Thanksgiving menu, what's yours?
I absolutely love Thanksgiving! It is the one time of year where I get to cook my heart out for family and friends. (We go to other homes for Christmas and Easter). When I say love, I mean I love EVERY detail. Picking out a nice tablecloth and runner, whimsical plates, good wine, beer and beverages, and taking care to buy the best fresh ingredients for a dellcious meal. After dinner we enjoy playing cards (canasta, pinochle) and board games.
I prepare a fairly traditional New England-style Thanksgiving dinner. But each year I like to make one thing that's new. This year it will be a Fresh Pumpkin Soup first course which I crafted together from recipes in Artisanal Bistro Cooking and Williams Sonoma Cookbook. Last year my new recipe was Pull Apart Parker House Rolls, recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/try.... Those rolls were good but this year I'm serving homemade Pepperoni Cheese Bread and warmed White Mountain bakery rolls.
So what are you making? Maybe I can steal, I mean politely borrow, some of your ideas.
My menu this year is:
Pre dinner snack: Prosciutto, cheese, veggie platter
- Fresh Pumpkin Ginger Soup
-Turkey - We've tried many different kinds and last year made a Pineapple-brined Jaindl which was delicious. But hubby really likes the fresh Kosher birds - he doesn't even mind plucking out the pinfeathers so it's a Kosher one this year.
-Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing
-Gravy - I'll be making the stock a couple days before from turkey wings. The stock will also be used in the stuffing.
- Mashed Potatoes - Potatoes, milk, Kerrygold Butter, salt and pepper.
- Sauteed Carrots - my own original recipe, carrots for people who love carrots but hate boiled ones
- Lemon Pepper String Beans
- Green Giant frozen White Shoepeg Corn. They love it so I serve it.
- Baked Yams
- Creamed Pearl Onions - mother in law is bringing
- Homemade Cranberry Applesauce, as well as canned jellied sauce. One year I only served my homemade and there was a mutiny. Now everyone is happy.
-Pepperoni Cheese Bread, rolls, banana and pumpkin breads.
-Fresh fruit cup
-Pies - apple, pumpkin, and chocolate cream. Topped with whipped cream/ice cream. Apple brownies, cookies of some sort. M&Ms and mini peanut butter cups for the candy dishes for game time.
-Wine, beer, cider
A few pix from last year. Not great quality. Too busy cooking and enjoying to take pix.
1. I like to have fun with the table seating. Unique dinner plates that were made to commemorate a town's anniversary and didn't sell well because people thought they were ugly. Their loss, my gain. The turkey platter in the center is from my husband's family and dates back to 1957. The gold plate chargers cost $1 each from the Christmas Tree Shop.
2. Table set and ready to go.
3. Last year's turkey was a Jaindl, the same served at the White House.
4. Turkey brining in pineapple juice, soy sauce, salt, sugar, oranges, etc.... Not this year though.
5. Turkey swathed in Kerrygold butter and ready to roast.
6. Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing.
7. Sauteed Carrots, Lemon Pepper String Beans and Pull Apart Rolls.
8. Cranberry Applesauce.
9. The gang gets busy.
10. Plate includes the white shoepeg corn, and next to "the girl" mashed potatoes.
11. Carving the bird.
12. Table manners?
13. A few wines, including an outstanding Chenin Blanc from Heller Estates that paired perfectly with the turkey.
14. Pumpkin and banana breads.
15. Apple Brownies.
16. Pumpkin PIe.
17. Chocolate Cream Pie.
18. The very last slice of Apple Pie.
Your menu sounds great and I love the pictures!
My menu so far:
Small cups of pumpkin soup with a cheesy crouton and cups of spiced caramel corn for appetizers
Turkey (roasting one for the first time)
Chicken pot pie with biscuit topping
Homemade dinner rolls
Green bean casserole with homemade cream of mushroom soup
Homemade ice cream
Wow!! What a spread!
I only have 5 over this year so it's very small.
Butter rubbed turkey
Corn on the cob
Mash potatoes / gravy
Stovetop stuffing - for my SO and BIL
Haven't decided if southern style candied yams, macaroni & cheese, or mess of greens. I love the greens but others are not so hot for them.
Egg nog, wine, soda, tea
Mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese and sausage
Mini crab cakes
Ina Garten's Accidental Turkey
Mashed potatoes (made with sour cream AND cream cheese)
Brie and Mushroom Risotto (for the non-potato fans)
Roasted Carrots with thyme
Homemade cranberry relish
Apple pie w/whole wheat crust
White chocolate chunk cookies w/cranberries and macadamia nuts
Oh and lots of red sangria!
I'm bringing to my brother and SIL.
Every year I make the cranberry sauce and I always add 1 chopped apple per bag of cranberries.
I make two types of stuffing. My SIL makes a gluten free stuffing which most people don't like. I also don't eat meat so I make a traditional stuffing in a casserole with veggie broth. I also make an Albanian stuffing that is sweet with raisins and nuts.
They will make turkey, candied sweet potatoes, green beans and some apps. We'll probably have 3 or 4 pies. One gluten free, I ordered a pecan pie and there will probably be apple and pumpkin or custard.
