Planning your Thanksgiving menu is a wonderful to interweave old traditions and embrace the new. AHRN.com has put together some of our favorite recipes to give your menu a jump start!
Whether you are a seasoned holiday host or inviting friends for your first Thanksgiving meal cooked in your own place, the coordination of a large meal like Thanksgiving can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are tremendous resources available from the perfect turkey to delicious side dishes and delectable desserts.
Start With The Turkey
The iconic star of Thanksgiving deserves some special attention. There are a range of options available to preparing your turkey, including roasting and frying. Avoid Turkey Day disasters with The Stir’s top tips for a juicy bird. If you will have a smaller crowd, consider cooking a turkey breast for a more efficient version of this entree.
An Alternate Protein
If you will have a large crowd –or picky family members — consider adding a second protein. Choose an option that adds minimal cooking effort like a slow cooker ham, which can cook away on the counter top without taking up oven or stove top space.
Keep your guests entertained with fall themed cocktails like Apple Cider and Pumpkin Fizz, Cider Sangria, and Apple Cider Floats. Include the kids and designated drivers in the fun with this delicious Cranberry Punch.
Side dishes, while without the table top impact of the turkey, play a key role in the success of your holiday meal. Something simply prepared is often the most delicious, as in the case of simple roasted vegetables. Feature dishes that utilize just a handful of ingredients like Parmesan Tomatoes, Crunch Green Beans, Creamed Onions, or Cranberry Orange Sauce. When I’m entertaining a large enough crowdto need a greater variety to serve, I borrow an extra slow cooker or two for some slow cooked side dishes (bonus they are easy to keep warm for late comers and seconds).
Desserts are a wonderful candidate for make-ahead recipes, and ensure you finish the holiday meal with a triumph! Celebrate fall with a twist by offering your family Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge. Let dessert double as decoration with these beautiful mini Pumpkin Pies. Make a nod to tradition and wow your diners with this easy and delicious Apple Crisp.
The secret to a minimal stress holiday meal lies in the planning. Prepare as many dishes and ingredients ahead of time as you can. Keep an eye on cook times and temperatures as you plan your side dishes. If all of your sides need to go in the oven in the last 30 minutes before serving, you will have a tough time getting everything on the table hot. Balance your menu between make ahead dishes, dishes served cool or at room temperature and those served straight from the oven! And don’t forget to clean up as you go!
If the holidays are stressing you, take a look at how to plan an organized holiday season by getting ready now.
We want to know:
What Thanksgiving dish are you most looking forward to?