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Thanksgiving menu - please feel free to make suggestions and/or comments

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  • engie Oct 22, 2013 05:04 PM
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Thanksgiving menu - please feel free to make suggestions and/or comments

Capon w/roasted root veggies
potato
carrot
onion
turnip
parsnip
maybe beet, but afraid of dying everything red
Gravy
Glazed ham with mustard sauce
Greens
Mac & cheese
Stuffing
Brussels' sprouts
Corn pudding
Cranberry sauce
rolls/bread
Green salad

Any suggestions for appetizers that are tasty, but not too much/too rich to ruin the main meal. One note on that one, my family isn't the crudités type. So for the appetizers I'm always stuck between a rock and a hard place. Last big holiday I made meatloaf sliders, along with a slew of other appetizers they lost their minds and came to the dinner table stuffed.

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  1. For a nice light app, I make a "flatbread" use a sheet of puff pastry, roll out to a 15 inch square, or thereabouts lay thinly sliced, ripe pear all over, sprinkle liberally with your fave blue cheese, drizzle with honey and bake till golden. Slice into small squares, this is great warm but also sits well ( if it lasts! This is a crowd pleaser) sometimes I add slivered prosciutto . I have also sprinkled with arugula after it comes out of the oven.

    1. Can you get away with just nuts, olives and maybe some cheese straws for apps? Charcuterie?

      Otherwise I think your menu sounds lovely. Just FYI, the beets will dye everything in your roasted root vegetables red, and they will infuse everything with the flavor of beet. I hate beets (one of my guests brought a similar blend of roasted vegetables to my last few Thanksgivings and I couldn't choke it down, even with the beets picked out), so this would not please me, but if your guests like them and you don't care about the color, go for it!

      1. I think you should consider 2012 a lesson and omit apps. Set out a few bowls of nuts and/or seasoned popcorn if they're going to have to wait more than 30 minutes for the meal to begin. Or half-cups of curried squash soup.

        I would drop the spuds from the roasted veg, swap shallots for onion, and add mashed potatoes. OR skip the gravy. If you have gravy, there should be something to put it on (besides the meat) that needs it. IMO gravy lessens the appeal of roasted vegetables and does not improve their ample flavor and texture..

        You're missing sweet potatoes. I'm not a fan of sugar-added preps but like plain mashed, sauteed, or baked sweet potatoes. Or include them with a sweet potato pie for dessert.

        I assume you have guests who don't like poultry, because otherwise the ham and the mac&cheese seem like overkill. You can probably drop the green salad. If it stays, pass dressing separately so you can save what doesn't get eaten, which is usually the entire bowl.

        3 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          It skipped my mind that sis is willing to make mashed pots, so I'll drop the pots in the roast root veggie mix. I like the seasoned popcorn idea. In terms of the wait time I usually have the gang show up 1-1 1/2 hrs ahead of time. They play games and socialize while I finish up dinner, so appetizers are needed. I just tend to overdo it.

          I guess I could drop the root veggies and add some roasted sweet pots.

          The capon is on the menu for it's traditional Thanksgiving value, without cooking the unappreciated turkey. The mac & cheese and ham - they're keepers. Everyone loves them.

          1. re: engie

            You could also just add sweet potatoes to your roasted veg mixture, although in my experience sweet potatoes are always more popular on their own than in a mixture.

          2. re: greygarious

            Agree, up to a point, about the green salad. I make a Waldorf-type (Romaine with apples, toasted nuts, blue cheese, celery, vinaigrette) and it goes uneaten unless I plate it. People love it if it's there. It also takes up a bunch of room on the table. Depends on your crowd, and your sq ft.

            Your menu sounds splendid!

          3. As apps you could do cucumber rounds with a dab of soft goat cheese ontop and chopped herbs, or stuffed mushrooms with a lighter all mushroom veg stuffing, endive leaves with tapenade, or roasted spiced chickpeas

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Great suggestions - my brain is moving towards super flavorful but light.

            2. I like your menu for the most part, except for the beets...I personally can't stand beets plus they leave an aroma on whatever they come into contact with, which I think is why I can't get them past my lips. However, if you want beets, try to find orange or yellow beets; they would add color to your root veg blend and it's my understanding they have a different flavor.

              I don't feel you necessarily have to have a potato dish to put gravy on, nor do I feel you should serve two potato dishes at the same meal. Gravy is great just on roast capon/stuffing. If you do white potatoes in the root veg blend, don't do sweet potatoes. Instead, consider adding butternut or other squash to your veg blend in addition to or instead of white potatoes.

              Personally, I would not do appetizers with this huge menu you have. Instead, I would just serve the green salad as a starter but I'd add citrus like oranges, shaved red onion & maybe sliced black olives with a citrus vinaigrette to keep it fresh and to get your guests salivating for what's to come. Keep it simple; no cheese, no nuts (you have cheese in the mac & cheese). Serve appetizer portions with small rolls, crostinis or home made crackers topped with sea salt or poppyseed. These can be made ahead & frozen before the day you serve.

              I can't understand why you would undercut your own menu last year by serving sliders as appetizers before a heavy meal.

              1. What about some old school deviled eggs for appetizer? They're popular in my family gatherings.

                1. How many people are coming to this dinner?

                  I love the mac & cheese, stuffing, and corn pudding but it sounds like an awful lot of starchy sides especially if you add in some potatoes too. And I love starchy sides!

                  Could you add the brussels sprouts in with the roasted carrots and (red) onions etc?

                  Also what are "greens"?

                  I would serve some sort of tapenade or hummus and pita chips for an appetizer and I like the idea that someone mentioned of the cucumber rounds with goat cheese.