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Monday, November 21, 2016

Our Thanksgiving Menu | Menu Planning & Worksheets


This is a post I share every year, and each year I update it with some of the new recipes I've added... Hello, The Barefoot Contessa's Fig Preserves & Goat Cheese for an appetizer.  I've also included the link to my Thanksgiving Planning Worksheets (below) to help you with your scheduling for the week... it is "go" time for those of us hosting!

....

(This is a photo of our first Turkey from the First Thanksgiving Mike and I hosted in our home, 6 years ago.)



And this is a half-eatten plate from last year's Thanksgiving.



Here is a link to download my Thanksgiving Worksheets.  They will help you go on autopilot for the day so you can enjoy yourself and know that everything will be perfectly timed... or at least most things.   You will be prompted to add your email before the lists download, just FYI.  This adds you to my email list so you can stay updated on new posts and specials I have for the store.  


This year, I'm organizing myself with my Weekly Planner - giving me a chance to schedule all of my errands and activities, as well as the cooking schedule.

Somethings aren't changing, like the BEST Turkey recipe that starts with a bottle of white wine and a pound of butter : )   Last year I started brining the turkey and hope to have the time to do it this year, too.  You can see Our Thanksgiving in Photos, in this post from last year.

Roasted Turkey & Gravy Recipes

One thing that I highly recommend, is trying the Turkey recipe I have posted from Martha Stewart I shared years ago.  We stared using this method a our first Thanksgiving and everyone goes crazy over it.  You stuff the bird with lemon, garlic, thyme, and sage, then baste it with a mixture of a bottle of chardonnay and 4 sticks of butter.  It makes the most unbelievable pan drippings for gravy.  Turkey is usually a little bland, but this recipe makes it amazing.


I used a mixture of water, apple cider, brown sugar, sea salt, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves.


I should've found a brining bag, but I used a couple of giant ziplocks. It worked ok, but the turkey kept poking holes, so I'll be buying real brining bag this year.


Last year the girls help me prep the turkey - each had a lemon wedge, onion wedge, bunch of parsley and thyme to put in.



I forgot to find a turkey baster last year, so I used a ladle... more of a pain, taking that huge pan in and out of the oven.  Hopefully I'll remember this year!


Of course, while the turkey is roasting, there is a "light" breakfast + coffee for the parade watchers.  Make the scones days in advance, keep them in the fridge, then bake them in the morning.



I like to keep appetizers light.  This year, I'm serving my newest obsession from the "Cooking for Jeffery" Barefoot Contessa book - Fig Preserves with Goat Cheese.  Oh my goodness.  It is so, so good.  I'll share my version of the recipe tomorrow.  If time allows, I am considering making the Spicy & Sweet Potato Empanadas also.


Kale, Pumpkin Seed, Apple & Cranberry Salad

Always nice to have something fresh and crunchy in addition to such an indulgent meal.  We added this one last year, and everyone loved it.

 

Traditional Herb Stuffing Recipe - This is the best dressing!



 The Best Classic Mashed Potatoes | Potato Ricer

 

Pecan Tart | A New Twist on a Classic Pecan Pie Recipe

Chocolate Meringue Pie + How to Make the Prettiest Pie Crust Tutorial

My Mom is in charge of the pies... this is my last attempt to convince her to make a chocolate cream pie along with a pecan!   The last I heard, the pecan was still on the menu, but the chocolate was up for grabs.   We'll see if this works : )

  

 Thanksgiving Table Setting 

I'm going to do a new version of this Pumpkin Floral Centerpiece this year that I'll share on Wednesday morning.  Emma and I are going to work on it after school tomorrow!  I'll share the step-by-step on Instagram - follow along : )  

Enjoy this week of planning - my favorite part of Thanksgiving... getting everything ready!


Jenny

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