Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Turkey anyone?

With the {somewhat} onset of Fall, I have been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving. {Well, actually I've been planning for more than a month now, but I don't want you to think I'm TOO crazy.} It is one of my favorite holidays, since I love cooking & entertaining. Over the years I have developed some tried and true recipes for certain dishes, that I now refuse to do without. I won't even bother trying a new pumpkin pie recipe since I love the one I have so much. This year I won't be able to hostess because I will be waaaaaayyy too pregnant. I learned my lesson with baby #2 by hosting Thanksgiving while pregnant & that was for only 5 people total. So my {covert} plan will be to freeze a bunch of ingredients & side dishes ahead of time so that I can {casually} offer to bring those items for the big day. We are celebrating at my grandma's house, so when I tell her that I already have all the ingredients prepared, how can she refuse? Here are the dishes I really need to have to make my Thanksgiving "complete":

Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel ~ I have been making this for about 5-6 years now. I tastes awesome on a {leftover} turkey sandwich too. I'm thinking this will actually freeze quite nicely already prepared. I will split this into two batches so that I can save some for Christmastime.

Slow Cooker Stuffing ~ My recipe is loosely based off of this one. I like to add Bob Evan's sage sausage and raisins too. I think I can freeze all the ingredients, including the bread cubes, then just toss it all in the crockpot on the big day. Maybe I will make extra to have for Christmastime as well.

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie ~ I'm not sure how I can make this ahead, except maybe to make & freeze the crust. It comes together so quickly that I really don't have to. Here is the recipe for it from Nick Maglieri's book How to Bake:

Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 9” pie crust
1 ½ c. canned pumpkin
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2/3 c. sugar
½ t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ground ginger
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 ¼ c. light cream or half and half


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place crust and arrange in pan. In a large bowl, place pumpkin and whisk in the eggs and yolks. Whisk in the remaining ingredients in the order listed, whisking smooth after each addition. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake the pie for about 1 hour, until the crust is baked through and the filling is set. Cool the pie on a rack.

Special Notes:

Sweet dough for pies: In processor pulse 1 c. flour, 3 T. sugar, 1/4 t. baking powder, 1/8 t. salt. Pulse in 4 T. cold butter until it looks like cornmeal. Add 1 egg & pulse 10 times or so until dough comes together. Knead 3 to 4 times on lightly floured board. Chill 1 hour. Roll.

How about a few websites for Thanksgiving inspiration? I have been reading the "Thinkin' Thanksgiving" forum over at Organized Christmas. I've also found a few nice ideas here. And here is some Turkey day food inspiration at Allrecipes.

Are you making Thanksgiving plans yet? What are the foods that say "Thanksgiving" to you?

P. S. White meat rules!!


Alisa said...

Seeing as our Thanksgiving is in less than 2 weeks I should be thinking about it... but this year we are going away to visit my brothers so I don't have to think about the food part! yeah!
Looks like you really enjoy cooking. I would like to eat at your table!!

Erin said...

I honestly haven't given too much thought towards thanksgiving this year. I have thought more about Christmas! I have a list of items that I am thinking of getting for the girls and because 4 out of 5 of my k's have birthdays in December or January it helps to have a list. If not for me...for others who ask.

This year for thanksgiving we will probably be at my mom's as usual. I think my grandma will probably be there which will be nice b/c we haven't actually celebrated a *real* holiday with her since grandpa's passing. It will be nice to learn how to be a grandchild again as she is learning how to be a grandparent. Because almost all of my family is either in Canada or Texas(Could two places be furthur apart???LOL), I never grew up knowing what an extended family was. And when my grandpa had his first stroke in 1992, grandma's attention was always on his health which was consuming. So...that was alot of rambling to say...I don't know what extended family is.

So I am looking forward to having her around this holiday season and helping her look for a home in Woodstock as she will be moving here!

Beth said...

I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. It's our turn to head to my parent's this year since last year we were at Dan's and I had to work the day after Thanksgiving (was that really a year ago already?!). This will be the first time in a year that my family has all been together. So, my Mom will cook the Thanksgiving meal (YUM!). I look forward to her pumpkin pies every year. Her recipe is top secret and comes from an old lady who was her "adopted" grandma who passed away a few years ago. I am also looking forward to a game of RISK (the fights that will break out), loving on my nephew, and good times with my siblings.

MommySecrets said...

This pie sounds super-easy and super-yummy! I'm going to have to try it, so I can bring a smile to my pie-loving husband! I grew up on cakes, so I'm always looking for a good pie recipe!