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Thanksgiving 2011: What's on the menu?

It's "that time of year," as the cliche goes. What's on your menu for this Thanksgiving?

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  1. I will spending it at my parents. Here is the menu:

    onion dip
    cheese & crackers
    shrimp cocktail

    Roasted turkey with gravy
    Mashed Potatoes
    Sweet Potato
    Roasted Potato
    Classic Herb stuffing
    Green bean casserole
    Roasted butternut squash with pears & cranberries
    Creamed onions

    *Can you believe we are having (3) types of potatoes?! Gotta please everyone...lol!

    Apple pie
    Chocolate caramel pie
    Lemon meringue

    A variety of wines. I am brings a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir (Erath and Wild Horse)

    3 Replies
    1. re: hto44

      @hto44 I would love to hear more about the roasted butternut squash with pears and cranberries!

      1. re: Athena

        Here you go!

        Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Cranberries
        ~8-10 side servings

        2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
        1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
        1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
        1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
        1/8 teaspoon allspice
        2 pinches of kosher salt
        4 cups butternut squash chunks (roughly 1″ cubes)
        3 cups pear (Bosc) chunks (roughly 1″ cubes)
        1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
        2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

        Instructions -

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

        2. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.

        3. In a large bowl, toss together butternut squash, pears, and dried cranberries. Pour butter over it and sprinkle with sugar/spice mix. Toss until well distributed.

        4. Spread into a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and toss or stir. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the squash and pears are for tender. Check seasoning and serve hot.


        This dish can easily be made ahead of time, cooled, and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. When you want to serve it, heat it up in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot.

        1. re: hto44

          @hto44 - thank you so much for taking the time to post the recipe! I have cut and pasted it.

    2. Heading up to our cabin after work today…….

      Nice cheese plate along with some outstanding smoked meats
      Seared woodcock breast on a crustini with fresh goat cheese and mushrooms
      Pumpkin Martinis……..

      Dinner (nice and simple):
      Stuffing with apple and sausage
      Smashed Taters
      Brussels Sprouts with bacon and vanilla
      Boatloads of Gravy
      Crescent Rolls (my wife loves these) and homemade bread
      Corn in butter sauce for my friends who are on the fence on sprouts

      A few good growlers of beer…..plus some bottles of wine available….

      Dessert is whatever our friends bring…….

      Word is about 6-10” of snow today up there, wood is stacked and ready for the woodstove. Tomorrow will consist of a nice morning hunt with the dogs, cooking, football, beverages and a nice fire in the woodstove……….sounds perfect to me.

      10 Replies
      1. re: River19

        Sounds perfect to me too! Enjoy!
        Hope to celebrate like that one day with my family. Cabin, snow, dogs, fire....good food and friends.
        Gobble, gobble!

        1. re: River19

          Curious about those pumpkin martinis. I am not a pumpkin fan but maybe it's because I haven't tried drinking it yet...

          1. re: River19

            "Brussels Sprouts with bacon and vanilla"
            Now that sounds interesting! Vanilla? It is good, yes?

            1. re: RUK

              Roasted the sprouts in the morning in olive oil S&P like we normally eat them, then before dinner I cooked down some bacon and then scraped in some fresh vanilla and a drop or two of extract.........damn good. Go light with the vanilla as it can quickly overpower things. The little amount was perfect, worked well with the saltiness of the bacon. Will do again.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I had done something like this about 10years ago with greens and it turned out alright but I was too heavy on the sweet and abandoned the idea. I have come a long way since then in the kitchen and I recently saw something Flay did with the same types of flavors and it reminded me of my semi-successful attempt. So I busted out the idea again for Thanksgiving.

                    Since I roasted the sprouts ahead of time, I was able to chuck one in a bowl and drop a touch of vanilla in to see if the flavors worked as well as I thought they would. It also allowed me to figure out what a light touch with the vanilla was necessary, you can always add.

                    The bacon’s saltiness was a perfect complement to the sweet.

                    I’ll do it again sometime…..came out well.

                    1. re: River19

                      interesting. i would never have thought of that combination. but then again, i am not bobby flay. ;-).

                      1. re: alkapal

                        One of the best appetizers my wife and I ever had was an excellent execution of fresh lobster meat with a vanilla crème fresh served on the side……..sometimes vanilla and flavors similar to that can be a great accent. I’ve used a lavender powder as well before with decent results. Not sure where I scored that stuff, but it was cool to use……gone now….

