HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Because we are using a Kosher turkey this year we don't need to brine it. Anyone have any ideas to perk up the flavor without birining per se?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      slather a fresh herb paste under and over the skin. you can use butter or oil for the base, and fresh sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary...you get the idea. i also add garlic, lemon, pepper & a bit of dry mustard.

    2. 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
      Mashed potatoes
      Broccoli romanesco
      Homemade dinner rolls
      Green bean casserole with homemade cream of mushroom soup
      Apple pie
      Pumpkin pie
      Homemade ice cream
      Sparkling cider
      Excellent coffee

      1. 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
        Cranberry sauce
        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.
        Pumpkin pie
        Egg nog, wine, soda, tea

        1. Apps:
          Mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese and sausage
          Antipasto platter
          Mini crab cakes
          Shrimp cocktail

          Caesar Salad

          Ina Garten's Accidental Turkey
          Mashed potatoes (made with sour cream AND cream cheese)
          Homemade stuffing
          Brie and Mushroom Risotto (for the non-potato fans)
          Roasted Carrots with thyme
          Homemade cranberry relish

          Pumpkin pie
          Apple pie w/whole wheat crust
          White chocolate chunk cookies w/cranberries and macadamia nuts

          Oh and lots of red sangria!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Njchicaa

            Ok, I looked online but couldn't find anything... what makes that turkey of Ina's accidental?

            1. re: kubasd

              I have no idea what makes it Accidental but here it is: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in... It can't be too accidental because you have to plan ahead. :)

              1. re: GretchenS

                lol the necessary prep was what confused me, if it was indeed accidental! :P

          2. 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.

            1. 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
              Deviled eggs
              Chicken liver pate with crudites

              Dry-brined turkey
              Ultra-creamy mashed potatoes (more butter than potato, really)
              Turkey gravy
              Sausage and roasted vegetable stuffing
              Sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts
              Roasted cauliflower
              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
              Pumpkin pie
              Sour cherry pie
              Raisin pie (a single serving just for MIL)
              Costco vanilla ice cream

              6 Replies
              1. re: biondanonima

                That sweet potato gratin sounds good, I'd eat it too! :) I had a twiced baked sweet potato recipe I was going to make with chipotle and pecans, but BF wants the traditional casserole, le sigh.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  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?

                  1. re: peppermint_sky

                    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.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Tenga cuidado - be careful - too many chipotles in adobo will ruin your dish. Don't be fooled by their diminutive size, they and their gravy pack quite a punch.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Muchas gracias - I'm well acquainted with chipotles, though. I've got a tongue of steel.

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          And hopefully fiberglass at the other end of the digestive tract....:)

                2. 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.

                  Dinner is:
                  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
                  Creamed Onions
                  Cranberry Relish and store bought jellied cranberry sauce

                  apple pie
                  pumpkin pie
                  pecan tart
                  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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                    I'd love to hear more about this 1st pie at 92 thing!

                    1. re: DCLindsey

                      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.

                  2. Set menu:

                    Turkey + gravy (using Chow's brined turkey and creamed gravy recipe)
                    Mom's standard stuffing
                    Mashed potatoes
                    Homemade rolls
                    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
                    Collard greens
                    Roasted broccoli and cauliflower
                    Sweet potato gratin
                    Creamed corn
                    Wild rice pilaf
                    Corn maque choux

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Kontxesi

                      Menu update:

                      Curried butternut soup for a starter
                      Turkey (brined) + gravy (creamed)
                      Roasted broccoli
                      Maque choux
                      Cranberry relish

                      Stuffing (very standard, but I love it)
                      Mashed potatoes
                      Green beans w/ bacon and onions
                      Chocolate cheese pie
                      Pumpkin pie
                      Sweet potato marshmallow mess >.<

                      1. re: Kontxesi

                        Sweet potato marshmallow mess... lolol. The guests want what they want ! ;-)

                    2. 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
                      Herb Rolls

                      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.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: juliejulez

                        Mmm.... I am intrigued by the thought of Sweet Potato Biscuits.

                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                          they are wonderful. We don't make them for the dinner, nobody ever eats whatever bread there is, but they are great and easy the next day for sandwiches.

                      2. 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

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Dcfoodblog

                          Totally love the Broccoli rabe with pinenuts and a balsamic drizzle! May steal that for my menu.

                          1. re: Dcfoodblog

                            May I ask where you found the sugar free pumpkin mousse recipe?

                            1. re: drloripalooza

                              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.