We're hosting my mother-in-law this year and she has very simple tastes when it comes to food, so I've had to tone down my desire to experiment a little bit. No one will go hungry, though!
Baked olive-cheddar balls
Chicken liver pate with crudites
Ultra-creamy mashed potatoes (more butter than potato, really)
Sausage and roasted vegetable stuffing
Sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts
Chipotle sweet potato gratin (although this may get cut since only I will eat it)
Cranberry sauce with figs and port (I actually have some in the freezer that I'll thaw - I think I'm the only one who will eat it so no need for a fresh batch).
No-knead bread (not much gets eaten at dinner but it makes great sandwiches later)
Apple crostata with walnuts
Sour cherry pie
Raisin pie (a single serving just for MIL)
Costco vanilla ice cream
Ilike the idea of the sweet potato chipotle gratin. I wouldn't be able to get that one to fly with my crowd, either, but it would be fun to make for a dinner party for friends! I don't care for casseroles that veer toward sweet so the chipotle would be a great contrast. Are you partial to a specific recipe, or do you create as you go?
This Bobby Flay recipe gets raves from everyone: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo... It's just chipotle in adobo mixed with cream and poured over thinly sliced sweet potatoes. That's what I'll be doing, but I'm not sure of the exact amounts - I'm making a small quantity since it's just for me, and I REALLY like spice, so I'll probably use double what he calls for.
Thanksgiving is always at my parents (it is OUR family holiday since we don't celebrate Christmas or Easter) but since my mother is 88 with Alzheimer I do the cooking. We will have 32 this year. The one long table going from the Great Room to the living room is set with turkey plates my Great Grandfather bought my mother when she started hosting over 50 years ago.
Since a lot of people will be driving up to the Cape on Thursday I am planning to put out a crockpot with winter squash soup with a bunch of toppings like crumbled bacon, croutons, spiced pumpkin seeds and sour cream.
Then closer to the meal we will put out crudite & dip, herring salad with sour cream, apples & pickled beets, chopped chicken livers and my brother will bring a selection of cheese from Vermont with his homemade wild yeast bread.
Roast Turkey ( my brother brings ones that are raised by someone he knows in VT)
Sausage & chestnut stuffing ( a meat stuffing and I make the sausages since my mother can't find the ones she likes here)
gravy- I made the stock and then reduced it over roasted turkey legs already
Roast vegetable stew (for the vegetarians)
Brussels Sprouts braised in red wine with shallots & garlic
Sweet Potato Gratin
Mashed Eastham Turnips
Cranberry Relish and store bought jellied cranberry sauce
mini cheesecakes with jam toppings
lemon meringue pie?- ? because my 92 year father has decided he will make his first pie this year.
champagne, wine and martinis are beverages since the youngest is 22
When my father retired at 78 my mother looked at him and said 'you are retired and now so am I. You have to do the cooking!' So he who had never cooked before has been making these amazing meals. My mother had always made a lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving (joke of the family because it never set), then my sister took it over but has since moved to Florida. So while we were discussing the menu he said he would make a lemon meringue pie. I offered to make the crust and he said no he would manage. I am waiting to see if it comes to be.
Turkey + gravy (using Chow's brined turkey and creamed gravy recipe)
Mom's standard stuffing
Green bean casserole
Homemade cranberry relish and some of the canned stuff
Chocolate cheese pie
Mom's holiday punch (I think it's just pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and Sprite)
Still up for a vote among the family: (I'll be making 2-3 of these)
Curried butternut squash or pumpkin soup
Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Sweet potato gratin
Wild rice pilaf
Corn maque choux
Curried butternut soup for a starter
Turkey (brined) + gravy (creamed)
Stuffing (very standard, but I love it)
Green beans w/ bacon and onions
Chocolate cheese pie
Sweet potato marshmallow mess >.<
Your pictures look great! I'm jealous of your large table. I get to squeeze 6 adults and 2 children (ages 4 and 10) onto a 3x5 table, and I don't own any linens that fit, still need to find those, ack!
Anyway here's mine, it's my first time hosting Thanksgiving:
Haven't decided on appetizers. We're eating at 1 (working around a 4 year old's nap schedule) so I may not do any as the only guests are my aunt, cousin, and cousin's 2 kids, and will be arriving at 12-1230.
Rosemary Turkey (mom is allergic to sage)
Italian chard and sausage stuffing (dressing, whatever you want to call it)
Traditional sweet potato casserole, marshmallows and all. BF requested it specifically.
Watergate salad, another BF request.
Stuffed Mushrooms, yet another BF request, might do as apps if I decide to do apps
Mashed Potatoes made w/ milk, chicken broth and greek yogurt
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Cousin is bringing homemade cranberry sauce and some kind of green bean dish. She's a foodie too so I'm sure it'll be something good.
Desserts are pumpkin pie and apple crisp. Aunt might bring a dessert so if she does, I'll nix the apple crisp.
Beverages will be whatever people want... My folks don't drink, but my cousin and aunt do so I'll probably have one red, one white. BF will probably have beer.