                        1. re: River19

                          hmmm…well…the vanilla is possibly doable and i shall consider it next time i create a shellfish dish. i cannot do lavender, however, even though i love it in other applications -- just not my food. my first experience with lavender in food was a lavender creme brulee in the napa valley grill in yountville, ca, several years ago.

                          i just two weeks ago bought some nice salami with an herbs de provence rub, but had to be sure that it didn't have lavender in that version. (delicious salmi, by the way, and for locals, i got it at arrowine in arlington).

            2. Hosting it at my house for the first time this year! Here is our menu:

              Deviled Eggs
              Brie en Croute with Apples

              Turkey Breast
              Honey Baked Ham
              Spaghetti w/ Marinara (my husband won't eat ham or turkey)

              Salad with pear, pecans, and gorgonzola
              Corn Chowder
              White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
              Carrot Soufflé
              Apple and Sweet Potato Roast
              Stuffing Cups
              Roasted Brussels Sprouts
              Cranberry Sauce
              Parker House Rolls

              Pecan Pie
              Apple Pie

              Speaking of, I guess I better get off of Chowhound and on to my prep work. Happy Thanksgiving!

              1. We're going to friends
                not sure of the apps, but they will be minimal as we are all turkey focused.

                Turkey with oyster stuffing and giblet gravy

                cornbread dressing

                Sweet and sour cippolini onions

                Sauteed brussies with candied pecans

                Garlic mashed potatoes

                Baked yams

                Several kinds of cranberry sauce

                pumpkin/sweet potato pie

                Cranberry tart with shortbread crust and a layer of dark chocolate

                1 Reply
                1. re: magiesmom

                  magiesmom --- That tart sounds similar to the one I am making (good health gourmet's recipe) -- toasty oatmeal crust, dark chocolate and the cranberries. I'm so excited -- my first time making a tart! How do you make yours?

                2. We will be having mykids, my ex-husband and his girlfriend for over for dinner. Fiance's daughter, husband and child will be on hand for dessert.

                  The menu:
                  Kir Royale

                  Onion & Mushroom confit with Goat Cheese Tartlets
                  Spinach and Artichoke Dip with crackers and crudites
                  Good Old Trashy Pigs in a Blanket.

                  Roast Turkey
                  Sausage Stuffing
                  Mashed Potatos
                  Sweet Potatos
                  Green Bean Casserole
                  Chowhound's Butternut Squash/Celery Root Gratin
                  Brussels Sprouts, sauteed and topped with Candied Bacon
                  Mashed Turnips
                  Jellied Cranberry Sauce

                  Cheese Platter
                  Milky Brie
                  Brie with Grand Marnier and Citrus
                  Stilson with Cranberry
                  Brie with Cranberry

                  Pumpkin Roulade
                  Pumpkin Pie
                  Pecan Pie
                  Nutella Tart

                  Lots of good, "tastes like dirt" red wine,

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jarona

                    Wow. That's the testament to a very functional set of relationships. And the menu looks delish.

                    1. re: jarona

                      We have the super extended family gathering as well. My parents who have been divorced for 30 years will be there with their respective spouses. Also, my Uncle's ex wife will be joining us my Aunt's house. Just one big happy family. I think its awesome.

                      The onion mushroom tart sounds just wonderful.

                      1. re: Mattkn

                        I guess the mutual love of good food can be stronger than any other "incompatibilities" . Maybe we should deploy a bunch of chefs instead of troops wherever there is conflict :)

                    2. I should be shopping right now instead of sitting on CH. There's only going to be 5 of us though I keep trying to find "strays" to join us. Going very traditional this year!

                      Cheese plate - haven't decided which yet. I have a small cheese shop and will bring home some of what doesn't sell today. Brillat Savarin will definitely be one of them (not because it hasn't sold - because it's a treat).
                      Great local salami

                      Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey
                      Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Dressing (have made every year for about 8 years- love it)
                      Cranberry Sauce - haven't decided on recipe yet
                      Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
                      Mashed Potatoes
                      Gravy (made turkey stock last night for the gravy - a first for me)
                      Winter Fruit Salad (apples, pears, dried cranberries, romaine, cashews, poppyseed dressing)

                      Dried Apple Tart - (another family favorite and makes the house smell amazing)
                      Mud Pie (mom's bringing)

                      Lots of wine!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Sushiqueen36

                        Love the sound of Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Dressing. Wanna share the recipe? :o)

                        1. re: hto44

                          I would really like to peek at that recipe, too. I am not really a big fan of old-school stuffing. Theidea of this appeals to me, though.

