Last minute, Leo and I decided to cook a Thanksgiving feast for the two of us. As some of you may already know, ever since I moved to Arizona, the holidays have been tough for me since I won’t get to partake in my family get-togethers and continue making memories with them. I always become super homesick this time of year. Although this year is a little different since I have my husband to start new traditions and make new memories with, a part of me still wishes the two of us could be in Wisconsin with my family to continue those traditions. Man, I never thought change could be so hard.
I can say, I am grateful for my husband, in lifting my spirits and getting me excited to start our own traditions. Being home for the holidays was something I always looked forward to. We get dressed up, head over to my grandparents and enjoy a delicious spread of amazing eats. My grandma would always decorate everything nicely and the table was always picture perfect. Before we had a chance to check out the scrumptious buffet prepared for us, we would go around the room and say what we were thankful for. My grandpa would bless the meal with the most beautiful, heartfelt prayer. Most of the time, tears were shed. His love for the Lord was beautiful and contagious. As we all got older, these times together were so special. We would look through old photo books, watch nostalgic cheesy flicks, snuggle, catch up, and watch grandpa fall asleep in his chair after our hearty meal. Of course we end it with an obligatory family selfie and some Christmas tunes and hymns. I will forever hold onto those special memories.
As Leo and I began planning our Thanksgiving menu, I got super excited and started picturing how our table would look. I know that sounds silly, but setting the table was always one of my favorite tasks growing up. I couldn’t go too crazy because Leo and I are on a strict budget since we have been house shopping. I took a look at items we already had and worked off of that. I wanted to stray away from the typical orange and reds. I decided to go with blues, burgundy, dusty rose, pink, and golds. I splurged a little on the centerpiece by hiring Array Designs to create us a perfect bouquet. I found some candle holders at Goodwill and spray painted them copper. I had a hard time finding black candlesticks but finally spotted some at Michaels. I found the beautiful navy crepe fabric from SAS for $1.99 a yard! What a steal. The plates and silverware we already owned and we also repurposed some items from our wedding. I decided to set the table on our front patio to enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather. I grabbed our “vegan” rug, our white and copper light fixture, and two of our chairs to finish the look I wanted to achieve. Lastly, I designed some menu cards as part of our place settings.
Now onto the good stuff, our menu. We purchased most of our items at Sprouts and Trader Joe’s. On the menu was, a juicy Gordon Ramsay Turkey, Trader Joe’s cornbread stuffing with pomegranate, goat cheese and chives mashed potatoes and roasted green beans with Parmesan & basil (which I completely forgot to cook btw…). Our beverage of choice was a sparkling cranberry apple cider punch. We finished the night watching Christmas Vacation and devouring our favorite desserts!! Leo enjoyed his Costco pumpkin pie and I enjoyed some homemade apple crisp with Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream. The apple crisp is actually gluten free. We also made it vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter. The coconut oil was a game changer!
My mouth is still watering thinking about all the leftovers!!
Below is a list of our delicious menu items! These are also perfect for Christmas! I know we will be repeating some of them! The punch is a MUST! I’m sipping on some as I “speak”.
Costco Pumpkin Pie