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Friday, November 16, 2012

{Thanksgiving Prep} The Menu

It’s time to share our Thanksgiving menu plans!

This year I am going with my Thanksgiving basics, the recipes we use year after year. No experimenting, nothing crazy. I want a super comforting Thanksgiving table! And I don’t even care that there’s not one fresh vegetable or salad to be seen!

Here’s what I’m making on what days:

  • Monday: bake and smash the butternut squash (for rolls) and sweet potatoes (for souffle) (will freeze on monday, then defrost on wednesday, to prolong freshness)
  • Tuesday: Cranberry Slush base, Roux for the Gravy, Cut up bread for stuffing and let sit out for two days
  • Wednesday: Broccoli Casserole, Corn Souffle, Sweet Potato Souffle, All the Desserts (we are meeting with friends for dessert, so we’ll split the duties), Mashed Potatoes
  • Thursday: Turkey, Gravy, Rolls, Stuffing, Heat/Cook all the Side Dishes

I am excited to see all of your menus, whether you’re going basic and traditional like I am or thinking outside the Thanksgiving box! If you have recipes or links to recipes, please share those, too!


  1. 1

    We are having:
    turkey breast
    green beans with almonds
    cranberry jello salad,-Sides—Salads/Molded-Cranberry-Fruit-Salad.aspx
    relish tray(pickles, olives, peppers)
    pumpkin roll
    ice cream
    sparkling cider
    There are only 4 of us and this should be plenty!Hope those links work for recipes.

  2. We’re celebrating the holiday with all the fixin’s at my parents’ house on Saturday.

    On Thanksgiving Day morning, I’m running a half marathon (by first! wish me luck), so I’m keeping things pretty easy. All will be made or prepped ahead of time.

    – Cornish game hens with pomegranate molasses
    – Cornbread
    – Orange-glazed carrots
    – Roasted potatoes
    – Pumpkin pie

  3. 3

    We are having:
    Mashed Potatoes
    Sourdough Stuffing
    Sautéed Green Beans with mushrooms and garlic
    Candied Yams
    Bread (baguette or crescents)
    Pumpkin Pie
    Apple Pie
    Frosted Sugar Cookies

  4. 4

    Here’s the tentative plan, as long as morning sickness stays at bay

    Turkey(the man wants to BBQ/smoke it)
    Mashed potatoes
    Mashed cauliflower and carrots
    Orange carrots
    Green beans
    Crockpot coconut sweet potato
    I think I’ll try that cranberry jello thing Holly posted
    Canned corn(yuck – but the masses love it)
    Pumpkin pie with a nut crust

    But, since Thursday is not a holiday here(Friday is), we’ll be going to sushi to celebrate national Kaiten Sushi Day! You know the sushi on conveyer belts.
    Happy cooking!

  5. 5
    Nikki CB

    I’m going to be at a relative’s house for Thanksgiving and I’m not sure if I’m going to be cooking a thing! But it’ll be a classic Thanksgiving dinner I think, which I love. Complete with crescent rolls from the can! Ha ha!

  6. 6

    My family and I are all contributing to Thanksgiving at my parents. And then an hour after eating at my parents, I will be eating again at my boyfriend’s parents. Oink Oink! Can’t wait!
    Fried Turkey
    Sweet Potato Casserole
    Baked Beans
    Deviled Eggs
    Pimento Stuffed Celery
    Cornbread Dressing
    I’m making:
    Potato Gratin
    Green Bean Casserole (to take to BF’s mom’s)
    Mac & Cheese
    Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles
    Cranberry Apple Pie

  7. 7
    Crystal H.

    Hubby does most of the cooking on Thanksgiving, and I just help with side dishes and pies. We are trying something new this year with the pork I found on sale last week! Last year we did 2 small chickens instead of turkey and found it to be much easier and no one missed the turkey, so we will do something similar:

    Roasted chicken
    Pork roast
    Chorizo stuffing
    Garlic or bacon mashed potatoes w/ cheese
    Candied yams
    Rolls (brown n serve kind!)
    Pumpkin pie
    Key lime pie
    Pumpkin ice cream pie (Mix vanilla ice cream with pumpkin purée. Pour in graham cracker crust and freeze).
    Sparkling cider
    Cranberry juice mixed w/ Sprite

    And THANKS to soybeanlover for the idea to make mashed cauliflower and carrots! Will be making that for dinner tonight. Yay!

