Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

This past weekend my husband and I hosted a very special Thanksgiving dinner for our friends of What's Cookin, Chicago. It was a wonderful event full of food, fun and seeing our friends and family who we haven't seen in quite a while. Thankfully I got my cooking and baking mojo back because I prepared quite a few things for our holiday feast.

Each year we try to come up with an interesting theme in which our Thanksgiving menu can be inspired by. This year we decided to do a Regional Thanksgiving around the U.S., paying homage to the popular regional ingredients of the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, South, New England and Midwest states. Be sure to check back often all this week for the recipes of the following dishes I prepared!

Representing the Pacific Northwest...

Wild Rice and Portobello Salad
with Dried Fruit, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts (Oregon)

Roasted Salmon
with Horseradish Creme Fraiche (Alaska)

Green Bean & Portobello Mushroom Casserole
with Crispy Fried Walla Walla Onions (Washington State)

Representing the New England Region...

Butternut Squash & Sage Dinner Rolls

Traditional Crab Cakes
with Lemon Dill Sauce (Maryland)

Maple Braised Short Ribs

Representing the Southern States...

Cajun Fried Turkey

Bourbon Candied Yams

Cornbread Pecan Dressing
Representing the Midwest...

Apple Cider Glazed Pork

Creamy Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Pear Relish

Representing the Southwest...

Guajillo-Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Chipotle Corn Salad
(New Mexico)

Cauliflower Gratin with Queso Cotija

With so many dishes on our holiday table, we served everything as a buffet and set it up accordingly using chafing dishes I usually have on hand for the catering events I do. The chafing dishes also allowed all the dishes to remain warm throughout the entire service. Since we had a few guests that had some dietary restrictions, I made sure to label each dish indicating whether they were also vegetarian and included dairy and/or seafood. This avoided our guests from guessing whether or not they could eat it and made it clear for everyone.

Our guests also contributed to our holiday feast by bringing appetizers, desserts and lots of wine to share... (These pictures were taken very early in the party but once everyone got there, this table was overflowing with good eats!)


  1. Wow! That's quite an amazing spread! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Joelen,
    You've outdone yourself. It looks wonderful. Now go get some rest!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  3. WOW! I'm so impressed, but not at all surprised, that you pulled off such a huge feast so well. I'm looking forward to the day when I can host my own family and friends for turkey day. Happy Thanksgiving, Joelen!

  4. Wow! I am so sorry to miss a wonderful spread. Glad that you are getting your energy back. You have really outdone yourself for that feast.

  5. YUM! What a feast! The wild rice and dinner rolls sound especially delish. I'm glad you are feeling better, and hope you had a wonderful Thankgiving!