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Thanksgiving Dinner ideas

TNC Nov 10, 2006 03:31 PM

Hello all. I'm starting this thread with my first pass thanksgiving dinner menu. I'd like everyone to chime in with either their menu, with references for recipes, or recipes they have followed with the best results for items on my menu. If it gets too long(I hope!!) I'll split it out into two topics.

Also, what is your 'must have' side on Thanksgiving? Mine is a plate mix of mashed potatoes, corn, and gravy.

My menu with -- recipe places for some items

-Cheeses (sharp cheddar, irish cheddar, one other – longmont cheese shop)
-Shrimp & cocktail sauce - Costco

-Brined Smoked Turkey(~12lbs) -- epicurious for brine
-Oven Roasted Turkey(~15-20lbs) -- open roaster w/lift out

-Corn(frozen, warmed w/salt, pepper, little garlic)
-Mashed taters
-Greens(collard, little mustard)
-green beans w/ almonds
-Salad with cranberries, oranges
-YAM-bilee w/ marsha mellows – maybe just fluff
-Corn Bread(one traditional, one chile’s and corn) -- betty crocker cb
-Mac n Cheese(homemade)
-Homemade Cranberry dressing -- back of cranberry package, less lemon
-Sausage Stuffing
-Wild Rice

-Cider – hot apple or Sparkling cider
-Egg nogg – rum yum yum

-Pecan Pie --
-Pumpkin Pie
-Ice Cream & Whipped cream – homemade fresh

-Champagne(White Star, need flutes)
-Riesling/Sauv B(have, might want one more Kim Crawford)
-Chardonnay(have 1 devils lair, 1 Indian Wells, might want to get more madfish)
-Pinot Noir(Have Williams Selyem, Sharecropper)
-Port(have, dessert)

-Case fat tire


  1. j
    Jcooks Nov 19, 2006 12:33 AM

    We have the same thing every year - it's our one constant! We will have 5 adults - each person gets to pick a side and a dessert.

    Champagne Turkey 14-16 pounds
    steamed brussel sprouts (hubby)
    breaded cauliflower (hubby and younger dau)
    sausage and chestnut stuffing (both daughters and me)
    apple and yam casserole (me)
    pecan topped sweet potatoe casserole (younger dau - this is new)
    petite peas with onions (son-in-law)
    smashed garlic potatoes (everybody!)
    Outback steakhouse bread (younger dau - hmmm she sure has a lot of requests!)
    pecan pie (hubby)
    Ruth Chris' dutch apple pie (daughters)
    pumpkin pie (me)
    straberry pie (son-in-law)

    A few years ago I made the drastic decision to us - gasp - canned gravy. It reduced my stress level enormously and I'm able to get everything on the table warm. My family couldn't care less!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jcooks
      gardencub Nov 19, 2006 09:59 PM

      Canned Gravy? Oh my... have you ever considered making a gravy early? I make sure we have turkey at least twice between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, usually only a hotel cut turkey breast. I save all the bones, skin etc and use them plus all my chicken necks and gizzards to make a rich stock and make my gravy from those. You can always stir in some pan drippings at the last minute...

      NO canned gravy and no stress...

    2. k
      kayandallie Nov 18, 2006 10:26 PM

      I'm only having six; one being a firm vegetarian.
      I'm having:
      oyster stuffing
      cranberry with other fruit stuffing
      cranberry sauce
      grits and greens casserole (from the book "Hissy Fit," of all things
      mashed potatoes (and Julia says that you can put them into a pot over simmering water to keep them, so long as you add only the minimum of cream, and then add the additional cream and butter when time to almost eat, to answer the question way up in the posts)
      vegetable tissame (for the vegetarian- from Mark Bittman's around the world cookbook- has sweet taters and loads of dried fruits and other veggies)
      some sort of sweet potato mashed thing
      butter beans
      corn pudding
      punkin pie
      walnut tart
      maybe a choc cake

      Can't wait! My kids will be home and must feed them well.

      1. e
        ejpnyc Nov 18, 2006 02:19 PM

        Still in the works, but here are some of my sides:

        Cranberry-Orange Relish
        Corn Muffins w/ Jalopenos + Parmesean Cheese
        Mashed White + Sweet Potatoes
        Wild Rice with Pecans and currents (or dried apricots?)
        Green Beans w/ butter and almonds (or ginger butter?)
        Possibly Peas w/ fresh mint
        Possibly Green Salad w/ Pear and Red Onion

        1. c
          Chowsmurf Nov 15, 2006 06:33 PM

          Here's mine- waiting for the So to tell me how many people we'll be having! The real challenge this year is I am making/prepping at home and just heating/finishing touches elsewhere. It really will be like I'm catering T-Giving!

