Thanksgiving Planning

Image courtesy of bonappetit.com.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the simplicity of the holiday – it is about food and thankfulness (and, football).  Friends and family come together for a meal and that is all; there are no presents and no other expectations.

In my opinion, the great thing about the Thanksgiving meal is that it does not change very much from year to year.  The predictability of the menu makes planning easy.  I generally figure out what time I want to serve dinner and work backwards.  I am a little bit old school (and a lot type-A) because I prefer to write my schedule down on a piece of paper and I stick to it.  I usually map out the week starting on Tuesday (doing any prep that I can ahead of time, buying flowers, etc.).  When it comes to Thursday’s schedule, I plan out the day in 15 minute increments (yikes!).  I schedule the time I need for the final preparation of each dish as well as the time each dish needs to go into the oven. I want to make sure that everything is piping hot by the time the turkey is ready to be served.  My goal is to have everything prepped and ready to go into the oven by the time the guests arrive so that I can actually enjoy the party!

Each year I stick to basically the same menu (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans), but I try to change things up a bit in terms of the individual dishes to keep everyone’s interest.  I usually look to my favorite magazines and blogs for ideas, so I thought I would share my tried and true favorites, as well as a few new additions I am considering for this year’s meal. We would love to hear from you – what is on your Thanksgiving menu?

 Thanksgiving, parties1.  Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Turkey 
     Image courtesy of FoodNetwork.com
2.  Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
     Image courtesy of FoodandWine.com
3.  Mashed Potatoes
     Image courtesy of FoodNetwork.com
4.  Spiced Dried Fruit Chutney
     Image courtesy of BonAppetit.com
5.  Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Fennel 
     Image courtesy of bonappetit.com
6.  Green Beans with Chanterelles and Cipollini
     Image courtesy of Sunset.com
7.  Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
     Picture courtesy of Sunset.com
8.  Pumpkin Brulee Tart
     Image courtesy of Sunset.com

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