Thanksgiving Dinner...To Cook or Not To Cook?

Sandy Springs restaurants will do the cooking for you.

Several fine restaurants in Sandy Springs will be open Thanksgiving Day should you decide not to cook. They include: , and . For you vegetarians and vegans, will be closed, but is taking orders for gourmet Thanksgiving dinners to be picked-up Nov. 23.

As much as I love to cook, I’m actually debating whether to go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Some may consider it a sacrilege if the turkey doesn’t come out of your own oven; others may be sitting on the same fence with me. 

Perhaps, you even share some of these thoughts going through my mind:

It’s taken two long months on Weight Watchers to lose six pounds. I don’t want to blow it on Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Cooking- Cooking at home will allow me to know what ingredients are in my food and better control what I eat. (I hope my Weight Watcher’s leader is reading this.)
  • Eating Out- There will be no excuse to nibble while cooking. I’ll be more inclined to eat less since it’s too embarrassing going back for seconds or thirds at a restaurant buffet.

Is it worth the effort to cook and clean-up with only three at the table this year?

  • Cooking- I’ll get to experiment with new recipes.  With less people to please, I’ll only make ones we really enjoy reducing the mess and clean-up. 
  • Eating Out- On the other hand, at least one day this year my family will be spared guinea pig status and the nagging kitchen duties lingering after the big meal.

Will we miss the hypnotic aroma of roast turkey filling the house? What about all the great left-overs?

  •  Cooking-  I haven’t found Roasted Turkey scent air fresheners on the market so cooking is the only way to create that distinctive aroma. Also, nothing beats left-over turkey sandwiches with tangy mustard mayo Durkee dressing or the rich flavor of homemade soup using a roasted turkey carcass.
  • Eating Out- If we go to a place with a set menu, I could save room to sample all the other goodies by eating a little less turkey. I’ll box the rest to-go and enjoy recapturing that turkey aroma when reheating the left-overs at home. (Another Weight Watcher brownie point!)

Maybe I’ll see you dining out on Thanksgiving Day; or maybe not.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumn Ribbon Salad with Cider Vinaigrette                                    serves: 8

This festive fall salad is a family favorite for Thanksgiving. Colorful, crunchy ribbons of carrots, butternut squash, celery and Granny Smith apple mixed with salad greens, pomegranate seeds, candied walnuts and cheese are fabulous with cider vinaigrette.


1 (1lb.) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 6 inch x 2 inch sticks

1 bunch celery

1-2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into quarters

2-3 large carrots, peeled

¼ tsp. Kosher salt

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese or crumbled goat cheese

½ cup candied walnuts

½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries

6 cups salad greens


2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. sparkling apple cider

1 tsp. honey or agave

6 Tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a secure lid. Shake well to mix.

For the salad ribbons, use a vegetable peeler to shave long strand of butternut squash, celery, apple and carrots. (It may be easier to lay vegetables on a cutting board and peel horizontally across to form ribbons.) Combine vegetable ribbons in a large bowl; add ¼ tsp. salt, tossing to combine. Add just enough vinaigrette to coat the ribbons; toss gently and let side for 10 minutes. Then, add ribbons to large bowl with salad greens. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, candied walnuts, cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Marilyn Baron November 15, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Beci, We'll be going out of town for a Family Thanksgiving but for the past few years we have always ordered the turkey and some other dishes and brought them in, supplementing that with a few of our own homemade dishes. The turkey is amazing, even better than homemade, so I guess it depends on where it's ordered from. Happy Thanksgiving.
Jane Keller November 15, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Happy Thanksgiving wherever you dine!
Esther Begle November 15, 2011 at 06:28 PM
It's nice to know we have options in Sandy Springs--if we decide to eat out :-)


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