          - Thai Spiced Mixed Nuts
          - Crostini with Fava Bean Puree
          - Mini Tasse of Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle Crema
          - Another app of some sort, or maybe just a nice cheese plate
          - Apple Cider Brined Stuffed Turkey Thigh with Applewood Smoked Bacon Stuffing
          - Proscuitto-wrapped Stuffed Turkey Breast with Sausage Stuffing
          - Roasted Garlic and Creme Fraiche Mashed Potatoes
          - Roasted Sweet Potatoes with rosemary and sage
          - Sausage stuffing of some sort
          - Traditional Turkey Gravy (made with browned turkey wing and neck stock, since I'm not doing a whole bird.)
          - Chipotle Cranberry Compote
          - Roasted Asparagus with Crispy Shallots
          - Spinach souflee of some sort
          - Buttermilk Pie
          - Pumpkin Pie
          - Dark chocolate chip butterscotch blondies with bourbon caramel crema (Recipe from Cooking Light, actually! )
          - House-mulled Apple Cider with Dark Rum

          1. Dommy Nov 15, 2006 06:22 PM

            We are splitting thankgiving this year because of work schedule... The menu is still evolving (Because of my post last night and the Food section of the LAT just came out... but here's what we are thinking...

            Thanksgiving Day:


            * Portuguese Kale Soup... Not sure what recipe yet... or we might do this Seafood Stew:



            *BBQ California Lobster:


            *Oyster Stuffing (Also still looking for a recipe!


            *Cranberry, Apple and Jicama Salad (thanks RW!):


            I'm not sure of the Veggie side yet...


            * Buttermilk Blueberry Tart (thanks Candy!



            Then on Saturday we're going over to the parents house...


            * Pumpkin Soup (Not sure which yet)


            * Prime Rib (can't wait!! :)


            * Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding (This JUST came out in the times today and it seems the PERFECT accompaniment)


            * Coll's awesome Cranberries with Gran Marnier


            * Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts (Own recipe! :)



            Habanero Cheesecake (Which we already made here):


            We'll be having lots of Champagne including some wonderful Sparkling Red from Australia! :)


            1. b
              Beach Plum Nov 15, 2006 04:38 PM

              Intuitive Eggplant, are you willing to share the recipe for carmelized onion and cheddar dip? That sounds great.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beach Plum
                intuitive eggplant Nov 15, 2006 11:49 PM

                Sure. The caramelized onion and white cheddar dip is at:


                I thought I'd add fresh rosemary instead of the cloves and nutmeg in the recipe.

              2. a
                AGM_Cape_Cod Nov 12, 2006 12:04 PM

                It is so interesting to see other family's traditions listed on this thread. My mother (81) has been hosting Thanksgiving since forever and complains that she can add things to the menu but not remove. This year I will be making Thanksgiving dinner for 22 at her house (1/2 hr away) since she just had a rotator cuff operation. It isn't a problem for me except that Friday I have 30-40 people coming to my house for a Chinese Banquet.
                So far this is the menu for Thanksgiving (which looks simple compare to many of yours)

                Crudite & dips
                Hot Crab Dip with pita chips

                2 Turkeys with Gravy
                One with our traditional Sausage & Chestnut stuffing and the other with a meatless stuffing I have yet to decide on
                Green Bean Casserole with Curried Breadcrumbs
                Brussel Sprouts with Red Wine, Garlic & Shallots
                Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cider Syrup & Craisins
                Pearl Onions in a Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
                Mashed Carrots & Turnips

                Apple Pie
                Pumpkin Pie
                Pecan Pie
                and I can't decide about what to do to replace the Lemon Meringue Pie my sister used to bring before she moved and now flies to Thanksgiving.

                1. i
                  intuitive eggplant Nov 12, 2006 02:33 AM

                  I’m cooking for six adults, and some restrictions on the dietary preference front. One couple does not eat white bread, white potatoes, or white rice. Three of us cannot bear sweet potatoes. So I have to get creative with sides. Dad is not crazy about turkey, but has vetoed my suggestions to try duck, so I was debating between pork and an “interesting” turkey breast recipe. Thanks to the comments here, I am inclined to adapt the Prosciutto-Hazelnut recipe I already had my eye on to a turkey breast, which shouldn’t be difficult. However, I am intrigued by the Lucques Deviled Chicken Thighs if anyone could share the recipe.

