Fall InspirationTo the Nines

To the Nines: The day of thanks looms heavy

With Thanksgiving preparations only two weeks away, now is the time to start dreaming up things to make. Because next week, when but one weekend remains to protect us from the big, fat day, it won’t feel like dreaming. It’ll feel like panic sweats.

In case you need inspiration (I sure as hell do), here are some of the Thanksgiving-time ideas I’m currently considering ripping off and claiming as my own in front of the family:


Sides ‘n Appetizers

Pumpkin dinner rolls

Beyond Kimchee made pumpkin rolls that look like pumpkins! And they’re not too complicated, apart from the kneading and rising (reality: putting it in the mixer and waiting; leaving it in a bowl and waiting). Judging by the high ratio of impact to time invested, I might be game for this. Check out the full tutorial to determine if you are, too.

Crawfish andouille stuffing

I’ve had cornbread stuffing (or dressing, if you like), but I’ve never hard Barbara Chernetz’s crawfish and andouille cornbread stuffing. Holy smallpox blankets does that sound good. I’m not the traditional crawfish fan—they are bugs and I don’t want them near me—but I have enjoyed many a dish that incorporated crawfish meat and it’s lovely and sweet and doesn’t taste at all like it looks when it’s alive, so I’m confident this dressing must be amazing. Stuffing, I mean. WHERE AM I?

Acorn squash bowls

I wish everything were served in a halved acorn squash like A Better Happier St. Sebastian’s barley spinach salad. For Thanksgiving portion purposes, I envision both halves being used side by side as a serving vessel, and everyone spooning out the delicious, garlicky salad onto their plates, along with some of that beautiful roasted squash.


Desserts ‘n Treats

Mini pumpkin pie cookies

When I saw these pumpkin pie cookies for the first time, I was like, “OH THAT’S SO CUTE but I mean anybody can do that if they have all the fancy cookie cutters and time to spend on royal icing and whatever.” What I didn’t know: the cookie cutter is a circle, and the circle is cut into wedges. (Clever.) And the icing is something called “20-second icing,” which, I mean, I know I could find out what that is and I will but as of this writing I have no idea; I’m just saying it sounds heaps quicker than royal icing. Also, they’re like two inches long, so that’s effing adorable. Thanks, Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle!

Pumpkin spice marshmallow cookies

Pumpkin spice marshmallow cookies from Oh, Sweet Basil. Curious, and made with just four ingredients (the cookies are boxed spice cake mix, with oil and eggs; pumpkin spice marshmallows top of the cookies; prepackaged cream cheese frosting goes on top of all of it). Seems easy, and I think I know a handful of people (yes, fine, yes, they all HAPPEN TO BE middle-class white girls) who might really love it. Plus I had no idea pumpkin spice marshmallows were even a thing, so now I’m not just pigging out, I’m learning.

Pumpkin meringue pie

Oh, hey, Martha. Pumpkin meringue pie sounds pretty good, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve never had it so it seems interesting. And I appreciate that your recipe calls for a good old can of Libby’s, although I deeply suspect that you secretly cleaned and roasted an entire pumpkin to make yours, because I do not trust you or your beautiful photographs. I’ve been burned before by your too-simple instructions for too-beautiful projects and I like to pretend that’s why you had to go to prison.


Decor ‘n Bonuses

Fall leaf initial

Charming fall leaf initial tutorial from The Thrifty Abode makes a welcoming substitute for a traditional wreath, and could hardly be simpler. Grab a letter from the craft store, spray it with adhesive, and stick leaves all over. Simple and pretty.

Gilded pumpkin

Sweet to use as place cards or grouped into a centerpiece, these little gold-painted mini pumpkins by Cupcakes and Cashmere are classy and cute. Masking tape and gold spray paint.

Thanksgiving take-away boxes

After dinner, are there more leftovers than you can eat, but not enough containers to send home with guests (especially since containers that go home with guests don’t always make it home)? Jenny from Bloom Designs suggests picking up some takeout containers ahead of time (there’s still time to get cheap ones from Amazon—note my affiliate link), and elevates a good idea to a memorable one by offering free printable labels at I Heart Nap Time.


In case we don’t talk again before the dopamine kicks in, have a great holiday!

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.