We all know the drill on Thanksgiving:  invite family and friends over, eat a ton of mashed potatoes, turkey and pie, maybe watch football, and take a late-afternoon tryptophan-induced nap. This year, try something new to keep everyone engaged in the holiday with a few small changes.



Get Thankful

GratitudeJarBeing thankful is, after all, what Thanksgiving is about and many times our large appetites and extravagant meals can take us away from the meaning of the holiday.  Play a simple game to get everyone into giving thanks. Place the names of all your guests in bowl and ask everyone to draw a name.  Offer small pieces of paper to everyone and have them write down what they are most thankful about the name they have drawn, read them out loud after dinner. Or, go around the table and ask everybody to state the three things they are most thankful for this year.  Be charitable by asking each of your guests to bring non-perishable food item to be dropped along with any un-opened foods at a local shelter, or have family vote on their favorite local charity and decide on day to volunteer together.




A New Twist on the Old Menu

Deep Fried Turkey

For some, it is hard to stray from the typical Thanksgiving menu, the day is called Turkey Day!  Perhaps finding a new family favorite dish is simply adding a new twist on traditional dishes.  For instance instead sticky sweet marshmallow covered sweet potatoes, try more adult-flavored whipped chipotle sweet potatoes.  Soggy green beans can get a makeover with crispy pancetta and herbs.  Mashed potatoes can have a hint of something new with the addition of celeriac.

Even the turkey could be a little different!  Try brining in buttermilk, glazing with citrus, barbequing, frying,  rubbing with miso, or adding  Cajun spices to keep the bird more interesting.


Scene Stealing Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Unique Thanksgiving Side Dishes

honey-cake-caramelized-pears-recipe-mslo1110-mdnEnd the meal with something new and sweet.  In lieu of pumpkin pie, try highlighting other fall favorite flavor, like apple, pomegranate, cranberries, caramel, or mocha.


26 Unusual Thanksgiving Desserts


Look for the next Serendipity blog on Friday —  all about making Thanksgiving even better!