                  Here’s where the menu stands so far:

                  Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Dip with Apples and Pumpernickel
                  Guest bringing another appetizer
                  Fried Garbanzos with Sage

                  Main Course:
                  Roast Turkey Breast with Prosciutto-Hazelnut Crust and Gravy
                  Spinach, Mushroom, and Artichoke Casserole
                  Red Pepper Halves Stuffed with Wild Rice, Corn, Leeks and Pine Nuts
                  Stuffed Celery Two Ways: with Pesto and with Smoked Gouda and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
                  Green Salad with Dried Cranberries, Red Onion, Orange, Blue Cheese & Parmesan Pecans with Citrus Vinaigrette

                  Mom makes the pies

                  P.S. I also highly recommend this Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing with Goat Cheese recipe, which I made last Thanksgiving. Very flavorful and a hit with everyone, although very rich (it actually has turned out to be a great brunch dish).

                  1. g
                    gardencub Nov 12, 2006 01:38 AM

                    Well this is my first post to Chow, not my first Thanksgiving. I am cooking for 12 family members, both sets of parents, mine and his and the rest.

                    My Menu is always in a state of flux until the night before but it looks like this so far.

                    Amuse Bouche: Roasted Tomato Soup with Asiago cheese, served in demitasse cups in the keeping room.

                    Salad of Irish Cheddar, port soaked dried cranberries, mixed bitter greens and an orange, port wine dressing.

                    Brined Roast Turkey: I use Alton Brown's recipe and it always works perfect
                    Turkey gravy
                    Mashed Potatoes with buttermilk
                    Sausage and giblet dressing with sage and thyme
                    roasted fall veggies with ginger and cardamon
                    (sweet potato, butternut squash, and turnip)
                    Nana's classic creamed onions with Brandied cream sauce
                    Apple and cranberry chutney

                    Dessert will be:
                    Apple and pumpkin Pies and a childhood favorite that my mom will bring; a very moistcarrot cake with pineapple and coconut in the batter.
                    cranberry nut bread

                    I always try to offer the family a few twists on old favorites. I found that offering the soup in the sitting room while I carve and serve keeps them all busy and out of my hair for about 20 minutes. Heavy starters or big plates of cheese etc only fill everyone up. I also try to move things around, one year we ate dinner on the sunporch at a huge long table for 14. Another year I set up 3 smaller tables one in both parlors and one in the dining room. It keeps the inlaws guessing and gives them something to talk about instead of picking at each other.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: gardencub
                      Rubee Nov 12, 2006 03:45 AM

                      Is Nana's a secret recipe? If not, I'd love to have it - my husband always requests creamed pearl onions and peas, and I have yet to find a recipe I like. This year I was going to try a new Food & Wine recipe (from a local chef) for pearl onions au gratin and add peas.

                      1. re: Rubee
                        gardencub Nov 16, 2006 12:16 AM

                        I have been making these onions since I was 15 and I just do it intuitively now. I will try to make notes this year and send them to you after I figure it out... Thanks for the interest. When I make them I remember Nana racing around the kitchen making about 15 different things at once, all of them great.

                      2. re: gardencub
                        howboy Nov 13, 2006 06:58 PM

                        Salad sounds great...can you flesh out the recipe a bit? TIA

                        1. re: howboy
                          gardencub Nov 16, 2006 12:21 AM

                          Ok here goes,

                          I use a mixe of frissee, endive, baby greens etc. whatever looks good in the market that day. I soak the dried cranberries in equal parts port and fresh oj. for about an hour before I make the salad. Drain and reserce liquids to make the dressing. I toss sliced tart apple, the greens, cranberries, sliced red onion, and some toasted walnuts. The dressing is a classic vinagrette but I use the OJ and port in place of the vinegar. I dress the salad, plate and top with crumbled Irish Cheddar. I have used pomagranate seeds on it as well.

                          My dressing has dijon mustard, finely diced shallots, Salt and Pepper and a mild Olive oil. I do not want the oil to compete with the port and Orange juice.

                          Hope this helps.

                        2. re: gardencub
                          KellBell Nov 14, 2006 01:04 AM

                          would you mind sharing the carrot cake recipe?

                          1. re: KellBell
                            gardencub Nov 16, 2006 12:22 AM

                            I will find the recipe and send it to you....its a funny old recipe from an old Church cookbook, but it is so moist, flavorful and it always disappears...

