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Thanksgiving Menu

I have finally nailed down my menu and would love any input on what may be missing, if I have too much, not the right mix, etc. I am having 20 people and guests are bringing the following dishes along with wine:

2 Appetizers
Sweet Potatoes
2 Cold Vegetable Sides
3 Desserts

This is what I am planning on serving:


Goat Cheese w/Olive Oil, Lemon & Thyme
Assorted Nuts
Roasted Vegetable Platter
Assorted Dips (Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Muhammara)
Italian Breadsticks & Toasted Pita


Hazelnut, Sage & Mushroom Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

My family is not big on the cranberry thing, but I am having my boyfriend's family as well - should I perhaps serve something along these lines?

Any input would be appreciated. I feel like I've looked at it for too long and might be missing a necessary element to make the meal complete :-)


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    1. I would have some kind of cranberry relish - my favorite has candied ginger and toasted slivered almonds. It does sound good though!

      2 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        I'm a sucker for almonds. Would you consider sharing this recipe?

        1. re: chowkari

          Sure - it's very easy. I just follow the directions on the back of the bag of cranberries for the 'regular' sauce. I buy good Australian ginger 'coins' (Williams Sonoma has a good one), slice the coins in half, then julienne. I add to the made sauce, and like to make it a couple of days ahead of time so that the ginger flavor really sinks in. I'm absolutely no help about how much ginger to add, but if you make it ahead of time, add 'some', taste, etc., add more. The toasted slivered almonds are added right before serving, so that they remain crunchy.

      2. It sounds good. If you want to make it easier on yourself, I'd eliminate one of the roast vegetable dishes, either the roasted vegetable platter as appetizer or roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Since you're having so many dips, you could also go with a raw vegetable platter w/ more unusual vegetables. Or not do vegetables at all as a starter, and have assorted nuts with coated grapes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          I think this menu is nice but a bit heavy, even for Thanksgiving. I would add raw cherry tomatoes and raw yellow pepper strips with the roast veggies, and either a (small) arugula or sionach and apple salad course, or a small fruit sorbet after the main course. then do some dishes or argue about the meaning of life for a while, before dessert.

        2. There will just be the 2 of us. I am roasting a goose. I want the goose fat. I've not worked out the rest of the menu but as a friend of mine renamed my cranberry sauce as Come to Jesus Sauce, I substitute the water for wine in making cranberry sauce, that will definitely be on the table.

          1. I think you're a bit heavy on apps, not that they don't sound good. If it'd make it any easier on you I'd say ditch the dips or breadsticks and pita. Maybe ditching the breadsticks and pita would be best, don't want people to fill up on bread when you're making all that other good food!

            1. If you're not crazy about cranberries, this would be a good relish for the turkey and it's easy, too:


              1. If your guests are bringing appetizers, I'd bag the roasted vegetables and the dips, and the breadsticks - just the toasted pita with the goat cheese, and the nuts, and whatever they are bringing.

                I'd like to see a greener vegetable - green beans with almonds are always good, and I do a saute of whole green beans, red bell pepper strips, and black olives with some lemon zest which goes well.

                And yes, do a cranberry sauce or relish. You can cheat and take the canned whole berry sauce and add a bunch of grated orange zest, a little minced jalapeno, and a little bit of grated white onion.

                1. Thanks everyone for the input. I will definitely add a cranberry relish. I was leaving out green beans because I typically cook them on the stovetop and I wanted to leave that open for gravy and be able to just pop in stuffing and a roasted vegetable dish to the oven after removing the turkey. I don't really know what others are bringing so it makes it a bit tough.

                  I am considering adding a salad as well and will likely swap from roasted vegetables to crudites for the appetizers.

                  Thanks again!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chowkari

                    Chow, we do a radicchio, blue cheese, roasted pear, toasted pecan and lettuce salad with raspberry vinaigrette. Everyone loves it and they request it every year. If you want the vinaigrette dressing, let me know.

                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      I'd love if you'd share it! I love radicchio.

                      1. re: chowkari

                        The vinaigrette dressing is very easy. The key is to use good quality vinegar (buy mine from WF, found they are good and reasonable) and good quality EVOO. The key is proportion, I like 1 part vinegar to 3 parts EVOO.

                        1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
                        3/4 cup EVOO, extra virgin really is needed here
                        1 T good Dijon mustard
                        s&p to taste
                        2 T finely chopped fresh herbs (I like tarragon, thyme), don't leave in longer than 6 hours
                        1 tsp very finely minced garlic
                        Put into screw top quart jar and shake very well. I always make just prior to serving.

                        You can roast the pears a day or two in advance, as well as toasted pecans. I use about 2 oz. finely crumbled blue cheese (Maytag). Enjoy!