Tag Archive for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Week – Breakfast Dishes

Pull Apart Bread

When you are having guests stay in your house over the holidays, it can get kind of hectic and crazy in the mornings. In order to keep from losing your mind, it’s great to have some breakfast dishes that you can easily make and feed a lot of people. Combine any of the below ideas with a bowl of fruit and some coffee and juice and breakfast is served!!

Monkey Bread

Pumpkin Bread

German Oven Pancakes

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Ham and Cheddar Quiche

Sausage Balls

If you REALLY want to simplify your life over the holidays, get some disposable holiday plates for breakfast. Clean up will take 5 minutes!!

Thanksgiving Starchy Sides

Thanksgiving is the only meal of the year where it is acceptable (and expected) to have multiple starchy sides. You can have your traditional mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rice, and even bread. Of course, you can always step it up and make twice baked potato casserole, several different types of stuffing and even garlic mashed potatoes. It’s basically a free for all and it’s just so yummy!!

A few years ago, I was making a huge amount of stuffing, as well as lots of other dishes. As I was starting to prepare my food, I realized I was short a good casserole dish and had to go out and buy one. Let me just tell you now, there is almost nothing more useful when you are entertaining than a good casserole dish that goes from oven to table. In other words, it’s what everyone needs, a pretty oven safe dish. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend this one:

Casserole Dish

Here are some of our favorite starchy sides that are a great compliment to any Thanksgiving dinner:

Noodle Rice

Scalloped Potatoes

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Corn Souffle

Cornbread Stuffing

Sweet Potato Casserole

sweet potato

Thanksgiving Desserts

Coconut cake recipe

Desserts are a key to Thanksgiving dinner. I am not a huge dessert person, but I can’t say that about everyone so I try to step it up around the holidays. I usually have people bring pies since I just don’t like making them, but we do make a few other yummy sweet things. Here are some great ideas that feed lots of people and are very holiday-ish!

 

Coconut Roulade with Rum Buttercream

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Blackberry Pudding Cake

Raspberry Shortcake

Apple Cake

Pumpkin Roll

If you need a holiday dish to serve desserts on, give this one a try!

Cornbread Stuffing

I never liked stuffing growing up. I’m not sure why, I just didn’t. However, once my sister introduced me to cornbread stuffing, all of that changed. In my opinion, it really is the best. No, I don’t stuff the turkey with the stuffing. Why? I think it’s because it was never stuffed when I was growing up and sometimes, you just stick with what you’re used to!

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min 1st day, 10 minutes when you make the bread; Cook Time – 15 minutes 1st day, 45 minutes on the day you cook it.

Ingredients for a 9×13 tray:

2 boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix (I think Melissa is having a heart attack on this)

6 T. fresh sage

4 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

6 T. butter

3 – 3 1/2 c. chicken broth

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Hand Mixer

Preparing Cornbread Stuffing:

Cook the corn muffin mix as directed in a 9×13 baking pan.Let it sit for at least 2-3 days to get stale. If it is not stale by the time you need to make the stuffing, you can crumble it up and pop it in a 250 Degree oven until it dries out.

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and sauté on medium high heat until soft, about 10 minutes.

Cornbread Stuffing

Add the sage and cornbread and mix well. Add chicken broth to moisten it up. Stir well. Transfer stuffing to your 9×13 tray and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot!

(Here is a single box that I made just for my family)

Cornbread Stuffing

Yes, it’s a good thing I know CPR! I just got hung up on the cornbread name. This sounds like corn muffin stuffing. However, as much as I like cornbread (cooked properly in a cast iron skillet with corn meal and oil!), I hate cornbread dressing. So, maybe I’ll like yours Denise since it is different!! – Melissa

Thanksgiving Week – Tips to Prepare for Family and Guests

Preparing for Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week will be here before we know it and it’s time to start preparing! This week we will bring you lots of ideas of what you can make to ensure you put out a great meal. We will also throw in some of our own Thanksgiving kitchen disasters. Well…I don’t know if Melissa has had any but I know I have had my share.

Here’s a little background of how I came to make Thanksgiving dinner. About 15 years ago, I decided I wanted to try to make the holiday meal for the first time. I was living in California at the time and didn’t have a clue of what to do. My sister just happened to be coming out for a visit about a month earlier and she actually taught me how to make the entire meal with all of our favorites. Since then, I have changed the sides up a bit, but never the staples. I’m a creature of habit!

