Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Only 1 day left until Thanksgiving. This year we will have a smaller crowd than usual. My family of four, my in-laws and possibly my dad. I think I have our menu figured out. We will start with breakfast, then a few appetizers to hold us over and finally the big feast! I better hurry up and get started. I still need to shop and start my dough for dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and pie crusts ( I may have to cheat and buy Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts and I actually just found a very pretty roll to make – details below).


My Husband’s Pancakes
Maple Syrup Sausage
Traditional Mimosa: Equal parts OJ and Champagne


Apple Cranberry Curry Chicken Bites (recipe to come in a later post)
Mixed nuts and dried cranberries drizzled with chocolate (recipe to come in a later post)

Thanksgiving Dinner

Roasted Turkey
This year our turkey is 26 lbs. Wow a big one! Here is what I do to my turkey bird. 🙂

Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Rinse turkey well with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the turkey. Set out butter to room temp.

Make a mixture of Kosher salt, ground pepper, (fresh herbs) rosemary, thyme and sage and a tablespoon of poultry seasoning . I make 2 batches of this – one for the top skin & under the skin and then another batch for the cavity of the bird. Set these 2 mixtures aside. Then chop (larger pieces) 2 large onions and celery, place in medium bowl. Next slice the top of a whole garlic bulb, add to chopped vegetables, then mix 1 of the herb batches to this. Lift the skin on the breast and use your hand to gently separate the skin from flesh. Rub butter or olive oil (your choice) under the skin and on the top of the skin. Then rub the herb mixture under and on the top of the skin, make sure to get the whole bird flavored. Next stuff the cavity with the medium bowl mixture.

Place turkey, breast side up – roast for one hour at 375 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Roast for 30 more minutes, or until the skin turns golden brown. Remove turkey from oven and cover loosely with foil. Return turkey to oven and continue roasting alloted time per lb of bird that you have, or until a meat thermometer (inserted between a thigh and breast) reads 170 degrees (a red plug might pop up when ready as well; I never go by that though, since I have had times when it never popped up). Transfer the turkey to a carving platter and allow it to sit about 20 minutes before carving.

Pan Gravy
5 cups turkey or chicken broth ( I use broth/drippings from my turkey after it is removed from the pan onto a carving platter). I also pre-cook the neck and gibblets that you remove from the center of the cavity. The broth made from this is wonderful to use for gravy and when making your stuffing – you may season it with salt and pepper and herbs if you like – I do!)

Place the roasting pan with turkey drippings on 2 burners over medium heat. Mix broth (above) and add 1 cup of water to pan drippings. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits, then lower heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain into a saucepan and let sit for a few minutes. Skim any fat that rises to the top. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Next mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and stir into the pan juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until gravy becomes slightly thickened. Remove from heat; add butter and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. There you have it yummy gravy! I like to serve it in my pretty gravy boat.

(My family loves “STOVE TOP stuffing” … so our stuffing is semi-homemade.) I mix 3 boxes of stuffing together (cornbread, turkey and savory herbs). Instead of mixing this with hot water, I use hot chicken broth, plus some of the juice from the roasted turkey. Then I saute chopped celery, garlic and 1/2 yellow onion in extra virgin olive oil. Mix sauteed ingredients into the stuffing and then top with fresh herbs (I use rosemary and thyme) and a pinch of poultry seasoning. Make sure you use enough broth and butter so that the stuffing is moist and not dry. Mix and serve hot!

Rosemary, Garlic Roast Red Potatoes
We usually have garlic roasted mashed potatoes, but both of my daughters prefer roasted red potatoes instead of mashed potatoes, so this year we are going roasted! Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To make my roasted potatoes I cut potatoes into cubes (see picture above) then I spread them out on a foil wrapped cookie sheet. Next in a small bowl, I mix rosemary, pepper, red pepper flakes, chopped garlic, kosher salt and about 1/4 cup olive oil. Then drizzle mixture onto the potatoes Toss potatoes a bit, to coat them. Place in oven until tender.

Sweet Potatoes
Black Olives (my girls love these)
Bacon Glazed Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Glazed Carrots

Dinner Rolls
This year I am trying something new that I found called Rosemary & Sea Salt Rolls in a Jar – It seems really easy, yet very impressive looking. One of those gotta try recipes! I don’t have the small wide mouth jars so I am going to use my muffin tin. Can’t wait to share with you how they turned out!


Pumpkin Pie
Oreo Cookie Bake

Friday Breakfast

Cinnamon Rolls I will pre-make these, so that we can have a simple breakfast before we head out shopping – BLACK FRIDAY! Add some fruit and we are ready.

What’s cooking at your house? Please leave a comment. I better get a move one, I am running out of hours! Have an amazing thankful, fulfilling Thanksgiving!


4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Dinner Menu 2011

  1. That sounds delicious Shiela! We always have homemade sauerkraut with bacon, onion and caraway seeds and little smokies. They are a part of our traditional dinner. I make sweet potatoes, I peel and slice them about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. In a large fry pan I add 1/2 -3/4 cube of butter. Add brown sugar cook on low heat turning often until they are done. They are delicious. Whitney uses the syrup for dipping her ham..

    • Sandy – I will have to try your sweet potatoes, I have never fried them, I have always peeled, sliced and backed them, then added brown sugar and butter. This will save some space for other items in my oven! Sauerkraut recipe is that a German tradition? Sometimes we also have a ham, but this year we don’t have a large crowd, so we will save the ham for Christmas. Thank you for sharing.

      • Try it ,you will love them. They really aren’t fried they just slowly cook in this delicious sauce. With a cube of butter it will take about 2 or a little more cups of brown sugar.I will bring you some kraut Saturday. Yes it is a family recipe. Grandma Boldischar used to make it and keep it on the front porch all winter, It was so cold in Klamath Falls that it was frozen most of the time.

  2. Sounds great! I never actually had sauerkraut so this will be new for me, I’m looking forward to trying it. The sweet potatoes sound similar to mine, except that I bake them in the oven rather than on the stove top. I will let you know how they turn out. See you at the game. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

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