There will be five of us as well and I need to make sure there's enough room for people to bring over their dishes.
A cheese plate with homemade fig jam and homemade pickled carrots
Turkey with a lemon-rosemary compound butter
Swiss chard and sausage stuffing
Butternut squash risotto
Broccoli rabe with pinenuts and a balsamic drizzle
Barefoot Contessa cranberry apple cake
Tiramisu cake balls
Sugar free pumpkin mousse with molasses cookies
Here's the recipe. It's a modified version of the Martha Stewart recipe.
Sugar Free Pumpkin Mousse
1 packet of gelatin (a scant tablespoon worth)
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon of maple extract
1/3 cup of splenda for baking (which ensures a 1 to 1 equivalent for sugar)
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon worth of spices (you can use cardamom, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg etc)
4 egg whites from the separated eggs
1/4 cup splenda
1 cup heavy cream
Dissolve the gelatin in the water and let sit in the water for 15 minutes until the gelatin has softened. Mix together the pumpkin, splenda, maple extract, spices, and egg yolks in a large heat proof bowl. Add the gelatin and put the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat the pumpkin mixture until the gelatin has fully dissolved and the mixture has thickened a little. Let cool to room temperature. Whip the egg whites and sugar to soft peaks. Fold vigorously into the pumpkin (seriously don’t worry about deflating the egg whites, the mousse is totally airy anyway). Whip the whipped cream until soft peaks and fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture. Let stand at least 2 hours before serving.
We are moving to a new house on the Saturday before and hosting overnight guests Wednesday in addition to cooking the dinner. In looking over the new oven, I am concern that it may be painfully small. The goal is to have as much on top of the stove as possible and let the turkey rest while anything else is getting baked.
Turkey: organic special order from our normal meat CSA
Stuffing- usually make mushroom but leaving toward cornbread apple this year so I only have to make one flavor. Last year I had to make plain form some people as well.
Mash potatoes - whole milk, butter, s/p, pinch of sugar to appease the PA folk
Gravy- pan dippings and turkey broth made from turkey giblets the day before (not chopped up though)
Corn casserole- from MIL
Mac and cheese-from MIL
Baked beans-probably using a small crock pot, haven't decided the recipe
Acorn squash rings-haven't decided the recipe
Sweet potatoes-haven't decided the recipe
Green beans on top of stove-sautéed not sure about seasoning
Most likely pumpkins and coconut cream pies made by GIL
Melpy, for my green beans I'm thinking of blanching them ahead of time, and also sauteeing mushrooms with thyme and frying crispy shallot rings ahead of time, then sauteeing the beans day of and topping them with the warmed mushrooms and shallots. Haven't refined this idea yet, but that's the general plan. Some of the flavors of green bean casserole, but lighter and not in the oven.
We'll be taking most of the meail to my MIL's and cookign there. I only found that out last night, so I'm still working the menu out... as I mentioned in another thanksgiving thread, MIL doesn't eat garlic or onion. So my main challenge is to find dishes we like that don't have those ingredients - we put garlic and or onion in most everything it seems, LOL! But I also have to think about what will travel well, and what we can ask her to make. We're trying to take the stress off her, without completely taking over. last year it worked out pretty well.
stuffing (Probably stove top - gak - it's what they prefer)
green bean casserole - MIL will make
a simple green salad
i know pie doesn't travel well, but if I don't make dessert she'll buy pie and I don't love store bought pie.
Most pie travels extremely well; fruit, nut, pumpkin/sweet potato, coconut pies all travel well and don't have to be refrigerated for at least a day once they're cut. In fact, I don't refrigerate pecan or other nut pie at all. If you go in the supermarket, you'll find these pies sitting at room temp until sold, probably for at least days at a time. You can even take a pie with cream filling with you if you put it in a cooler lined with frozen gel packs.
Jujuthomas I feel for you! My MIL also doesn't eat that in addition to anything in the pepper family, no cruciferous vegetables, no beans, Nothing with spice. She also can't eat tomato. I'm sure I am forgetting multiple things off the top of my head. Add in that I am vegetarian and I can't stand taking things over to her place because of the stress it causes.
If you don't want to take a pie, consider making a crumble to bake there.
I'm really, really, really trying hard to keep it simple this year - the last two Thanksgivings were great, but left me exhausted. We're having a smaller group this year (only 8), and I'm really trying to resist the urge to make it more elaborate than it needs to be. Here's our menu as of today:
- Dry-Brined Turkey
- French Gravy (made by my best friend's husband)
- Cranberry-Fig Compote with Marsala Wine
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Corn Pudding (brought by my Stepmother-In-Law)
- Other Vegetable Dish (brought by my best friend)
- Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf (brought by my Mother-In-Law)
I haven't decided about appetizers - in previous years I did plates of cheese and crackers, olives, and spiced nuts, and always had tons left over - so i'm thinking we can do without this year. I'm also tempted to add another side dish - maybe brussels sprouts, or maybe mac n' cheese - but again, I'm trying to keep it simple!
