Thanksgiving Traditions

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I cannot wait to start cooking, stuff my face until my stomach hurts, and most importantly, spend time with my family. Over the past few Thanksgivings, my parents have let me take the reigns on most of the holiday cooking, which I LOVE. Another part of the holiday that I love is the tradition that comes along with it. Just about every year, my family and I find ourselves singing and dancing along to John Mayer CDs while preparing (and usually munching on) the planned dishes the night before and day of Thanksgiving. This yummy meal that we spend so much time preparing is always made up of a few of my all-time favorite dishes that have become a tradition for every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinner. My very favorite of these homemade dishes is THE Vegetable Casserole, in which the recipe was passed down from my grandma to my parents years ago. Unfortunately, the waistline-friendly name of this dish is utterly deceiving and the amount of butter that the recipe calls for is very real. However, what casserole for Thanksgiving is actually good for you, and at least this one is loaded with veggies, right?

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the mouthwatering (and buttery) crust on our veggie casserole

Along with the famous veggie casserole, our sweet potato casserole and classic spinach dip are also some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions.  The sweet potato casserole tastes more like a dessert than a side dish, but that definitely doesn’t mean it takes the place of dessert (hello pumpkin pie)!  While the sweet potato casserole and other main courses warm in the oven, my family always munches on the spinach dip served in a Hawaiian bread bowl.  And just to make it clear, there has never been a holiday dinner when the bread bowl wasn’t completely eaten…just sayin’.   My mouth is watering just thinking about these delicious dishes, and I couldn’t be more excited that I’ll be preparing and filling my stomach with them in no time!  Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving traditions or recipes?  If so, FILL ME IN!!

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a pre-meal toast!

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the “small” offering of appetizers (see the spinach dip in the right)

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the sweet and salty crunch on top of the sweet potato casserole

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finally, some protein..

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the “healthy” part of the meal

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a perfectly festive place setting 

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