Lori’s Favorite Thanksgiving Tablescape & Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving week, y’all! Is it just me or did every store go from Halloween straight into Christmas this year? One minute it was candy and cobwebs and now it’s all tinsel and trimmed trees with Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas playing on a loop throughout every mall in America. If you wanted some Thanksgiving décor, you should have planned early as there’s not a cornucopia in sight! It makes me a little sad that Thanksgiving isn’t getting its due this year, especially since it’s one of my favorite fall holidays.

I love Thanksgiving and mostly because I don’t do any of the cooking or hosting. Each year, my daughter Mollie hosts our family for Thanksgiving dinner, so I bring my parents and a couple of family favorite dishes, but Mollie and my son-in-law Jason really do all the heavy lifting.  I’m so grateful for them because that holiday weekend is one of the busiest times of the year at Bridals by Lori. There’s just no way for me to host the entire family on Thursday and then spend the weekend on my feet working with my gorgeous brides.

Of course, not hosting doesn’t mean I don’t have any input on both the holiday décor and the menu. Mollie tolerates me well though and graciously accepts my opinions about her tablescape and delicious dishes. If I can brag a bit, I will say that Mollie sets a beautiful Thanksgiving table. She uses the most whimsical China from Spode’s Woodland collection, and accessorizes with the cutest velvet pumpkins that she found on Etsy. Monogram napkins, a Williams-Sonoma bread bowl, and silver goblets complete the look for a beautiful, autumn-inspired table.

When it comes to Thanksgiving fare, our feast is full of family favorite recipes that we have been making year after year. While I’m all for trying out new recipes, I’m a bit of a purist around Thanksgiving and prefer to stick to our tried-and-true traditional menu. Here’s a list of some of the most delicious dishes for your Thanksgiving table:

Lori Allen's family gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing
Lori Allen family favorite raspberry jello salad for Thanksgiving


    • Cranberry Jell-O – This is our family’s favorite recipe, and we can’t eat turkey without it! We like to serve it ice cold from the fridge. 
    • Southern Cornbread Dressing – My Mom has made a version of this recipe for years, and it’s a dish that has zero leftovers after the meal. What’s great about this recipe is that it can be made two days in advance, so it’s one less dish to worry about making on Thanksgiving morning. 
    • Deep Fried Turkey – Here in the South, we like to fry our Turkey for the crispiest skin and the moistest meat. Make sure to always defrost the turkey fully before you deep fry and never skimp on the brine time, for the best flavor. 
    • Sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows – It shouldn’t be a surprise that this dish is a hit with my granddaughters. When there’s streusel and a mini-marshmallow topping, it’s truly a win-win! 
    • Parker House Rolls – There’s already cornbread in the dressing, so we use these buttery Parker House Rolls to sop up all that delicious gravy! You’ll want to bookmark this recipe. 
    • Macaroni and Cheese – This dish is always so controversial. Some like it with bacon and crunchy bits while others prefer it smooth and creamy. Then there are vegan options and recipes with vegetables thrown into the mix. I like my Mac and Cheese traditional with the perfect balance of cheeses and a crumb topping. Try this one from Taste of Home this year!
    • Roasted Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts – there must be at least one healthy dish at every Thanksgiving meal, and this one is a crowd-pleaser. I love the tangy lemony taste and the nutty aroma of the pine nuts that makes this dish the light side you’ll crave.
    • Dessert Pies – We love our dessert pies and always have the trifecta of apple, pumpkin, and pecan at our table. This utterly deadly Southern pecan pie lives up to the hype; don’t skimp on the bourbon!

      We can all get swept away in the details around Thanksgiving – from hosting to cooking and entertaining, or getting that jump on holiday shopping as Black Friday sales begin earlier every year. Make sure to pause and find some time for some self-reflection during the long holiday weekend.  Check out my gratitude guide here to help get yourself into the spirit of Thanksgiving.

      Feeling so very thankful, grateful, and blessed this Thanksgiving! Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate the holiday in the comments.

Till Next Time,

Lori Allen

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