The Grateful Side of Thanksgiving
While we all love the bounty of food that is sprung upon our tables on Thanksgiving Day, this year take a step back and really admire what you are grateful for. Here are a few ways to express gratitude this year. And, of course we had to throw in a couple of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes into the mix, we couldn’t resist!

Make a gratitude pumpkin
All you need here is a pumpkin (white pumpkins are especially wonderful!) and a permanent marking pen. Ask your grandkids and kids to write what they are thankful for on the pumpkin. Then, sit around and discuss everyone’s thoughts.

Write a letter
You might be thinking to yourself, “Who writes a letter these days with email and text in existence,” but actually writing out a letter is so cool and a fantastic way to show someone your gratitude. Letters are super personal because once you start writing, the words start flowing from your heart right on to the page, making your message very passionate and heartfelt. Also, they are handwritten, which adds your unique touch automatically. It’s always nice to be reading something and recognize the handwriting of someone you care about!

Make a short video
If expressing your emotions through writing is not your style, this is a perfect solution for you! Most of us have phones with what we call the “selfie camera” these days, so just press record and talk as if your loved one is right in the room with you. Short videos are also great to send to people you haven’t seen or talked to in person for a while because there’s nothing like seeing the face and hearing the voice of someone you love and miss! Remember, you’re not Martin Scorsese…it doesn’t have to be this amazing cinematic masterpiece. Keep things simple, emotionally real, and short (especially because text/email will limit how long your videos can be to send them.  Your video will have all the more impact that way.

Call him/her
There is no better way to tell someone that you are grateful for him or her than by actually telling them! Even though most people may be busy with Thanksgiving Day preparations, a quick phone call can still make their day without taking up too much time. And, if they are busy, a nice voicemail of you expressing your gratitude would be a wonderful surprise for them to find when they do have a moment to check their phone.

Another variation on this, thanks to technology, is FaceTime (or other video chat applications like Skype, etc.). While this option does tend to be more of a time-consumer, you and your loved one on the other end can control how long the call is. The beauty of FaceTime is that it gives both parties that “in person” feel even though there could be thousands of miles separating the two callers. It’s honestly the closest you can get to spending the holiday together without actually being in the same room.

Thanksgiving Must Have Dishes
For all our recipes step by step, check out

Cranberry Sauce
Aside from gravy, one simply must accompany their turkey with a dollop of cranberry sauce! It may not be a meal in itself but this sweet yet delectable sauce is a must-have condiment to any Thanksgiving meal.

The most basic recipe of this simple yet delectable relish is usually done boiling cranberries with (diluted) sugar water but for more depth of flavors, you can also add other ingredients such as orange juice, zest, ginger, cinnamon or almonds, to elevate the flavors and tastes that are far beyond the run-of-the-mill cranberry sauce. Depending on your preference, you can either create it to be sweet and tangy, or even hot and spicy!

Mashed Potatoes
Another classic Thanksgiving favorite that is always in high demand is none other than mashed potatoes. With its buttery, creamy texture, mashed potatoes is a familiar dish that is suited for kids and adults alike. The best part is, to create this simple yet heavenly-tasting dish, all you need are potatoes, salt, butter, milk, and pepper. You can also spice up the classic mashed potatoes by adding garlic, cheese, or bacon, depending on the types of flavors you would like to highlight. To add a little bit more of an edge, use sweet potatoes to create a sweeter version of this conventionally savory dish. Or, if you are looking for potato dishes that are less traditional, serve up scalloped potatoes, roast herb potatoes, or even potato salad along with your Thanksgiving feast.

Green Bean Casserole
Need some greens to round out the rest of your Thanksgiving dishes? Instead of opting to serve plain or bland vegetables, why not please your guests by whipping up a green bean casserole?

This rich and flavorful dish consists of green beans, mushroom soup, and french fried onions; the green bean casserole is indeed a quintessential staple at many Thanksgiving celebrations worldwide. To elevate this dish, why not “jazz” it up with some cheese for a creamier texture? Every mouthful will definitely bring joy as the bursts of flavors ‘explode’ in your mouth.

Pumpkin Pie
With the appetizers and main dishes you plan to serve up for Thanksgiving, you simply must never forget to have the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast – the dessert. In our opinion, there’s no better way to top the night’s celebration with a slice (or four) of pumpkin pie.
To make a great pumpkin pie, make sure to sharpen your skills on making its crust in advance, as there’s nothing worse than a pie with a soggy crust! Once mastered, you can move on to making the fillings of the pie. This can easily be done by combining and whisking the essential ingredients: pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs and spices (nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon). Pour the mixture into the crust, and watch it bake to perfection in the oven.