  8. 8

    Doing something simple, 4 adults and 2 kids.

    -Turkey (breast only)
    -Mashed Potatoes
    -Oven roasted green beans and carrots
    -Corn & greens casserole (something a basic corn casserole with some greens added, not sure)
    -Apple pie
    -Apple cider
    -Hard cider (for the grown ups)

  9. Here is our plan for (Mostly) Veggie Thanksgiving Dinner:
    Turkey Shaped Veggie Tray
    Apple, Brie, and Honey Brushetta

    Sweet potato & Arugula Salad
    Mushroom & Veg Dressing
    Mashed Potatoes
    Chopped Brussel Sprout Salad
    Dinner Rolls
    Cranberry Relish
    Veggie Shepard’s Pie

    Carmel Apple Pie
    Pumpkin Pie

  10. We usually have a big family get-together (30+ people), but our infant has special needs, and his doctors have recommended keeping him away from large groups during cold and flu season. This will be our first Thanksgiving with just us, and my first time cooking a turkey!

    -Turkey and Gravy
    -Cranberry, Apple, Sausage Dressing
    -Fresh Green Bean Casserole
    -Red Smashed Potatoes
    -Fresh Cranberry Sauce
    -Homemade Rolls
    -Pumpkin Pie
    -Apple Crisp with homemade Whipped Cream

    I’ll try to do as much beforehand as possible. But we’ll see how the week pans out 🙂

    • good luck with the turkey!

      and enjoy your small thanksgiving…I love it when we have quiet little thanksgivings with our immediate family, it’s very sweet 🙂

  11. 11

    We are trying something different this year to accommodate our vegetarian lifestyle…we are having a Native American feast! Our guests are very excited and I hope it turns out like I’ve planned!
    Our menu:
    Navajo tacos (with slow cooked pinto beans and lots of fresh toppings)
    Autumn succotash
    Southwestern rice
    Green salad with lots of dried cranberries and pomegranate seeds
    Cranberry slush (from your recipe! It looks delicious!)
    Pumpkin shortbread cake
    Apple tarts

    Happy thanksgiving to you!

  12. 12
    Holly M

    I’m a guest for Thanksgiving dinner bringing two dips that I bring each year and two veggies:

    The dips are from Hollyhocks and Radishes:  pepperoni dip and gherkins dip.  (pickles, beer, and cream cheese -yum!)

    For sides, I’m doing things I can make ahead and won’t put me, or my dishes, in the way in the kitchen.

    Green bean salad from last year:

    And new roasted carrots and parsnips:

  13. 13
    Holly M

    And I think I’ll make cranberry slush for our friends coming by after the turkey trot.

  14. 14

    Bad a meal planning these days, but do have a thanksgiving plan with my sister, who came up with most of it.

    Turkey with Apricot Glaze Shallot Gravy
    Cornbread stuffing
    Brussel sprouts w/ chestnuts
    Spaghetti Squash w/pumpkin yogurt sauce
    Mashed potatoes
    Baked mushrooms (my son’s choice, from “Food on the Table”
    Green bean casserole (with fresh green beans, shitake and oyster mushrooms)
    Spinach Salad
    Cranberry Scones

    Pecan pie
    Pumpkin pie
    Frozen chocolate pie (a weird craving I’m having, need recipe 🙂

    We need a few more people to help us eat everything 🙂

  15. 15
    Erika B.