Tips to prepare for family and guests staying in your home?

The holidays often come with overnight guests which can be an added stress, but it doesn’t have to send you over the top. Here are some great ideas of how to make it through the week with flying colors so you have as much fun as your guests!

*Get your house in order before everyone comes. Clean your house and have fresh towels and sheets on the bed at least a day before your guests arrive. Make sure you have enough paper products on hand (napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) and don’t forget plenty of trash bags as you’ll use more than you think.  Keep your showers stocked with soap, shampoo and conditioner.  Put out some board games or a jigsaw puzzle to help occupy guests when you are busy.

* Stock up on beverages. Load up on milk for the kids (and coffee) and bottled water. Since it’s the holidays, you will want to take a look at your liquor cabinet to see if you need to replenish any of the favorites! Beer and wine should also be aplenty! Since it’s cold, people will drink more red than white wine. Also, don’t forget the mixes and the fruit (lemons and limes) for the liquor.

* Arrival times. If you have to pick people up from the airport, make sure you check to ensure the plane is on time. If you have to make multiple trips, keep a list of when your guests are arriving with their flight information so you don’t get confused or leave someone stranded. You should also add to that list when guests who are driving will be at your house so you won’t leave them locked out!

* Make a list of all of the meals people will be eating at your house.  It’s easy to overlook all of the “other” meals when you are busy planning for a big holiday meal. However, these are the meals that can really stress you out.

Breakfast can very easy. Just have bagels, cereal, or cinnamon rolls and biscuits that are ready to pop in the oven! Bacon is easier to make for a crowd than sausage, so if you want to serve a breakfast meat, opt for the bacon! Scrambled eggs are also cheap and feed a lot of people. If you want to make things even easier, make some coffee cake before everyone comes to town and have some fresh fruit ready to pull out of the refrigerator.

Lunches can be a little more challenging, but they don’t have to be. Have some sandwich ingredients and chips on hand and let people make their own when they want it. If you’ve got little ones coming, throw in some hot dogs, applesauce and cheese sticks. Also , there is nothing wrong with leftovers!

Remember this: guests who are staying with you are more than happy to pitch in and help, you just have to ask! I have even “allowed” guests to bring dishes to Thanksgiving dinner and I will tell you…it makes it pretty easy!!!

If you want more detailed tips of entertaining, visit the entertaining section of our website.

Links to our Thanksgiving Week Posts:

Turkey

Starchy Sides

Fruits and Vegetables

Breakfast

Desserts

 

Thanksgiving Vegetable and Fruit Dishes

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

Don’t laugh, but as much as I love vegetables and fruit, they are always an afterthought for me when I am planning Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not that they aren’t important, it’s they are a staple in my house and the joy I get out of Thanksgiving is making things I only serve once a year! Plus, isn’t Thanksgiving about the turkey and the starchy dishes?!?

Here are some great Thanksgiving vegetable and fruit dishes that go perfectly with your dinner.

Garlic Green Beans

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Shaved Parmesan

Broccoli Casserole

Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas

Arugula Salad with Parmesan

Caesar Salad Boats

Sensation Salad

Cranberry Salad

If you need a great serving bowl for the holidays, check this one out!

 

Salad with Blue Cheese, Craisins, Toasted Pecans and Champagne Vinaigrette

I made this salad with blue cheese, craisins, toasted pecans and champagne vinaigrette several years ago and it was a huge hit. I love serving it at the holidays because it adds so much color to the plate!

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min

Ingredients (Add desired amounts of each based on guests):

Mixed greens

Craisins

Pecans

Blue Cheese (You can substitute feta cheese and it’s just as yummy)

Girard’s Champagne Vinaigrette

Preparing Salad with Blue Cheese, Craisins, Toasted Pecans and Champagne Vinaigrette:

Spray a small skillet with nonstick cooking spray (optional). Heat over medium low heat. Add pecans and toast them, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn. Transfer to a small bowl to let them cool.

Place lettuce in a serving bowl. Add craisins to the lettuce, followed by the cheese and cooled pecan halves. Add dressing and toss! 

Salad with blue cheese, craisins, toasted pecans and champagne vinaigrette