                            1. re: gardencub
                              KellBell Nov 20, 2006 02:13 PM

                              Great, thank you. I will keep an eye out for the recipe. And, I am definately going to try your salad recipe as well! =0)

                        3. JasmineG Nov 11, 2006 09:00 PM

                          So far, I'm tentatively making:
                          the Proscuitto/Hazelnut Turkey (that someone linked on another thread here)
                          Dressing (definitely cornbread and andouille, possibly oyster too)
                          Macaroni and Cheese
                          Rolls (possibly the Sweet Potato ones that, again, someone linked on another thread and/or regular dinner rolls)
                          roasted sweet potatoes or some sort of gratin
                          roast brussel sprouts with bacon and garlic
                          homemade cranberry sauce
                          some sort of green beans

                          My grandmother brings potato salad, and she makes the gravy (those are both non negotiable for grandma). Definitely pumpkin pie for dessert, and some sort of birthday cake (lots of November birthdays in my family), and possibly sweet potato. I've been wanting to make pumpkin cheesecake for years, but my family keeps revolting. I might try to make a little one this year if I can find a recipe that I can cut in half (and a small springform pan)...I've also been dying to make pumpkin ice cream, so maybe that too.

                          Appetizers aren't definite, and I'll probably play around with most of the vegetable dishes.

                          1. m
                            maviris Nov 11, 2006 07:09 PM

                            It's been a few years since I deep-fried turkey. We never brined. I didn't like the spicy injections because if it didn't distribute well, you'd end up with some parts overwhelmed with spice. We found a high-quality uninjected bird produced a tasty, juicy bird since the hot oil sears it and seals in the juices quickly (though the olive oil and fine herbs injection above sounds very good).

                            Since you mentioned that you are in the Boston area, I'll recommend one of my favorite poultry purveyors - Owen's Poultry Farms in Needham, MA. The birds are expensive, but very good. But IMHO their frozen turkey gravy is wonderful if you don't want to go to the trouble of making gravy when you don't have pan drippings. I keep their chicken and turkey gravies in my freezer at all times! I love most of the frozen poultry items they sell.

                            Our thanksgiving (at my MIL's house in AZ) will be small and simple with 5 adults. Still deciding, but current plan:

                            Parsnip Bisque (Epi)

                            Lemon-sage turkey with wild-mushroom gravy (an old favorite from Cooking Light http://www.cooking.com/recipes/static/recipe5149.htm
                            )Three-onion stuffing (Epi)
                            Mashed potatoes
                            Roasted vegetables (probably brussel sprouts)
                            Baked sweet potatoes (simple - in their jackets)
                            Cranberry relish or chutney
                            A "molded" salad of my MIL's choosing
                            Homemade Yeast rolls

                            Pumpkin ice-cream pie (something my SIL is making)
                            Dutch-apple pie (Bittman - How to cook everything)

                            *If we didn't already have two desserts I'd make the sweet potato pie recipe from (CI - The New best recipe). It's my recent favorite - I roast the sweet potatoes, add a drop of coconut extract, sub maple syrup for molasses). Someone has posted it: http://fullbleed.net/recipeblog/archi...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: maviris
                              Rubee Nov 11, 2006 09:45 PM

                              Thanks so much for the helpful info. Yes, I'm going to go with Greg Spence's suggestion above of injecting with olive oil and herbs. Thanks also for the great tip on Owen's in Needham - I'm definitely going to make a trip there!

                              1. re: Rubee
                                maviris Nov 11, 2006 09:55 PM

                                Just so you know - if you want a turkey from Owen's, you'll have to pre-order.... But all the wonderful frozen foods are there all the time (gravy, stuffed chicken breasts, pot pies, chicken fricasse - which I use as a base for chicken and dumplings - etc.).

                            2. b
                              bananie Nov 11, 2006 06:47 PM

                              Cheese and crackers
                              Carmelized onion dip and chips (sister always insists I make this)
                              Sugared Pecans, addictive
                              Mulled cider with spiced rum on the side

                              Start with either clam chowder or butternut squash soup

                              Sides to go with turkey:
                              Whipped sweet potatoes w/ brown sugar-pecan topping
                              Leek and wild mushroom stuffing (soooo good)
                              Mashed potatoes w/ roasted garlic
                              Creamed Spinach
                              Fried corn and onions
                              Blue cranberry sauce (blueberries secret ingredient)
                              Corn bread, maybe pumpkin bread too

                              Desert tbd, thinking of making some sort of trifle with gingerbread

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: bananie
                                megek Nov 11, 2006 10:51 PM

                                I am tempted by your soooo good leek and mushroom stuffing. Would you mind posting?

                                1. re: megek
                                  bananie Nov 12, 2006 02:27 PM

                                  Sure, it's a Bon Appetit/Epicurious recipe


                                  1. re: bananie
                                    Katie Nell Nov 14, 2006 02:13 PM

                                    I was checking out this recipe for our Thanksgiving meal after you posted this and did you see the review at the end of the recipe?!? It says they subbed pumpkin bread for the baguettes!!! Ick! Sometimes those reviews amaze me!