    We are having 25 dinner guests in our tiny house. Here is what I’m making;

    2 Turkeys (14lbs each)
    Tofurkey Roast
    Trader Joe’s Turkey Gravy and Homemade Veggie Sausage Gravy
    Stuffing with Maple Chicken Sausage and Apples (and a Veggie one)
    Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    Corn and Leek Pudding (has gruyere cheese and vanilla extract)
    Sweet Potato Gratin with Bourbon, Parmesan and Pecans
    Orange and Ginger Praline Yams
    Green Beans with Fried Onions
    Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Almond Butter
    Trader Joe’s Cranberry Sauce and The Jellied Canned Kind
    King’s Hawaiian Rolls and Butter

    Guests are bringing sparkling cider and desserts. I really want a Baskin Robbins turkey shaped ice cream cake. My mother in law is bringing some snacks to get people started.

  16. 16

    Could you post the recipe for the sweet potato gratin with bourbon, parm and pecans? That sounds great!

    • erika emailed me the recipe, source here 🙂

      Sweet Potato Gratin with Bourbon & Pecans
      Serves 10-12
      This dish is from Tara Duggan. It’s just as good, if not better, made one or two days ahead. Reheat in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes.

      1 tablespoon butter + more for casserole
      3 cloves garlic
      2 cups cream
      — Salt and pepper to taste
      — Freshly grated nutmeg
      2 onions, thinly sliced
      1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
      2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey
      2 pounds jewel sweet potatoes, peeled
      1/2 cup pecan pieces
      3/4 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
      Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350.°
      Butter a 13-by-9-inch casserole or similar size oval gratin dish. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub on the inside of the pan.
      Place the cream and remaining 2 1/2 cloves garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to just barely mmer then set aside off the heat and allow the garlic to infuse the cream. Season well with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
      Place 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and thyme and saute until the onions are wilted and slightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add the bourbon, and cook a few minutes until the raw alcohol taste cooks off. Season well with salt and pepper.
      Slice the sweet potatoes on a mandoline or with a knife 1/8-inch thick. Place a layer of sweet potatoes end to end in the pan, using half pieces to fill in any holes. Season well with salt and pepper, then add 1/3 of the onions. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato and onions, continuing to fill in gaps with small pieces so that you have even layers and ending with a sweet potato layer. (If you have extra sweet potatoes, make another layer without the onions.) Pour the cream mixture on top, nestling the garlic pieces into the gratin.
      Cover with foil and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, 45-50 minutes. Place the pecans on a separate pan and roast until fragrant, 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, then roughly chop.
      Sprinkle the gratin with the Parmesan and return it to the oven, uncovered, until the topping is melted, 5-10 minutes. Scatter the pecans on top and let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.

    • oh, and a quick note from erika:
      I have made it subbing 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme for the fresh it calls for. If you want to make a half portion, it fits nicely in an 8 by 8 in pan.

  17. 17

    wine. lots of wine.
    Roast Turkey. 18lber, bought from the neighbor.
    mom’s stuffing (with cranberries)
    mashed potatoes
    mashed butternut squash
    green bean casserole in slow cooker
    sweet potato knot rolls (which I premade and froze)
    real cranberry sauce – no canned stuff.
    apple pie & pumpkin pie for dessert (with homemade whipped cream)

  18. 18
    Lisa W.

    We are heading to sis in law’s. Happy Thanksgiving!

    She’s making:
    Baked Ham
    Mashed Potatoes
    sweet Potato Casserole
    Asparagus Casserole

    Guests Contributions:
    Fruit Salad
    Hawaiian Rolls
    Pumpkin Pie
    Lemon Meringue Pie

    My contribution:
    Deep Fried Turkey (our 1st time trying this! Wish us luck!)
    Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese (4yr olds fave Thanksgiving dish). 🙂
    Cranberry-Jalapeno Relish (raw relish w/ cranberries, oranges, jalapeño, sugar, & mint…so yummy!)
    Veg Platter w/ yogurt ranch dip (cucumber, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, radish, cherry tomato, carrot, celery)
    Pastry-Wrapped Brie (1 w/ jalapeño jelly & 1 w/ caramelized nuts)

  19. 19
    Lisa W.

    Oh yeah…I’m trying cranberry slush w/ champagne floater for appertif!

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