This is the shout-out and blog hop I’ve been waiting for: Thanksgiving! (Also, I realize it’s Saturday…sorry about that). Like many of you, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. It’s crisp fall weather, making a grocery list with my father, and getting odds and ends the day before. Thanksgiving is sleeping in and catching just the tail end of the Macy’s parade, scrambled eggs, and the smell of turkey roasting. It’s stuffing (Pepperidge Farm) and buttery mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce – from a can, with ridges (I brought real cranberry sauce once and it didn’t go over nearly as well). Dessert is Entenmann’s pumpkin pie and ice cream.
Thanksgiving is dinner with my mother, father, and sister (it’s the one holiday my husband and I still spent separate, unable to break tradition), and being thankful that we are together. It’s watching Miracle on 34th Street as they show it on TV for the first time that season, and snoozing on the couch, too full to move. Now, unable to spend Thanksgiving at home, it’s when I miss my family the most.
If you follow food media – blogs, magazines, newspapers, cooking shows – it’s hard not to be inspired this time of year. The internet is overflowing with turkey tips, easy sides, and make-ahead desserts. I’ve seen so many tempting Thanksgiving dishes this week my head is about to explode (in the best possible way of course) and I’ve bookmarked many to make another time, or another Thanksgiving. Here are some of the greatest Thanksgiving recipes and ideas I’ve seen on the web this week. I’d love if you shared your favorite Thanksgiving recipes in the blog hop below!
You may have seen my own post this week for Oolong-Brined Turkey Breast, which would make an excellent Thanksgiving main for anyone looking to cut out the hassle and mess of roasting a whole bird. Flavorful and easy, one of these easily serves four people and it’s an excellent use for that tea you have sitting on your shelf. For another very different variation on this, Simply Budgeted made a Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken, which I think would also make a nice Thanksgiving alternative as well (and would probably be lovely with turkey too!).
If you are looking for a traditional roast turkey recipe, then head straight over to Cookin’ Canuck. Dara has perfected the art of the Thanksgiving bird, which she accompanies with herb butter and roasted shallots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful roast turkey. For the first time this year I’ve noticed two distinct camps on basting. Conventional wisdom, followed by Cookin’ Canuck and The Kitchn in their helpful How to Roast a Turkey post, says that basting is the secret to a tender bird with crisp skin. But in her Eatocracy article “Five Things NOT To Do When Roasting Your Thanksgiving Turkey,” Melissa Clark turns this on its head. Which leaves the question: To baste or not to baste?
Of course you can’t have turkey without gravy and I just love Brown Eyed Baker’s Make-Ahead Homemade Gravy! She takes the last minute stress out of making gravy from drippings while everyone waits hungry by preparing it ahead with stock, cream, and brandy.
If you are looking for a vegetarian main to serve then forget the Tofurkey and head straight for Veggie Belly’s elegant Tofu Skin Roulade with Sage Mushroom Stuffing. This creative, beautiful dish has all the elements one could want in a Thanksgiving dish, without the meat.
Then there are the sides. Oh, the sides! Panini Happy has come up with yet another creative use for her panini maker with Grilled Acorn Squash with Cranberry-Ginger Maple Syrup. Ingredients, inc. meanwhile takes one of my favorite veggies – brussels sprouts – and makes a gorgeous salad with cranberries and walnuts.
Instead of stuffing how about a savory bread pudding? I absolutely love Blue Kale Road’s Butternut Squash and Leek Bread Pudding as well as A Communal Table’s Cheese and Herb Bread Pudding. And what Thanksgiving table is complete without biscuits? Barbara over at Creative Culinary has really hit the nail on the head with her gorgeous Sage and Caramelized Shallot Brown Butter on Pumpkin and Sage Biscuits.
I am a sucker for Thanksgiving desserts and have been drooling over some of the recipes I’ve spotted this week. I absolutely love good old fashioned pumpkin pie and can’t wait to try this recipe over at The Mom Chef. Or, for a delectable variation check out Healthy Green Kitchen’s Red Kuri Squash Pie! If pie isn’t your thing then never fear. Consider instead My Baking Addiction’s Pumpkin Roll, That Skinny Chick Can Bake’s Mini Pimpkin Bundt Cakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle, or Gluten-Free Cat’s GF Pumpkin Dessert.