                              2. k
                                kolgrim Nov 11, 2006 02:41 PM

                                My Menu this year is still up in the air but I am thinking it will look something like (I'm Feeding 12-15):

                                Carmelized onion, fig and feta in Phyllo Purses
                                Banana Cheese Empinadas

                                Smoked Turkey (8lbs)
                                Chicken Mole
                                Carnitas and Chard Tamales
                                Cornbread, Sage and Sour Cherry Stuffing
                                Basic Mashers (I sleep on the couch if there are no basic mashers)
                                Sweet potatoes cooked with cardamom, ginger, butter, grade B maple syrup and apple cider
                                Brussel Sprout Gratin
                                Mixed greens (Chard, Kale, Collards) with currants and garlic
                                Whole Salmon fillet (not sure how I am going to prepare it yet but maybe grilled with a coconut curry sauce)
                                Wild Rice Apple Walnut Pilaf
                                Whole Cranberry sauce
                                I think other people are bringing desserts but I may make truffles and a burnt almond, brown butter cake with a fangiapan filling and an amaretto butter cream frosting.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: kolgrim
                                  Rubee Nov 11, 2006 05:28 PM

                                  Ooh, I'm intrigued by the banana cheese empanadas. Recipe please!

                                  1. re: kolgrim
                                    rln Nov 13, 2006 06:19 PM

                                    I would love the banana cheese empanada recipe too! I want to make empanadas (never done) but would like a recipe that vegetarians can enjoy too.

                                    1. re: kolgrim
                                      Laura Jones Nov 14, 2006 11:32 AM

                                      Your sweet potato dish sounds fantastic. Could you direct us to the recipe? Actually, your whole menu sounds great! I'd also be curiuos to know about your mixed greens w/ currants and garlic.

                                    2. kate.s Nov 11, 2006 02:25 PM

                                      I am really excited about Thanksgiving this year, I am cooking for the first time and I can make whatever what I want! There is going to be five of us, three vegetarian including me, so I am going to make a more ‘non-traditional’ Thanksgiving. Most of the recipes I got from Martha Stewart’s November issue or from Epicurious.

                                      White bean dip and lentil pate with grilled toasts

                                      Devil’s chicken thigh with braised leeks (I am using Quorn chicken cutlets for the chicken) from Sunday Suppers @ Lucques

                                      Cauliflower gratin w/ endive
                                      Crusty breadsticks w/ rosemary
                                      Winter fruit chutney
                                      Roasted vegetables w/ balsamic- lemon vinaigrette

                                      Steamed persimmon pudding

                                      I am not quite sure what kind of wine I am getting yet, I need to go talk to my wine store people.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: kate.s
                                        celeste Nov 11, 2006 02:43 PM

                                        I made the Devil's chicken thighs on braised leeks for a dinner party several weeks ago and it's a great choice for Thanksgiving. It tastes like comfort food yet fancy at the same time.

                                        1. re: kate.s
                                          maviris Nov 11, 2006 06:32 PM

                                          Would you be willing to share the cauliflower gratin recipe? TIA

                                          1. re: maviris
                                            kate.s Nov 13, 2006 04:44 PM

                                            Here is the link to the recipe.


                                            1. re: kate.s
                                              maviris Nov 13, 2006 07:40 PM

                                              kate.s - Thanks for the link. It looks even better than it sounds!

                                        2. onefineleo Nov 11, 2006 12:28 PM

                                          Here's what I made last year for 12 of us, and it was lovely. I will tweak it a bit this year, just to avoid my own boredom, but I think it's great as is. Most recipes can be found on epicurious.

                                          Tete de Moin (a cheese)
                                          Endive with Smoked Trout and Herbed Cream Cheese

                                          Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream
                                          Roast Turkey (from Silver Palatte, works everytime)
                                          Maple and Tangerine-Glazed Carrots
                                          Brussels Sprouts with Marjoram and Pine Nuts
                                          Wild Mushrooms with Chestnuts and Thyme
                                          Winter Fruit and Nut Stuffing
                                          Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Shallots and Port

                                          Tiramisu Trifle with Toasted Almonds

                                          All can be made ahead (a must....I don't know how people cook while guests are there. I have ultimate respect for that....way beyond my comfort zone).

                                          Happy Thanksgiving!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: onefineleo
                                            zook Nov 11, 2006 03:21 PM

                                            Could you please post your carrot and stuffing recipes? TIA

                                            1. re: zook
                                              onefineleo Nov 11, 2006 09:37 PM

                                              Hi Zook: My eldest son, now in college, would not forgive me if I didn't make the carrots. The tangerine sauce is sensational. The stuffing is sophisticated and delicious. If you make one or both, let me know what you think.


                                              I see that the winter fruit and nut stuffing didn't get copied for me to paste (I guess I don't know how to do more than 1). Just look the stuffing up on epicurious.com.