                          2. 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

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: melpy

                              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.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                That's what I usually do with my green beans, too. A fancified GBC

                                1. re: sandylc

                                  I have to ask my sister what she had in mind but crispy shallots sound great. I doubt the mushrooms would go over well with the PA crowd but the MD folks would enjoy it.

                                  1. re: melpy

                                    I'm thinking toasted almonds, too.

                                  2. re: sandylc

                                    Similar idea - carmelize lots of onions ahead of time. Day of, saute the beans & top with the onions & warm through. So yum. And a good contrast to all the creamy dishes.

                                  3. re: melpy

                                    this is our favorite sweet potato recipe - it says oven but i bet if you steamed them they'd be just fine too. delicious.


                                  4. 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.

                                    Mashed potatos
                                    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.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                      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.

                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                        maybe it's just that I have bad luck traveling with pies! :-D

                                        1. re: jujuthomas

                                          How about Apple Brownies? They have the taste and flavor of Apple Pie, but you can bring them uncut in the pan and cut them into squares when ready to serve. Plus they don't need refrigeration.

                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                            those look delicious Trish! definitely going on my NYE menu!
                                            I think we settled on a pumpkin chiffon pie, if I can find the recipe. FIL and SIL are diabetic, so need something light.

                                      2. re: jujuthomas

                                        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.

                                      3. 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!

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: aching

                                          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?

                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                            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!

                                            1. re: Crockett67


                                              I haven't decided for sure on a dry brine though. I read a recipe yesterday for a buttermilk brine that intrigued me!

                                              1. re: Crockett67

                                                IMO, far superior to wet brining. less messy, results in a fabulously crisp skin, doesn't turn the meat spongy, you can control the salt level, AND you can add herbs & spices to the "brine".

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  Agreed. I started dry brining a few years ago and never looked back. If you dry brine and then air-dry for a day, you will get skin that shatters like candy - and for me, the skin is the only part worth eating anyway!

                                                2. re: Crockett67

                                                  Spatchcoked and dry brine is like a Zuni cafe chicken recipe- heavily salted and air dried. You get well seasoned meat and very crispy skin.

                                              2. what's your carrot recipe?? I like carrots but hate them boiled....

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: thesandwichlife

                                                  Last year I made carrot coins and I think I steamed them and the sautéed in butter and a splash of maple syrup.

                                                  1. re: thesandwichlife

                                                    Last night I roasted a lb of baby carrots and chunks of onion sprinkled with EVOO, salt pepper and garlic powder at 350 for about 40 minutes. everything got just a teeny bit caramelized. won't fly at the in laws for thanksgiving, but we love 'em that way.

                                                    1. re: thesandwichlife

                                                      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.

                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                        We make carrots the same way. Kids love them.

                                                    2. 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
                                                      Spiced Nuts

                                                      Cheese Plate
                                                      Oyster Bisque

                                                      Roast Turkey and Gravy
                                                      Oyster Stuffing
                                                      Mashed Potatoes
                                                      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

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Christina D

                                                        Oh, you just reminded me, I love spiced nuts, and that would be a great munchie for after dinner when we play cards and games!

                                                        1. 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?

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: bdegregory

                                                            I put a chopped fresh lemon in the mirepoix in the bottom of the turkey pan so I think a preserved lemon would be delicious,

                                                          2. 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.

                                                            8 Replies
                                                              1. re: rockycat

                                                                Golden beet carpaccio? What's that?

                                                                1. re: Crockett67

                                                                  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"

                                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                                    Some good looking recipes there. The grits souffle looks especially tempting. I wonder how many heads to get 1/4 cup of roasted garlic? Not that it would ever go to waste..

                                                                    1. re: rockycat

                                                                      I think feta might go really well with that beet carpaccio! My mom made a beet carpaccio with both golden and red beets once -- it's beautiful to look at.

                                                                      Alas, no cheese on this one. It was served along with skordaliá at a Mediterranean dinner party.

                                                                      1. re: rockycat

                                                                        Beet carpaccio sounds nummy! I will have to try that for another time as I doubt my small party would apperciate it. :/

                                                                    2. re: rockycat

                                                                      And a last minute addition of brussels sprouts (lemon garlic and overcooked, please) because my kid is begging for them. Any time my kid AKS for brussels sprouts I am most definitely making them.

