Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu Contenders 2011

We are celebrating Thanksgiving with my in-laws this year. Before you pity me, I want to make it clear that I love my in-laws. I am SUPER jazzed. The boys are counting down the days until we see their cousins while I try to prepare for any weather contingency.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays- all about family and food and football. No last minute gift purchasing. No worrying about getting a seat at midnight mass. Your jeans still fit because you are yet to munch on Christmas cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Booze can be added to any recipe and it is totally acceptable...if not expected.

My sister in law has already ordered the turkey and I am trying to decide on a couple of side dishes I want to make for Thanksgiving dinner. Normally, cooking at someone else’s house on a holiday would send me straight to the bottom of a bourbon bottle, but my sister in law has the most A-MAZ-ING kitchen ever, and she is refreshingly laid back about other people working in it. We are very different.

Here’s what I am thinking about this year:

I made this sweet potato casserole recipe from PW last year. It got rave reviews and requests to make it again. It is always good to have a tried and true on the list.

Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without stuffing, or dressing, depending on your political leanings. I have to admit that I am a big fan of good old Mrs. Cubbison’s stuffing shoved in the turkey, but since the turkey is pre-ordered, we need an alternative. I hear my mother in law used to prepare full Martha Stewart dinners for Thanksgiving. In her memory, I am considering this one.

I have been eyeballing this Parker House Rolls recipe since last Thanksgiving. My concern is baking at a high altitude...a mile high, but who’s counting... which I have never done before. A recipe for disaster? Perhaps, but look at all that butter...I think it is worth the risk.

This Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake might have to make an appearance on the dessert table.

The first Thanksgiving that Patrick and I were dating we were both spending the holiday with our families so I made a Cranberry Tart for him a couple days before. At his request, I have made it every year since for Thanksgiving breakfast. This will be the 12th year. It is perfect to eat while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, a new tradition since VW saw the ginormous Elmo balloon a few years ago. Here’s the super simple recipe, if you are interested.

Cranberry Tart
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups whole cranberries
whipped cream

Preheat over to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients in the order listed. Pour into a well-greased 10-inch pie pan. I am going to try baking spray this year. Whatever you use, make sure you grease it well. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until done. Don’t under bake! Serve warm or cold or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream, either fresh or from a can. It’s all good!

And I am hoping some of this will show up on Thanksgiving too!

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?


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