                                              1. re: onefineleo
                                                zook Nov 12, 2006 01:06 AM

                                                Thanks, Leo. I've added the carrots to my menu for this year. They sound too good to pass up. The stuffing will be tried some other time as I need to use one of my crockpot stuffing recipes this year due to lack of oven space/time.

                                            2. re: onefineleo
                                              TNC Nov 11, 2006 11:38 PM

                                              Yessss!!!! More recipes that I probably would not have found w/o this post. Thanks for posting these....That butternut squash soup piqued my interest, and it was added to the menu.
                                              The carrots are going to have to be added, as well. Someone else said it best...
                                              "I love it when a plan comes together!"

                                              Thanks again,

                                            3. macca Nov 11, 2006 11:44 AM

                                              We go traditional, for the most part. There will be about 20 of us. I do the desserts and meal, my family guests supply the appetizers. As you can see, we are vegatable lovers!

                                              Appetizers: Mexican dip, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, clam chowder, chips, cheese, dips and stuffed mushrooms

                                              Mashed pototoes
                                              Green Beans
                                              Butternut Squash
                                              Sweet Potatoes
                                              Creamed Cauliflower and Onions
                                              Moms Cabbage Salad
                                              Asparagus (added to please my 5 yo nephew)
                                              Cranberry sauce - both homemade and canned

                                              Apple Pie
                                              Blueberry Pie
                                              Lemon Meringue pie
                                              Pumpkin or squash pie
                                              Am also toying with some kind of chocolaty thing. Love these boards for ideas

                                              1. beetlebug Nov 11, 2006 01:59 AM

                                                I change my menu every year. Well, I should say, for turkey day, most of the recipes are experiments. This year is no exception. The only repeat will be the garlic rosemary mashed potatoes. I am going to change the technique though. I will try Marcella's potato cooking method, ricer and all, with my way of making potatoes. I usually boil the potatoes in chicken broth with the garlic. I warm the rosemary with half and half, then toss it in after the butter.

                                                The only thing I haven't quite decided on is which turkey, stuffing and gravy recipe to use. If I get more than 10 guests, I am going with JK Grence the Comic Jester's link below:


                                                Butternut squash and apple bisque (I may change this, I'm not enamored with it, but it looks pretty good).


                                                Rosemary garlic mashed potatoes
                                                Roasted sweet potato wedges with bacon vinaigrette
                                                Cauliflower with mustard lemon butter
                                                Brussel sprouts with shallots and wild mushrooms

                                                Pumpkin tiramisu
                                                Banana cream pie
                                                Chocolate pistachio torte with chocolate ganache

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: beetlebug
                                                  josheva Nov 11, 2006 02:40 PM

                                                  My mother-in-law (on my husband's recommendation) made Tyler Florence's turkey for about 22 people last year and it was a huge hit! Here's a link to the recipe: <a href=http://www.topcomments.com><img src=http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r114/tcbm7/img/alcohol/04.jpg title="MySpace Comments" border=0></a><br><left><a href='http://www.topcomments.com'>&... size="2">MySpace Comments</font></a></left>

                                                  It's a maple-roasted turkey with sage and smoked bacon. I would not be lying when I say that it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten!

                                                  1. re: josheva
                                                    Rubee Nov 11, 2006 05:25 PM

                                                    I just saw that turkey on FoodTV. That bird looked so beautiful coming out of the oven, I was tempted to change my menu.

                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                      josheva Nov 11, 2006 08:03 PM

                                                      It is delicious and was a huge hit! If I were making Thanksgiving dinner this year, I'd use it. :)

                                                    2. re: josheva
                                                      beetlebug Nov 11, 2006 09:08 PM

                                                      Thanks. This looks great. It's on the short list. I'm really intrigued by the bacon on top of the turkey.

                                                  2. chowser Nov 10, 2006 07:47 PM

                                                    Wow, that's a feast! I really like Cook's Illustrated Pecan Recipe. I have the problem they tried to solve that when you cut the pie, the pecan pieces don't cut but get pressed into the pie. They have you chop the pecans first. Doesn't look the same but it tastes great. As corn bread goes, I really like spoon bread. It's easier to eat and not as dry. For corn, I love Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn. I've baked it, too, and it's really good. For shrimp and cocktail sauce, I like Costco's big shrimp (if you aren't planning on making it, they have a frozen precooked-- I can't remember the number per pound, maybe 12?) but I don't like their cocktail sauce. I have a recipe for a cranberry salad-ish that's made with whipping cream, cranberries, pecans (can't remember what else). If anyone wants,I can post that or the C.I. pecan pie recipe.

