Thanksgiving. The day we are supposed to be reminded to stop and give thanks for everything we've been blessed with the prior year. Thanksgiving is also a sort of kick-off to the Holiday season. One family tradition growing up was on the day after Thanksgiving we would always watch a Holiday movie and put up our Christmas tree.
For many people, Thanksgiving means anxiety. I understand that feeling when you're expecting a house full of people and you want everything to be perfect and you're working full time but still trying to get everything done in time.
This year I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner. It will just be my parents, daughter, husband and me so I'm lucky to be able to ease into my first major holiday. I've never cooked a turkey (or a chicken, for that matter!) or made mashed potatoes without using flakes. I tried to make green bean casserole once and it was a disaster. I don't bake so I had to ask my mom to bring the pies. I'm really looking forward to challenging myself this year. I turned 30 a couple months ago and feel like it is TIME for me to get this down!
I've been searching the internet and all my magazines for great Thankgiving recipes and tips on how to roast a turkey. I think I've got a good menu planned. Here's what I'm thinking about doing -
Herb-roasted turkey with butter, olive oil, herbs and lemon zest spread between the skin and the meat. I found several different recipes and I think I'm going to go with a sort of hybrid of several of them. I know this is different from what my mom has always done so I'm looking forward to doing my own thing and making a recipe tradition of my own.
Cranberry sauce. We have always had the jellied cranberries that you pop right out of the can. I love them but am really looking forward to using this recipe I found in this year's Thanksgiving issue of Good Housekeeping. I'll let you know how it turns out! (Oh, and for the sake of nostalgia, we will also have the can-shaped jelly stuff!)
Mashed potatoes. I was planning on winging a roasted garlic mashed potatoes but I've found so many awesome variations from buttermilk mashed to garlic herb mashed (with cream cheese!) that I think I might just have to make a hybrid.
Stuffing/dressing. I'm sure this isn't something tough to do but I love Stove Top so I'm using it. I'll jazz it up a bit by dicing up some fresh celery and onions and baking it (instead of just letting it stay mushy in the kettle). Don't judge, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone enough as it is!
Sweet potatoes. I still don't really know what I'm going to do here. I think my mom usually just dices them up and bakes them with butter and marshmallows. I don't really know. I've found some great recipes for a sweet potato puree, sort of like mashed potatoes. Maybe I'll try something like that. I really don't know!
Green bean casserole. I'm not even going to mess with this one. I like it too much to screw it up. I asked my mom to make it :)
Pies. Because I don't bake, I considered purchasing these from a local bakery but my mom offered to make them. Love her! I will be making home made whipped cream - I'm NOT a fan of Cool Whip.
So there it is. I'm thinkinig of adding brussels sprouts because I love them. I might make glazed carrots. I don't know yet. I have a hard time following recipes so I usually end up making up my own. I'll let you know how it turns out and post LOTS of pictures.
Does anyone have any tips for me? How about any tried and true recipes?