Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu

I'm trying to plan our Thanksgiving menu/cooking schedule for this year.  And by our cooking schedule, I mean my cooking schedule because that's how it's going to roll this year.  We don't have any family coming (unless you want to make some fast plans!) and it is too short of a vacation/too far for us to visit family for the holiday so we are pretty much on our own.  It's really not so bad.  We've been doing it this way since we moved to the great wide north over 7 years ago (7 YEARS? WHAT?!).
So for my sanity and maybe your benefit - maybe not - I'm posting the plan for this year.  It is much the same as last year but hopefully by writing it down in a more permanent location than a spiral notebook it will last.
The Menu:
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Green Jello
Cabbage Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls
Apple Pie
Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake

The Turkey:
I use the turkey brineing method found on OurBestBites it is a bit laborious but totally worth it!  I did it this way last year and have done it a few times since.  Just look at this gorgeous bird.  It is so juicy and flavorful. We really like it.
 The Stuffing:
Don't judge.  It's good enough for us and
there's enough going on with this meal that
making my own stuffing is not a priority!
Sweet Potatoes:
I've never been a fan of sweet potatoes.  Last year I discovered it is actually the traditional way of preparing sweet potatoes - you know, the brown sugar and marshmallows - that I'm not a fan of.  I tried this recipe from OurBestBites last year.  It was a hit!  Definitely the way to make sweet potatoes for my family.
Mashed Potatoes:
I just found a new recipe, Make Ahead Mashed Potoatoes.  What?!  I think I might try these before Thanksgiving just to make sure we like them.  And then again, I might now.  But if it works, these are going on the permanent list.  How fabulous to not make mashed potatoes in the midst of everything else going on!
Green Jello:
This is Roy's favorite jello.  Probably because it is more sugar than jello.  I use a recipe adapted from an obscure cookbook from a small restaurant in Osseo, WI called The Norske Nook
Gladys's Cottage Cheese Salad
1 large can  crushed pineapple and its juice
2 small boxes lime Jello
4 cups mini marshmallows
dash of salt
2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups whipped cream
1 cup chopped nuts
1. Drain the pineapple juice into a 2 cup measuring cup reserving pineapple for later.  Add enough water to make it 2 cups liquid.  Nuke until boiling.  Use this boiling liquid to dissolve the lime Jello in a large bowl.
2. Add the marshmallows and salt.  Stir until the marshmallows are mostly dissolved and really small.
3. Refrigerate until the Jello starts to set but isn't totally gelled yet.  Add the cottage cheese, whipped cream, nuts and crushed pineapple.  Mix well and return to the refrigerator to finish setting.
 Cabbage Salad:
This is my favorite salad which is why we have it.  Roy thinks its okay and the kids don't like it much but I love it.  Since I'm the one doing the planning, shopping, preping and cooking, we have this salad!  It is adapted for many different sources.
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 bags beef Ramen Noodles
handful or two sunflower seeds
handful or two sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
seasoning packets from Ramen noodles
1/2 - 1 tsp pepper
1. Crush the Ramen noodles.  Mix coleslaw mix, green onions, Ramen noodles, sunflower seeds and almonds in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients well.  Pour dressing over salad and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. (I like the dressing to soak into the salad a bit before eating it.  If you don't, pour the dressing on right before serving.)
Cranberry Sauce:
Not a huge fan of cranberry sauce.  Honestly, we only having it because I have some in the freezer from last year.  I used this recipe from OurBestBites.  It's not bad as far as cranberry sauces go.
Green Beans:
Last year, I made these Bacon-Wrapped Green Bean Bundles.  My FIL really liked them but I felt the bacon was too chewy with no way to get it crispy.  This year I'm going for our favorite green beans.
Crescent Rolls:
This is my standard, go-to roll recipe.  I use it for rolls and cinnamon rolls.  We really like them and it is pretty hard to mess them up.  Just don't add too much flour.  It will seem like you need more flour but really, less is better here.  My dough usually sticks to the side of the bowl even while being "kneaded" in my Bosch mixer.  But that's part of the magic: they are always light a fluffy (even if you don't have much rising time) because there isn't too much flour.    
Apple Pie:
This recipe comes from my mom.  What really sells it is the crumb topping!
1 single pie crust (frozen this year;)
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch (more or less depending on the juiciness of your apples)
6 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
Crumb Topping
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1. Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch in small bowl.  Dump lemon juice over apple slices and toss to coat.  Combine apple slices with sugar mixture until apples are coated. Pour apple mixture into unbaked pie crust.  
2. Prepare crumb topping by mixing brown sugar and flour.  Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and combined (don't beat it - you don't want it smooth).
3. Cover apples with crumb topping.  Bake at 400* F for 30-35 minutes.
*Hint* Place pie tin on baking sheet before putting it in the oven.  That way if any liquid bubbles out from the apples it won't burn on the bottom of your oven for the next 2-4 weeks.
Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake:
It is starting to feel like this post should be sponsored by OurBestBites with the number of links I've linked you to!  Here's one more.  Again, so worth any effort to make this one.  And compared to making pumpkin pie, this isn't really much more labor intensive but 1,000 times better.  Of course, I don't really like pumpkin pie so.... there's that.
Anyway, there you have it.  Once a year I go all out and crazy making food.  It's great that I don't have to cook for the week following too!


Melanie said...

A FEAST!!!! Looks so so so tasty. Especially the pumpkin cheesecake. Drooling!

Richins Family said...

All of the food looks yummy! I tried to click on the turkey link but couldn't find it. I am making the turkey this year and would like to try your recipe if you get a chance send it to
Good luck with all the cooking! I wish we lived closer!! :)

Sheena said...

I updated the link so hopefully it should work. I'll email it too you as well. Good luck with the turkey!