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Thanksgiving Menu Take Two- Please critique this edited down version

Want a menu that's mostly simple ingredients and has lots of healthy choices.. the chow readers helped me narrow down my menu and this is what I came up with as a final menu

Apps (want to have something substantial bc eating time is pretty late, 6pm and arriving 2-3):

Charcuterie & Cheese Board: Point Reyes Blue, Truffled Goat, Aged Gouda, Proscuitto Parma, Salami, Italian bread sticks, crackers & hot pepper jelly & spicy mustard & fig jam

Relish Tray- Assortment of marinated olives, pickles, cornichons

raw crudités w a homemade ranch dressing

Chilled Oysters with Apple-Ginger Mignonette

Salad:
Frisee, Pomegranate Seeds, Toasted Pecans & shallot vinagrette

Biscuits, & Butter

Dinner:
Roasted Turkey

Apple cider gravy

Cornbread herb stuffing

Mashed Potatoes 2 ways: Black truffle or traditional yukon gold

Cranberry & blood orange sauce
(no additional sugar added, it's just cranberries cooked in fresh OJ so a bit tart but good)

Sweet potato casserole with maple, brown sugar and marshmallows
(childhood favorite and non-negotiable to take off menu)

Roasted root veggies & brussel sprouts tossed in evoo, sea salt and a touch of balsamic (an alternative for people who doesn't like the fattening goodneess of the sweet potato casserole)

Specialty drinks: mulled wine and sparkling apple cider

Dessert:

Sorbet (purchased from whole foods)
Vanilla Ice Cream (haagen daaz)
Salted caramel sauce
(purchased from store)
Apple Pie (Homemade)

Pumpkin Cheesecake (Bakery purchased and a personal seasonal favorite I only get once a year)

*** after reading the appetizer thread and getting more feedback from magiesmom, I am rethinking the charcuterie and cheese platter, worried it will make people full. what if I cut this completely? and replaced with spiced nuts or possibly a smoked salmon on cucumber with creme fraiche on the side to the apps (salmon is a regional speciality so it's pretty amazing quality here and would be relatively light).. I love cheese and I could always serve one cheese (prob the blue w a cracker and fig jam) after the meal as an alternative non sweet dessert on the menu

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  1. I think it's lovely. :-)

    1. This is much better! I'd still ditch the cheese, which to me is better as a dessert than an app and especially salami is a heavy pre heavy meal app.
      I wouldn't serve biscuits but it sounds like you are wed to them. No matter how good the bread is it always goes uneaten ay my Thanksgiving table in favor of excellent stuffing and potatoes.
      Have fun!

      7 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        Magies mom- would you change your opinion on the cheese if you knew the dinner was served on the later side? (6pm) versus a 2 or 3pm eating time?

        I want to have biscuits just in case but I do agree with you that it's not necessary.

        1. re: allthatglitters

          What time are your visitors arriving? Will they have eaten lunch yet?

          1. re: allthatglitters

            unless they've been there all day and not eaten lunch, no.
            When are they coming?

            1. re: magiesmom

              Hi magie- 2 to 3..

              did you see my edited idea.. of cutting the cheese and charcuterie.. replacing with something much lighter: smoked salmon on cucumber w creme fraiche on side and spiced nuts

              and

              (to satisfy my love of cheese and need to serve while entertaining) putting just the blue, fig jam and cracker out after dinner when dessert is served

              1. re: allthatglitters

                Sorry, I didn't see the 2-3. That's a long time, but will people have eaten lunch?
                Above it still says cheese and charcuterie, so I am confused.
                I like the cheese with dessert idea.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  I am not sure if people will have eaten lunch or not! Probably half and half.
                  This is what the "new" menu would be if I cut the charcuterie and cheeseboard.

                  Relish Tray- Assortment of marinated olives, pickles, cornichons

                  raw crudités

                  Smoked salmon & dill on cucumbers w/ creme fraiche on side

                  Spiced bar nuts

                  Chilled Oysters with Apple-Ginger Mignonette

                  Salad:
                  Frisee, Pomegranate Seeds, Toasted Pecans & shallot vinagrette

                  Biscuits, & Butter

                  Dinner:
                  Roasted Turkey

                  Apple cider gravy

                  Cornbread herb stuffing

                  Mashed Potatoes 2 ways: Black truffle or traditional yukon gold

                  Cranberry & blood orange sauce

                  Sweet potato casserole with maple, brown sugar and marshmallows

                  Roasted root veggies & brussel sprouts

                  Specialty drinks: mulled wine and sparkling apple cider

                  Dessert:

                  Cranberry sorbet
                  Vanilla Ice Cream w/ salted caramel sauce
                  Apple Pie
                  Pumpkin Cheesecake

                  After dinner dessert cheese: reyes blue cheese, cracker, fig jam

                  1. re: allthatglitters

                    This looks much better. I think your guests will love it.

