Thank you to West Elm for sponsoring today’s discussion and helping me share our favorite holiday traditions. As always opinions are 100% my own.
Butternut Squash Apple Bake is a healthy, flavorful side dish mixing butternut squash, apples, walnuts, raisins and dried cranberries to create a seasonal dish to share with your family.
Thanksgiving traditions in my family always involve food, holiday family recipes and gathering in the kitchen so when West Elm asked me to share my favorite holiday traditions and recipe I was very excited.
When talking about family traditions I should first give you a little background about my childhood and how our family traditions came to be. Throughout my life my family moved from Ohio to Maine to Michigan to Illinois to Ohio and now my parents live in Tennessee. Growing up I wasn’t a huge fan of moving as you can imagine. I remember one time when we were living in Maine I overheard my parents talking about moving (before they had told my sisters and I). I broke down crying and of course felt like it was the end of the world! Looking back now I feel that moving from place to place actually had its benefits. I am a more flexible and laid back person. I have learned to adapt to my surroundings and make friends in new, unfamiliar places. I had the opportunity to see many different places in the U.S. and grew to love things about each (we lived 15 minutes from the ocean in Maine!).
Most importantly my family became closer because each time we moved we had each other to lean on and that was the one thing that always remained constant. Traditions were very important to us and helped us feel as though, even if we were in a new place, we still had those family traditions that remained familiar and comforted us in an unfamiliar place.
Traditions in my family included things like birthday dinners—when it was your birthday you got to pick any meal you wanted and the whole family had to cook it while you got to just sit back and relax (my Mom especially loved this since she did most of the cooking growing up). For Christmas my sisters and I would go to the store the week before Christmas with my Dad (yes, men are procrastinators) and help him shop for my Mom. Many holidays in our house revolved around food—at Thanksgiving we would make a big meal including a turkey, cranberries, stuffing, healthy side dishes and of course pumpkin pie. I have so many memories of sitting around the table talking for hours and sharing stories. The kitchen has always been the heart of our home and our holidays. It is the place where we gather as we cook dinner, eat appetizers like hummus and baba ghanoush, and enjoying each others company.
This year we are spending Thanksgiving in Tennessee with my parents. I will be helping my Mom cook the meal, including this Butternut Squash Apple Bake, while the rest of my family runs a Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving (I decided that probably wasn’t a good idea when 8 months pregnant).
In preparation for Thanksgiving I got some fun new kitchen accessories thanks to West Elm Market. One of the things I was really excited to get was a cast iron skillet. I have been eying them up for some time, so when I spotted one at West Elm I knew I had to have it! I love how versatile and easy to clean up they are and look rustic and beautiful on the table.
Along with the cast iron skillet I found these beautiful, fun bowls from West Elm.
If you are not familiar with West Elm you should pop over and see all of the great things you can get to add to your Thanksgiving table like these rustic wood coasters..
Or these salad plates and serving platter…
Ok! I am done drooling! Now you just have to go see for yourself!
And to help you get started my friends at West Elm are offering 20% off all tabletop items to help you set your Thanksgiving table until November 26th! Click here to head over and check it out.
As we head into the holiday season I can’t wait to make new holiday traditions. What are your family traditions?
About West Elm Market: West Elm Market is a total home toolkit in four key categories: Kitchen, Garden, Care & Repair and Personal Care. The brand focuses on functional design, local production, entrepreneurship, and community connections. The first store, West Elm Market Brooklyn, opened in October 2012. A true neighborhood destination, the West Elm Market stores include a café and a common area for community workshops. Several West Elm stores across the country have West Elm Market shop-in-shops.
Thanks to West Elm for sponsoring today’s post. As always opinions are 100% my own.