Your mac and cheese idea struck a chord with me Aching. For years my daughter never ate turkey (still doesn't eat it much), or any sides. Her plate would have a dinner roll and sliver of (canned) cranberry sauce) only. So I started making fettucine alfredo for her and others liked it too. But as a young adult she now loves her veggies so I stopped making the fettucine. But she still asks me to make it the following day.
Also, what is French gravy?
I think French gravy is just what my mom called it - I don't think it's a real thing! But here's the recipe:
• Once the turkey is done, add 3/4 cup chicken broth to the pan juices, scraping to collect any bits stuck to the pan.
• Pour into a small saucepan, stir in 3/4 cup vermouth and ¾ cup cream, and bring to a boil.
• Continue to boil while stirring until gravy coats a wooden spoon.
It's the vermouth and cream that made it French in our house!
Sticking It To Boiled Carrots
a/k/a Sauteed or Blackened Carrots
I hate boiled carrots, so I created a recipe which uses a minimal amount of liquid to cook the carrots primarily in their own juices.
1 pound of fresh carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch wide matchstick slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
Place carrots, butter and syrup in a frying pan, cover with a lid, start off at medium high and once the pan gets hot, toss or stir the carrots and then turn heat down to medium low, cover and stir or shake pan occasionally for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender and cooked through.
For a charred effect, after the carrots are cooked, take off the cover of the pan, crank the heat up to medium high and finish off by lightly charring/blackening a side or two of the carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Some pix from last Thanksgiving. Not that great because I wasn't focusing on the carrots. As you can see, they aren't cut with great precision, just rustically and simply.
We're having 20-25 this year, so the menu as it currently stands:
Rye or Champagne cocktails
Hors d’oeuvres (TBD)
Homemade Fennel Cured Salmon
Roast Turkey and Gravy
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa (it's a Baltimore thing)
Roasted Green Beans w/Shallots
Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Pancetta and Garlic
Spicy Greens and Pear Salad
Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Red and Golden Beets with Orange-Thyme Vinaigrette
Carrots with White Sauce
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Ginger-Lemon Cranberry Chutney
Pickles and Olives
Desserts by SIL
Great menu and love the pics! I need to remember to take time and document the day this year.
For the first time in 7 years my family traveling here for Thanksgiving and I'm super excited (and probably overdoing it as a result). We will have 12 at the table.
Mains and Sides::
- Spatchcocked slow-roast turkey with cranberry-molasses glaze (recipe from CI)
- Mashed yukon gold potatoes with turkey gravy
- Country sausage and sage dressing
- Cranberry compote with port and figs (plus a can for the non adventurous)
- Roasted pureed butternut squash
- Parkerhouse rolls (cheating and using frozen purchased dough)
- Green bean salad with toasted cashews (I'm thinking served cold w/ a dijon vinaigrette and maybe some crispy shallots or bacon crumbles?)
- Apple and endive salad with dried cherries or apple fennel slaw (something refreshing and crispy/cool)
Desserts (pie overkill is mandatory!):
- Traditional pumpkin pie
- Cherry pie (made from frozen Michigan tart cherries that i just mail ordered)
- Milkyway tart (Flour Bakery recipe)
- Apple pie or apple cider cream pie (saw the latter in Food & Wine- looked intriguing!)
- Pecan mini-tarts/tassies
I just made my first batch of preserved lemons and would love ideas on how to incorporate into this meal- I've not used them before. Maybe I can put a couple in the roasting pan to mingle with the turkey drippings and flavor the gravy?
Only 6 of us this year and two of them eat like birds. There's so much I'd like to do, but so far here's the menu:
Brined turkey and scratch gravy (Spouse get to choose the recipe and take responsibility)
Italian sausage and artichoke stuffing
Cranberry kumquat relish (if I can find kumquats this year, I haven't been able to the last few years)
Roasted garlic grits souffle
Mashed sweet potatoes
Golden beet carpaccio
Pumpkin pie (I hate it, but the kid has been begging for it)
86-proof chocolate cake (the Spouse has been begging for this one)
No soup or apps, otherwise no one eats dinner. I always threaten to bake bread or rolls but never get around to it , although I will bake the bread for the stuffing. I've been inspired by the thread about coconut custard pie as my father loves it, but I just don't need 3 desserts. And one of the guests will almost certainly bring a dish which won't go with anything else I'm serving but will be served and greatly appreciated, nonetheless.
Regular ol' beet carpaccio, just with golden beets because I'm paranoid about destroying my table linens with red beets landing on the tablecloth. That wasn't the answer you wanted, was it Crockett67? Sorry.
There are a number of variations and I have to decide on one, but it's basically sliced roasted or grilled beets treated like traditional beef carpaccio - drizzled with excellent olive oil, possibly a little red wine vinegar, and scattered with something along the lines of nuts (I'm thinking pistachio), herbs or greens, and maybe a bit of crumbled firm cheese.
The rest of the recipes are less of a big deal than you might think. Gourmet only in the sense that many of them come from "Gourmet" magazine. I believe that the turkey will be Roast Turkey with Porcini Gravy http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
Stuffing - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
Cranberries - http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
Grits souffle - from Ben Barker of the late, lamented Magnolia Grill http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/magnoliag...