        2. Looks almost perfect to me. Just needs a soup and a pasta course.
          :-)

          1. I like everything except the sugar-free cranberries. Cranberries need sugar, and orange juice isn't going to provide enough. Could be a real disappointment for someone.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Jay F

              I disagree. I love cranberries just cooked in Oj.

              1. re: magiesmom

                Well, more for you, then.

                1. re: Jay F

                  :=)

              2. re: Jay F

                Maybe just a splash of maple syrup?

                1. re: sciencediet

                  Two dishes of it...one sweetened and one not? See which is gone first and next year adjust either the menu or the guest list accordingly.

                  (Joking)

              3. If it were me, I'd make the following changes: First, your main menu sounds great; I'd leave it as is except for a few changes: you listed truffled goat cheese on the cheese tray and truffled mashed potato as a side. Too much repetative strong ingredient. I'd skip the truffles entirely. Now, for apps, I'd keep the cheese tray but only have about 4 items on it...I'd do one cheese, perhaps the parma....cut it into shards and put on a tray with the salami, which I'd oven dry until they're crisp like potato chips (these can be done the night before). To go with, the fig jam and some crackers. You'd have everything you need: salty, sweet, and crispy. I'd serve either the breadsticks or the biscuits with the salad.

                Your menu is starch heavy; besides the salad (and not counting the appetizers) you have nothing green. You have potatoes two ways, sweet potatoes, and starch heavy stuffing. I'd add something else fresh like some type of green beans, peas or limas or other greens like spinach, kale, mustards, etc for example. It's a matter of taste, I know, but I live in the south and we love our veggies.

                Skip the salmon, you already have oysters...if your guests are arriving between 2-3, that will only be about 4 hours until you serve your salad course. Hopefully, they'll have had breakfast and if they haven't had lunch, your appetizers, along with beverages, will be sufficient enough to stave off hunger until the huge dinner. IMO, if you overdo the apps, they will not be able to fully enjoy your meal & dessert. Then you will have gone to a whole lot of trouble for nothing. Happy Thanksgiving!

                15 Replies
                1. re: Cherylptw

                  are brussies not green?

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    They are BUT they're roasted with other root veggies which are not green and they're not served as a side on their own. They're not the main event in that dish

                    1. re: Cherylptw

                      true. Maybe she should add the broccoli rabe back in.

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        I didn't read her first menu draft but because I have broccoli raab in my garden, I'm partial to it. I think it would be a great addition.

                        1. re: magiesmom

                          that is an option.. it's a no fail dish I served last year for thanksgiving and was a hit with some.. it's very simple- just rabe blanched then sauteed with lemon zest and olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper... it would be easy to add in.

                          I think overall my menu looks more complicated than it is. Most of my dishes involve only a few ingredients and I am only baking one dessert. Many things can also be prepped the day before.

                          I can't believe how helpful everyone has been, giving really specific ideas and suggestions. It's so nice to get that feedback in the planning phase.

                          1. re: allthatglitters

                            Please invite me...it sounds AMAZING.

                            1. re: DaisyM

                              +1 !

                    2. re: Cherylptw

                      I posted this in your earlier thread but it bears repeating here, especially after reading that there are 4 hours between when your guests arrive and you serve the main meal. If it were me, I'd at the very least add back in the charcuterie plate, and the smoked salmon. Both are picky items where guest can have as little as one taste to several as they wish. I don't see what having oysters has anything to do with also having smoked salmon. Is having two seafood dishes excessive or repetitive? Not to me. Your dinner and desert menu look perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. Mine is similar btw, but I always have a soup, followed by a pasta course, and the guest seem to endure it. My holiday feast typically lasts 6-8 hours from start to finish. It IS once per year after all.

                      My post from the other thread.....

