Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas and Recipes (Pins to Admire and Inspire)

I decided to go to my "happy place" and share my pretend Thanksgiving Menu because we're traveling today. Thankfully, just to the other side of Virginia this year. This is some of what I would serve if Thanksgiving dinner was in our home again this year (click on the source links for recipes!).

Here's a no-brainer, Turkey. Anyone have a secret to a moist (I hate that word) turkey?

If you have turkey, you must have Gravy:

Another fab accessory to gravy? Mashed Potatoes:

Corn (this one has garlic, butter, and cream cheese!):

Dressing (or "Stuffing" if you are from the North), my fave:

(I have an amazing Sausage Stuffing Recipe that I'll share in December!)

An American Thanksgiving staple, Green Bean Casserole:

Roasted Butternut Squash:

Bread, wonderful bread (I like carbs):

Dessert, which is really the whole point of the meal, if you ask me!

Last year, I had apple cider simmering on the stove all morning while my sis-in-law and I cooked and watched the Macy's parade with the girls:

Add in my Nutella Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread for a morning snack, and you are set!

I don't mind admitting to you that I really really wish that we could stay home for Thanksgiving. Last year was my first time hosting, and I loved it. Travel during the holidays can be expensive and stressful, not to mention adding in the effects of trying to please both sides of your family. So, for now, I'll settle for this virtual menu and maybe start taking notes for next year.

What are you most looking forward to serving (and eating) tomorrow?


  1. Yum, yum, yum... my husband doesn't like thanksgiving food (he's kinda insane), but I'm so excited about all the deliciousness tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I want to lick the screen Amanda!!! I can't waitvfor tomorrow! It is our first time hosting and I am so excited notbto be running to 2 (sometimes) locations this year! I feel you on that one! My goal is to make the turkey so good (we are brining, helps with the moistness and flavoring) that people will want us to cook every year!!! Off to check out that corn recipe a little closer, it sounds delicious...

  3. Maybe next year you'll get to host again. I hope so!

    When we had little ones, we stopped traveling for Thanksgiving. We decided that we'd travel for Christmas, but not for Thanksgiving. It was a good decision for us.

    As for a moist turkey? Brining! No doubt about it--this works the very best. I've done lots of things over the years, and brining is the best method. :)

  4. I have the secret to a moist turkey: Brine it! It really works and it's SO easy. I already have mine in the solution ready to go. Then you can cook, fry, smoke, etc. your turkey however you like. A brine is simply a salt solution -- I don't measure, just cover bird in water or broth, add sea salt, fresh pepper, bay leaves, sage leaves, molasses, cane sugar, fresh pressed garlic. And I even added a can of beer this time! Have a safe trip!!!

  5. Yum! Can you believe that we have never had mashed potatoes with Thanksgiving dinner. I guess maybe it's because we have so many other sides:) I hope you have a great Thanksgiving Amanda!

  6. That all looks soo good, Amanda! For a moist turkey I cook mine in a "Look Bag". That's what they're called and it works every time. One of my favorite sides is turip/rutabaga. I never had it until I moved to Canada and my hubby's Scottish mom made it at Christmas. I LOVE it and now it's a staple at Thanksgiving too. Even though I do live in Canada I still celebrate American Thanksgiving, and I can't wait!!

    Have a safe trip and a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  7. It all looks so delicious! My SIL is hosting this year, I only make a few side dishes. Have a great trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving Amanda!

  8. I completely agree with what others have said about brining it makes the most deliciously moist turkey. Once you try it, you'll never go back! I have shared more info about brining and my favorite recipe

  9. I feel like I've just eaten the best Thanksgiving ever by scrolling through your pictures! Yum. And I am glad I get to host tomorrow--hopefully you'll get to again, soon. It's nice to have the smell of Turkey fill your own house and to not have to go anywhere. But family can be fun, too :). For me and my family, the Thanksgiving meal is at least 50% about pies. Loooove pies. As for Turkey, I've tried brining, but the thing I think helps most is to cook it breast side down so all the back fat oozes through the lower fat breast meat in the front (gross, but delicious :) ).

  10. OH yum!! I would love to go to Thanksgiving dinner at your house! ;) I'm making a pasta salad this year to take to dinner at the in-laws!

  11. I've tried brining and I didn't think that it made the turkey any more moist than normal. The key for me is sticking something in the cavity (I do my stuffing separately so I never have that in there) ... onions and a lemon are perfect. The fruit/veggies release liquids as they get warm and my turkey is always perfectly moist.

  12. I'm most looking forward to my mom's dressing. Give me that and a veggie casserole and I'm happy. Last night I cooked a turkey just for us.


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