Thanksgiving Dinner

Lounge By maryjsgirl Updated 31 Oct 2007 , 4:53am by adawndria

maryjsgirl Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 5:37am
post #1 of 32

I know it's a month away, but I always get excited for Thanksgiving. I started cooking for my entire extended family three years ago to give my grandma a break. So it's very important to me which is why I am already planning, lol.


So what's on your Thanksgiving menu? If you have any great recipes please share I would love to try something new! Also I am looking for some frugal decorating ideas for the dinner table.

31 replies
LaSombra Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 5:48am
post #2 of 32

We always stick with the normal stuff here: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, homemade bread or rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie for dessert...we always have deviled eggs for appetizers also and a relish tray. We don't have a huge extended family thing usually, just maybe 10 people or so.

I'll be interested to hear any ideas others come up with though. Maybe I can throw in something for a change icon_biggrin.gif

Edited to add: A twist on apple pie for thanksgiving is that you can throw a few cranberries in before you bake! It adds a nice tartness to the pie and is a bit more festive thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 6:04am
post #3 of 32

Thanksgiving is THE family holiday for us.

I make an appetizer table for people to munch on while dinner is cooking. It helps keep them out of the kitchen and trying to sample whatever it is that I'm making at the moment!

(The first time my daughter went to her in-law's in New Jersey, she told me she was starving because she was used to having snacks early in the day! Said she spent the whole time saying "My mom does this" and "my mom does that". The next time they went to New Jersey, her MIL had a veggie tray just for her! God luv her!)

We dont' have anything cranberry because no one in our house likes it. I buy a tiny pumpkin pie for hubby because he's the only one who likes it. I do not believe in having "traditional" foods on the table just so I can throw them away later! And at my house "If Debi dont' eat it .... Debi don't make it!" icon_lol.gif

But no matter what, we always get at least a 25lb turkey! We LUV leftover turkey but we never have any leftover past Sunday! Even on the years that my daughter went to New Jersey and my son was a Marine, so it was just 3 of us ..... we had a 26 lb turkey!!

And we always burn the rolls. Every year. Without exception. It's become a tradition. (And I cook for a living! icon_rolleyes.gif )

sharon57 Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 11:05am
post #4 of 32

I always make broccoli casserole, Everybody loves it and expects me to make it. I also like to try something different every year, maybe I'll get some ideas from this post.

TheCakerator Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 11:51am
post #5 of 32

we pretty much have the traditional turkey day dinner along with the snacks before the actual meal ... and of course, my mom burns her rolls every year! It's actually the dinner timer for the rest of us! Although there are a lot of us in the family that prefer stove top stuffing and canned gravy over the bird stuffing and home made gravy ... are we weird or what?

maryjsgirl Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 12:56pm
post #6 of 32

I pretty much stick to the traditional too. Here are some of the things I do.

I love my turkey recipe inspired by Tyler Florence. I like to make a butter/maple syrup mixture to rub under and on top of the skin. I then top it with strips of bacon and cook it in one of those oven bags. And I use a digital thermometer with alarm to make sure it is cooked perfectly. My turkey is always super moist and has such a great flavor from the bacon, butter, and maple syrup.

So my number one tip would be to invest in a digital thermometer. I use it for cooking all birds and roasts. And always have great results.


I have never been into cranberry sauce, but I made Tyler Florence's cranberry relish recipe last year and it was so good! Here is the link to the recipe...

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_25076,00.html

(I subbed fresh squeezed OJ for the Grand Marnier.)


I no longer make pumpkin pie, because people prefer Paula Deen's pumpkin gooey cake recipe. I also make cookie dough cheesecake, because that is my sons' favorite.

I also make mulled cider in the crock pot with butterscotch and cinnamon schnapps on the side for the adults.

Flavored butters for the bread.

jmt1714 Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:16pm
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjsgirl

I know it's a month away, but I always get excited for Thanksgiving. I started cooking for my entire extended family three years ago to give my grandma a break. So it's very important to me which is why I am already planning, lol.


So what's on your Thanksgiving menu? If you have any great recipes please share I would love to try something new! Also I am looking for some frugal decorating ideas for the dinner table.




the menu never changes:
Fresh turkey (ordered from a local farm), brined, air dried in the fridge, and roasted.
Two kinds of dressing - cornbread & sausage and onion & Sage
Whipped potatoes
TONS of gravy
Fried apples with fresh cranberries
Some form of sweet potato
two kinds of cranberry sauce (ocean spray for the kids, fresh made for the adults)
Homemade bread or rolls
Cornbread
green beans with shallots and walnuts
peas

Dessert is pumpkin cheesecake.

Hints on the table decorations:
find 4" mums in pots. place them in a plastic pot that won't leak on the table (or just get the liners when you get the mums) and wrap with fall themed wrapping paper or just use a cheap colored vase (all the same) if you can find them. Michaels has some on sale right now. Run them the length of the table. Alternate with thick pillar candles from Michaels. Also - fall garlands are on sale at Michaels right now - pick up a couple and run them along the length of the table weaving around the pots/candles.

michellenj Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 1:29pm
post #8 of 32

We always start off with a crudite and shrimp cocktail, and a couple of dips and chips, and whatever easy apps look good to me at Sams.

