Tired of traditional turkey?


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Tis the season where we gather with those we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts and give thanks for all of the beauty in our lives. We laugh, we reminisce, we play games, we make memories, and we eat. Oh, do we eat…And with our world expanding and family and friends living further apart, our one-day holidays often turn in several-days-long celebrations. This is certainly not a bad thing, and generally, we welcome the opportunity to share the love a little longer. However, I speak from personal experience when I say that Thanksgiving Dinner, can quickly turn into a multi-day, multi-household, traveling feast. And while I do love a good cranberry sauce and stuffing, I do believe that there can certainly be “Too Much of a Good Thing.”

A few years back, my family became host to the “Day After Thanksgiving Dinner.” Not an easy menu to plan considering most attendees (including ourselves) are just recovering from a turkey induced sleep from the previous day’s meal(s). Not to mention the fact that while I love to cook, prepping a 20 pound turkey is not on the top of my favorite-things list. Thus, I set off in search of menu ideas for “Alternative Turkey Day Meals.” I was pleased to find that I was certainly not the only weary chef that was burnt out on the idea of the traditional Thanksgiving Menu. There are a TON of great ideas out there. So, this Thanksgiving, don’t be afraid to break the mold a bit! Have some fun in the kitchen and mix-it-up a bit. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Try a “Diner Style Thanksgiving”- Ideas HERE! With Turkey Sliders, Fried Green Bean and Shallots, and Pumpkin Bourbon Shakes, this menu is a super fun alternative to what you expect from a traditional holiday feast, but it still manages to incorporate the standards. For any household with kiddos, they are sure to eat this one up!

How about a Vegetarian option- Ideas HERE! Whether you eat meat or not, this menu is mouth-watering! Starting with Apple-Butternut Squash Soup, Veggie-Stuffed Ravioli, and Old-Fashioned Gingerbread, even the carnivores at your table will walk away with a happy tummy!  Any besides, there is most likely some left-over turkey from the day before waiting for you in the fridge right?!?!

Feel like going international? How about an Italian inspired menu -Ideas HERE! Seafood Bruschetta, Sauteed Spinach, and Tiramisu… Um, yes please! I am pretty sure that I just found the inspiration for my family’s meal! I am going to turn my desert home into a Mediterranean villa with this meal this Turkey Day!

So there you have it! Is your mouth watering yet?  Time to hit the web and explore some alternative Thanksgiving menus this season! May you and yours enjoy a holiday filled with good times, good company, and of course, good food! Bon Apetit!


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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.



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