Thanksgiving dinner and other meals over the holiday weekend provide an opportunity for people to connect with one another by participating in centuries-old communal tradition: giving thanks together over a joyous meal.

Thanksgiving is a beloved American holiday. It’s a celebration of foods, flavors, and customs that often evoke happy memories of good times enjoyed with family and friends. There’s something comforting in knowing that on the fourth Thursday of every November, most Americans are engaged in the same activity. Through laughter and words, we as friends and family come together to sit at the table, share the season’s wonderful foods and express how grateful we are to have one another.

Yet, preparing for Thanksgiving meals can be daunting. I did not have to cook for many guests this year, but it did take me some time to decide on a meal plan that would be satisfying and memorable for my family. On Thanksgiving morning I spread out on my counter, my vegetables (mostly roots, tubers) and fruits (pears, apples, cranberries, etc.) and asked myself, “now what can you do with these Martine?” I had recently gone to our local farmers market so I was inspired to use regionally grown vegetables and fruits at their seasonal best. I wanted to focus less on perfection and more on simplicity.


I also knew that I wanted to try and make a pretty main dish, something that would establish the look and feel for the entire table. My goal was to prepare a dish that would serve as a strong focal point and surround it with colorful side dishes that would help elevate the table to the feel of a holiday meal. Below are a few photos of my what I came up with on Thanksgiving morning.

As Thanksgiving entertaining often goes beyond the holiday meal, there were a few other dishes—ancient grains, soups, desserts, and an irresistible Pumpkin Bread—I prepared for family and friends throughout the long holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving entertaining is about bringing people together to share seasonal foods, the warmth of home, and the bonds of family and friendship–simple gifts worth celebrating every year.

For Holiday Recipes, visit:
The Vegetable Feast
Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Rustic Fall Polenta with Fontina and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Exotic Mushroom Pâté
Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake
(More Holiday Baking ideas coming soon)

Bon appétit!

15 thoughts on “Celebrating Simple Gifts

  1. Martine, can’t wait for more reports on these fabulous-looking dishes! You’ve outdone yourself, dear! That 3-layer cake (cheesecake? ice cream? Guess I’ll be patient.) looks to die for. 🙂 XOXO.

    1. Hi Angie! Thanks for your comment. The 3-layer cake is all melted chocolate (dark and white) with little more. Super easy to make! And, YUM! 😉 Will try to post recipes as soon as possible. I hate to make you wait, but I think I’ll post all of the savory dishes (including soups I didn’t show pictures of) and then the sweets. Hang on tight, stay with me, details on the cake are coming! My little one recently started walking and he’s been keeping me busy! 🙂

        1. Thank you! Thank you. I’m glad you like it. I had a lot of fun cooking. Yes, that’s roasted tofu in the middle of the platter! I promise to post the recipes as soon as possible. 🙂 Thanks again. ~ Martine

  2. Looks like you have the art of cooking and food styling mastered. The swirl in the mashed potato, the bread shots all have professional composition written all over them.

  3. I agree that your pictures have professional composition to them. The added bonus is that the promise of good tasting food is also fulfilled! These are not just beautiful pictures. Congratulations to Olivier on his first steps! Exciting time for Mom!

    1. Thanks Josephine! The mashed sweet potatoes will definitely be on menu for next year! They really did taste very good. Can’t wait to share the recipe. And yes, it’s an exciting and fun time. Bittersweet though…baby is no longer really a baby anymore…. So fascinating, rewarding and fun to watch him grow!

  4. Oh my GOSH Martine. What fabulous food and spectacular photos. You will be eating like kings and queens for weeks. 🙂 I love the look of the roasted root vegetables, the tofu – and especially the fig bread. I adore figs. What a lucky family you have. I am elated to hear that your day was filled with such lovely dishes. 🙂 Warmly, Shanna

    1. Thank you Shanna! Yes, we had lots of leftovers. I keep seeing vegetables I want to experiment with and new recipes I want to try. Leftovers are already gone. I shared with friends who were especially happy to sample the desserts. 🙂 Fortunately I can store the soups in the freezer. I still have to post pictures of the soups I made over the holiday weekend! This is a fabulous season for soups! 🙂

      1. Martine,
        I have a coconut curry soup of puréed squashes on the stove. Great minds think alike, no? 🙂 There is nothing like a warm soup on a crisp, Fall day. How lovely of you to share your Thanksgiving bounty with your neighbors! I aspire to be your neighbor, hehe… one day… then I will eat quite fabulously. Take good care! Best regards, Shanna

        1. Oh, thank you Martine! 🙂 My stomach would be quite content if I was your neighbor. And I am sure our little guys would hit it off, too. 😉 Have a relaxing weekend with your family. Warm regards, Shanna

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