                          1. re: peppermint_sky

                            Here you go - it was in Sunset Magazine years ago. Hope it's not too late I was working and didn't get back to CH til just now!


                            1. re: Sushiqueen36

                              Thank you, Sushiqueen. I might try that for Christmas, or even for a Sunday dinner before then. It reminds me of all of the goodness of a hot artichoke dip, but as a side dish.... yum! Thank you :)

                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                It is my favorite and I've never been a real stuffing fan either. It's my favorite dish now. It never goes into the bird - I like it crusty. I also like it best with a rustic sourdough bread rather than a softer one that gets too mushy.

                                1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                  Sushiqueen -- You might like this butternut squash gratin -- based on your comment about the crusty bread. I caramelized the squash per the recipe, used my own homemade broth, and roasted all of that on Thanksgiving Eve. Then yesterday I added the topping: rosemary bread (cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toasted in the oven until crunchy) and white cheddar cheese and some dried thyme. It was a HUGE hit and just one of those dishes where the result is a transformation of all of the individual ingredients.


                                  1. re: peppermint_sky

                                    That does sound really good! Might have to give it a try in the next week or two...

                      2. I always host, I love to and the ladies in my family were happy to pass the torch.

                        Goat cheese roll, rolled in smoked paprika
                        Variety of water crackers
                        Grapes, apples and pears
                        Veggie tray
                        Homemade Ranch dressing for dipping
                        Artichoke and jalapeño dip

                        Roasted turkey
                        Sourdough stuffing
                        Cornbread dressing with apple sausage and pecans
                        Salad with cranberries, feta cheese and pecans
                        Steamed green beans
                        Mashed potatoes, trying Yukons instead of red this year
                        Turkey gravy

                        Pumpkin pie
                        Apple pie
                        Pumpkin cheesecake
                        Real whipped cream

                        Asstd. Merlots and Chardonnays
                        Sparkling cider
                        Asstd. Italian Sodas and waters

                        I think that is it, but I probably forgot something.

                        1. Apps: Spanakopita I made last week and froze.

                          Roasted turkey
                          Sausage and apple stuffing
                          Mashed sweet potatoes
                          Fresh cranberry orange sauce

                          My friends are bringing vegetables and desert, but I don't know what they'll be. It should be good!

                          1. Here's the scoop chez moi:

                            Olive-Cheddar Balls
                            No-Knead Bread and Anchor butter
                            Cheese ball/crudites/hummus (brought by a guest)

                            Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey
                            Roasted Shallot, Fennel and Sausage Stuffing
                            Turkey Gravy
                            Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Caramelized Onions
                            Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts
                            Cranberry Sauce with Port and Figs
                            Butternut Squash and Kale with Olive Vinaigrette
                            Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel (another guest contribution)

                            Sour Cherry Pie
                            Apple Pie
                            Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
                            Chocolate-Salted Caramel Cake (guest contribution)

                            I've got pretty much everything prepped - all I have left to do is bake the pies tonight, then I'll assemble and bake/reheat most everything else tomorrow. In addition, we're having a "leftover" Thanksgiving on Saturday to include a friend who will be out of town on Thursday, and she's bringing Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, Creamed Onions and Chicken Liver Pate. I'm almost more excited about Saturday than I am about tomorrow!

                            1. Looks like I get the shortest menu this year! Because our family gathering is down to five, and Mrs. O has gone veggie on us, I decided that only the bird itself should be non-vegetarian. We will have a baked bread dressing with no critters or sausage in it, the potatoes (since there's no gravy) will be a sort of gratin Dauphinois with a layer of marinated artichokes between the two layers of potatoes and cheese. Brussels sprouts will be steamed, then cooked in a gratin dish with plenty of butter, and since Mom can't handle corn, and has hated any kind of squash soup since having to eat it during WW2, the other veg will be haricots verts, also with almost enough butter. Sorbet for dessert. No cranberries, no oysters, no pie. Plenty of wine, though!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Wha...wha...what? No gravy? But that (and stuffing) are the best part of Thanksgiving!

                                Tell you what, I'll consume extra gravy in your honor... :)

                                BTW, sorbet sounds perfect for dessert. As does the "plenty of wine" part.

