Thursday, November 7, 2013

My favorite Thanksgiving recipes

I just got my broken camera lens back from the "Canon Hospital", so I've been unable to photograph any new recipes for the last couple of weeks. This weekend, I plan to make some new recipes. In the meantime, I've decided this is a good time to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes-- since the holiday is less than three weeks away!

I enjoy Thanksgiving, and I'm thankful that I have family to celebrate it with. But, last Thanksgiving, I let both of my bachelor brothers know that Thanksgiving 2013 I was not going to be cooking or baking.  I just need a break from slaving away in the kitchen for two days.  Standing for hours at a time took it's toll on my arthritic knee. Now that I have a brand new one, I'm still in the process of healing-- and my knee isn't as painful as it once was. Whew! Since I'm, pretty much, the sole cook and baker  I've found ways to make a few of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time.

This "Make Ahead Turkey Gravy" is a lifesaver.  This recipe can be made a few days ahead of time (or weeks, and you can freeze it). I reheat it in a small crockpot, which frees up my stove-- plus, I don't have to hassle with making gravy, once the turkey is ready.   If you're on the guest list, and have been asked to bring one dish-- make this gravy!  Delicious!

Another time saver is this "Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes".  Personally, I think Yukon Gold Potatoes are the tastiest choice.   I add an egg, which gives extra richness to the spuds-- oh, and cream cheese, and heavy cream, and butter. Yes, these are rich and decadent.  Once in a while, just go for it!

When it comes to bread rolls, I just can't deal with store bought. These Golden Pull Apart Buns are tender, and perfect with turkey and gravy.

Would you believe that I made these Dinner Rolls in an hour? I wouldn't lie about such things. These are really easy to make-- even for a beginner bread baker. Oh, and I made a whole wheat version, too!

 I absolutely adore yams. I'll pass on stuffing any day. I have a hard time deciding which recipe I love the most-- these Candied Yams...

 ...or this "Sweet Potato Casserole".  This has a layer of marshmallow creme and a pecan streusel. Dessert or side dish? You decide.

 One Thanksgiving, I made these Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. They were a big hit with my family.

I don't have two ovens, and it's hard to juggle the roasting of The Bird, and baking the stuffing, the bread and side dishes.  We made a grilled turkey on our Weber (Cook's Illustrated).  Not only did this method free up my oven, it also delivered a moist turkey with a beautiful browned skin.   We loved it!

 Fortunately, everyone in my family loves pumpkin pie. I love Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe. But this year, I tried a recipe from King Arthur Flour. There's a secret little ingredient that gave the pumpkin a little kick, but nobody could figure out what it was...until I told them. 

I'm surprised at how many people proclaim that they can't make a pie crust to save their life. Funny thing is, I'm not a big fan of pie crust, but I think they're fun to make.

I'll be making this "Pumpkin Roll" again. It makes an impressive looking dessert, and it's super easy to do.

If you truly don't like pumpkin, then this Apple Brown Butter Tart is a delicious Fall alternative for your holiday table.

This Thanksgiving, my husband and I will drive to Northern California, right near the Nevada border to spend the holiday with his sister and two cousins-- who are flying in from various parts of the country.  No, I won't be cooking.  We're eating out.

Though, I think I'll be making a miniature Thanksgiving dinner at home with just the three of us-- my husband and my son.  Just a quiet day to be thankful for what we have-- and that I can take it easy.

I'm looking forward to playing with some new kitchen toys gadgets tools that I just bought. Just wait and see!

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Christine said...

Just loved the list of recipes. I've probably bookmarked most of them (along with 10 million others) so getting your post is a big help as a reminder! Glad your knee is feeling less pain!! :)

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Lots of great Thanksgiving ideas. We don't have two ovens either and grilling the turkey sounds perfect.
Love the gravy you made ahead too.

bellini said...

I love to make a lot of my dishes ahead from vegetables, to stuffing, to dessert. It just makes it easy for the cook to enjoy the food and the company on the big day.

Karen said...

We're having a smaller group for TG this year and I was thinking of a rolled and stuffed turkey breast. I always make my mashed potatoes ahead of time and am going to take a look at your make ahead gravy.

Joanne said...

Making things ahead of time is KEY to have an easy stress-free Thanksgiving! These are great!

Big Dude said...

The potato and gravy shot made me instantly crave it and I really like the make ahead gravy tutorial.

Kate said...

I am so ready for this meal! It is my favorite meal of the year. I tried the make ahead gravy last year and will continue to do easy and so much less last minute stress.

Pam said...

It all looks great, and makes me ready for Thanksgiving. We put the turkey in the oven and grill a goose. Your potatoes are a must try, decadent! Thanks for the recipe!

Becki's Whole Life said...

Mmmm, now you have me hungry and inspired for Thanksgiving dinner! I love that you keep things traditional, but yet perfected. I am doing the make-ahead gravy this year.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh yes, the pies, the make-ahead mashed potatoes, the turkey - well everything looks wonderful. Great post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.