November 17, 2011

My Thanksgiving plan: the food

{All pictures linked to below}
Thanksgiving is a week away and like I mentioned Tuesday, I'm hosting. I may have seemed nonchalant in that post but I assure you -- I'm stressing out. I have no idea what my table decor is going to look like (I have rainbow-colored plates and turquoise chairs!), my house isn't fully decorated, I've barely looked at recipes, and I don't have an outfit! I know I've done it all before but that doesn't make it easier! Especially when you're a perfectionist and you want to make each year the best one yet.

So I've decided it's time to get organized -- beginning with the star of the show:  the meal. Here's what I'm thinking of making for the main course (desserts and apps to come in a future post).

  1. Honey-glazed carrots: I made these last year and they were a huge hit. And by that I mean my dad and brother loved them. My dad raved on for several minutes about their deliciousness (and even asked for the recipe) and my younger brother, a semi-picky either, had several helpings. I used straight up baby carrots but I think this year I'm going to advance to the fancy-schmancy carrots pictured above.
  2. Biscuits: I always buy Pillsbury but making your own is almost as easy so I may go for it. Maybe. Perhaps.(OK probably not.)
  3. Green beans with almonds: This is supposed to be super easy but for some reason my green beans are never that good. They're always too mushy and the almonds never complement them the way they should. It's awkward. But I'm not giving up because I do love those green beans.
  4. Canned cranberry sauce: In addition to my AWESOME recipe, I'm serving canned cranberry sauce. Why? Because Jack likes the lines. ("It's the perfect way to know exactly how much you've eaten!") (Picture source)
  5. Roast turkey: It's super basic but I'm a strong believer that less is more when it comes to the bird. I'm also a strong believe in basting her with beer. Trust me on that one.
  6. Gravy: Standard.
  7. Sweet potato fries: OK this is kind of crazy -- who eats sweet potato fries at Thanksgiving?!? Normally I make a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and mashed sweet potatoes but it just competes with the regular mashed potatoes on the table and then no potato wins. So I think I'm going to go for it. These fries look insanely amazing (the recipe is from Smitten Kitchen so DUH!) -- totally worth breaking the rules of tradition.  
  8. Stuffing: Why mess with THE classic?
  9. Garlic mashed potatoes: Jack may be displeased that I'm considering non-traditional mashed potatoes but I did find this recipe in Midwest Living so that may sway him.

Sooo NBD, right? (gulp) Any recipe suggestions?!


  1. I used to make Green beans almondine at a restaurant I worked at. Blanch the green beans ahead of time and refrigerate. Toast the sliced almonds ahead of time. At dinner time, heat the green beans up in a pan with some oil & garlic, then mix in the toasted almonds (and maybe some S&P) last minute. This should keep the beans bright green and crispy.

  2. YUM! Brad is the same way about canned cranberry sauce. Just has to have it!

  3. @scootstevens Thanks for the tips!! That sounds easy enough ...

  4. haha Jack refuses to even try my homemade version.

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  6. I am hosting my first Thanksgiving this year too! I just bought my turkey tonight, and I have a basic game plan of what we're making, but I don't have the specific recipes yet and I need to do a massive grocery shopping trip this weekend before my family gets into town next week so I know just how you feel! It's a lot to do, but I'm hoping it all comes out ok...thanks for sharing! xoxo

  7. Good luck lady! I hosted thanksgiving once and i felt the same way, prep everything before!