Maida Heatter's 86-proof chocolate cake - made with rum rather than bourbon http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/1560/M...
Pumpkin Pie - from Nick Malgieri's "How to Bake"
Meal for 5, mainly old favorites:
Roast turkey with lots of herbs, lemon and garlic
Sourdough bread stuffing with mushrooms and herbs
Spicy cranberry chutney
Gorgonzola and spinach souffle
Apple pie and ice cream or something else depending on what MIL wants to bring
The spicy cranberry chutney and curried onions sound intriguing. Can you quickly outline or link to the recipes?
We eat so many of the traditional T day foods throughout the year that I've started doing other things. This year, if I can find some good USA shrimp, I'm going to fry up a big batch. Haven't had that in a long time.
Smoked Baby Back Ribs
And, maybe a cranberry strudel for dessert.
Here are the onions - chutney recipe is in the wind so I asked my sister to send. I am TERRIBLE at organizing recipes.
1 lb. pearl onions
3 T. butter
2 T. flour
½ c. beef stock
½ c. milk
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
Parboil onions in boiling water 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, cut off root and stem of each onion. Slip off skins. Place onions in a 1 qt. casserole dish.
In a small sauce pan, heat butter until foamy. Stir in flour. Cook several minutes over low heat. Gradually add stock and milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add spices and cheese and stir until cheese has melted. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Pour sauce over onions. Cover and bake for 45 minutes until onions are tender.
Thank you so much for the recipe. I will try this soon with something... but sounds like it will go well with many things.
I'm still interested in the cran chutney recipe if you find the time to post it.
I'm terrible at organizing recipes too. I have two, 3 inch binders that are in no way organized or even categorized.... or even hole punched! Along with my cookbooks it makes finding remembered recipes a challenge. Especially as I get older. Used to have a mind like a steel trap. :-)
Here is the chutney - enjoy.
Stephanie's Cranberry Chutney
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tart green apples, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp curry powder
Simmer together above ingredients for 30minutes. Add 1# frozen or fresh cranberries and the juice of two oranges. Boil for 10 minutes longer. Cool and serve warm or chilled. Best made in advance.
That was fast!
Thank You :-) I have chicken and dressing in the deep freezer. I'm going to go ahead and buy cranberries while they are available and I will make this recipe to go with the dressing at a later date. Although, I may leave out the curry powder or add a little to a small sample.
It's shaping up to be just 4 of us, so I've pared down the usual menu (I really should cut down on the apps further)
Crispy Honey-Lavender almonds (Bradley Ogden recipe)
Brie with cranberry sauce in puff pastry
Turkey with sage butter, gravy, and mashed potatoes with thyme
Grand Marnier dried apricot, sausage and chestnut stuffing (based on a Silver Palate Good Times recipe)
Creamed peas and pearl onions (husband's request)
Maple glazed carrots
Cranberry sauce with cherries, marsala and rosemary
Crescent rolls and Ocean Spray cranberry sauce (husband's request)
Brandied Pumpkin pie with ginger whipped cream
For the Welcome Cocktail, I'm making a "Passenger Pigeon" which I tried the other night - Calvados apple brandy, allspice dram, and Figgy Pudding bitters
Pics: Cocktail, and last year's Thanksgiving plate.
I now have a change in my dessert menu. I just learned that we will have 17 for dinner because some Jersey relatives are coming . Since a few of them are kids, I am going to do an "homage" to Hostess and make cupcakes that look just like Hostess cupcakes including the little white circular scroll. I think it will be funny, and a nice pie alternative.
SnoBalls should be a hit Rubee! To clarify my post above, we will still have all the pies, just instead of cookies I'm going to put my daughter to work on a very simple version of my Hostess MockCakes. I know I could do a scratch, chocolate ganache thing...but in this instance it's not worth it I have a lot of other things to make and my daughter can handle this one.
1. Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix for cupcakes.
2. Fresh whipped cream, piped in as filling.
3. A jar of warmed up Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge Sauce for the icing.
4. A tube of white cake icing for the fancy scrolls.
Thanksgiving is the one holiday that I take painstaking measures to stay traditional. So not too variant from year to year. This year should be interesting as I'm newly engaged. I will be cooking with my sisters and mom for our family lunchtime Thanksgiving for 14 (was to be 18 but don't get me started...people just don't know etiquette anymore!) and then to cook for my fiance and his family who have flown in for the holidays for an evening meal. We'll see if I have any energy left. Of course I will have lots of help.
