{Photo credits: Dishing Up The Dirt, BHG, BHG, Martha Stewart, The Vintage Mixer, and BHG}

This Thanksgiving will be the first time, pretty much ever, that I won’t be spending with my family. Erik and I are heading to North Dakota to be with his family. I’ll miss being in charge of the turkey (Erik and I have been on turkey duty for the past 6 years), but it might be nice not having the stress of cooking on Thanksgiving.

My family is celebrating this Sunday in a non-traditional way. I originally wanted to make the whole traditional meal but my sister thought it sounded like a lot of work, and instead suggested having a Thanksgiving appetizer party. Knowing how much my family loves appetizers, I thought it was an awesome idea.

On the menu:

Sparkling cocktails – I like the idea of using apple cider with sparkling wine, or possibly this recipe

A mashed potato bar – this is easy and yet and will be everyone’s favorite I’m sure. My sister is prepping a huge batch of mashed potatoes and we’ll serve in small bowls with lots of toppings

Cranberry sage rolls – hits on two Thanksgiving traditional foods

Turkey meatballs – I plan to serve meatballs with mini rolls and gravy for dipping. I may use this turkey meatball recipe but substitute sage and thyme for the Italian seasoning

Cranberry-orange sherbet – how amazing does this look? Now that I have gelatin sitting in my pantry, this is definitely an option

Stuffed mushrooms – yum. My brother and his fiance are bringing stuffed mushrooms

I think this is a cool and unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving. And with much less stress and dirty dishes. Bring on the apps.

What is your favorite food on Thanksgiving? It’s a tough call but for me I’d have to say the potatoes and pumpkin pie. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to throw in pumpkin pie bites on the menu for Sunday…