Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Grub

Daniel and I are hosting his family for Thanksgiving this year. So I guess I can mark #21 off my life list. Technically, we hosted Thanksgiving for my family about 3 {or 4} years ago in Charlotte. My parents, Grandma and brother were there. We used our china for the first time {in 5 years of marriage}. The reason I am not counting that towards my life list is that my mom was there and while we planned together and it was my house, she was the one who orchestrated the cooking of the turkey and told me how to make things like mashed potatoes.

I would say this time is different because I am the one planning {and my cooking experience has increased significantly}. I have been in touch with Daniel's mom, grandmother and sister about what they are bringing. So it is more of a "true hosting."

Anyways, the hardest thing for me has been trying to narrow down what recipes I want to cook. I LOVE TO COOK so this was a bit of a challenge. My other concern is that I don't want to have so many leftovers that Daniel and I are stuck eating turkey and the accompanying food until New Years...

My mom taught me long ago that whatever you cook will be enough {even if you think it is not enough, it will be}. I have also had the opportunity on multiple occassions to work with my mom planning four days worth of meals for 30+ adults, so I think I have a pretty good grasp of what is necessary {without going overboard}. All of that said, I still like to cook and trying to determine only one {or two} favorite desserts has been a bit of a challenge.

For the turkey, I narrowed my recipes down to Real Simple's Basic Roast Turkey, Pioneer Woman's Brined Turkey or Cook's Country Bard Turkey. While I love PW, I decided against using a brine because I plan on using the drippings for gravy and I didn't want it to be too salty. I saw the Bard Turkey on PBS over the weekend and I am very tempted to try it. But I think I am going to stick with the Real Simple Roast Turkey and Gravy.

While I am not making PWs turkey, I am using her recipes for stuffing and dinner rolls – she never lets me down.

Mashed potatoes are pretty basic and I am not using an actual recipe for these guys. And I will be making my Grandma's 5-cup salad.

As for dessert, I am giving into my own desires and making two desserts courtesy of Annie's Eats: Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and Double Chocolate Pecan Pie {I made this last year and it was ridiculously good – I get my pecan pie and Daniel gets his chocolate, a total win win}.

Daniel's sister is bringing pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole. His mom is making fried okra, additional turkey breast and cocktail weenies and his grandmother is providing the green bean casserole, cranberry salad and her amazing sweet tea.

I think we have all of our bases covered and should have a fabulous spread. 
And most likely there will be plenty of leftovers. 


  1. All that sounds sooooo good. Michael and I are on our own for Thanksgiving (as usual), but I'm still cooking up a storm! I'm sure it's un-American to not have Turkey on this day, but we both like ham better, so that's what we're doing! Since we can't be with family, I'm incorporating their recipes into our dinner - my mom's crockpot stuffing, my SIL's sweet potato casserole & green bean/corn casserole...and my grandma's chocolate cake. (Apparently it's also un-American to not have pie, but oh well)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. My aunt used to make steak on Thanksgiving because she didn't like turkey! That is great that you guys are incorporating your favorite family recipes into your own feast. I hope that you have and Michael have a wonderful day together.

    Happy Ham Day!


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