Over-Achiever Friday: Thanksgiving Menu = 97.24% done

by Shawnda on November 2, 2012

in Menus,Recipe Collections,Thanksgiving

Show of hands. Who else spent a couple of hours yesterday sorting through browser bookmarks, magazine recipe tear-outs from years past, Pinterest, and favorite blogs to plan their Thanksgiving menus?

You are not alone.

Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Dressing

My parents and I usually alternate hosting every other year but a glitch in the matrix means I get to host in my “off” year. Thanksgiving dinner in my family is always a late lunch followed by unbuttoned pants comatose football-watching followed by the dragging of the Christmas tree decorations out of the attic.

Me, I could make an entirely new menu every year and be happy. But tradition is important to my dad (and when we’re talking broccoli & rice casserole, my little brother) so I try to work in enough new dishes to satisfy the holiday adventurer in me while keeping enough of the family favorites to prevent disownment.

Roasted Carrots

This year’s menu features decades-long-tradition dishes, a family favorite cocktail, and a few new/madeover dishes (*). The new stuff is getting a test run over the next couple of weeks – if they keep their place on the menu, I’ll share them before Thanksgiving. If they don’t, I have plenty of time to whine about it on Twitter and find a suitable replacement.

Thanksgiving Menu

What’s going on your menu this year? And if you need some inspiration or suggestions, check out some of our favorite Thanksgiving Greatest Hits!

Drinks
Cranberry Margaritas
Blood Orange Margaritas – I’ve already seen blood oranges in the market, hopefully they’ll stick around!
Wine – Riesling, Pinot Noir, and our housemade port
Beer – St. Arnold Pumpkinator and our Christmas Ale, if it’s ready in time

Appetizer
Baked Brie en Croute with Cranberry-Apricot Chutney, served with vegetables, crackers, and toasted baguette slices

Dinner
*Sweet Tea & Citrus Brined Turkey – Go big or go home, right?
*Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Maple Cinnamon Butter and Bacon
Roasted Chestnut & Sausage Dressing – This is my very favorite dressing in the whole wide world.
Dad’s Baked Beans – 5 ingredients. And one of them is bacon.
*Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole – We have 3 rules in my family regarding Thanksgiving dinner and this dish breaks all of them.
Roasted Green Beans – There is always a lack of things that grew in the ground, in close-to-natural form, at our Thanksgiving dinner table. And if the bin of green beans looks sad and picked over…
Thyme Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – More consolation prizes should come topped with goat cheese.
*Cranberry-Port SauceClassic homemade cranberry sauce… but with booze.
Black Pepper & Rosemary Dinner Rolls – And a plain batch thrown in for good measure.

Dessert
Not it! I have baseboards to dust. We’re pie people so I expect my familiy to show up with an assortment of sweet potato, pecan, and chocolate pies large enough to feed 3 football teams.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa November 2, 2012 at 7:06 am

This all sounds great. I have yet hosted a family Thanksgiving meal b/c my family has a matriarch around every corner willing to host! I do like to bring something that lies within the border of new & traditional. I think this year I may bring a little drinky-drinky. I’ll have to link to your cran margaritas for that!

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2 Kitchen Mommy November 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

I am inspired! I’ve got the magazine lists, Pinned recipes, and bookmarked favorites, but have yet to whittle them down to the real list. I don’t get to host, but I plan on being an excellent guest by bringing many dishes. :)

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3 Kristy November 2, 2012 at 7:33 am

Holy cow. Can I come to your house for Thanksgiving?

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4 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel November 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

I haven’t even planned our real Thanksgiving meal… just ideas for the blog. The horror. I need to get on the ball I guess.

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5 Kayle (The Cooking Actress) November 2, 2012 at 8:24 am

So fun! Thanksgiving is just my boyfriend and I (since we live out of town from our families), but I like to make a ton of food anyway :P

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6 Kelsey November 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

Seriously, girl. You=amazing.

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7 Ann November 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

I will be hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner in our new home. That we just moved into 2 weeks ago and are still unpacking – yikes! The Tyler Florence Sausage & Chestnut Dressing is the first recipe I decided on after my mother-in-law said she’s NEVER seen dressing or stuffing done right. I am hoping to sway her stance a bit this year. I’m going to use my favorite roasted broccoli recipe and add your carrot recipe above – looks delicious! My in-laws are white wine drinkers only so I will be indulging in the blood orange margaritas in the kitchen as I cook. Thanks for another great post! I love reading your blog and think it’s one of the best. When is YOUR cookbook coming out??

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8 Courtney @ Bake. Eat. Repeat. November 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

I am bonkers jealous of your on-top-of-itness right now. I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight. Oy. Sounds like there’s some work to do!

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9 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I can’t believe you’re almost done with your menu! I’m like 5% there but you’re totally inspiring me to work on it this weekend!

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10 Joanne November 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I have absolutely NOT started planning yet…but I intend to this weekend after the marathon when I can barely move. And am already hungry constantly.

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11 Shelley November 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

Thanks for the inspirations! I would love to know your time line for the week of what you make ahead of time, what could be reheated, etc.

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