Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu Planning

I've started my Thanksgiving menu planning... I know, I'm early, but I'm a planner and like to be super organized, prepared, and have things done in advance to avoid the last minute chaos, confusion and rush.

This year for Thanksgiving Jeremy and I will be eating at our place and having mom and Fransisco over and maybe a couple friends who don't have family in the area. Mom and Fransisco are vegetarians so I generally plan two entrees as Jeremy and I love the traditional Thanksgiving fare that isn't so vegetarian friendly. This is what I'm thinking so far;

-Turkey- this year I want to try something new and use this recipe to try brining the turkey ahead of time
-Jeremy's mom's delicious sweet potato casserole recipe
-Jeremy's mom's stuffing/ dressing recipe
-The traditional green bean casserole
-Turtle Pumpkin Pie I made this last year and we all liked it, it's hard to find dessert recipes that don't have eggs (which my mom and Fransisco don't eat). I was super thrilled when I found this one that was good for the holidays also, and that Jeremy enjoyed.
-Spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer, and then for the vegetarian entree I stuff some of this inside of portobello mushroom caps and bake.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
-1 32 oz bag frozen spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry using a kitchen towel
-1 can of artichokes, drained and chopped
-2-4 cloves of garlic minced (depending on your taste, but I can’t get enough of it!)
-1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-1 cup mozzarella cheese (it tastes so much better if you splurge and get the mozzarella that comes fresh in a ball and chop it up, forget the pre-shredded stuff for this recipe unless you’re in a major time crunch)
-3/4 cup light sour cream
-3/4 cup light mayo

Combine the spinach, sour cream, mayo and garlic. Stir well using a large fork, breaking up the spinach clumps until the dip is thoroughly mixed. Stir in the remaining ingredients. At this point I always place this directly into a small crock pot on low to heat until warm, and then keep warm for guests. For an alternative method you could place it into a greased baking dish and bake on 350 for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite crackers, Jeremy likes garlic pita chips, I’m partial to garlic Melba rounds… but either way it's delicious!

-1 medium onion, diced
-½-¾ cup celery, diced
-½ cup margarine or butter
- 1 (4 or 6 oz) can mushrooms, drained
-2 oz pecans, chopped
-2 eggs
-1 (7 oz) package stuffing
-1 can beef consomme

Saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and nuts. Break eggs in large bowl and beat. Stir in stuffing mix. Add sauteed mixture. Add consomme. Mix well and turn into buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, cover during first 30 minutes of baking.

Sweet Potato Casserole
(when serving vegetarians leave the eggs out, Jeremy's mom only makes 1/2 of the topping for the top, I also add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mashed sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows to the top of the casserole during the last 5 minutes of baking)
-4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-½ cup milk
-½ teaspoon salt
-1/3 stick melted butter or margarine
-1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients well and pour into buttered pan.

-1 cup brown sugar
-½ cup flour
-1/3 cup butter or margarine
-1 cup pecans

Crumble topping evenly over potato mixture and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes uncovered.

Yum... Why do we only eat these foods once a year, my mouth is salivating in anticipation already just thinking about this menu.

What are your favorite holiday comfort foods?



Aimee said...

We love so many of those same things! I have always heard that brining a turkey makes it unbelievably delicious. We love sausage/cornbread stuffing...I am salivating too! :)

Apron Thrift Girl said...

Thank you for sharing those recipes, especially the artichoke and spinach dip. A total favorite of mine that I have never attempted at home.

The Mangerchine's said...

I forgot to add to the post that I will also be making my delicious mashed potatoes with french onion dip whipped in with them... Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same to be without mashed potatoes and gravy!!!!