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Photo By: Stephanie Lynn
Photo By: Stephanie Lynn

With so many festive food gatherings it’s important to have a party survival plan as you head into the holiday season. Food sanity for is at a premium. I am not only talking about what to avoid eating at parties, but more importantly ideas on what to bring. You guessed it, this post is about figuring out some new go-to options to give you some stress relief and put your name emblazoned at the top of next year’s party list for bringing the best share plate. 😉

I’ve dug into the archives and have some fun Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving food ideas to share with you. Try some of these food-deas on for size:


Hot Mess Spiced Bar Nuts Let’s face it, who isn’t a hot mess around the holidays? If you are anything like me you tend to ‘burn the candle at both ends’ and well, that leads to feeling a bit messy. A few years ago, my best friend from third grade called me up to say “It’s okay to be a GOOD hot mess.” It is safe to say that she wasn’t talking about this recipe but in her honor, I named this recipe ‘Hot Mess Spiced Bar Nuts’?

hot mess spiced nuts


Cheesy Pumpkin Kale Lasagna This hearty lasagna is perfect for that transitional time, when late-summer produce is winding down and the first fall vegetables appear at farmers’ markets. What makes it especially unusual is that this homemade four-cheese lasagna uses a pumpkin sauce in place of a red marinara sauce for a creative and unusual meatless lasagna that’s nothing short of gourmet. Perfect for a fall dinner or even for an unusual meatless Thanksgiving entrée.

lasagna slice .JPG

Turkey Veggie Ziti If you just don’t want to splurge on that big ‘ole bird this is a fun way to get around it and make a hearty Italian inspired Thanksgiving dish. I suppose this could even be done with leftover turkey, just replace the ground poultry with small chunks of turkey. No matter how you eat it, enjoy it!

turkey ziti


Brussels Sprouts Persimmon & Pomegranate Mustard Salad As Thanksgiving rolls around each year I love to immerse myself in the flavors. The tartness of the vegetables really work well with the sweet flavors of the fruits. I think this dish makes a great vegetarian entree if not a unique side salad.

brussel sprout salad

Orange & Sweet Potato Marshmallow Balls There is no smoke and mirror magic here, these whimsical sweet potato stuffed oranges have paired together for a delicious and unique presentation.

orange potato balls

Potatoes & Onion Au GratinWith a very large meal lurking around the corner like an anxious turkey, I am always trying to plan out a few vegetarian dishes for those who choose to skip the bird feast.

potatoes au gratin


Chocolate Crusted Almond Milk Pumpkin Pie Looking for a way to add a subtle change to the Thanksgiving Day menu? Here is my take on a classic pie with a sexy chocolate almond twist!

chocolate crusted pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Ginger Semi-Freddo Ice Cream It’s the pumpkin pie alternative – I am a huge fan of the orange festive squash (AKA pumpkin); and this fall I’ve been developing new recipes to spawn the alternative to pumpkin pie. While I always enjoy the traditional pumpkin pie, and wouldn’t dream of a November with out a slice (or three!) of it, I adore the look of surprise my guests display when I serve this versatile vegetable as ice cream.

pumpkin ice cream

Miniature Pecan Tartlets If you need small servings and don’t want to fuss with cutting and serving a dessert than this is your go to dessert. It can even be made ahead of time. Bonus!

pecan tartlets

Snapping Ginger Punklin Pie If you are looking for a way to celebrate Thanksgiving with a dessert that has a twist to it and avoids the traditional pumpkin pie concept, this recipe should win you rave reviews.

punklin pie

Deep Dark Gingerbread Persimmon Pear Cake This is one of those recipes I go back to year after year. The flavors go together beautifully. If I would to capture the season in a dessert it would be this one.

pumpkin cake

The day after menu, no need to do the walk of shame if you’ve stuffed yourself. Sporting the turkey bulge is acceptable in my book. If you have a little room for leftovers, I would suggest trying:

Open Faced Turkey Panini’s (oh and I love to pair this with a Tuna Cabbage Salad)

turkey panini

Enjoy the holiday and don’t forget to wear your comfy stretch pants! It’s the last hurrah before that pre-Chrismukkah diet hits.