I can’t believe Thanksgiving is one week away! Seriously – when did that happen? We were so busy dealing with Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath that time just went even faster than usual. We didn’t even get to go trick-or-treating with our Little Boy! No costume dress up. No candy. Thanks a lot Sandy!
Realizing we have just 7 days to Thanksgiving, I figured it time I put together our menu plan. After all, we are hosting Thanksgiving again, probably a good idea to have this stuff figured out right?
I thought I’d change things up this post and instead of just giving one recipe I’d share with you our entire menu plan and the recipes we have available online to share. Not all of the recipes are here yet, but the ones we have I’ll share below.
So, without further ado, here is what will be served up at the Keenan Thanksgiving dinner table.
Turkey! (Of course!)
The past couple of years I’ve been brining my turkey over night using Alton Brown’s Turkey Brine recipe. Brining allows for a moister and more flavorful cooked bird, and is pretty easy to do. The hardest part is getting a container larger enough to hold a 20 pound turkey plus a couple gallons of brine.
Stuffing is, of course, the main side show of Thanksgiving (see what I did there?). Our family does a sausage stuffing. I thought there was only one kind of stuffing, the way my Mom makes it. Then I got married and we hosted our first Thanksgiving – an epic battle commenced over whose stuffing would go in the bird; the sausage stuffing I grew up with or the apple and raisin one Rachel grew up with. I won’t say who won (ok, she did), but after a few years I eventually won out. How’d that happen? Well – let’s just say even certain members of Rachel’s family enjoyed the sausage stuffing more. Heheh.
Anyway… We use the Jones Dairy Farm recipe. Here it is below:
Biscuits & Cornbread
For the biscuits, I cheat and use Pillsbury Grands Biscuits. It’s for two reasons: 1- They just taste so darn good. 2- They are super easy and I can assign the task of opening the package and baking them to a sibling without causing too much extra chaos in the kitchen.
For the cornbread, I use this recipe from our blog, which I’ve shared again just below. Cornbread is easy enough to whip up ahead of time and reheat later in the day once dinner is almost ready to be served. Can’t beat that.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This recipe is a different take on the traditional (around here at least) sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows on top (does your family do that too?)
A coworker shared this recipe with Rachel a few years ago. Rachel modified the recipe to lighten it up a little and it’s been residing in our lose leaf recipe binder ever since, faithfully coming out every Thanksgiving. Sorry – no photos – never lasts long enough for us to snap a shot and it truly only comes out once a year!
Broccoli Cheddar Casserole
My mother in law makes and brings this dish, which is always a hit. I wish I had the recipe to share but – confession – I was a poor planner and didn’t ask her for the recipe before getting to work on this post. When I get it I’ll update the post to add in. Eek!
Basically though it’s a white sauce combined with cream cheese, poured over broccoli. Top with cheddar cheese and bread crumbs and bake until delicious. There is more to it than that, but that is the basic idea. I promise to update here once I get it
My Dad makes the mashed potatoes (along with a 2nd bird, because I just have to have leftovers on Thanksgiving for next day Turkey Sandwiches or I get sad) .
So, true to form for my Dad, he doesn’t really have a recipe, he just eyeballs it. He peels and boils his potatoes until done, mashes them up with copious amounts of whole milk and butter. I’m not sure what you can do with that, but I do what I can to share.
Nothing fancy here, but without it it isn’t Thanksgiving. Be sure the cranberry sauce has been chilled, and that is is sauce, not chunk. Nothing worse than cranberry with chunks of cranberry in it!
Over the years I’ve come to find that Green Giant Niblets are hands down the best canned corn out there.
I don’t eat these but, for my Dad, it isn’t Thanksgiving without them. I leave him in charge of these. Blegh. Heheh
Last year we had as many desserts as we did side dishes. This year I’m not sure we’ll be much better. Without question, Mom will be bringing a homemade apple pie. We’ll probably bake cookies ahead of time – something as of yet determined. And I also expect to see this:
At 94 years old, Nana should get a free pass at not having to cook, clean, or do much else at Thanksgiving but show up and relax. And yet despite our requests she do just that, she always bakes something. Last year she brought her pound cake, featured in the image above, and this year I anticipate the same. Here is the recipe below. It really is fantastic.
The Day After
What is Thanksgiving without leftovers? A Keenan Family tradition is the leftover turkey sandwich. No, not just turkey. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Whatever else you got, throw it on there. Seriously. So good.
And there you have it. The Keenan Family’s Thanksgiving Menu for 2012.
From our table to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!