Thanksgiving Menu Ideas Part I

Hey there, November. When did you get here? Oh! A week ago? Hmmmm…that means Thanksgiving is only eighteen days away. This year I am (thankfully) not hosting Thanksgiving. Once Matt and I were married we decided to start alternating where we go and this year it’s my family’s turn so we’re headed to my aunt and uncle’s house. (Sidenote: Marrying someone of a different religion is awesome because I never have to share my holidays and Matt never has to share his. We only have to split Thanksgiving – not bad!)

Although we’re not hosting this year, we are having Fakesgiving for the second time. Fakesgiving is our pre-Thanksgiving friend celebration.  If you’re hosting and need some ideas, or even if you’re just bringing a dish somewhere, here is what I’m making:

Turkey – Forget everything you’ve ever heard about getting up pre-dawn to put your turkey in the oven for a million hours. It’s completely unnecessary and it dries out the bird. Follow Ina Garten’s instructions and you won’t be disappointed. I sort of combine two of her turkey recipes but it’s best to follow this one.  Instead of using truffle butter I use regular softened butter because I’m poor. I also put one or two halved lemons in the turkey cavity.

Here’s my turkey from last year!

Can you tell how deliriously tired I was here?  Note to self: you need to take off the day before Thanksgiving if you’re hosting.

Gravy – I made Ina Garten’s gravy last year for Fakesgiving and it was horrible. I rectified that for Thanksgiving and followed The Pioneer Woman’s recipe from here. I ignore everything that has to do with the giblets (she boils them and uses the water and then cuts them up for gravy – no thank you).

Mashed Potatoes – Last year I made Ina Garten’s because they are rich and creamy beyond belief (that could have something to do with the butter, sour cream and whole milk – just a guess). Mashed potatoes need to be made right before you serve dinner and there is just too much going on with turkey carving and veggie roasting to bother. Also, they require the mixer and they didn’t all fit in the bowl so I had to do two batches and it was a headache and a half. They’re absolutely worth making for a regular dinner but forget making them for twenty people for Thanksgiving.

This year I’m using The Pioneer Woman’s recipe because they can be made ahead of time and baked to heat them up. We’ll see how it goes. They sure look good!

Image: thepioneerwoman.com

Sweet Potatoes – AKA dessert that I pass off as a vegetable. There are plenty of healthy sweet potato dishes you can make, but that’s not what Thanksgiving is about! Isn’t it the time to give thanks for the important things in life, like butter, brown sugar, eggs, and cinnamon?

There are a few options here and they’re all delicious. In the past I’ve made Ina Garten’s smashed sweet potatoes with apples and it’s great. For some reason it’s not on Food Network’s website but the recipe can be found in Ina’s Parties book. Once I made a copycat recipe of the sweet potato casserole from Ruth’s Chris. Wowee Zowee.

This year I’m making Pioneer Woman’s Soul Sweet Taters which seem very similar to the Ruth’s Chris dish. Get your stretchy pants out!

That’s it for now! In another day or two I’ll post the non-potato veggie side dishes.

Anyone else really hungry now?

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