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We can’t believe it, but they’re baaack. Thanksgiving and the official kick-off to the holiday season are upon us (in record time, it seems). Time to make a plan, belles!  We’ve been working on our gift guides and will be sharing the goods next week. But first, let’s get our ducks…errr, turkeys…in a row for the big, fancy feast next week.

Here are a few of our feast faves…

Squash Casserole (lovingly shared by a dear belle sister-in-law…and this ain’t for low-fat sissies)

3 c summer squash, sliced
1 onion, chopped
5 T butter
1 c mayo
1 pkg Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
3 eggs, beaten
12 crumbled Ritz crackers
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Steam squash and onion until tender.  Melt butter as the veggies steam. Once veggies are tender, mix all ingredients and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake 45 minutes. Loosen belt.

The casserole can be prepared a day in advance and can be popped in the oven with ease about an hour before serving time.

Sides are always an important part of a holiday menu, so this scalloped potatoes is a great addition….loved by all, elegant, beautiful and delish…

Via Pinterest and Food52

Scalloped potatoes with caramelized onions
Serves 6-8
2 cups whipping cream

4 crushed garlic cloves

3 peppercorns

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 T olive oil

1 large onion sliced thin, we used our mandoline on the same setting as for the potatoes

3 large Yukon potatoes, peeled (we have used Russett with success as well)

1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (we did about 3/4 c of the Gruyere and 1/4 cup…maybe a smidge more…of Comte cheese mixed together)

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1. In a sauce pan combine, the cream, garlic, peppercorns, salt and thyme. Bring to just under a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Set oven to 300

3. Sauté onions in olive oil on low heat until golden – about 45 minutes.  Slice potatoes very thinly (we recommend this Mandoline)…the thinner the better.

4. In a greased baking dish or casserole (we used an 8×10) layer a quarter of the potatoes, 1/3 of the onions, and 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat two more times, topping with potatoes. Strain cream over casserole.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Place dish on cookie sheet in the oven (to prevent drips). Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  (you can make ahead up to two days. Refrigerate and then tent with foil and reheat for 30 minutes at 375 before serving.)

And now…time for zee main course!!

Via Pinterest
We will be using this seasoning paste for our Toms this year. We tried it in the store and it was scrumptious…available at Williams-Sonoma

Via The girl who ate everything

While we haven’t tried this yet , we couldn’t resist adding this fun way to remember it’s THANKSgiving… Thankful rolls from The girl who ate everything…..isn’t she brilliant?!?!

Finally, gravy is a must, but can be the most frustrating …slaving over a roasting pan, whisking in flour, simmering in the chicken broth while dressed in your finery is no fun in our belle book. So y’all can imagine the delight we displayed when we discovered this fabulous recipe for make ahead turkey gravy.  A big shout out to The Food Charlatan for creating this easy, foolproof and delicious time-saver!!  Winning!!

We are counting our blessings and giving thanks for all the belles out there. Happy turkey day, y’all!