Newlywed Thanksgiving Menu Success

It's been a busy day in the Franceschi household to say the least. We awoke with t-minus four hours til feast-ivities and probably had more than four hours of work to do on the house and on cooking the remaining treats. We powered through, and though there were moments of stress, the possibility of burning food, and awaiting guests - we managed to have a pretty epic Turkey Day with our close friends Melissa and Jess.

I'd say the MVP of the day was definitely the Apple Cider Sangria that told stress to take a hike and eat some brandy-soaked fruit instead!

Without further adieu, I'd like to share our Thanksgiving with you, including some of the amazing recipes and any tweaks we made to them. For one special original recipe: Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie with Snickerdoodle Crust, I'll share with you in greater how-to detail in Part 2 this Monday.

Til then enjoy! I'd also love to know how your Thanksgiving went! Feel free to leave a comment here or on the Facebook page. Did any of your dishes save your bacon? Mm, bacon.

Soooo, we set the stage using my DIY tablecloth project (found here) complete with Gold Sharpie ready to go for everyone to write on table.

To kick off the day, we began with this uber yum Apple Cider Sangria was based on this recipe from How Sweet Eats I originally found on Pinterest. I made the following changes: 3/4 cup brandy, 2 cups Ginger Ale (no club soda), 3 cups of Apple Cider, used three varieties of apples (two red and one green), and finally - a dash of vanilla extract. To say it was amazing was putting it mildly- really, really delicious and EASY!

Ah, a bruschetta bar! This was our nify appetizer offering for our guests. I had planned on the trusty TJ's Bruschetta Sauce but of course Trader Joe's was swamped and there was no sauce to be found. No worry- I improvised and made my first ever bruschetta to yummy results! Recipe for the bruschetta and the crostini coming to the blog soon. Til then, I'd recommend Udi's brand gluten-free bread for all your GF bread needs (short of wanting to bake your own.)

We've attempted a gluten-free cornbread stuffing before but this one blew all stuffing recipes out of the park (for wheat and non-wheat eaters!) I followed this recipe at Handmake My Day pretty much to a T and it was uber delicioso. Make this, and don't forget the muffin tin. Awesomely portable and perfect for leftovers.

This one is a pretty simple proposition. Gus was the master chef behind the beautiful bundles you see above. Here's the recipe from my old blog from eons ago, Living with Annie. More on that another time...

Of course there were a few other stars of the show when it comes to the meal. Can't miss the shout out to the Turkey especially.

Our lovely guest Jessica brought these amazing individual pumpkin cheesecakes for dessert. She freshly shaved nutmeg... I'll repeat that: she freshly shaved nutmeg onto them just for our enjoyment. Excellent.

This is a special one. I couldn't find anyone in town with gluten-free pie crusts in stock so I took a favorite recipe and added a twist: a cookie crust made from gluten-free snickerdoodles! This one's worth its own post. Check back on Monday for more goodness on this front.

Last but not least, here's what I'm thankful for this year, written proudly on our new dining table. Thanks for reading and hope you all had a great holiday!