How did that happen? Thanksgiving being a mere week away. I kind of realized it but kind of didn’t until I got a text from a friend asking if he should pick up ingredients at the Farmer’s market for me. YIKES! Ingredients? There is a menu? What is this thing called Thanksgiving Dinner?
All kidding aside, and a busy schedule, we are looking forward to feast. We are heading to Palm Springs to spend Thanksgiving with some good friends. It will be a week of remembrance, warmth and great food; I am sure of it. We haven’t done a Thanksgiving in the desert for a few years now, and I have to admit I am looking forward to time with friends, laying by the pool, heat and some outrageous grapefruit cocktails! Did I mention, they have a killer grapefruit tree in their yard.
Since I am in mere panic mode as to what I need to add to the menu, I felt it was only befitting to come here, and plan it out together. Just a few of my favorite Chez Us recipes as well as others from around the world wide web that I would definitely like to share if we were having dinner at our home, and who knows some may even end up around the table in the desert.
Cocktails – when I plan a dinner party I like to serve a “special cocktail” to begin the evening while everyone chit chats and catches up. It could be as simple as champagne or as complex as whiskey.
- Dark and Stormy
- Maple Bourbon Cocktail
- Ginger Pumpkin Bourbon Fizz
- Sparkling Apple Cider – non alcoholic
- Pomegranate Party Punch
- Aperol Champagne Cocktail
- Maple Old Fashioned
- Bourbon Tonic
- Preserved Lemon Cocktail
Appetizers – when a big meal is served, I keep the appetizers or starters …. simple. I definitely do not want loved ones to fill up on nibbles before the star arrives at the table. There really is no need to overstuff as the turkey is.
- Stuffed Mushrooms
- Herb Marinated Cheese (serve with baguette)
- Sage Rye and Blue Cheese Log
- White Cheddar and Sage Gougeres
- Candied Sriracha Cashews
- Crab Cake Poppers
The Turkey – the star of the show, should be a show stopper as in moist, flavorful and memorable.
- Dry Brined Turkey
- Mom’s Roast Turkey
- Herbed Mayonnaise Turkey
- Herb Roasted Turkey
- Roasted Turkey with Sage-Orange Glaze
- Turkey Breast Stuffed with Apples
- Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and Roasted Shallots
Mashed Potatoes – this is probably my favorite part of the meal. I literally could just eat a plateful of mashed potatoes with gravy and be completely happy.
- Roasted Garlic and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Gratin
- Roasted Garlic Potatoes
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
The Stuffing – next to the potatoes and gravy, the stuffing is my next favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast.
- Old fashioned Bread Stuffing
- Butternut Squash Stuffing
- Simple Apple and Herb Stuffing
- Sausage Herb Stuffing with Butternut Squash and Cranberries
- Wild Rice Stuffing
- Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing
Sides – think outside of the box when coming up with sides. Add some traditional sides as well as some innovative ones that people will remember.
- Green Bean Casserole
- Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Hash
- Duck Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Celery Root and Potato Mash
- Caramelized Cauliflower
- Sweet Potato and Quinoa Fritter
- Jeweled Rice Salad
- Cast Iron Carrots with Curry and Cilantro
- Rosemary Sweet Potato Stacks
- Brussels Sprout Gratin
- Easy Green Bean Casserole with Blue Cheese
- Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash, Maple Pecans and Curry Fig Vinaigrette
Gravy – cannot live without it, seriously.
Cranberry Sauce – you can always slip out some sauce from a can or take a few extra minutes to cook up something delicious.
- Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Orange and Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Bread – bread is a must for sopping up all that rich gravy. Parker House rolls are a must but other bread options are also great to add. Be adventurous.
- Black Pepper Buttermilk Bisquits
- Pumpkin Spice Bread
- Parker House Rolls
- Cheesy Pull Apart Bread
- Parker House Rolls with Thyme
- Festive Filled Brioche Centrepiece Baked Camembert
- Potato, Pecorino and Rosemary Bread
Dessert – a sweet or two (or three) for dessert is a requirement. I think Pumpkin should be enjoyed heavily on this holiday, with a sprinkle of pecan or apples.
- Pumpkin Spiced Buttermilk Layered Cake with Maple Buttercream
- Whiskey Souffle with Honey Caramelized Apples
- Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Cider Cream Pie
- Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pecan Cheesecake Squares
- Mini Pumpkin Tarts – Vegan and Gluten Free
- Delicious Dairy Free Whipped Cream
- Pumpkin Custard Coffee Pecan Swirl Ice Cream
- Buttermilk and Maple Pumpkin Pie