Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Ideas

My second favorite holiday of all time is approaching! I have not quite put together my Thanksgiving menu yet, but it will include one pie, a few sides, and of course, a turkey. And some wine or champagne. Or both! To inspire you with some ideas, I have put together some ideas I have / will be making for sure. My older Thanksgiving posts may have some ideas for you too (just search "Thanksgiving" in the search bar).

Let's start with my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. Dessert.

If you are stressed about pie crust, and not too concerned about how traditional your pie must be, try the salted caramel pie I made for Dessert Fest 2012. It is very easy and as I mention in the post, doesn't require too much of "hands on" time. I guess you could even buy a pre-made graham cracker crust to really save on time/stress. Of course, it is no pumpkin pie, but still delicious. This year, my sister and I are thinking of a few options, including this sweet potato pie. I am really liking the idea of a gingersnap crust. What are your favorite desserts for Thanksgiving?

Side Dishes
This year, our Thanksgiving is for 4 humans and 1 puppy (who can't eat most of the food we make once it is marinated/salted/etc). So, we don't need too many sides as there are only so many things 4 people can eat in the course of a two hour meal. We will absolutely be making cranberry sauce at home - and I would recommend you do the same instead of buying the canned version. This version sounds exotic (dates and all!), but I may just stick to a classic recipe garnished with a few pieces of orange zest.

Obviously, side dishes with both brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes or yams are required. This bourbon walnut sweet potato mash looks perfect. If you are trying to keep it healthy-ish (that is a relative term for Thanksgiving), a seasonal salad would be delicious! I found this one and make actually try it next week when I am back in New York.

Cornbread? Good idea to have a side of this as well. Maybe combine two in and and make a cornbread stuffing!

I am not sure if mac & cheese is a traditional Thanksgiving side dish, but if I were cooking for a large family, I would probably make a batch of it to serve. This one sounds great and is on my list of recipes to try, but you could also stick to a traditional one, maybe with some prosciutto or bacon thrown in.

I am not in charge of our Thanksgiving turkey. In fact, all that I know is what I have gleaned from various food shows. Something about brining? Something about a salt water bath (Alton Brown)? Maybe this year, I will actually pay attention to what my parents are doing as they prepare our bird.

I plan on having wine. Lots of full-bodied, delicious, red wine. I think I will be too full and wasting room in my tummy for anything else! If there were more people over, I would probably make a mulled cider.

Vegetarians and vegans, any suggestions for what your favorite Thanksgiving dishes are? I've never had to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for vegetarian or vegan guests, so please share!


Sarika said...

Well I have a lot Thanksgiving favorites. There's a sweet potato brulee that has been a classic in our Thanksgiving dinners and a personal favorite is pecan pie. Also, any savory side featuring pancetta is always winner!

Becca said...

I love love love Brussels sprouts! Especially with bacon to make it extra healthy haha. Wish I could celebrate thxgiving with you girls - have fun!