Brined turkey (is there any other way to go?)
sage cornbread dressing
Black pepper-pecan sweet potatoes
brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and pancetta (subject to change--my uncle will be in charge)
Other green vegetable or salad (aunt or uncle to be in charge)
ground cranberry orange gelatin
For the evening meal I'm still trying to determine how much I want to take on, but I'm thinking I will have fiance brine and get a turkey started
sage cornbread dressing (just make extra)
brown sugar glazed sweet potatoes
green beans with roasted onions
cherries jubilee (his family)
homemade noodles (his family)
cherry cheesecake (his family)
Pumpkin and/or pecan pie
We actually had T-Day yesterday as we will be with the Mouse on the actual holiday. Picky family so I had to make things mostly "plain". We had:
Apps brought by guests:
cream cheese with pepper jelly
cheese and crackers
turkey (plain roasted)
apple cider gravy
stuffing with white bread, cornbread, bacon and herbs
mashed potatoes (just potatoes and butter)
roasted sweet potatoes with pineapple (Everyday Food recipe)
green beans with caramelized shallots (Southern Living recipe)
whole cranberry sauce (recipe on the back of the cranberry bag with addition of segmented oranges, orange rind and juice- no one ate it but me)
canned cranberry sauce (went through 2 cans!)
pear and grappa pound cake (Soprano's cookbook- tried for 1st time pretty good)
pumpkin pie (best recipe ever is from the Libby's can)
apple pie (Cook's Illustrated pie crust was difficult to work with but tasted great)
Best part of the dinner:
NV Sharffenberger Brut sparkling wine
2009 Patton Valley Vineyard de-Classified pinot noir
2007 Starry Night zinfandel
fruit wines from Jones' Farm in Connecticut for dessert
Butter Half & Half Mashed Potatoes
Roasted root veggies w/ Brussel Sprouts (Martha Stewart)
Green Bean Casserole
Stuffing with bread, sage, bacon, onions and celery (Great grandparent's recipe)
Sweet Potato Souffle
Cranberry Relish (Father-in-law's recipe)
Gravy (From scratch drippings and turkey stock)
Homemade Rolls (Old boyfriend's mom's recipe)
Apple Pie (My own recipe)
Banana Cream Pie (my grandmother's recipe)
Pumpkin Pie (Libby's)
Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee
Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir 2008
Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2010
It's just the two of us, so VERY relaxed (yay!). And in fact I'm just about to pop out & do the shopping for the extras, as hubby will be bringing home our pre-ordered free-range turkey from Whole Foods on his way home from work tonight.
Scarlett O'Hara cocktails (Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, & fresh lime juice)
Various commercial high-quality frozen appetizers/snacks that we've enjoyed in the past
Roast turkey (of course)
Small ramekin of stuffing just for me, since hubby doesn't care for it
Our traditional Garlic Creamed Spinach
My own special version of "Green Bean Casserole" - nothing like the usual
One plain baked sweet potato that I'll halve & butter (hate the sweet nonsense)
Very buttery mashed potatoes
Pillsbury Crescent or Grande rolls (hubby's favorite)
Cranberry sauce (may try the new Pacific-brand organic if I can find it)
Dessert is always up in the air since we're normally too stuffed to want it, but hubby usually brings home a pie from Whole Foods while picking up the turkey, so if we want it, we'll have it.
Wines will either be a favorite Prosecco or a local rose' we tried recently a bought a few bottles of.
Just being the two of us (we chose to not travel this holiday,) and with neither of us being big fans of a traditional Thanksgiving menu, we've decided on a leg of lamb seasoned with za'atar, lemon zest, olive oil and garlic cooked on the charcoal grill, home made hummus, labneh, blistered green beans, cuke slices for dipping for me, home made pita for him, olives, and feta.
We're really looking forward to having a meal the two of us will really enjoy!
(We did end up with two turkeys, one I cooked a few nights ago and the meat is being used in tonight's thai curry, stock from the bones has been on the stove since yesterday. The second is defrosting in the frige -a turkey will not fit in our freezer due to a shelf in there that is not removable- and that turkey will be used similarly.)
I swore I would do it last year, but wimped out. This year I am doing it for sure:
The turkey will be cut up and cooked separately. Specifically: I plan to sous vide the breast meat and then either roast the leg/thighs or (more likely) confit them in duck fat. I am actually traveling for Thanksgiving this year, so this will be a "late Thanksgiving" with the 2 of us and some friends, so no need to follow tradition.
The rest of the menu will probably be (mostly) things I have done before:
Bourbon cranberry sauce (Epicurious)
a version of Northwestern wild mushroom stuffing (Epicurious)
Yukon Gold and Fennel Puree with rosemary butter (Epicurious)
some green been or brussels sprout recipe
I would like to try to make a pumpkin creme brûlée for dessert this year
There are 5 of us.
roasted garlic chicken with carrots
stuffing w sausage & chestnuts (and vegetarian version)
sweet potatoes w chipotle pecan crumble
shallot and mushroom gravy (vegetarian)
kale salad w lemon and garlicky panko
momofuku brussel sprouts
still need to buy wine and hoppy beers.
My inlaws backed out, so it's just the four of us, with a personally traditional menu.
Grilled Flatbreads with Apple, Onion & Bacon
Dry brined, 10lb. Free range, organic turkey
silky Cognac gravy with thyme
my Mom's sausage stuffing, to which I'm adding fennel & chestnuts to
my MIL's candied cranberries
garlic mashed potatoes
green bean casserole modèrne
My local French bakery is providing pumpkin pie for dessert.