                      Personally, I wouldn't listen to all the naysayers to cut this and skip that. Make what you feel like making. I always cook in excess what folks can eat and if I have 8 for dinner, I cook for 12. By now, people appreciate that I just love to cook, and I've never had someone feel "bad" or "guilty" because I put out a lavish spread. If you are going to put out so many courses just spread out the time. Invite them earlier and serve dinner later. Growing up in an Italian household, holiday feasts lasted for hours. There were all sorts of apps and finger foods. A roast beef, lamb or piglet, in addition to the turkey was not unusual, even for a small group of 8 or so. There was always an antipasto, a soup course, and a pasta course. And deserts were plentiful. No one was ever expected to finish everything. Leftovers lasted for a week. Some here have said, skip the sweet potatoes, even though you've mentioned twice that it's a childhood fave and non-negotiable. So why skip them? If you are feeding adults, let THEM police their own appetites and decide what to eat before dinner. Give them enough time and they will get hungry again.

                      Make what you want. I'd do your original menu and have a blast doing it, (or eating it as a guest) Go for it as -is! Happy Thanksgiving.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        I didn't post an earlier thread so I'm assuming you're referring to the original OP's post. To answer your questions, which I'm also assuming are a nod to my post here, my opinion about repetitive ingredients are about the TRUFFLES... MY opinion is also that I would not serve both salmon & oysters, not because it's two seafood dishes rather I feel there's too many appetizers. Please re-read my post for clarification. You posted your opinion in the previous post, this one is mine.

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          is it truffles or truffle oil? the latter should be banished. real truffles? i have had tasting menus where they were on almost every dish. :)

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I've also had tasting menus where they were concentrated on one or several ingredients...The OP didn't specify which, I just went with that thought. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; I just think that the menu should be balanced.....I can't imagine not having stuffing tho! :) I'd give up something else!

                          2. re: Cherylptw

                            My bad, I wasn't responding in total to your post. Just happened to hit reply on the last which coincidentally was yours. Although I did take exception with the part about having both salmon and oysters being too much. Not in my opinion, but yes, you are 100% entitled to your own.

                          3. re: CapeCodGuy

                            my reply to capecodguy from other thread:

                            ~~~~~

                            i too grew up italian-american and still love cooking bountiful spreads for loved ones. by now they all show up with smiles and empty tummies and yes, we eat and drink for many hours. even though i most often do buffet style service, it's courses throughout the event, so the food is always rotating.

                            that being said, i have finally come to terms with managing what i serve. i used to cook like the op, and ya know what? the left-overs most often wound up in the trash. my b/f and i don't have children at home and even with peeps taking food home after the party, it was always too much for the 2 of us to eat even after a week. it's a lot of time and $$$$ wasted.

                            so the choice is to make miserly portions of each dish, so everybody gets just a few spoonfuls, or to edit the menu. i've got about 30 people coming on sunday for a post t-day party. i am making 10-12 different savory items, plus desserts. the op has about 19 items before dessert for a group of 8. unless she has a family of 8 living at home, i don't see her plowing through much of that post-party.

                            ymmv.

                            ~~~~

                            however, i don't know that the other thread included the info that there is a 4 hour window between guest arrival and dinner! yipes! that is a long time before the main course, especially if people will have likely had a very light breakfast and will be drinking at the op's house.

                            i'd add back the charcuterie, but without the cheese. the meat is satisfying and harder to overeat, while people can just pop bites of cheese all day long and be stuffed before they know it. i also think cheese deadens the palate so don't like to serve it early in the meal.

                            if smoked salmon is a regional specialty add that back too.

                            as far as the oysters, how will you keep them out? they need to be on ice and that gets melty and sloppy pretty quickly at room temp.

                            but skip the stuffing and just do brussel sprouts.

                            will you have oven space for all this hot food to be served together during dinner? you have 5 dishes to cook/finish/heat while the turkey is resting.

                            with cheesecake and ice cream for dessert, cheese would totally be overkill. you might want cookies for textural change, or even some cut fall fruits like apples, pears etc.

                            you sound like a generous, ambitious hostess. give yourself some wiggle room so you can enjoy the day too. part of my problem in the past was that by the time i got out all the food, i couldn't bear to look at it anymore, never mind eat some, lol.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              skip the stuffing? NO NO NO, please no.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Skip the stuffing???