spinach dip and (also home-made and amazingly good) onion hummus.
You get your choice of several decadent recipes for this glorious holiday dessert. Photographer/cook Nicole Solis wrote that she used a recipe that was published in the November 2003 issue of “Martha Stewart Living” magazine. At Martha Stewart’s website, I found two recipes posted (here and here), either of which would be delicious. Additionally, Evil Cake Lady has posted a modified recipe of Stewart’s Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie that she modified to a gluten-free tart (was originally published in a November 2008 magazine issue). It is now a family favorite:
Back in 2008, I was a subscriber to Martha Stewart, and in her Thanksgiving issue, she did a feature on all the fun ways the ubiquitous pumpkin pie could be jazzed up. One such suggestion was a Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, with a graham cracker base, dark chocolate undercoat, semi-sweet chocolate-pumpkin filling, and a milk chocolate drizzle. Immediately I decided that pie needed to be made.
I have made this pie every year since that, as it was a big hit amongst all who tasted it. In fact, the pie developed such a reputation that people would come over just for the pie, screw the company.
Right out the door I modified the recipe to be gluten free; that was pretty easy as it just meant getting a GF cookie for the crust. I also threw out the milk chocolate drizzle; a double chocolate pie has been more than sufficient for us.
This year, I decided to screw the whole deep dish pie thing and turn the pie into a tart. This is so much better. You get a much higher ratio of gingersnap crust to silky pie filling. With a little whipped cream, this pie has achieved perfection.
Brief summary and pecan cookie recipe link from photographer/cook vagabondblogger:
Pecan Cookies from a recipe in the LA Times. I’m not a fan of Pecan Pie, but this is a great substitute. Warning: 190 calories each! Recipe here.
Not typically associated with Thanksgiving, I think a few dozen of these Dinner Series caprese skewers arranged artfully on a platter would look amazing on any Thanksgiving buffet table:
With dressing on Heath Ceramics Coupe Salad Plate in Sage.
For the recipe, go here.
Photographer/cook Thomas Cizauskas provided the recipe:
The 1st course for a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal.
Parsnip/Potato Latkes Topped with Creamy Spinach
* 2 cups shredded red potatoes, skin on
* 2 cups shredded parsnips, peeled
* 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tsp canola oil
* 1 tsp Kosher salt
* Dash, freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Mix together dry ingredients.
Add stock or water. Mix until batter holds together.
Heat pan. Add some oil to pan. Use 2 TBLS of better to form 2-inch pancake.
Fry, flip, repeat. Blot excess oil with paper towel.
Recipe adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance (Isa Chandra Moskowitz; 2005, Marlowe & Company)
Pancakes topped with Creamy Spinach.
Also: Zucchini/Egg Pancakes, Cranberry Relish.
Photographer sisterbeer wrote:
Yes, that is my wok, and it is full of gravy. Don’t ask me, my brother did the cooking. It’s from a turkey recipe off of Epicurious.com, and is very delicious.
Part of her vegan Thanksgiving menu, photographer/cook/food blogger Jacqueline has the recipe posted at her blog Sweet Beet and Green Bean, with this intro that includes the debate between “yams” and “sweet potatoes”:
The topic of sweet potatoes vs. yams has come up many times in the comment section and it’s something I should finally address. i get orange-fleshed, brown-skinned tubers from the farmers i work for at the market. they call them yams, so that’s usually how i refer to them, but I’ve been corrected many times, that in fact they are sweet potatoes.
Wikipedia says that yams are traditionally white inside, but the orange variety of sweet potatoes are marketed as yams to distinguish them from the white-fleshed sweet potatoes. so perhaps every time I’ve said yam in the past I should have said sweet potato, but I often still call them yams because that’s what I called them growing up. It doesn’t matter the name, if you get the ones that are orange on the inside, it’s hard to go wrong.
This is a new take on the brown sugar and butter heavy version we usually made for Thanksgiving, topped of course with marshmallows. Instead, I coated each piece with a pumpkin pie-spiced cookie crust and crunchy bits of pecans, which are just sweet and spicy enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, but just light enough that they won’t send you into sugar coma.
Recipe link for this flavorful, gluten-free cranberry apple stuffing was provided by photographer/food blogger Elana:
Stuffing. Gluten free stuffing, no less. While I generally find stuffing to be a time consuming and complex dish to make, I have chosen one that is on the easier side; Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Stuffing!
Recipes for this vegan, raw Waldorf Salad and two other healthful salads have been posted at Body Enlightenment.
Fun, festive, and easy — photographer/food blogger Heather Meek wrote, “Dipped cups in chocolate and decorated with chocolate bow for Thanksgiving hot chocolate/coffee! Find out more about my retro Thanksgiving at Hero Cake Pops.”
The recipe for this holiday Apple-Cinnamon Hot Toddy (with 1 ounce of bourbon!) is posted at The Stitcherati.
From a 2008 blog post, this unique apple brie cupcake would be a hit at any holiday gathering, not just Thanksgiving (I’m thinking Super Bowl party here, guys). Food blogger/photographer Freakgirl wrote this on her blog, which has more photos:
This month’s Iron Cupcake: Earth challenge is CHEESE. I wanted to make a nice fall cupcake, something traditional, but a bit more gourmet. So I decided on apples and brie. I mixed some brie into the apple cupcake batter, and finished them off with some melted brie on top, caramel and a pecan. I’ll be the first to say that the cupcakes might not look like much, but they are freaking delicious. Incredibly moist, and the brie gives them a much more interesting flavor.