Cheese Selection with artisan Manchego, Quince Paste and Almonds, VT goat cheese
Parmesan Pepper Popcorn (Gourmet Holiday 2012)
Savory Pumpkin Soup with pureed tart apples, pumpkinseed oil, and pepitas
Smoked Turkey from Herrington's
Romaine and cucumber salad with crispy fried garlic slivers
Cornbread Apple dressing with tart apples and yellow Southern cornbread
Boone Tavern's Spoonbread
Loaf of bread from Red Hen bakery if there is any left!
Potatp Gratin with goat milk, 3 cheeses, roasted red peppers, porcini mushrooms
Scalloped Eggplant Souffle (old southern dish)
Cranberry Gelatin Salad with Celery and Pecans (fiance's request)
Cranberry chutney, purchased
Turkey Gravy, base purchased from Williams Sonoma
Mixed berries in orange juice and unknown purchased sorbet for palate refresher
Pumpkin Panna Cotta or Pumpkin Caramel Pie (Gourmet Holiday 2012)
Deep Dish Sour Cream Apple Pie
Reverse Marble Bundt Cake (Food and Wine, 2012)
I remember the Boone Tavern fondly. We visited Berea on a family vacation when I was small. It was beautiful and our meal was delicious - my sister especially loved the cinnamon kites that they served by walking around with a basketful and tongs; I think she ate so many that they cut her off!
Anyway, a few years ago I found the Boone Tavern cookbook at an estate sale. Like most food memories, the recipes didn't quite live up to fantasy, but are still quite interesting. I should pull that one out and look at it again.
Loving this thread! I have 6 wonderful guests this year who are more than happy to eat whatever I choose to cook so menu is as follows:
Herbed cashew dip with veggies and homemade crackers
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Possibly several cheeses but I'm trying to keep the apps lighter this year
Brined turkey with apple cider glaze (Epicurious)
Sausage, parsnip and apple stuffing (Epicurious)
Mashed potatoes (sister makes these, usually with cream and garlic mmm...)
Gravy made from pan drippings
Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots (sister also does these)
Kale salad with lemon-orange vinaigrette (love a salad that can be prepped ahead!!)
Sweet potato casserole with homemade marshmallows (really more of a dessert but I'm one of those weirdos that likes this dish :)
Homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade challah rolls
Port brownies with fresh whipped cream and sugared cranberries
Pumpkin pie bars
Sounds like I may have gone overboard but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday- love the focus on spending time with loved ones and cooking and eating delicious food without the hassle of gift-giving.
Sure! This comes from a nutrition workshop I took in Portland:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 sprig green onion, roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water (optional to adjust consistency)
Drain cashews and set aside. In a high-powered blender or food processor, put olive oil, lemon juice and zest, herbs, green onion and garlic, then cashews (blender will work best if liquids are put in first!). Begin blending, scraping down the sides and adding water if you'd like the consistency a little more loose than a thick dip. Taste to adjust the salt level. Serve with veggies, chips, pita bread. Also makes a great sandwich spread.
You can play around with adding different herbs- I think basil would be nice in here. The dip also freezes nicely!
Im going to my moms for thanksgiving and they have the typical menu for a great thanksgiving feast. i am bringing four different types of Canapes that feature some of the courses that are a part of thanksgiving.
The App Canape - Classic bruschetta
The main course canapes - Cranberry cream cheese with smoked turkey and topped with
- Poblano and roasted sweet potato puree with avocado and
topped with red pepper chili fake
And the dessert canape - Blue cheese sauce with peach and toasted walnut.
What do you guys think?
We'll only be three, want to keep it low-key, and the other two only eat turkey on Thanksgiving (they otherwise stick to a pescetarian diet), so aren't interested in a lot of leftovers. So we've agreed on a meal of sides, essentially. Turkey wings will be roasted and made into stock, which along with their drippings will flavor stuffing and gravy.
Stuffing with multigrain sourdough rosemary bread, leeks, celery, apples, turkey sausage, fresh herbs
Whole roasted sweet potatoes (purple-skinned, orange-fleshed "yams")
Cranberry sauce with OJ, pomegranate molasses, fresh pomegranate seeds, maybe a hit of Cointreau
Sauteed green beans and mushrooms with toasted hazelnuts, roasted hazelnut oil, and sherry vinegar
Shaved fennel and orange salad with watercress and pomegranate seeds
For dessert, one of the others is making classic pumpkin pie and (homemade, vegetarian) mincemeat pie.
re: Caitlin McGrath
Hi Chris, the salad is from a cookbook called Mighty Spice, by John Gregory-Smith. It's a bulb of fennel, sliced very thinly, a couple of peeled and segmented oranges, a couple of ounces of picked watercress leaves, a bit of finely chopped fresh red chile, and the seeds of a pomegranate. The dressing is the juice of a lemon, 2 T. orange juice, 1 T. olive oil, 1 tsp. lightly crushed fennel seeds, and salt and pepper.
re: Caitlin McGrath
I've done some simple shaved fennel + red onion + vinaigrette that are also nice, but I like the idea of radishes.
This one was a nice addition to the Thanksgiving table. Crisp, bright, and acidic, so a good foil for all the rich and soft textures. It's also very pretty. I realized I've made another fennel, orange, and watercress salad, that one with walnuts.
