Recipes for a simple, smaller Thanksgiving

It’s October.

We’re on the homestretch of a challenging year. For purely practical reasons, I though I’d share a few favourite recipes for a simple, smaller Thanksgiving.

I know that the upcoming holiday will be very different for most people. Many of us who usually travel and attend large family gatherings will be instead staying in our own province – and in our own home.

And yet, there is still much to be thankful for. My hope is that you will find joy in the little things this autumn. We’re planning a few hikes, scenic drives to see the fall colours, and of course, plenty of homemade pie.

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Last Minute Edible Gift Ideas

A jar of preserves, topped with festive fabric; a tin of decadent shortbread dipped in chocolate, a bag of homemade granola, toasted to perfection – there’s no question that a lot of love goes into a handmade edible gift.

This is my favourite way to spread some cheer over the holiday season. Not only do edible gifts show that you put some thought and care into the present, but you can make them from the comforts of your own home.

If you’ve got an evening or two between now and the 25th where you can hit the kitchen, then you can definitely choose one or two items from this list of last minute edible gift ideas. Ready to get started?

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Recipes and Tips for a Zero-Waste Thanksgiving

Let’s get right to the point: food waste is the single biggest problem in our current food system.

A recent study showed that we waste thirty percent of food we buy, essentially tossing out one bag of groceries for every four we bring home.

What exactly is going on? To echo the sentiment of Greta – How dare we?

World Food Day is coming up on October 16. With my kitchen experience, I feel like I can help tackle one part of the problem: food waste at home.

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Romantic recipes to cook now

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s, Gal-entine’s or neither, it’s always good to have a handful of romantic recipes for the repertoire.

We generally don’t do much for Valentine’s Day around here beyond setting a pretty table and cooking a special dinner.

Danny and I always stay in, because if a decade of restaurant experience will teach you anything, it is that February 14th is one of the worst nights of the year to eat out (expect rushed service, hastily prepared foods and stressed staff).

So Clara puts out candles and makes place cards for our table and I whip up something dreamy in the kitchen. This year we’ll probably eat all together, but when our children were really young, we’d feed them first and then enjoy a ‘date night in’ dinner for two when they were asleep.

However you choose to celebrate at home, one thing is certain: the menu is of the utmost importance! Although most of my recipes here on Simple Bites lean toward the practical (chicken soup! breakfast sandwiches!) I do have a lovely little collection of recipes I consider to be romantic, and today I’ve rounded up the best ones for winter.

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Fall cooking and Thanksgiving menu ideas

Temperatures have dropped around here, sending us scampering to dig out warm sweaters, matching socks and windbreakers. Fall is indeed in the air; invigorating me in a way the warm summer winds never can.

I’ve taken refuge from the cooler weather in the kitchen, which is no surprise, I am sure. A quick trip to market on the first day of October was all I needed to get in the spirit of fall cooking and baking. I filled my basket with pears, leeks, winter squash, fresh cranberries, beets and sweet potatoes  – all locally grown – and rounded out the haul with herbs from my garden.

Then, I fell to menu planning: weeknight meals, recipe development, and the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. We’re hosting a small gathering for eleven people this weekend, with turkey and all the usual trimmings.

Today I’ve rounded up my favourite recipes for Thanksgiving — and fall cooking in general. Whether you are setting a holiday table for for family, or serving up Sunday dinner to friends, you’ll want these recipes within reach.

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