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Semi Homemade Thanksgiving For One

Here's what: holidays can be hard and lonely for many people. There's almost an added pressure to feel happy and festive and social and joyous. Because you know, social media, and preconceived notions of what holidays should be like, and all the hype.

This Thanksgiving I'm actually whisking myself out of the country on a week long vacation. I'm THANKFUL I'm able to do this physically, logistically, emotionally, and financially. 

In the past, I've spent Thanksgiving with my own family, my pseudo adopted family, friends, and a combination of these groups. This will be the first Thanksgiving I'll be flying solo (figuratively and literally). Still, I wanted a Thanksgiving meal, and I made it. 

Semi homemade. But still really good.

1) Green beans: splurge and buy the French thinner ones. Simply saute with olive oil, adding minced garlic in the last few minutes. Season with salt. Toss in toasted almonds.

2) Mashed potatoes: for the love of everything sacred, make them from scratch. I used a method my friend Mary shared: pressure cook Yukon gold potatoes. Put them through a ricer which saves you the peeling step. Add half & half, olive oil, and salt. 

3) Cranberry sauce: this is as easy as adding fresh cranberries to the pot with freshly squeezed orange juice and a bit of sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the berries pop. Literally, this can be done in 10 minutes. You can add chopped apples, orange zest, or even a bit of adobo sauce for a kick!

I bought a rotisserie chicken, a mix to make stuffing to which I added sauteed mushrooms, onions, and celery; and a roll. Stuffing was beyond mediocre. The store bought gravy was also mediocre. 

Still, all together, this was a great way to feel that Thanksgiving-can-I-take-off-my-pants-and-take-a-nap-now food comma.

I hope you have a good Thanksgiving regardless how, where, and with whom you'll be spending it. Remember, you are worth a great meal, not EVEN IF you are eating it on you own. You are worth it.

I'll leave you with some recipes you may want to add to your menu:

Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

Miso Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cherries & Pine Nuts

Date, Pistachio & Scallion Rice

Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry, Walnut, Orange & Chocolate Tart

Pecan Pie Bars