                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                  I loove turkey gravy. I think making the stock this year will be the most time intensive part of the meal. I'll be cooking for my parents at their home, and none of us like dark meat turkey, so I butterflied the turkey and lopped off the legs and wings and roasted those pieces before simmering with veggies for around 8 hours. Honestly, if I had stuffing, mashed potatoes and good gravy, I probably wouldn't even care if I had turkey.

                                  1. re: gmm

                                    To all who have expressed concern, please note: nobody missed gravy (or if they did they were too polite to mention it), but gravy IS in the offing. This stunning tiny Diestel bird had giblets to die for, and left really good goop on the floor of the roaster, which got carefully scraped out into the gallon Zip that the carcass went into. All of these things will make a nice batch of gravy, which will be used to make a big batch of my beloved turkey hash (gravy, dressing and chopped meat). This will be parcelled out, labelled and frozen, so that whenever I'm feeling sorry for myself I can thaw some, pat it into a cake and fry it, then top it with an egg, and be all better right away.

                                    The potato thing did not turn out as well-organized as it was supposed to, coming out of the oven as a pan of potato cream soup. I just shovelled the solids and some cream out into a bowl, and it was delicious and well received. And of course it seems I put twice as much food back into the refrigerator(s) as I'd spent the day cooking, as always.

                              2. It is just my family of 5 - so a small celebration.


                                Queso and chips
                                Spinach dip and carrots
                                Cheese, sausage, slice apple and crackers


                                Brined and fried turkey
                                Cornbread dressing with chorizo
                                Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and chili pecans on top
                                Brussels sprouts gratin
                                Cranberry sauce with cilantro, green onions, and jalapeno
                                Cherry Coke salad
                                Pillsbury crescent rolls


                                Costco Pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: suburban_mom

                                  Which recipe are you using for the brussels sprouts gratin?

                                  and -- what is cherry coke salad?

                                  1. re: peppermint_sky

                                    Cherry Coke Salad: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bing-Che... . This is a recipe my MIL has always made so I make it for my husband and kids.

                                    The brussels sprouts gratin recipe is one I got from a friend. I'm not sure the origin. Here it is in the original form she gave me:

                                    2 lb. Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and outer leaves removed; sprouts cut in half through the stem end

                                    3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

                                    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

                                    1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or Panko

                                    1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese

                                    1-1/4 cups heavy cream

                                    Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the Brussels sprouts in a shallow baking dish that will hold them in a snug single layer (I use a big, high-lipped cookie sheet). Toss with 2 Tbs. of the melted butter, 3/4 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Spread them evenly in the dish and roast, tossing once or twice, until browned in spots and tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

                                    While the sprouts roast, combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 Tbs. melted butter and 1/8 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Mix in the Gruyère.

                                    When the Brussels sprouts are tender and browned, pour the cream over them and continue baking until the cream has thickened to a saucy consistency and coats the sprouts, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven (because I roast them on a cookie sheet, at this point, I put them in a 9x13 or casserole dish).

                                    Set the oven to broil and position a rack to 6 inches below the broiler. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture. Broil the gratin until the crust is deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Makes 8 side dish servings.

                                2. Apps: crab legs and shrimp w/ cocktail sauce & cilantro garlic sauce
                                  cranberry martinis
                                  Dinner: Dry brined turkey with some kind of apple cider glaze (on the Weber if no rain)
                                  Cornbread, chorizo, roasted corn dressing
                                  Sweet Potato souffle w/ chipotle and bacon
                                  Cranberry & Pineapple sauce with jalapenos and cilantro
                                  Shredded brussel sprouts w/ shallots
                                  Mashed Potatoes
                                  Gallons of Gravy

                                  Dessert: whatever someone brings
                                  Champagne & Pinot Noir to drink
                                  It will be a spicy thanksgiving at my house.

                                  And I too want the pumpkin martini recipe!!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: sparkareno

                                    Another vote for the pumpkin martooni recipe, please!

                                    Menu for us:

                                    Football game appetizers:
                                    bloody mary's
                                    relish tray: gherkies, dill pickles, deviled eggs, pickled okra, pickled tomatoes, pickled cauliflower, black olives, green olives
                                    salmon pate

                                    roasted turkey
                                    sage stuffing
                                    cranberry orange sauce
                                    Paula Deen's green bean casserole
                                    sweet potato bake
                                    seasoned sauerkraut (Baltimore tradition)
                                    turkey gravy

                                    pumpkin pie with pecan/hazelnut crust
                                    cranberry apple crisp
                                    pecan pie bites (figs stuffed with pecans)
                                    assorted cheeses
                                    red grapes
                                    Port, Coffee

                                    1. re: amyatkendall

                                      We always have sauerkraut salad at TG as well. Way out here in Oklahoma!

