As Thanksgiving fast approaches, now is the time to plan your menu! There is nothing I love more than seeing the smiles on faces as someone enjoys one of my pumpkin pies. creamy mashed potatoes or no baste turkey. Now you can make them for your family and friends too!
Perfect No Baste Turkey– There’s no denying this bird is the star of most Thanksgiving Day shows. My video on how to make the perfect turkey every time gives humorous tips for the new cook making their first holiday dinner (and what to watch out for!) as well as a way for seasoned cooks to kick up the flavor. I’ve gotten some amazing feedback like “Your turkey was the hit of my son’s kindergarten class today! Thanks so much for your turkey tips. We just had his Thanksgiving Feast this morning. I made your turkey. Boy, was it yummy and so easy to make. The mommies in the class today asked me over and over again for this recipe!! Thanks so much for making me look good today!”
Homemade Turkey Gravy– When your turkey gives you perfectly lovely drippings to make amazing homemade gravy, you jump on that opportunity! (Of course using canned turkey stock is fine too but don’t tell my grandma, I remember the look I got when I mentioned that once!) I like to put mine in a mason jar because 1) it looks rustic and cute like you put thought into it and 2) no need to scrub the 10-year layer of crud off the gravy boat-if you can even find it!
Creamy Mashed Potatoes– This recipe always leaves ’em sinking back in their chairs asking “how did you get these so perfect, they’re like a restaurant!” The post reveals the secret and because of the secret, the fat content means you can actually make these ahead of time and freeze them and reheat the day of! Just have about 1/4-1/2 cup of milk on hand if needed but I have frozen these 2 months ahead and used them Christmas day and they were like the day I made them. (Please note for those who use broth as their liquid to save some calories that they don’t thaw well after being frozen. A runny, mealy mess can ensue.)
Holiday Dressing/Stuffing– I’m sure many of us grew up on the boxed stuff and that’s fine but it doesn’t take much to make homemade. Believe me when I tell you that you can use any kind of bread as evidenced in the video and the taste is so much better you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! (Can be made ahead a day or two and reheated covered in foil. I actually froze this in a Food Saver and we drove to Vermont for Christmas 2 months after I made it and it was perfect!)
Butternut Squash Casserole– Sure you’ve been eating sweet potato casserole for eons but there’s always room for another fall favorite- the butternut squash. What if I told you there was apple cider, brown sugar and a crunchy cereal topping involved? Oh yeah. Not only is it good as a casserole but should you have leftovers, just whip ’em in the blender/food processor then mash them and you’ve got a whole different side dish to jazz up Black Friday or the leftover buffet with football Saturday!
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Honeyed Walnuts– Hey, where are you going? Don’t scroll past this one! Look, I get it. You had a bad Brussels experience as a kid or their stinky reputation precedes them. I have a microwave trick that keeps the sulfur stink where it belongs (as well as keeping your oven free!) and the bacon and honeyed walnuts give it a sweet, savory and crunchy texture that will convert even the biggest Brussels trauma victims like Mr. Kringle! Double or triple the recipe if you’re serving more than 4 people.
Light Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie– Yes, I said light but hear me out. I had some people who (without having tasted it, mind you) would wrinkle their nose because it was “diet pie.” Well, then they tasted it and suddenly I had to start making two! It’s THAT good! The gingersnap crust gives such amazing flavor that you forget it’s light. Then you say “it’s the holidays so now I can have two pieces since it’s half the calories of regular pumpkin pie!” That’s the spirit!
Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Pie– So what is better than pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving? CARAMEL pumpkin pie! Or more accurately, Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Pie. This gorgeous two-toned pie is not only beautiful but so mouth watering, you may just have to make two of them. It is perfect on its own but if you had to top it with some cinnamon ice cream, I wouldn’t be mad at ya!
Easy Homemade Pie Crust– I know people cringe when they think about making pie crust but it really is so easy and makes such a big difference. If you have a food processor (many for under $40!), it’s even easier because literally getting the ingredients together takes longer than making it. The only change I’ve made is adding 1 tsp of white vinegar because it gives an extra layer of flakiness, I just add it to the cold water I add to the processor but it’s not necessary. I have the perfect recipe for it coming up Saturday, so make sure you look for it!
If you need a timeline to help you prepare for the holiday, I’ve made one below that you can use to keep yourself on track and as stress free as possible.