Thanksgiving Menu

by Margo on November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving is a big deal around here. We celebrate twice– once, the weekend before or after T-Day with my dad, siblings, step-family and grandmother, and once on actual Thanksgiving, with or without guests. We host both meals, and that means I get to do a lot of cooking in a little bit of time.

Somewhere along the way, I decided that, if you’re going to do Thanksgiving, you should do it right. I make all of my pies, cranberry sauce, breads, and stuffing from scratch, including the bread for the stuffing. Every year, I try a couple new recipes. If one turns out exceptionally well, it makes it’s way into my “regular” file– the recipes I use every year.

I’m several new recipes this year. Today is Thanksgiving with my Dad, ect., so I’ve already been able to try out a few. Here’s what I’m making this year:

Pumpkin Gingerbread– I altered this recipe, adding in 1/4 cup molasses, and more ginger. If you’re adding in the molasses, cut back a bit on the sugar.

Banana Bread– Best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. Yum. This never lasts long at our house.

Apple Pie– Add in the cinnamon and other spices to the apples, and leave it out of the caramel sauce.

Chocolate Truffle Pie– My sister always makes chocolate pie, using our Grandmother’s recipe. She can’r make it to today’s meal, so I found a version of my own. I haven’t tried the pie itself yet, but I was eating some of the filling last night, and it was delish. Don’t use the full 1/4 cup of powdered sugar- it’ll make it too sweet. That’s the only thing I’d change for next time.

Double Layer Chocolate Cheesecake– This is for actual Thanksgiving, as an alternative to more pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie, but I always end up getting sick of it before it’s all gone. Time to switch it up a bit.

Cranberry Sauce– I add some orange zest and finely chopped apple to mine.

Mushroom Stuffing– We’ve made this one for years. Don’t put stuffing inside the bird; you’re cooking it in raw turkey juice. Eww. And by the time you get it hot enough to kill the bacteria, your turkey is dry.

Our pumpkin pie is the Libby’s recipe; the turkey has a quartered onion in the cavity, butter slices slid under the skin and salt/pepper rubbed in on top. The butter trick is one I learned from my uncle– it helps to keep the turkey moist. Another secret for turkeys? Throw out the pop-up timer. Use a real thermometer. By the time the timer pops out, your turkey is already over-done. Cook your turkey until the “coldest” spot reads 160, then take it out, cover it in foil, and let it cook the rest of the way using the heat it already has. Once it hits 165, it’s done.

What are you making for Thanksgiving? :)

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