                                  2. i'm keeping it uncharacteristically simple this year as it's only 3 of us instead of the usual army:
                                    - herbed roasted turkey breast
                                    - garlic green beans
                                    - spiced cranberry compote/relish
                                    - turnip souffle
                                    - baked sweet potatoes
                                    - pumpkin custard
                                    - apple pie (the only thing i'm not making - Mom requested her fave from Balthazar Bakery)

                                    1. Just six of us at my place:
                                      Champagne brandy cocktail
                                      Shrimp cocktail
                                      Wild mushrooom and parsnip soup
                                      Uncured ham with molasses bourbon glaze
                                      Sausage fennel stuffing
                                      Mashed potatoes
                                      Spiced cranberry sauce
                                      Thomas Keller's green bean casserole
                                      Pumpkin bread pudding
                                      Secret treat I don't know about

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: sweetpotater

                                        Apple Cider Sangria
                                        Cheese Plate-three cheeses, fig spread, crackers, grapes and pears
                                        Artichoke Dip
                                        Puff Pastry Cups with Mushroom Duxelles

                                        Turkey with Gravy
                                        Cranberry Conserve
                                        Green Beans
                                        Mashed Potatoes
                                        Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Brulee

                                        Chocolate Cream Pie
                                        Pumpkin Pie
                                        Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

                                        1. re: foodie06

                                          Apple cider Sangria? Sounds yummy! Recipe please.

                                          1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                            The Apple Cider Sangria was fantastic. I made it with a reisling and substituted cognac for the brandy.


                                        2. re: sweetpotater

                                          Champagne brandy cocktail? Can you share the recipe? I'm intrigued.

                                        3. Thanksgiving for one here, so I'm deboning a turkey thigh and will butterfly it and stuff & roll it. I'll braise the bone in the oven with some carrot, celery & onion and that will be the base for my gravy.

                                          Sides will be a pureed sweet potato with chiles en adobo, a cauliflower, mushroom, goat cheese casserole, and a crisp, green salad with dried cranberries, bleu cheese & balsamic will start the meal.

                                          Not very exciting, but I really need to lose some weight and I can only eat so much. I'm trying to incorporate all of the "flavors of the season" and also keep a tight budget.

                                          7 Replies
                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                              Barbara, Could you share the recipe for the cauliflower, mushroom, and goat cheese casserole? Sounds great.

                                              And that menu does sound exciting, to me

                                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                It's a Bobby Flay recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

                                                He doesn't use mushrooms but how can some sliced criminis be bad?

                                              2. re: Barbara76137

                                                Wow, I think your menu sounds amazing! I love the idea of a deboned stuffed turkey thigh!

                                                1. re: Jen76

                                                  Here is the braised bone & veggies out of the oven as well as the stuffed thigh going into the oven:

                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                    almost opened a bad can of chiles en adobo! that's what I get shopping at discount stores!

                                                    Dinner smells wonderful!

                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                      Looks fantastic. I hope it was! I'm totally going to try the stuffed turkey thigh sometime. Yum!

                                                2. It's just me and my boyfriend this year, and possibly a neighbour and maybe another friend. Nevertheless...

                                                  warm sourdough bread
                                                  Swiss cheese
                                                  home cured olives
                                                  oil and balsamic for dipping

                                                  a 20lb turkey (we're looking forward to the leftovers)
                                                  sourdough stuffing
                                                  mashed potatoes
                                                  cranberry sauce with orange, pomegranate and cinnamon
                                                  sweet potatoes with maple syrup and chipotle
                                                  green beans with bacon
                                                  creamed corn with peppers and onions
                                                  more wine

                                                  pear pie with maple and ginger

                                                  If other people come, they might bring something as well.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                    You really must like turkey. I'm only making a 12 lb turkey for my family of 5.

                                                    1. re: suburban_mom

                                                      We actually bought this one because it was on sale for 1/3 the price of the smaller turkeys -- $10 instead of $30. But I'm sure we'll find a ton of good things to do with the leftovers!

