Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Countdown...

 All of our Halloween candy is gone, thank goodness. Already, Christmas commercials are in full swing. And now, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away!

Thanksgiving, at our home, has become very simple and traditional.  I'm, pretty much, the only cook and baker, so I've honed down the menu so that I can stretch out the prep work over three days.

These Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms turned out to be an appetizer that our guest kept raving about.  Of course, it's an Ina Garten recipe, so it has to be good!  I make the sausage stuffing a day ahead, so it saves time. Bring these to a holiday potluck, and people will be asking for the recipe.

This Make Ahead Turkey Gravy, turned out to be a life saver.  If you think that you can't make gravy, I'll show you how to do it. It's not that hard!

Here's another huge time saver!  These Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are "Da Bomb".  I use unpeeled Yukon Gold Potatoes, and add high-calories ingredients like heavy cream, cream cheese, butter and an egg (for extra richness).  I'll be making these two days ahead of T-Day.  Sometimes I reheat them in a crockpot...or I'll put them in a casserole dish and heat them in the oven.  If you've been invited to dinner, and volunteered to bring the potatoes-- make these. You'll be a rock star!

This year, I'm planning on grilling our turkey. That means that I'll have to make gravy ahead of time.  Gobble, gobble.   Speaking of turkey...

The photo of this turkey doesn't do it justice-- which shows how far my photography has come, since this Thanksgiving two years ago. This is another Ina Garten recipe.  If you want a simple way to prepare your turkey-- without having to brine it, this bird turned out to be super moist and flavorful. Ina calls this recipe "Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter" but you don't have to add truffles for this recipe to work.

Let's keep the carbs going, shall we?  Sweet potatoes-- specially yams-- are my favorite Thanksgiving dish.  These are Candied Sweet Potatoes with an adult kick. Um, a little whiskey in these kicks up the flavor a whole lotta notches! Love these!

This Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Fluff and Pecan Streusel is a lot more kid-friendly.  The year before, I made this in small ramekins-- minus the marshmallows. It seems that I had some sad faces, so I added marshmallows the following year.  There wasn't much left, because everyone loved this. Its a side dish-- it's a dessert. It's both!  Well, I did have some for breakfast, the next morning. Amazing!

Sweet potatoes with marshmallow not your thing? I got you covered.  If you want to get a bit more "gourmet" and fancy schmancy, then this Scalloped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs should do the trick.  I'm competing with Paula Deen, with fat grams on this one. This has heavy cream, garlic, fresh herbs and Gruyere Cheese!  Can we say "yum"!  I served this for our Christmas Dinner, last year.  Guests went back for more...and more.

We need fresh rolls, to soak up all the gravy, don't we?  Besides, the next day, you can make mini turkey sandwiches with these.  These remain my #1 most favorite bread rolls. These are King Arthur Flour's Golden Pull Apart Buns-- and they are tender and buttery... wow!  Think you can't bake worth a darn? I'll show you how to make them.

However-- these One Hour Rolls come pretty close in carbohydrate deliciousness.  You can't mess these up, I promise.

Not everybody loves Pumpkin Pie.  I don't know what's wrong with them-- but, if that's the case with your family... make this Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Frosting.  It's a beautiful cake and makes a gorgeous presentation. 

As for me-- I'm as traditional as it gets. I love pumpkin pie.  For years, I've made Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe-- and it's a good one. This recipe comes from King Arthur Flour-- and has a surprising "secret" ingredient. I was nervous about trying it, but this Perfect Pumpkin Pie truly was perfection.

This year, I hope to photograph a beautifully grilled turkey. I'm long overdue in sharing my Crockpot Cornbread Stuffing Recipe.  I want to try a couple of new appetizers.  Now that I think of it, I should post some veggie or fruit recipes.  Though, the men rarely touch those. My brothers remain bachelors, so I don't have any female kitchen assistants. Sigh.

The countdown begins--

Oh, and I'm wide open to be your dinner guest. I'll bring any one of these dishes-- as long as you do the dishes!  (Right.)

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Big Dude said...

I really like the make ahead ideas and the shot of mashed potatoes and gravy has me drooling here at 6:45 am.

Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I do believe this will be my menu. I LOVE the make ahead dishes and everything looks so good! Thanks for posting! I'm sharing the link over at Farm Chick Chit Chat on facebook.


Constance said...

Your blog continues to be 'da bomb'

Now surely your bros do the dishes and males, including brothers!, make great kitchen assistants..just order them around.

I want to eat your photos--notched up those photography skills, you sure have.

Thank You for all your time and effort into such an enjoyable blog..Happy TGiving to You and Yours.

Karen said...

I never thought of using the crockpot to heat mashed potatoes... good idea. I put them in a foil covered stainless bowl and re-heat them over a pan of simmering water. Your menu looks great... I've got to get to mine!

Kathleen said...

What a fabulous post! I love all your make ahead ideas. Who doesn't need that for heaven sake!

Elizabeth Moreno said...

Your blog is so nice! I'm a new follower and hope you can follow back.

Lynn said...

Your menu looks great Debbie. I'm from Canada and our Thanksgiving is in October but we had many similar foods. I made a chicken, only 3 of us, instead of a turkey and this time didn't make sweet potatoes. The stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy really are the hit of the meal besides the bird itself in my home:) For my family Christmas is a very similar meal. We are very traditional - don't dare change a thing or my sons revolt!!

Joanne said...

I know my belly would be happy at your Thanksgiving with all of those sweet potato dishes!

Roz P. said...

With this spread, I think I'll just have to pop right in and join the party at your house Debby! What a great round-up of recipes!

RSA QLD said...

What a sweet savor of thanks giving, my tummy wants one. Thanks for the share!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

My mother and I are doing a joint effort for T-day this year. I'm doing turkey, stuffing, gravy, and chocolate pie (no pumpkin for me - bleah) and possibly some biscuits. She is doing the sweet potatoes, mashers, cranberry sauce and veggies. I think she said she'd buy a pumpkin pie because someone might want it. I don't have the time to do it all myself anymore and I never really had the space to host.

It's funny about marshmallows and sweet potatoes. Some people are fiercely loyal to the 'mallows and some think they're the worst thing ever. Battles can be fierce!

Grilled turkey seems to really be gaining in popularity lately. Can't wait to see yours!

a. maren said...

what a lot of gorgeous recipes! mmm that red velvet cake! wow!

Monica H said...

I'm so excited for Thanksgiving! Happy day to you and your family!

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

I'd like to invite you to join me at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

I hope to see you there!
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick