An early Thanksgiving

I've always thought the Canadians do it right when it comes to Thanksgiving. October makes much more sense for a family gathering because it's not so close to Christmas. It's a real pet peeve of mine that we have the two biggest family gathering holidays of the year only 4 weeks apart. That always means that I have to pick which one I'm going to celebrate with my family because it's just not feasible for everyone to travel 600 miles (or more) to be with each other twice within such a short time frame.

Well, this year I got my wish! We had an October Thanksgiving celebration with my family because they were all here for a visit before Riley heads off to Iowa. We decided to make the most of our time together and celebrate an early Thanksgiving as well.

We pushed two tables together to make enough room for all 10 of us. The tablecloths are from Target.

We pushed two tables together to make enough room for all 10 of us. The tablecloths are from Target.

We had A LOT going on over the weekend so I kept the dinner as simple as possible while still focusing on having our favorite dishes.

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Here's what I served:

Turkey cooked in my roaster oven. I love preparing the turkey this way and it always turns out great. It also cooks quickly in a roaster oven! I prefer to get organic turkeys and always opt for fresh when possible.

Mashed Potatoes are my son's very favorite part of the whole feast. He is allergic to milk so I make the potatoes without milk for him. I've done a lot of research and I really believe these are the best mashed potatoes out there and there's nothing in them but potatoes and butter!

I also made another batch of potatoes this year with some cream cheese mixed in because we've always wanted to try them this way. My brother helped with these and just added a block of cream cheese and they were yummy! If you want a recipe to follow, try the Pioneer Woman's recipe because I've heard it's a good one.

Sweet potatoes are a big deal at Thanksgiving but we already had a lot of carbs and sweets on the table so I didn't want to get too carried away here. I simply used frozen, diced sweet potatoes and put them in a glass baking dish with butter and brown sugar to taste. These are no-frills but everyone seems to enjoy them.

I kept the stuffing simple as well because I've decided that this Mrs. Cubbisons Foccacia Stuffing mix is my favorite. It's easy and it tastes great!

Cranberry sauce is very traditional with Thanksgiving dinner but I've never been a big fan until I found this recipe. My favorite part is how amazing it smells while cooking in the crockpot!

We needed something green and pretty to round out the meal so I decided to be brave and try something new. I made this green bean dish with beets, bacon, and pecans. I left out the goat cheese because I don't like goat cheese and my son can't eat dairy and he loves green beans. It gave the meal some nice color and tasted good.

Everyone in my family knows that I live for the rolls at any meal, especially with a Thanksgiving feast. Jeff's grandma used to make the most wonderful rolls so I always think of her at a meal like this. Without her around and with my time and energy spread thin, I opted for frozen rolls. Now before you judge me, I have to tell you that there is a local bakery (Schmidts) that sells frozen roll dough and they are DE-licious! 

Of course, we finished off the whole even with plenty of pie. Store bought pie for the win! Ain't nobody got time to make pies around here these days. They were quite tasty even if they weren't as good as homemade.

We definitely have a lot to be thankful for. So glad we got to celebrate with a good meal together!