Thanksgiving Dinner Roundup

I recently hosted a Pumpkin Dinner Roundup. That’s right: an entire meal featuring pumpkin! I had so much fun, I decided to invite all my baking friends to join me for an early Thanksgiving Dinner. We agreed on a time and picked our dishes, then I got busy cleaning the house and anticipating everyone’s (virtual) arrival.

Thanks to Mike for the Awesome Place Card!!!

Abby provided our first course — Butternut Squash Bisque. We don’t usually have soup with our Thanksgiving meal, and after trying Abby’s creamy, indulgent bisque, I think I may have to remedy that! The fried sage and popcorn garnish was fun, festive, and delicious! What a great way to start a meal.

I think everyone was surprised when our next guest showed up. Knowing how Nick Malgieri loves to get together and share recipes with other cooks, I wasn’t surprised at all. And once I saw the Cranberry Orange Relish he brought, I was glad I had taken the chance and invited him to the party.

I was recently introduced to Jeanette, who hosts a blog called The Whimsical Cupcake, and I was so pleased that she accepted my invitation. I was even happier when I saw what she brought: Beer and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese! In my humble opinion, there is entirely too little beer at most Thanksgiving dinners. And you can never go wrong with mac and cheese.

Nancy brought our next dish, Carrot Soufflé. This was one of the dishes I was most excited to try. Like most everyone else, I love candied sweet potatoes and look forward to them on Thanksgiving. But this savory, creamy carrot soufflé made me forget all about candied yams.

A must-have dish for Thanksgiving dinner is something with green beans. Like many of you, we always have green bean casserole with mushroom soup and crunchy onions on top. Not this year! Peggy left that old standby in the dust with her Gingered Green Beans.

Ever industrious, our friend Hanaâ signed up for two dishes. For her first offering, she brought these wonderful Mediterranean-style Oven-Roasted Vegetables. I love the smell of vegetables roasting in the oven, and these were absolutely heavenly.

Renee signed up to bring one of the dishes without which the Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete. Call it stuffing or dressing (in eastern Pennsylvania, they call it filling), just make sure there’s plenty of it! Renee’s Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples had a lot of texture, as it was made with three different kinds of bread. And the sausage, apples, and white wine really gave it great flavor.

And right next to the stuffing, you have to have mashed potatoes. God bless Glennis. She brought not one, but two kinds of mashed potatoes for us to try. The first, buttermilk mashed potatoes, is a recipe by Ina Garten that I’ve made (and loved) many times. The other recipe, by the Pioneer Woman, raises potato decadence to new heights by adding cream cheese. Glennis and her husband had a hard time deciding which recipe they liked best. Personally, I had to try several helpings of each and still haven’t made up my mind. Maybe I need more….

And for those of you who like mashed potatoes but want something a little different, Mike brought these amazing Cauliflower “Potatoes”. They are as delicious as they are fancy.

As the host, I decided to provide the main attraction. Besides, I’m always looking for an excuse to fill the house with the aroma of roast turkey. And speaking of Ina, I based my Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter on one of her recipes. Turkey slathered in butter seasoned with truffle salt and truffle oil. How bad could that be? Not bad at all, as it turns out.

I let everyone pick what they wanted to bring, but I was secretly hoping that Di would sign up for some kind of bread or rolls, as she always does such an amazing job with them. She didn’t disappoint, and showed up with these beautiful, fluffy, and delicious Make-ahead Dinner Rolls. I have to admit, I slopped some extra gravy on my plate just so I could sop it up with one of these rolls.

Margaret (to no one’s surprise!) showed up with dessert in hand. And what a dessert it was! Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Pecan Sauce. This recipe combines two of my favorite things — pumpkin and whiskey — into my all-time favorite dessert. This bread pudding was everything I dream of. And, no, Margaret, I don’t think there was too much whiskey! (Is that even possible?)

And as if her oven-roasted vegetables weren’t enough, Hanaâ also contributed a Pumpkin Layer Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting. I’m sure she didn’t bring this just because of my love for pumpkin, but buttering up your host never hurts.

Finally, we have a traditional Hoosier dessert from a transplanted Hawkeye. Kayte is responsible for this whole dinner, as she planted the idea in my head when I hosted the Pumpkin Dinner Roundup. So it’s fitting that she should bring this satisfying, belt-loosening meal to a sweet finish with her Persimmon Pudding. I hope you saved some room, because you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one!

Well, that wraps up this amazing Thanksgiving feast. Thanks for coming. We really enjoyed having you here. And don’t worry about the dishes. The girls and I will clean them up after we sleep off some of this food.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so stuffed I don’t think I’ll need to eat again until the Holiday Appetizer Roundup.


  1. December 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

    […] in a number of online food parties. I even hosted a few myself, like the Pumpkin Dinner and Thanksgiving Dinner roundups. With these “parties” everyone makes a dish, takes pictures, and posts about […]

  2. nancyo said,

    November 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    We’re not wed to any particular dishes for Thanksgiving, so this roundup gives me tons of ideas for holiday cooking! Thanks for pulling us all together, Phyl. And you volunteered for a holiday appetizer event? I’m in. In fact I have to provide apps for a St. Nicholas dinner on December 4, so I’ll make sure I photograph whatever I make.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      I’m not sure “volunteer” is the correct word. Kayte has a way of making other people carry out her ideas.

      I’ll get the details together soon. Di grabbed the weekend I was going to use, so I either have to double up or push it back a week.

      • nancyo said,

        November 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        hmmm, mid-week posting date? people can cook on a weekend, and even write the post.

  3. Hanaa said,

    November 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving table. Everything looks equally delicious. Loved your write-up of each dish and thanks for doing the dishes (not my favorite part). How cool that you got Nick Malgieri to participate 🙂 Thanks for organizing the round up. It was a lot of fun! Happy TG everyone!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks, Hanna. I’m so glad you joined us!

  4. Abby said,

    November 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

    LOVE this post, especially your commentary on how each dish tasted! 😉 And all of the photos…oh my, it just all looks so wonderful. Now I just have to figure out how to sneak some of these recipes onto the table without my tradition-loving family freaking out. Thank you thank you for hosting (and for doing the dishes)!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      You’re welcome, Abby! It was so much fun. I, too, am planning to add a few of these dishes to this year’s feast.

  5. Kayte said,

    November 10, 2011 at 7:57 am

    When I was thinking about all this, I was getting so excited to see what everyone would choose and bring and how it would taste and I got all caught up in it before I realized, “WAIT, we aren’t actually getting together to do this in person.” Disappointment set in as what fun this would be to have all my good cooking pals all be able to do this with our families at one location! Oh, the dreamer me…maybe someday. Thanks for hosting this, you did a wonderful job recapturing it all and I am looking forward to the holiday appetizer fun. Thanks for including me!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks, Kayte. It was fun seeing what everyone brought to the party. And I agree: it would be great if we could all get together. If only we knew someone with a big house in the middle of the country,…

  6. November 10, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I think I just gained 2 pounds from just reading through the menu – what a great collection of posts and recipes for the upcoming holidays. Thanks for including me.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Glad you liked the offerings, Nick. And thanks for joining us!

  7. Margaret said,

    November 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Wow! I could not eat another bite . Maybe later!! GREAT collection of goodies. I have a feeling some of these will be on the TG dinner even tho I am not, for the first time in YEARS, not cooking TG dinner. Thanks for doing this. Looking forward to the next one!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      I know. I’m still stuffed. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. I need to get busy if I’m going to test them out before Thanksgiving.

  8. Di said,

    November 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Excellent round-up, Phyl! So many great dishes to try.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks. And thanks for your contribution!

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