Thanksgiving is almost upon us you guys! I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving but any holiday that involves gathering with your loved ones AND delicious food - count me right in. Few years ago, I had my first and only Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of friends; we cooked together in a tiny college kitchen which was a lot of fun. After that I didn't really care much about Thanksgiving as my families are so far away and didn't really work out with my friends schedule..However, it so turned out that I will be hosting (or let's say I am determined to host) a full-flair Thanksgiving dinner this year. Besides taking a much needed rest from this, my mind is currently occupied with Thanksgiving-friendly recipes mostly from fellow bloggers and some from my archives. My goal is to surrounded myself with friends and simple delicious food made with real ingredients and lots of love.
Breakfast/Brunch - If you have people staying over, start the day with the most important meal..they are really going to appreciate it. whole wheat crepes with cranberry compote
Or, these gluten-free pumpkin spice waffles (with corn flour and almond meal)
apple butter muffins + fruits + yogurt and coffee - both lazy and a great way to show you care
Main Entree - This has been the most confusing/frustrating part because turkey is the main focus but there are 100 + turkey recipes/techniques out there; which one should I follow? So far, my top three picks are - roasting an easy turkey with simply butter, salt, and pepper (picture above) easy garlic and herb roasted turkey, and juicy and tender roast turkey and gravy (+ step by step video). kobcha stuffed with millet, veggies, and apricot
I also want some sort of vegetarian dish, perhaps something with stuffed squash - I am debating between quinoa stuffed acorn squash rings, stuffed acorn squash with kale and creminis, or stuffed delicata squash with wild rice, brown butter and sage. Sides: okay this is the part I am most nervous about because I am not too crazy about traditional Thanksgiving sides yet I want to have a little bit of everything. In addition to my roasted butternut squash salad with apples and walnut, I could see our Thanksgiving table consisting of easy mashed potatoes with lemon and parsley, roasted asparagus, and brussels sprouts. Should I jazz these veggies up or leave them alone because I love them simply with olive oil, salt and pepper? stovetop stuffing via kitchen simplicity
I may just settle in with this stovetop stuffing because it can't get any easier and healthier than this.. Gravy makes everything taste so much more delicious, BUT I don't want to have to whip the fat drippings and juices, so I am taking a huge risk and going the vegan/gluten free route. Since it's pretty simple to make, I am going to try it this weekend and see if it's a go - I really hope it is.
Rolls are great but if you haven't made yorkshire pudding yet - you need to get on it seriously. I am sooo looking forward to the crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside rolls (not sure why they call it pudding)!! I have used this best yorkshire pudding recipe in the past which worked really well for me. You can use your regular muffin tins and just make sure to eat them immediately, or else it hardens up. If I were you, I'd prep the batter and make them right before serving dinner. If you don't mind the yeast and wait time, I bet these soft 100% whole wheat dinner rolls will be a fantastic addition to your table. homemade cranberry sauce with orange and honey via the law student's wife
It may sound odd but I am most excited about the cranberry sauce because I love that sweet, savory combination with my turkey dinner. My friend Erin got us covered this year with homemade cranberry sauce with orange and honey..I can't hardly wait!!
Can we just skip green bean casserole please? I am not sure if I will have some sort of casserole just yet.
Dessert: probably the most awaited part of the meal and something I would like to make in advance. After a whole day of cooking and cooking, I want to end my meal with the most delicious thing ever. Yes, ever. I am right now torn between Joy's dad's sweet potato pie and Sally's great pumpkin pie but at the same time I have been dreaming of pistachio olive oil cake that Erin recently shared. Not sure how my friends will like pistachio + olive oil combo but I know that I will be devouring that cake, so at this point it seems like we will have both pie and cake! One for me and the other one for my friends... and me. Just kidding, I will make sure to share it with everyone.
Not sure how this is all going to come together but when you spend your day with your loved ones, engaging in good conversation, laughing a lot and cooking/eating wholesome food - everything should be gravy.
What are your Thanksgiving plans?
Any tips/tricks/recipes in your back-pocket to make my first ever thanksgiving dinner so smoothly?