                                                                    3. Meal for 5, mainly old favorites:

                                                                      Roast turkey with lots of herbs, lemon and garlic
                                                                      Sourdough bread stuffing with mushrooms and herbs
                                                                      Roasted potatoes
                                                                      Caesar salad
                                                                      Spicy cranberry chutney
                                                                      Curried onions
                                                                      Gorgonzola and spinach souffle
                                                                      Apple pie and ice cream or something else depending on what MIL wants to bring

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                        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.

                                                                        For lunch:

                                                                        Fried Shrimp
                                                                        Deviled Eggs
                                                                        Potato Salad
                                                                        Cucumber Salad

                                                                        For Dinner:

                                                                        Smoked Baby Back Ribs
                                                                        Grilled Shrimp
                                                                        leftover sides

                                                                        And, maybe a cranberry strudel for dessert.

                                                                        1. re: thymetobake

                                                                          Here are the onions - chutney recipe is in the wind so I asked my sister to send. I am TERRIBLE at organizing recipes.

                                                                          Curried Onions
                                                                          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.

                                                                          1. re: tcamp


                                                                            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. :-)

                                                                            1. re: thymetobake

                                                                              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.

                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                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.

                                                                      2. Very traditional - I won't have much time. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce (from CH) rolls, green beans, 3-bean salad. SO has requested pecan pie, so I'm going to try this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10...

                                                                        1. 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)
                                                                          Deviled eggs
                                                                          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.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                              Thanks, I keep debating on adding another dessert after looking at your menu (like your apple brownies)!

                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                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.

                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                  Love that idea. That's funny you say that. I had thought of making the "Sno-Balls" in the Back In the Day Bakery Cookbook if kids were coming (pic below).

                                                                                  I have two more friends coming. One is a pastry chef, so looks like my second dessert is all taken care of!

                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                    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.

                                                                                    Hostess MockCakes

                                                                                    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.

                                                                          1. 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.

                                                                            Mom's Thanksgiving
                                                                            Brined turkey (is there any other way to go?)
                                                                            giblet gravy
                                                                            sage cornbread dressing
                                                                            oyster 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
                                                                            cranberry sauce
                                                                            Beaujolais nouveau
                                                                            pinot noir
                                                                            Pumpkin pie
                                                                            Mincemeat pie

                                                                            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

                                                                            1. 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:
                                                                              shrimp cocktail
                                                                              deviled eggs
                                                                              cream cheese with pepper jelly
                                                                              cheese and crackers
                                                                              Main meal:
                                                                              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

                                                                              1. Organic Turkey
                                                                                Butter Half & Half Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                Roasted root veggies w/ Brussel Sprouts (Martha Stewart)
                                                                                Buttered Corn
                                                                                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

                                                                                1. We will be at friends but make a pared down version the next day for leftovers .
                                                                                  Turkey, farm fresh, never needs brining
                                                                                  Cornbread chestnut stuffing

                                                                                  gravy (the best part)
                                                                                  Mashed rutabagas
                                                                                  cranberry /cider sauce
                                                                                  raw shaved brussies salad


                                                                                  1. 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.

                                                                                    1. 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.)

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                        That sounds like a fabulous turkey day meal, weezie. Makes me want to cook up a leg of lamb very, very, very soon!

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          I'm really excited about it, lingua, I don't usually splurge for a leg for just the two of us! I just have to get charcoal and figure out the adult beverage situation..... :)

                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                            You'll figure it all out, for sure! Leftovers, too!!! Yay!

                                                                                      2. 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:
                                                                                        Apps (TBD)
                                                                                        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

                                                                                        1. There are 5 of us.

                                                                                          roasted garlic chicken with carrots
                                                                                          stuffing w sausage & chestnuts (and vegetarian version)
                                                                                          sweet potatoes w chipotle pecan crumble
                                                                                          mashed potatoes
                                                                                          shallot and mushroom gravy (vegetarian)
                                                                                          kale salad w lemon and garlicky panko
                                                                                          roasted cauliflower
                                                                                          momofuku brussel sprouts
                                                                                          cranberry sauce

                                                                                          pecan pie
                                                                                          apple pie
                                                                                          pumpkin pie

                                                                                          still need to buy wine and hoppy beers.

                                                                                          1. 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.

                                                                                            1. Crudites
                                                                                              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
                                                                                              Oyster Dressing
                                                                                              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)

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: drloripalooza

                                                                                                Wondering what wines I should serve, I am serving an old vine Zin, but cannot decide on a Pinot Noir, a Malbec, or a Shiraz.

                                                                                                Also serving Chartreuse for an after dinner drink.

