Unique Thanksgiving Ideas

jenniFood 1 Comment

Thanksgiving is an American tradition that a lot of Filipinos have already embraced. Whether being part of an American family or celebrating with American friends or by simply being grateful for life and celebrating it with loved ones it’s a great time to eat and be merry!

Aside from birthdays, Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite occasion as it’s all about literally giving thanks and eating! Also, unlike most holidays there is no pressure in buying gifts. It’s all about coming together as a family, enjoying each others company, cooking, eating, watching the football game and playing board games the whole day.

The Epperson’s have a simple but super fun Thanksgiving tradition we all adhere to. Cooking is major during the holiday but we don’t like slaving in the kitchen. Most of our recipes are easy, simple and delicious! To those who want to start their own unique Thanksgiving tradition, here are some of my suggestions on what and how to cook an easy and super yummy feast plus, a cool tablescape:

The tablescape

I just love using rich, jewel-tones color scheme for my Thanksgiving tablescape. It’s warm and inviting! I also like decorating with gourds and candles.

I found this chic centerpiece idea from Better Homes and Garden and I super like the height of the twigs and so easy to re-create!


Give your table interest by including centerpieces of different heights. This will draw the eye up and down while still allowing your guests to see and talk to each other. Tall vases, candelabras or items stacked on each other can create the high elements. Candles, mason jars or small bud vases can create the low elements. Together, the high and low features of your table will create balance and flow.

The Make-Ahead Gravy

You need gravy on Thanksgiving to lubricate the turkey, moisten the potatoes, and douse the stuffing. But traditionally it’s made at the last minute, after the turkey has been removed from the roasting pan. Here’s a secret: There’s no need to make gravy right before serving. You can make it up to five days ahead. Then, as you reheat it, whisk in the turkey pan drippings for extra flavor. The result is every bit as good as last-minute gravy — and far less crazy-making. You can watch the video here.


1 stick butter
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup flour
Salt and pepper
4 to 5 cups rich stock, warmed (you can use turkey or chicken stock)
Turkey drippings and giblets (optional)

• Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on the onions, stirring constantly, and cook until flour is golden to brown. Adjust heat so mixture does not burn.
• Gradually whisk in 4 cups stock until mixture thickens and is smooth. If it is too thick, add liquid. Cool, cover and chill.
• When ready to serve, reheat mixture over low heat, stirring. Scrape bottom of turkey pan and add drippings or giblets to gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve.

The Mash

My family and I love creamy mashed potatoes to go with our turkey. Check out this simple recipe by Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg! Yup, you read it right, the cooking duo makes a yummy recipe, watch here.


The cocktail

Ever since I introduced my teenage daughter Aryanna to Aperol Spritz, it’s become her go-to cocktail. On her recent trip to Italy, she totally indulged on this Italian aperitivo. It’s also the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving because of its rich orange color and unique flavor.

Super duper easy to make: 3 parts prosecco (you can also use Italian white wine or frizzante), 2 parts of Aperol (Campari could be an option too), 1 splash of club soda


Aperol Spritz is a popular ritual! It is undoubtedly the most widespread and commonly drunk aperitif in Italy

The Pumpkin Pie

I’m not sure how Filipinos would love the traditional pumpkin pie (I don’t, only Tom likes it) but this fun and special Funfetti Pie Crust by Studio DIY might be a hit at the dinner table!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup boxed funfetti cake mix
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cold shortening
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
5 to 7 tablespoons water

Funfetti Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Plus you’ll need your favorite pumpkin pie filling (for a 9 inch pie)!

How to make it:
1. Combine flour, funfetti cake mix, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add in the shortening in small chunks. Pulse about 15 times to cut in the shortening.
2. Add in 1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles. Pulse once or twice, careful not to over-mix or break up the sprinkles. Add in the water (start with 5 tablespoons, add more if necessary). Add water just till the mixture is moistened enough so that when you squeeze some in your hand, the mixture holds together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Press gently into the pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges using your thumb and forefinger from one hand and your forefinger from the other.
4. Pour the pumpkin filling into the crust.
5. Place pie in the oven and turn down to 350 degrees. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes till the filling is set and the crust is lightly browned. Check halfway to make sure the crust isn’t browning too much. You can cover edges with foil at any point. Let the pie cool completely before adding the whipped cream.
6. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip the cream till fluffy and thick. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix till combined. Gently fold in the rainbow sprinkles.
7. Place whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the whipped cream onto the pie starting in the middle and working your way out to cover the whole pie.

The Turkey

My husband Tom has always been in-charge of cooking the turkey during Thanksgiving. If you’re like me who hasn’t cooked turkey in their life, Ina Gartner’s Perfect Roast Turkey from Food Network seems doable. Also, I love all her recipes as they are easy and flavorful. I’m sure this one will taste delicious!


1 (12 pound) fresh turkey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 Spanish onion, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons unsalted (1/2 stick) melted butter

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
• Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, onion, quartered, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
• Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with pan juices, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve hot.

Who’s excited for Thanksgiving? Tune in as I will also blog about how The Epperson’s celebrate the holiday!

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