Finally decided to join this T-Day. Chow has been helping me out this past 2 Thanksgivings!
My menu is short & sweet this year. Serving 4.
Dry Brine Turkey - Hopefully it comes out right.
Triple Berry Cranberry sauce
Mac n Cheese
Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
Lunch Lady/Cafeteria Rolls - made it with lard & butter this time
Creamed Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Golden Oreo(crust) Sweet Potato Caramel Cheesecake
Rugelach - w/ almonds & cranberries
Our menu is very traditional, and pared down a lot from previous years. Any new or exciting dishes will be made AFTER the holiday, one at a time, when I can concentrate on just that dish. I've cooked Thanksgiving dinner for roughly 35 years. I have learned a LOT through trial and error. ( Like....the Martha Stewart crudite turkey, which involved cutting loaves of bread roughly in the shape of a turkey, "frosting" it with some cream cheese concoction, and then placing rows of cut raw veggies, like radishes for the wings, carrot sticks for the tail, etc.....results in the need for so much wine that you may forget to mash the potatoes!) As well as other useful lessons:)
Anyway, this year's menu:
Bloody Marys as soon as the turkey is in the oven ( A tradition started many years ago by my very smart sister!)
Roast fresh turkey (stuffed! and basted with a butter/herb mixture)
Stuffing ( which will be actually in the turkey)
Mashed potatoes, which I will make as soon as the turkey is in the oven, while I drink my Bloody Mary .I will then put them in the Crock pot, on low, where they will be fine until dinner time.
Baked sweet potatoes
Broccoli casserole ( the one made with Ritz crackers, butter and Velveeta. Which we have lightened up over the years by using the 2% Velveeta)
Cranberry sauce, which I will make, probably using the recipe from the bag the cranberries came in..and I may substitute bourbon for some of the water)
Banana bread, cranberry bread, pumpkin bread ( the first two breads being made by my mom, the pumpkin bread I am making, because I want to try the Tyler Florence/Bobby Flay recipe for pumpkin bread pudding with spicy caramel apple sauce over the weekend, and need pumpkin bread for that:)
Wine ( Pinot Noir, Albarino Burgans, and a Reisling for my mom)
Apple pie ( Both pie recipes are from my 1975 Betty Crocker cookbook, although I now make the apple pie with a cheddar bottom crust and the French apple pie crumb top crust)
coffee, probably with Trader Vic's chocolate liqueur
Have a great holiday, everyone:)
dry brined turkey, steamed and roasted ala Pepin NYT article this year.
gravy made from homemade chicken stock fortified w/turkey drippings.
crash hot potatoes
cranberry cherry sauce w/star anise
cumin honey glazed carrots
slow roasted green beans w/shallots and sage
pumpkin and blackberry pies
wine and apple cider
I couldn't go nuts, because I only got home from travelling on Tuesday night. This is my streamlined menu :)
Look at the t-day mishaps board - where I just posted the artichoke soup. Not because it was a mishap - because I unscrewed the bottom of the blender while there was soup in it.
There is a thread about the turkey and I'll post the results there. I trust Pepin, otherwise would not do something that sounds so bizarre.
Just the two of us.....
Turkey (roasted with butter under the skin)
Honey baked carrots (last minute add)
Spicy fried green beans (just for me)
Creamed pearl onions (1st time making these....LOVE them & so easy!)
Cranberry sauce (confession: from the can....just not worth making it homemade just for myself....I never eat it all!)
Spinach ravioli for the Hubs
Although I didn't see your post until after Thanksgiving, here is the recipe I use for Apple Brownies.
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced peeled apples apples (about two medium apples)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan/dish and line with parchment paper for easy removal.
2. In a bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla.
4. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.
5. Stir in apples and (optional) nuts.
6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown on top. (Can also use the toothpick test. But don't overbake or they will be dry.) Cool. Remove from pan. Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 depending on size.
We hit a home run for a small group with:
dry-brined turkey breast, basted with butter/garlic/herbs while on the grill
mashed potatoes with garlic [yes, garlic is trending here]
green beans with bacon and crispy shallots - this was the big winner
chicken gravy, which came out well
chicken wings for the party who cannot eat turkey [that, sigh, would be me]
cranberry bread -the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray package, but using the whole package of cranberries
mini-pumpkin pies, baked in muffin cups; adorable and good
mini mince tarts, tarted up with extra raisins and apples simmered in a little sherry; ditto
It felt a little strange not to be cooking for a crowd, but it was way less anxiety-inducing, for a lot of reasons.
Onward and upward to the December holidays. hah.
14 lb. turkey roasted in a roasting bag (am I the only one still using one of those?)
Apple and pecan cornbread stuffing
Sweet Potato Casserole: Ellie Krieger recipe from Accent Health
Cranberry Salad (chopped cranberries, apples and sections of oranges plus sugar)
Pumpkin Pies (four!)
Homemade Whipped Cream
And I modified the Maple Pecan Tart with Dried Cheeries from Eating Well
The other recipes are old family favorites.