                                                  2. Am cooking for husband, in-laws, my parents, my brother and his wife plus niece so here's the menu (no apps as everyone wants to just do heavy damage to the main meal):

                                                    Honey maple pork roast with bacon
                                                    Herbe des provence roast turkey
                                                    Apricot cranberry sauce
                                                    Roast caramelized carrots and zucchini
                                                    Arugula salad with lemon dressing
                                                    Garlic and rosemary roast potatoes
                                                    Twice baked sweet potato mash
                                                    Herbed shallot stuffing
                                                    Steamed corn

                                                    pumpkin pie
                                                    double crust apple pie
                                                    vanilla ice cream
                                                    chocolate ice cream
                                                    fresh homemade custard

                                                    all washed down with numerous bottles of wine and cocktails (sparkling apple juice for the niece)

                                                    1. It's Thanksgiving weekend for us this year. Going out tomorrow with friends for steaks but we had a mini-Thanksgiving tonight (and will bring leftovers in a cooler for the friends).

                                                      So tonight:
                                                      Dry champagne
                                                      Turkey liver pate (my first time! and fab!) on water crackers

                                                      12# turkey (in stages, in small convection oven)
                                                      Mashed potatoes
                                                      Stuffing with cashews
                                                      Steamed sweet potato rounds
                                                      Gravy with shallots and mushrooms
                                                      Green beans

                                                      Ginger poof (chocolate wafer/whipped cream log recipe)
                                                      Pumpkin pie and whipped cream

                                                      Later this weekend (Thu-Sun):
                                                      Cranberry sauce
                                                      Butter tarts (Canadian style)
                                                      Goat cheese/tomato tarts
                                                      Roasted hazelnuts

                                                      1. This year we are hosting my husband's family for the first time in our new home. We spent years traveling to be with far away family on the holidays and are pleased to finally be able to host. On the menu:

                                                        Free Range Turkey brined in Alton Brown's veggie stock concoction, then dried and rubbed with herbed butter (sage, rosemary & thyme) amplified with a bit of truffle oil -- massaged under the breast skin and on the skin elsewhere.

                                                        my attempt at recreating my Mom's sausage apple stuffing
                                                        mashed potatoes made with a bit of roasted garlic
                                                        whipped maple sweet potatoes
                                                        green beans with bacon/shallots
                                                        roasted asparagus
                                                        gravy made from 16hr slow simmered turkey stock
                                                        fresh cranberry/orange relish

                                                        Apple ginger pie
                                                        Pumpkin cheesecake

                                                        1. Peking Duck! LOL

                                                          And here's my Happy Thanksgiving shout out to you all! **
                                                          These chickens are happy because Mr. Turkey is on the dining table today. ;-).

                                                          **(Selected in honor of Gonzo winning the Tournament of Muppets):

                                                          1. …and a last minute desperate plea from the turkey lobby:

                                                            6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                good one, man! happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

                                                                remember, don't let the pavos get you down.

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  A tuyos tambien, feliz!
                                                                  I'm setting up for the roast duck, chestnuts are cooling, oysters are next. Enjoy the parade!

                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                    Yesterday I finally realized what "pavo" was in Spanish. I knew pato was duck, didn't know pavo was turkey. And of course I know pollo is chicken. What other poultry is this gringa missing?

                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                      The other most widely eaten birds are codorniz (quail), paloma (dove), and faisan (pheasant). If you get to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, try El Faisan Y el Venado - the pheasant and the deer - an old school Mayan restaurant.

                                                              2. Everyone at the dinner table has some Italian genes, from 25% to 100%, except me. If you know anything about an Italian holiday meal, you know that there are several courses served in a particular order. After the antipasto comes 'il primo piatto', the 1st course...pasta. I will not partake of pasta when there is stuffing (dressing) to be had. I see pasta so often during the year. Stuffing is on the menu only once a year.

                                                                BTW, I made fresh cranberry relish without water. The liquid used was pomegranate cranberry juice and Marsala.

                                                                Buon giorno ringraziamento tutti! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                  A mix carnivore/vegetarian thanksgiving so hopefully something for everyone. All the dishes except for the real turkey and its gravy are vegetarian.

