Thursday, November 17, 2011

Behold, the Thanksgiving Menu!

I mentioned earlier that I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time this year (eek!) I've always wanted to host Thanksgiving, so I'm very excited about the preparations and actual event! It'll be a very small crowd, but I'm going all out. Why not, right? I just love Thanksgiving. With one week to go, the menu is set -- and I'm sharing it with you today!

Thanksgiving Menu

Our fresh turkey has been pre-ordered from Whole Foods. I made a "practice turkey" last week, and am so glad that I did. The practice turkey was dry brined and rubbed with an herbed butter. I'll definitely be using the herbed butter technique, but skipping the dry brining (the meat was a little too dry for us.)

I made this gravy when I cooked the "practice turkey", and it was phenomenal -- hands down, the best gravy I've ever tasted (and the Mr. agreed!) After a few shudders as I had to handle the giblets, the process for making the gravy was very simple. In my opinion, one of the reasons why it tasted to good was that the homemade broth that was used was simmered for 2 hours. I also got to use my new fat separator in the process -- such a great tool!

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without stuffing. I'm not a huge fan of stuffing that was cooked inside of the bird, so I'm opting for this simple recipe instead. I plan on drenching the stuffing with gravy!

With all the homemade gravy that I'll be making, we need one more thing to add it to. Mashed potatoes are easy and tasty, and in my book, a must on any holiday table.

My Mom and I made this last year for Thanksgiving, and it was so delicious. It's one of my favorite seasonal dishes -- so sweet and yummy! Who doesn't like marshmallows?

Since we need to add a veggie to the mix, Green Bean Casserole has been added to the menu. The crunchy onions on top are healthy, right? Ha!

Cranberry Sauce -- right out of the can! No shame here, folks.

The Mr. prefers Pecan over Pumpkin any day, so we'll be indulging for dessert.

Plumpjack Wine
We have a bottle of wine that has been aging for a few years, plus a bottle that we picked up on our recent trip to Napa. Both are from Plumpjack, which is one of our favorite wineries.

To add a little flair to the table, I invested in a few cloth napkins from Crate&Barrel, and plan to make a small centerpiece of gourds. If I have some time to be crafty during the next week, I might make these cute squirrel place holders -- I mean, how cute are they?

I'm absolutely full and exhausted after typing out this menu. I think I'll go take a nap.
What's on your menu?


Phil and Darby Hawley said...

Oh my word Jen! Your menu sounds delicious! Please save me a seat at dinner!!!!

Annemarie @ Brunch at Saks said...

What a great menu planner, Jen! It makes it so much easier to be organized like this. You're motivating me to get working on mine now. xo

Lara {simply irresistible} said...

This all sounds amazing and made me very excited for thanksgiving!

A Big Little Life said...

Good luck! Cooking a big meal like that can be so daunting. Sounds like you have it under control though : ) I love that you made a practice turkey. Too funny!

Sara said...

This menu sounds amazing! Super excited for Thanksgiving!

Alexa said...

YUM! Hope you had a nice holiday!!! :)

City Girl Chicago said...

I'm just catching up on my blog reading now ~ loved reading your menu! How did it go? It was my first time hosting Thanksgiving as well! :)