                                                                                                1. re: drloripalooza

                                                                                                  boone Tavern Spoonbread is on my table at least every two weeks! Always reminds me of my old Kentucky home!

                                                                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                2. Wow, the food on this thread looks really delicious and is extremely inspiring!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. 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 :)
                                                                                                    Roasted cauliflower
                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: abeane

                                                                                                      May I have your recipe for herbed cashew dip?

                                                                                                      1. re: drloripalooza

                                                                                                        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!

                                                                                                          1. re: abeane

                                                                                                            That sounds really good! Thanks for posting it.....will definitely try for Christmas...

                                                                                                      2. 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
                                                                                                        orange zest.
                                                                                                        - 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?

                                                                                                        1. 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.

                                                                                                          We'll have:

                                                                                                          Stuffing with multigrain sourdough rosemary bread, leeks, celery, apples, turkey sausage, fresh herbs
                                                                                                          Turkey gravy
                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Where did you find the fennel salad recipe? Would you mind sharing?

                                                                                                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                Thanks. I'd like to make this at some point.

                                                                                                                I often make a very simple fennel salad: shaved radish + fennel + vinaigrette. Here is a trick: soak the vegetables in ice water for 15 minutes to crisp.

                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                          2. We are ding a family potluck. I know it will include turkey, sage bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. My contributions will be:

                                                                                                            Sweet potatoes with leeks, Gorgonzola cream and toasted walnuts
                                                                                                            Parsnip gratin with gruyere
                                                                                                            Spiced cranberry sauce
                                                                                                            Quince frangipane tart.

                                                                                                            1. I'm on my own tomorrow for the first time since the late 1980's, I'm going to see if I can pick up a leg of lamb at the grocery, I've never cooked lamb.

                                                                                                              As a side dish I'll probably get a nice craft beer.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: redfish62

                                                                                                                It was just me last year and I made the most delicious rosemary herb leg of lamb. Great idea!

                                                                                                              2. 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
                                                                                                                Cornbread Dressing
                                                                                                                Mac n Cheese
                                                                                                                Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
                                                                                                                Lunch Lady/Cafeteria Rolls - made it with lard & butter this time
                                                                                                                Kale Greens
                                                                                                                Mash Potatoes
                                                                                                                Creamed Bacon Brussels Sprouts
                                                                                                                Golden Oreo(crust) Sweet Potato Caramel Cheesecake
                                                                                                                Rugelach - w/ almonds & cranberries

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: agavecake

                                                                                                                  welcome! "short & sweet", eh? impressive!

                                                                                                                  1. re: agavecake

                                                                                                                    I'd love to dream about making that golden Oreo crust sweet potato caramel cheesecake if you have the recipe handy, thanks!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                      Unfortunately i dont have an official recipe yet lol. I am piecing together different recipes. Hopefully it will come out well then i can put the recipe together.

                                                                                                                  2. 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)
                                                                                                                    Scalloped oysters
                                                                                                                    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)
                                                                                                                    Pumpkin pie
                                                                                                                    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:)

                                                                                                                    1. artichoke soup

                                                                                                                      dry brined turkey, steamed and roasted ala Pepin NYT article this year.

                                                                                                                      gravy made from homemade chicken stock fortified w/turkey drippings.

                                                                                                                      apple/sausage stuffing

                                                                                                                      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 :)

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: sasha1

                                                                                                                        Curious to hear how the turkey steaming and roasting went. I loved the picture accompanying the article.

                                                                                                                        Also, can you share artichoke soup recipe? That sounds delish!

                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                      2. 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

                                                                                                                        1. Me + one 12 year old. She requested ham, so that's how it went down. Menu was:

                                                                                                                          spinach swiss cheese gratin
                                                                                                                          mashed potatoes
                                                                                                                          mixed citrus,watercress, and avocado salad (thx Deborah Madison)
                                                                                                                          Hugel Gentil 2011 Alsace wine (mixed white)

                                                                                                                          dessert: roasted chestnuts

                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                              Yes please share. Sounds delish.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                Although I didn't see your post until after Thanksgiving, here is the recipe I use for Apple Brownies.

                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                  Thanks Trish! I didn't need it for Thanksgiving.. just future reference!

                                                                                                                              2. 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]
                                                                                                                                cranberry-orange sauce
                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                1. For 8

                                                                                                                                  14 lb. turkey roasted in a roasting bag (am I the only one still using one of those?)
                                                                                                                                  Apple and pecan cornbread stuffing
                                                                                                                                  Mashed potatoes
                                                                                                                                  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.