                                                                  Spiced pecans
                                                                  Parsnip soup with caramalized apples
                                                                  Lemon roasted green beans with Marcona almonds
                                                                  Brussel sprouts with red wine vinegar and candied pepitas
                                                                  Vegetarian stuffing
                                                                  Mashed potatoes
                                                                  Sweet potatoes
                                                                  Glazed carrots
                                                                  Dry brined heritage turkey
                                                                  Gravy from chicken stock fortified with turkey drippings
                                                                  Homemade unturkey with its own gravy and stuffing
                                                                  Biscuits with compound butters
                                                                  Candied mandarin oranges
                                                                  Cranberry sauce

                                                                  Maple pecan pie
                                                                  Apple pie
                                                                  Chocolate cream pie

                                                                2. Going to brothers house, here's what I think the menu is

                                                                  Spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms
                                                                  Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato spread with crackers

                                                                  Pumpkin soup
                                                                  Roast turkey
                                                                  Herb stuffing
                                                                  Gluten free stuffing
                                                                  Albanian stuffing
                                                                  Sweet potatoes
                                                                  Brussel sprouts prepared some way
                                                                  Green beans with brie and walnuts
                                                                  Crustless quiche (for me, the veggie)
                                                                  Homemade apple cranberry sauce

                                                                  Apple pie
                                                                  Gluten free squash pie
                                                                  Pumpkin cheesecake pie
                                                                  Custard pie
                                                                  Cherry cheesecake pie

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Jpan99

                                                                    @Jpan99 - would really appreciate a recipe for the gluten free stuffing. I was trying to help out one of my co-workers yesterday with ideas on how to do that.

                                                                    To everyone - I have so enjoyed reading all your amazing menus - I am not American, but love reading about TDay menus - and poach ideas for Christmas dinner...

                                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                                      Jpan --

                                                                      How was the pumpkin soup? Pumpkin and squash soups are personal favorites in chilly weather... I usually roast the squash/pumpkin and transform it into a creamy puree with shallots/onion, garlic, homemade broth, and something like rosemary. Toasted squash or pumpkin seeds to adorn :)

                                                                    2. Hainan Chicken Rice, w/ a free range chicken
                                                                      - Baby bok choy in (the gingered & salted) chicken stock
                                                                      - Chilli dipping sauce: Fresh grated ginger sauteed in veg oil then quenched w/ Pohon Cabe Sambal Istimewa & Kokita Sambal Bangkok
                                                                      - Garlic dipping sauce: chopped garlic (1 head) sauteed in oil then quenched w/ Kikkoman & light soy sauce
                                                                      - Basmati rice cooked w/ chicken fat & stock
                                                                      Roast bone-in leg of lamb, simple roast w/ sea salt, ground black pepper & fresh rosemary branches
                                                                      - roast fingerling potatoes
                                                                      - boiled Chioggia beets
                                                                      - salad of freshly-picked lettuces (various), stout-stemmed spinach, chiffonaded napa cabbage; tossed w/ Alziari olive oil & 10-year balsamic vinegar, flor de sal & ground black pepper
                                                                      Chocolate ganache tart (from scratch) w/ cherries vodka
                                                                      J&B Whiskey
                                                                      Wisdom & Warter Amontillado sherry
                                                                      Taylor Fladgate 10 year tawny port (w/ the tart)
                                                                      Stag's Leap 2009 Viognier
                                                                      - all drunk alone except the port

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                          The one right here on Chowhound. It's a good one.
                                                                          [I dumped the chocolate into the hot cream on the stovetop (rather than adding the hot cream to the chocolate in a bowl) and stirred continuously over a very low flame till the mixture was smooth. I also used more vodka for the cherries than the recipe called for and splashed some sherry into it as well then cooked everything down :-) ]

                                                                        2. re: huiray

                                                                          After Thanksgiving dinner:

                                                                          Deep Fried chả giò chay (Vietnamese spring rolls w/ pork)
                                                                          Deep fried tofu slices
                                                                          The chilli dipping sauce from the day before.
                                                                          Lingham's Hot Sauce.
                                                                          Nuoc mam pha san

                                                                          Fried rice
                                                                          with the chicken rice , chopped roast lamb - both from the day before; and chopped baby kale.

                                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                                            next thanksgiving, i'm going to your place, huiray!

                                                                            1. re: alkapal


                                                                              Oh, I forgot to say that the chili dipping sauce (for the chicken) also had Rice vinegar and a splash of nước mắm in it.

                                                                              1. re: huiray

                                                                                i am also a fan of the lingham's hot sauce. it is good on scrambled eggs, too!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Not always easily available here. When I see it in a store, I grab a couple of bottles.

