Finding Inspiration in Warmth

By: Caitlin Van Horn

When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what's inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor's recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

When it comes to the fall, particularly Thanksgiving, I can only dwell upon a single word: warmth. Everything about the season exudes warmth, whether it be the earthy colors of autumn leaves, the comfort of family joined together or the late-fall harvest ingredients that make up such satisfying meals. The images above are a reflection of all that I cherish about the Thanksgiving season. Fresh herbs, warm bread, ripe seckle pears, hearty butternut squash soup and a carrot cake sure to trump any pumpkin pie — all of which are gluten-, grain- and processed sugar-free!

I love coming together as a family and sharing recipes new and old. For my family, we are particularly excited to share healthier takes on traditional dishes. Bread made with cashews or cakes made with almond flour are perfect for those who follow a gluten-free diet or just wish for a healthier option.

I am grateful for all of the wonderful dishes that make up the Thanksgiving feast, but it is the fellowship with my family and friends over a scrumptious meal that makes that one fine day something to be truly thankful for.

For more Thanksgiving ideas visit our Thanksgiving Inspiration Board Gallery.

Caitlin is a graphic designer and freelance photo stylist based in Birmingham, Ala. Her blog, Roost,  was born after she got married and needed a creative outlet to share recipes and ideas. Two years later it has become a full-blown passion, and her desire is to inspire others using healthy and creative alternatives in the kitchen.

Thanksgiving Favorites on Cooking Channel
Keep Reading

Next Up

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Candied Crunch and Amaretto Whipped Cream

When pumpkin is pureed, it has a custard-like texture, lending itself beautifully to cheesecake. For a nice contrast, add candied almond crunch and Amaretto whipped cream.

Kelsey Nixon Makes Thanksgiving Easy (No, Really)

Kelsey Nixon, creator of fast, affordable and easier-than-they-look meals, guides us through the thickets of Thanksgiving preparation.

Get a Grandfather's Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Granma Rolls

A grandfather from Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli shares his family's treasured Thanksgiving recipe for homemade dinner rolls.

Start Your Thanksgiving Meal with Maple Pecan Baked Brie

There is a simple solution to alleviate the stress of the most anticipated meal of the year: start with appetizers.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

Abide by these food safety rules for peace of mind during Thanksgiving, from prepping the feast to packing up the leftovers.

Pickled Cranberries: Not Your Grandmother's Cranberry Sauce

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Family, Friends and Heartwarming Comfort Food

Camille Styles shares her favorite Thanksgiving traditions, including how she plans to decorate the table, greet guests, add a special touch and unique twists on the food.

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here