My first Thanksgiving


After 39 years of being a guest, it is finally my turn to host all of our families for Thanksgiving, and I totally thought I could handle it. After all, I’ve made chicken before…how hard could it be? Then my mom asked me if I had a turkey baster, and I burst into tears. Fortunately my parents are both great cooks, and they came into town early for moral support.

My dad loves kitchen shopping, and whenever he comes to town, he’ll let me know what I need (new knives, a better frying pan, a one-cup espresso maker) so I took him with me to Crate and Barrel to stock up my kitchen with the gadgets I’d need to make this Thanksgiving unforgettable.

Or at the very least, edible.

After helping me to pick out a roasting pan (and rack) and turkey baster we brainstormed the rest of the menu:

Mexican corn cake: my husband’s favorite. It’s kind of a twist on that creamy corn pudding, but we like it better. (I used this recipe, but cut the sugar by 1/2)

Grandma Gertie’s famous stuffing: No special tricks here just lots of vegetables. Shallots, leeks, mushrooms, celery, carrots and chicken stock with brioche instead of store bought croutons.

Mac and cheese: It’s my all time favorite side dish, and worth every hour (and calorie) that goes into it. I use more croutons than this recipe calls for, and I only use yellow and white cheddar and leave out the nutmeg and cayenne. If there’s any left over, my kids are thrilled to take it for lunch.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with balsamic glaze: You can reduce any balsamic vinegar, but I prefer this to save time.

Asparagus: The hardest part of this recipe is finding the right asparagus. Too thick and they’re woody; too thin and they burn. Asparagus are an easy veggie because even room temperature they taste good, so it’s one less thing you have to consider when timing your meal.

Apple pie: We’re not much of a pumpkin pie family, so we skip the multiple desserts and go with two giant apple pies, and lots of vanilla ice cream and I totally needed an excuse for a new scooper. (I know you chocoholics are probably throwing stuff at your computer screen right now.)

I’m notorious for making too much, so my mom suggested these brilliant cook and store baking dishes for all of our sides (and a plus that they’re all dishwasher safe. Cue the harps.)  And as long as I was strolling the aisles, I decided to visit my favorite wine glasses (yes, they’re the same ones Olivia Pope drinks from on Scandal) and these white dishes which look great at a more formal dinner, but unlike my (unused) china are completely dishwasher safe.

It’s time to hit the kitchen. I’ll be sharing the results (good and bad) on Instagram so follow me here to see how my first Thanksgiving turns out. Fingers crossed (and Domino’s on speed dial.)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Take 15% and free shipping for most orders over $49 through Nov 30 with code Save15. A few really cute things I found at Crate and Barrel

This post is brought to you by Crate and Barrel




7 thoughts on “My first Thanksgiving

  1. Sarah Ann

    I was hoping for a funny and witty post about Thanksgivng. Instead, I got a bland, paid post from Crate and Barrel. You’re better than this, Dana!

    1. Dana Weiss

      I’m sorry that you weren’t entertained. I’m having a great time cooking and preparing with my parents. Occasionally I like to show a personal glimpse into my life. Thankful for your feedback, though. Just burned my arm trying to cook and post at the same time. I guess that’s Karma, huh? For what it’s worth, my mom said she loved the post.

  2. B @ Sequin Notebook

    It sounds like a great menu (love that there is both stuffing and mac and cheese, my two favorites!). Have fun cooking!

    1. Dana Weiss

      Here’s a confession: I don’t even eat the turkey. I’m all about the carbs (sing that to the tune of All About the Bass)

  3. Lisa (Braun) Rissing

    You crack me up Dana. But also like to see your more personal side. Love this post and will keep up with your results. Hope all is well!

  4. GLink

    Love hearing about what you and I love Crate and Barrel! We just bought a new house so I’m tempted to use the 15% off! Good luck hosting your first thanksgiving!

  5. Mystee Sheppard

    I think I need the “thankful” plates and napkins, where can I buy???

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