                                                                          2. re: huiray

                                                                            Cybermonday late lunch/early dinner:

                                                                            Brunoise of white onion, shallots, red onions, sauteed in veg oil till well caramelized
                                                                            Roast lamb, chopped into smallish chunks, sauteed w/ the onions
                                                                            Heinz 57 tomato ketchup
                                                                            Remainder of canned whole tomatoes w/ juices (ex sour mustard soup - see above)
                                                                            Finely chopped celery
                                                                            Splash of light soy sauce
                                                                            Well-smashed garlic (2 cloves), finely chopped
                                                                            Water, Bay Leaves, generous rice vinegar
                                                                            Dollop of Sambal Terasi
                                                                            Mushroom stems & pieces
                                                                            Simmer 2+ hours, break up lamb, etc.
                                                                            Gernerous dash of dried thyme towards the end.

                                                                            Fresh red-leaf lettuce
                                                                            Steamed broccoli florets

                                                                            Cipriani Egg Noodle Tagliarelle

                                                                          3. My mother hosted and my sister came early to cook. We had 10 people.

                                                                            Deviled eggs
                                                                            Cheese, crackers, dried fruit
                                                                            Shrimp cocktail
                                                                            Olives and artichoke hearts
                                                                            Swedish meatballs

                                                                            Waldorf salad
                                                                            Lobster and avocado salad

                                                                            Mushroom and Barley

                                                                            Main Meal:
                                                                            Roasted turkey (30lbs!) and gravy
                                                                            Stuffing with dried cranberries
                                                                            Mashed potatoes
                                                                            Butternut squash
                                                                            Sweet potatoes
                                                                            Grilled Brussels sprouts
                                                                            Green bean casserole (all fresh ingredients, at least!)
                                                                            Peas sauteed with bacon
                                                                            Cranberry sauce

                                                                            Pumpkin cake
                                                                            Pies: Mincemeat, apple, pecan, cranberry-apple

                                                                            For wine, I brought a pear wine which was quite popular but my parents provided only Turning Leaf pinot grigio-- blah. Next year we're going to try to convince my mother to cut the menu in half-- there was an ENORMOUS amount of food!

                                                                            1. Here's my menu:

                                                                              Roast Turkey (Bell & Evans fresh turkey done the "dry-brined" way with sage and bay leaves)
                                                                              Cranberry Relish
                                                                              Cranberry Sauce with Cider & Cinnamon
                                                                              Cherry, Pecan and Mushroom Stuffing
                                                                              Turkey Gravy

                                                                              Creamed Onions
                                                                              Steamed Carrots
                                                                              Steamed Green Beans
                                                                              Roasted Onions Agrodolce
                                                                              Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes
                                                                              Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey, Cumin & Lime
                                                                              Grilled Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions & Mushrooms
                                                                              Rutabaga with Mustard & Scallions
                                                                              Turnips with Crispy Shallots
                                                                              Maple-Glazed Carrots
                                                                              Potatoes Parmesan
                                                                              Mashed Potatoes


                                                                              Red Velvet Cake
                                                                              Apple Tart Pie (with vanilla ice cream)
                                                                              Chocolate Cream Pie

                                                                              All homemade by me except for the last two desserts brought by guests.

                                                                              My wife took care of the hors d'oeuvre so I haven't listed them.

                                                                              1. New stars of the show this year:

                                                                                *dark chocolate tart with cranberry topping and a toasty oat crust (thank you, good health gourmet, who gave me her recipe which I adapted it a little and actually made it LESS healthy, ha!) served with whipped cream

                                                                                *butternut squash gratin with rosemary and white cheddar (epicurious)

                                                                                Long-time favorites:

                                                                                roasted chicken (marinated overnight first with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Dijon) -- this one stole the show

                                                                                mashed potatoes, of course

                                                                                vegetarian -- creamy mushrooms with fresh dill in crispy delightful phyllo dough

                                                                                *roasted brussels sprouts with S and P and WF olive oil, and I roasted earlier in the day. No vanilla as in River's application -- I wasn't even allowed a squeeze of lemon or a grating of Parmesan. My family was so besotted when I first gave them simply roasted brussels (and converted them) that they refuse any other preparation or any accents.

                                                                                The meal was amazing!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                  hooray! i'm so glad the tart worked out well for you :)

                                                                                  1. I thought I would let you guys know the three recipes we made this TG which were HUGE hits - definitely keepers for the future.

                                                                                    Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel (made 5 days ahead)

                                                                                    Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole (next time I will cut by half the amount of sugar in the sweet potatoes, but the streusel in this recipe is divine

                                                                                    Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (Silver Palate) - garnished with fresh chives and creme fraiche (highly recommended!