                                                    As for what we're having, my SIL is hosting this year so that means queso dip for appetizer (can of cheese whiz, can of chili dumped in a crock pot) with nachos, dry turkey, Stove top stuffing, green bean casserole, potatoes au gratin (sliced potatoes, cream on top--that's it), gravy from a jar, oh, but there will probably be mashed potatoes from scratch!

                                                    1. d
                                                      Diane in Bexley Nov 10, 2006 07:13 PM

                                                      Here is our Thanksgiving menu: appertizers - cocktail meatballs in chili/BBQ sauce (freeze and cook overnight in crockpot!), shrimp w/ cocktail sauce Salad - frisee/radiccio lettuce with blue cheese, toasted pecans & sliced pears w/ balsamic mustard vinaigrette, main - brined roasted turkey, do ahead mashed potatoes with cream cheese, sour cream & chives, roasted root vegetables (sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips, onion) with maple syrup glaze, stuffing with corn bread, celery & mushrooms, carmelized brussels sprouts with shallots, and dinner rolls. this year I decided to "outsource" dessert (bakery): pumpkin pie, pear frangipangi tart and choclate chambord mousse cake. Then we retire to the family room, unzip our pants and watch football!

                                                      1. Rubee Nov 10, 2006 04:20 PM

                                                        Wow! What a menu for your first Thanksgiving - I'm impressed, can I come?

                                                        Here's my changing menu (about 10 people). Having a postage-size galley kitchen in downtown Boston, I really have to plan ahead. Trying to figure out if I should add that Sweet Potato Gratin with Chipotles. Questions: Has anyone tried keeping mashed potatoes warm in a crockpot? Also will be trying my first deep-fried turkey with a new electric turkey fryer. How important is brining and type of turkey with this method? And what's a good injection flavoring recipe?

                                                        Baked Brie en croute with cranberry compote
                                                        Blue cheese and caramelized shallots dip with rosemary chips (Epi)
                                                        Herbed Marinated Jumbo Cocktail Shrimp


                                                        Deep Fried Turkey
                                                        Do-Ahead Gravy
                                                        Grand Marnier, Apricot, and Chestnut Stuffing (Silver Palate)
                                                        Mashed potatoes with caramelized leeks and fresh thyme
                                                        Braised Carrots with Parmesan (Hazan)
                                                        Peas and Pearl Onions Au Gratin (adapted F&W p.257)
                                                        Jellied cranberry sauce
                                                        Cranberry sauce with Marsala, Rosemary, and Cherries (FunwithFood)

                                                        Cream Cheese Biscuits (frozen Meetinghouse 72-layer)
                                                        Crescent Rolls

                                                        Brandied Pumpkin pie (Epi)
                                                        Anybody have a favorite cheesecake recipe that can be adapted to mini-cheesecakes?

                                                        17 Replies
                                                        1. re: Rubee
                                                          TNC Nov 10, 2006 05:27 PM

                                                          If you're in Co, sure :-) Not first thanksgiving, but first pass at the menu. I'm a shameless thief of good ideas for dishes or recipes, which is the reason I started this thread.

                                                          And I'm going to steal your Brandied pumpkin pie idea, because it sounds more interesting than the recipe I've followed before.

                                                          1. re: TNC
                                                            Rubee Nov 10, 2006 07:25 PM

                                                            Well, I won't be in the neighborhood, but I'll take a shipment of leftovers. : )

                                                            1. re: TNC
                                                              Dommy Nov 15, 2006 08:11 PM

                                                              Yes! Thanks for starting this thread!! Although I went ahead and posted my menu before I checked everyone elses... but I have to ask RUBEE--

                                                              Is this the recipe you are modifying? I think this would be another perfect dish with the prime rib because SO loves pearl onion dishes. :) (With peas instead of edamame)



                                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                                Rubee Nov 20, 2006 03:06 AM

                                                                Hi Dommy!. Ooh, that recipe sounds great, but no, this WAS the recipe I was going to make (especially because Barbara Lynch is the chef at my favorite restaurant in Boston)


                                                                but my husband looked at my menu and said "gratin? what happened to my plain old creamed peas and onions".

                                                                HA. Every year he wants it simple and I try to doctor it up so I like it. So now am contemplating doing a basic recipe and just adding some caramelized shallots. Though I'm quite intrigued by Gardencub's Nana's creamed onions with brandied cream sauce.

                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                  Dommy Nov 21, 2006 06:55 PM

                                                                  Thanks Rubee!! Whee!! :)


                                                            2. re: Rubee
                                                              hopalong Nov 10, 2006 06:21 PM

                                                              this thread will be very helpful for me since i'm doing thankgiving for 25. yikes! have done it the last few years but never for so many.

