Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes

This is a Thanksgiving spread from probably 6 years ago at my parent's house.  I can see several of the dishes I still make and they are listed here.

So I decided to focus this week's post on some recipes for Thanksgiving.  The thing is, many of us have the same dishes we make each year and we look forward to that because we only have them once a year.  So maybe you just skip this week because you don't need any inspiration-- no problem, see ya next week.
Or, if you are hosting the holiday and need ideas, I hope something here sparks your interest.  Or maybe you need to bring a dish to wherever you are going to dinner; there's several here that will make you look like a rock star.  Some of the recipes are dishes that I've been making at the holidays for many years and so I wanted to share them here.
I also wanted to take a minute to say Happy Thanksgiving.  I know that I have plenty to be thankful for, this blog being one of the many blessings in my life.  Next week I will be up to my eyeballs baking pies and cheesecakes as I have quite a few orders to fill, so I'll be back with a new post in time for the first week of December.

Dry Brined Roast Turkey- Here’s a great guideline for using a dry brine method for roasted turkey from our friend Kate at Savour Fare.  You may find a dry brine far easier to manage than a wet brine.
Roast Turkey- Or there is also this roasting method from Martha, which I have not done myself, but I’ve eaten turkey made this way and it’s very good.

Deep Fried Turkey- I won’t lie, deep fried turkey is GOOD.  I love this method because it cooks the bird in just a few hours.  It’s delicious, it’s not greasy, it frees up the oven for your side dishes and did I mention it’s good?  This link is what I used to learn how to properly deep fry a turkey.
However, there has been a new trend in safer, indoor fryers for turkeys and they claim to use less oil, are safer and they are electric instead of propane powered.  Here is a popular one that comes in a couple sizes with some different features.  I’ve seen them sold in stores like Walmart, Costco and Home Depot.
Indoor Turkey Fryer

Spicy Sweet Potato Gratin- A different take on sweet potatoes instead of a brown sugar or marshmallow combination.  It’s creamy and a touch spicy.

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto- I love the idea of just baking the risotto in the oven and not having to fuss with it over the stove. 

Apple, Leek and Butternut Squash Gratin- This is not a creamy or overly cheesy gratin.  It’s actually rather light, which is a great side dish for the holiday with so many filling foods.  I made this and it's really good.  I think it's great for the holiday, but it's actually good anytime.  Would be perfect with a roasted chicken or even a pork tenderloin.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Maple Vinaigrette- I happen to love Brussels sprouts.  I have a recipe of my own that I make all the time and I've made it at the holidays too.  This one is sort of in the same vein pairing it with sweet and tangy flavors.  Trust me, Brussels sprouts really taste great like this.

Roquefort Pear Salad- If you want to serve a salad, try this one with great fall flavors like sweet pears and pecans. This is a great choice to bring to a dinner if you need to bring a dish.

Roasted Winter Squash with Cornbread Stuffing- This can be a great side dish to serve if you have vegetarians at the table.  It is lacking a protein, but it’s a delicious and filling dish. 

Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Hazelnuts- This is a delicious vegetarian main dish option and it’s also gluten free.  Acorn squash is just naturally attractive so it makes for a beautiful presentation on the plate.

Sauteed Kale with Tahini Sauce- I shared this last week, but wanted to list it here as a quick, easy and healthy option for a green side dish. 

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread- You can make this ahead of time and it can travel well.  Simply re-heat before serving.

Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing- I think of this as an easy, beginners stuffing recipe.  It’s not complicated to make and the ingredients are straightforward.  It also tastes really good.  I went many years not making the stuffing, it was my sister's job.  When I found myself having to make stuffing, this is the recipe I chose.

Microwave Baked Apples- This is really something you can make anytime, but I like it as an easy and healthy dessert option for the holiday.  And it’s the sort of thing you can have older kids help with. 

Cranberry Salad- This is very similar to an ambrosia salad but uses just cranberries, grapes and pecans.  I'm not sure how many years I've been making this salad.  At least 10 years, maybe longer.  Sometimes at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake- Paula Deen, the Queen of Butter has a delicious (albeit totally fattening) cake that is easily adaptable to create different flavors.  The basic butter cake is great, but the pumpkin version is outstanding.

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