Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu & Prep

Hi Everyone!  Happy Day Before Thanksgiving.  Most people had to work today, but since I had tons of prep work to do, I took the day off.  I'm pretty satisfied with everything I got done and I feel pretty good going into tomorrow.  This year, we are hosting only 8 people.  Worlds of difference from the 14 we had last year.  However,  I always love feeding a big crowd.  Here is the menu:

2010 Thanksgiving Menu:

Cheese Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto (Giada)
Cranberry Meatballs (Recipe Girl)
Mini Baked Bries (inspired by Cara)

Main Dish:
Brined Turkey- 19 lbs (Alton Brown)

Side Dishes:
Sausage, Cranberry and Apple Stuffing
Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Pecans and Cranberries
Cranberry-Apple Sauce with Citrus Zest
Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage and Cranberry Risotto in Pumpkin Bowls
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding (Molly Wizenberg)
Mescalin Salad with Pancetta, Apples and Candied Pecans

Pumpkin Maple Pecan Cheesecake (Anne Thorton)

So that's what I'm making.  My mom is also making Leek and Red Pepper Soup, Green Bean Casserole and Magic Bars.  My mother-in-law is making peas and carrots, and two pies- Apple and Pumpkin.  So yeah, I think we'll have enough food for 8 people.  But I love leftovers!!!

The other day I tested out Recipe Girls Cranberry Meatballs.  My father in law is lactose intolerant so I wanted to make an appetizer without cheese.  Since I'm obsessed with Cheese, thats hard for me.  I tumbled upon this recipe and I was intrigued.  Dave and I tested out these small meatballs and really loved them.
 I cooked the rest of the meat and put the sauce in another container and put it aside for Thursday.
I also set the table.  I love getting this out of the way early.
 How cute are these place cards?
 This morning, Dave and I got to work on the turkey.  Meaning I called out Alton Brown's recipe from the computer and Dave took care of it.  The turkey has been in the cooler all day and we're about to turn it over.  This is our 3rd year brining our turkey and it gets such good flavor that way.
 Next up I got to work on my risotto while also roasting 2 butternut squashes.
I added the squash and dried cranberries to the risotto and put it away in the fridge. After the risotto was done, I browned bulk sausage with carrots, celery, leeks, fennel, dried cranberries and apples.  Then I stored that away to finish up with a baguette and stock tomorrow for our stuffing.
 Next up I cooked a package of chicken sausage for my risotto and cooked pancetta for the brussel sprouts and salad.  I also chopped up some red potatoes and added rosemary, thyme and garlic.  All of those are in the fridge as well.
 Then I worked on the Butternut Squash, Kale, Cheddar Bread Pudding.  I cooked shallots and Kale and mixed a baguette with eggs and cream. 
 I also chopped up 4 pounds of Brussel Sprouts.
I prepped my mini-baked bries.
Puff pastry, fig jam and brie.
I also put together my cheese stuffed dates and tested quite a few.  Yum!
And lastly, I made my Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake.  It's currently in the freezer and I'm excited about the outcome.  Everything I put in there looks amazing.  The cake started with a gingersnap/graham cracker crust.
 I then mixed together the cream cheeses (including one pumpkin cream cheese) with pumpkin, condensed milk and other goodies.
Hopefully everything turns out as good as I hope it will.  
I'm off to hang out with high school friends.
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Oh my goodness! I want thanksgiving to be now! And I wish we were related if only to get a taste of everything you posted here. wow!

    Lizzy, I hope you can post this on my Thanksiving blog hop. please just visit my site and see how to link up there =)

  2. I'm also doing a 19lb alton brown brined turkey. How long are you estimating it will take?

  3. Can I come eat Thanksgiving at your house? All of the food looks AMAZING!!! Beautiful table set up!!

  4. Mmm, the stuffing sounds delicious! I'd love to have Thanksgiving at your house - my family is full of traditionalists!

  5. WOW!!! That's quite a menu. Btw, we have the same table cloth, and our china isn't much different either... I like clean and simple too.

  6. All i can say is wow. I am making salad and greenbean casserole. Hubs is doing the turkeys. One fried, one rotisserie for us!

  7. The menu looks yummy! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. Happy Thanksgiving Lizzy! your menu and all this food is so impressive. Your table spread looks beautiful too.

  9. I know you love leftovers but as a Yankee Disliker as well, would it be possible to convince you to freeze and FedEx it to Texas.....PUH-LEEZE! PRETTY PUH-LEEZE!

    Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.

  10. Wowza - I'm drooling over here. That makes my teeny menu look even teenier! I bet it was all so delicious - hope you had a great day :)