                                                              also, being a shameless recipe thief - i'm totally stealing your blue cheese dip idea. anything that can be made ahead is key.

                                                              some thoughts about desserts - last year i made sweet potato pie and i thought it was better than pumpkin (sweet potatoes are way more manageable than fresh pumpkin and have a way better texture than canned pumpkin). just a thought.

                                                              also, i made this cheesecake for a christmas party last year and it was fabulous and very easy. i substituted red currants for the strawberries. it was nice to look at too:


                                                              1. re: hopalong
                                                                Rubee Nov 10, 2006 07:29 PM

                                                                Thanks for the cheesecake recipe! I just bought this mini-cheesecake pan because it was half-price, and wondering what I can do with it that isn't pumpkin.


                                                                And that blue cheese dip is great - one that quickly became a crowd favorite. Dad even requested it for both his birthday and anniversary this year. It's even better two days ahead.

                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                  Spencer Nov 10, 2006 11:55 PM

                                                                  I made an interesting cheesecake last T'giving, called pecan pie cheesecake. You buy a frozen already cooked pecan pie- slice it
                                                                  in 6 slices. Place the slices onto the cheesecake crust inside to spriing pan. Then you pour the cheesecake stuff over the slices of pie, covering it. I made a rum sauce with pecans, butter, and brown sugar to spoon over the served slices.

                                                              2. re: Rubee
                                                                Greg Spence Nov 10, 2006 07:32 PM

                                                                It's important that you don't brine a turkey you're going to fry. The added moisture could cause the fat to boil over and besides, it's unnecessary. By injecting and frying, you're going to have a really juicy bird. My favorite injection is olive oil flavored with fines herbs. It's subtle and won't overpower the rest of your thanksgiving flavors the way that most of the spicy/garlicy injections will.

                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                  coll Nov 11, 2006 11:09 AM

                                                                  I was just given one of those tabletop Sabrett hot dog carts with 4 steamer inserts and am planning on using it Thanksgiving to keep my mashed potatoes and stuffing and 2 of the veggies warm while I make the gravy and carve the turkey (unfortunately good help is hard to find around here). I expect it to work out great, and I could see a crock pot working here too. It lowers my stress level just thinking about it.
                                                                  I'm also planning on trying the Chipotle Sweet Potato recipe, and since I just got back from upstate with a bushel of beautiful Winesapp apples, was thinking of putting some quarters of that in it too. Anyone who's already made it, do you think that would work out?

                                                                  1. re: Rubee
                                                                    ElizabethS Nov 11, 2006 12:35 PM

                                                                    My friend often makes the Apricot/Grand Marnier stuffing from Silver Palate - it's very good.

                                                                    What is do ahead gravy? Do you have a recipe you could share?

                                                                    Already had my Thanksgiving Dinner (Canadian!)

                                                                    1. re: ElizabethS
                                                                      Rubee Nov 11, 2006 05:21 PM

                                                                      I linked to a recipe below for the gravy that is basically what I do( though instead of butter, I usually have schmaltz or rendered chicken fat on hand). I started doing it when I bought a deep-fried turkey, but now I always make it beforehand. If I roast a turkey, I just add the pan juices to the gravy.


                                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                                        bananie Nov 11, 2006 08:34 PM

                                                                        Thanks for posting this link! My least favorite part is running around like a crazy person at the end trying to get everything out on the table and making the darn gravy at the same time!

                                                                        1. re: bananie
                                                                          Susanbnyc Nov 15, 2006 11:31 PM

                                                                          Now this is HANDY information! How far ahead can yu make it? Will it refrigerate overnoght and heat up well the next day?

                                                                          1. re: Susanbnyc
                                                                            Rubee Nov 20, 2006 02:58 AM

                                                                            I missed this - sorry for the late answer. I've actually made it weeks ahead and froze it. Yes, you can freeze gravy (I just found this out in the last couple of years!). This year, I made the stock last weekend and froze it. Defrosted this weekend, and am making the gravy tomorrow.

                                                                    2. re: Rubee
                                                                      Laura Jones Nov 14, 2006 11:27 AM

                                                                      Hi there,

                                                                      I just looked in my Silver Palate book to find the Apricot and Chestnut stuffing, and couldn't find it in the index or chicken chapter. Could you please direct me to the page number, it sounds very tasty!

                                                                      1. re: Laura Jones
                                                                        Rubee Nov 14, 2006 03:41 PM

                                                                        Hi! I should have said it's in the Silver Palate "Good Times" Cookbook. Grand Marnier Apricot Stuffing, page 285 (I use the exact recipe but add chestnuts,some Bell's seasoning, and a couple TB of chopped parsley or sage).

                                                                        Recipe here:


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