I’ve never eaten a serving of oyster dressing that I didn’t absolutely adore nor didn’t go back for seconds. Julia’s fabulous recipe posted at I Believe I Can Fry is authentic Southern-style, and if you’ve never had oyster dressing before, this is a perfect time to give it a whirl. You can thank me later.
Photographer/cook tibbygirl provided this brief summary:
Herb roasted turkey breast with apple cider gravy (testing a Thanksgiving recipe – this is a definite winner – but will make a different gravy) and Autumn Orzo (this was intended just as a side dish for today, but it will be made at Thanksgiving as well because it is some kind of crazy good!!!)
Photographer Russ wrote:
I think my grandmother made this, but I’m not sure. It was pumpkin custard stuffed inside an actual pumpkin, and cut before serving!
Not only is the recipe for this stuffed acorn squash posted here at Back to the Cutting Board, but in the same post are recipes for a few other Thanksgiving side dishes. Photographer/cook/food blogger Emily Carlin wrote this intro for the stuffed squash dish:
Continuing my theme of “trying things I don’t normally like”, my next side dish is Stuffed Acorn Squash. I’ve never ever liked any kind of squash. My boyfriend is also a lifelong hater of squash, so squash is rarity in our house. But I’ve been slowly trying to acquaint myself with it. Last year I made an acorn squash recipe that I liked quite a bit which was mostly because brown sugar and butter makes everything better. So when I saw this recipe had stuffing in it, I figured this would be the same principle. Stuffing makes everything better. And actually, I was right. This recipe tastes way more like stuffing than squash which made me like it in a way that I don’t think I could like a plain squash dish. So you get the healthiness of a vegetable with the yummy taste of stuffing. That’s a winning dish for me. Plus, everyone gets their own little shell, so it’s a neat presentation. Please excuse my burnt stuffing from my picture. The stuffing is mixed in, but it’s also sprinkled on top and I cooked it a little too long and burnt the top. Oops. It won’t look like that when you make it!
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:
Christmas Chex Mix & Cookies, Beef Potato Stew, Egg Fried Rice, Pumpkin Soup, Smoked Salmon, Strawberry Jam, Homemade Horseradish, Pork Chops & Gravy, Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream, Baked “Grilled” Chicken, More Cheap Recipes
Peach Chicken, Potato-Carrot Mash, Hamburger Soup, Baby Bok Choi with Cashews, Vanilla Cake & Strawberry Frosting, DIY Pizza, Spicy Korean Chili Ramen Noodles, Sambal Fried Rice, Dairy-Free Chicken Salad, Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, More Terrific Recipes
Winter Squash & Fennel Soup, African Peanut Chicken Stew, Ice Cream Sundae Cupcakes, Pasta e Fagioli Soup, Clams in Black Bean Sauce, Rakott Krumpli, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, Lemon Tart, Balsamic Lentil Stew, Seafood Chow Mein, More Thrifty Recipes
Italian-Style Seafood Soup, Pickled Snow Peas, Beef Stew, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Chicken & Rice Casserole, Pumpkin Coconut Soup, GF Black Bean Salad, Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos, Apple Chestnut Muffins, More Frugal Recipes
Grilled Lemon Chicken, Penne Basil Pesto, Muffin Tin Meals, Orange Pecan Cornmeal Waffles, Cheesy Potato Soup, Fried Plantains, Guinness Chocolate Cake, Borscht, Creamy Kohlrabi Salad, Strawberry Pecan Fudge, Pear Bacon Gallette, More Recipes
Gyoza, Crunchy Peanut Butter Biscuits, Garlic Pork Roast, Strawberry Mousse Cake, Dragon Soup, Fusilli & Smoked Mackerel & Peas, Galaktoboureko, Mexican Lasagne, Dulce de Leche Peach Tart, Potato & Radicchio Flatbread, More Thrifty Recipes
Rocket & Chili Spaghetti, Sea Bass & Lemon Shallot Butter, Pelmeni, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Herbed Biscuits with Flax, Cappuccino Pudding, Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Candied Pecans, Braised Pork Belly, More Frugal Recipes
Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy, Chocolate Stout Cake, Empanadas, Salmon & Cucumber Chile Relish, DIY Croutons, Cuban Black Bean Soup, Bacon Fried Quinoa, Tacos de Papa, Couscous & Baghdad Stew, Smoked Fish Kedergee, & Cheap Recipes
Sriracha Chicken Skewers, Custard Pie, Pasta & Broccoli, Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers, Veggie Noodle Soup, Korean Pork Ribs, Carolina Kale, Matcha Ginger Shortbreads, Cambodian Catfish with Coconut Milk, BBQ Sticky Chicken, Laksa, Frugal Recipes
Pecan Chocolate Meringue Babka, Grilled Shrimp Scampi, Baked Chicken-Pork Meatballs, Mapo Tofu Ramen, Lime Cream Pie, Pumpkin Raisin Bread Pudding, Turkey Taco Salad, Onion & Gorgonzola Grilled Pizza, Seared Ahi & Pomegranate Almond Dressing, & Thrifty Recipes
Bánh Mì Hot Dogs, Tarragon Chicken, Mashed Cauliflower, Paleo Banana Bread, Eggplant, Sweet & Sour Green Beans, Spicy Sushi Salad, Lemon Sponge Pie, Italian Chicken Veggie Bake, Mini Hamburger Buns, Cabbage Soup, Pfeffernüsse, More Recipes