For dinner we have:
Turkey
Cornbread Dressing-me
Cranberry-Pecan Stuffing-for dh
mashed potatoes
gravy
Broccoli casserole
Green bean casserole
Homemade creamed corn
homemade cranberry sauce AND cranberry-orange relish
nicoise salad with garlic vinaigrette-for me and MIL
whipping cream biscuits
pumpkin pie
pecan pie with chocolate chips
dutch apple pie

That is always my menu. This year I am on Weight Watchers, and every single dish contains like 2 sticks of butter, so I may have to change it. It's like a carb-addict's fantasy!

msladybug Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 2:11pm
post #9 of 32

We always do a typical southern Thanksgiving.

Fried Turkey
Ham
Homemade mac and cheese
green beans
corn
mashed potatoes
collard greens
giblet gravy (yuck)
cranberry sauce
rolls

desserts we have

homemade banana pudding (the custard and meringue kind)
several types of pies and some cookies.

maryjsgirl Posted 22 Oct 2007 , 11:51pm
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmt1714

Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjsgirl

I know it's a month away, but I always get excited for Thanksgiving. I started cooking for my entire extended family three years ago to give my grandma a break. So it's very important to me which is why I am already planning, lol.


So what's on your Thanksgiving menu? If you have any great recipes please share I would love to try something new! Also I am looking for some frugal decorating ideas for the dinner table.



the menu never changes:
Fresh turkey (ordered from a local farm), brined, air dried in the fridge, and roasted.
Two kinds of dressing - cornbread & sausage and onion & Sage
Whipped potatoes
TONS of gravy
Fried apples with fresh cranberries
Some form of sweet potato
two kinds of cranberry sauce (ocean spray for the kids, fresh made for the adults)
Homemade bread or rolls
Cornbread
green beans with shallots and walnuts
peas

Dessert is pumpkin cheesecake.

Hints on the table decorations:
find 4" mums in pots. place them in a plastic pot that won't leak on the table (or just get the liners when you get the mums) and wrap with fall themed wrapping paper or just use a cheap colored vase (all the same) if you can find them. Michaels has some on sale right now. Run them the length of the table. Alternate with thick pillar candles from Michaels. Also - fall garlands are on sale at Michaels right now - pick up a couple and run them along the length of the table weaving around the pots/candles.




I think I will have to go check out the garlands. I think that would be a great idea! Thanks!



Keep the ideas coming ladies. I love reading all the menus!

nikki1201 Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 12:39am
post #11 of 32

I cooked my first thanksgiving dinner last year for my BFs family. It was sad to miss MY family's dinner, but his brother and SIL were in the middle of moving, so we had to....

I made everything my family makes every year:

Turkey

sour cream & chive mashed potatoes (the little red ones w/ some skin on)

asparagus with garlic, butter and almonds

california veggie casserole (my absolute favorite... i could skip the turkey and stuff myself on this stuff! just a few bags of frozen broccoli cauliflower and carrots, black olives, small jar of pimentos, cream of mushroom soup, some shredded cheddar cheese, and topped with french-fried onions.... this makes the BEST leftovers!)

steamed cauliflower with butter & bread crumbs (and peas & carrots around the bottom to make it pretty!)

dessert was apple cranberry pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry cheesecake, and some cookies.

BUT, the one thing that has always been a tradition in my family is our spiked cider.... We have my great grandmothers old urn/coffee thing (dont know the technical term... it's silver and has a spout on the bottom to pour the stuff and when you plug it in it gets hot....) anyway, i just pour a gallon of apple cider in the urn and a little more than half of the liter size bottle of captain morgan's spiced rum, and a few cinnamon sticks.... I'm usually 'floating on air' around my kitchen by about 2:00....

indydebi Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 12:44am
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki1201



steamed cauliflower with butter & bread crumbs (and peas & carrots around the bottom to make it pretty!)




That does sound pretty! I may try this one ... on my catering menus!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki1201



BUT, the one thing that has always been a tradition in my family is our spiked cider....




How do I get an invite to YOUR house this year! icon_lol.gif

nikki1201 Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 1:59am
post #13 of 32

i could really use some cider myself right now....

seriously, try it! One year when we couldnt find the urn we just mixed it into a punch bowl and nuked the cups every time we needed a refill....

And can you believe that i made this when i had my BFs family at my house and no one drank any....! In-grates. And to think that when my family makes it we usually run out..... hmmm....

JRAE33 Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 12:37pm
post #14 of 32

On Thanksgiving day it's just hubby, our three young kids, and I. Possibly my brother and sister, college students who live 20 minutes away...depends on their schedule. And then on Saturday we travel to my moms (about an hour and a half away) for dinner with her, my siblings and their kids, and our Papa. There's also a Christmas parade on Saturday so after we stuff ourselves, we get all bundled up and head off to watch that.

Thanksgiving we'll eat around noon and then munch all day until we have to roll ourselves to bed. Pretty typical dinner:

*turkey
*mashed potatoes
*stuffing
*sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows
*green bean casserole
*corn
*cranberries (from the can)
*jell-o (rasberry jello, cranberries, pineapple, oranges, and cool whip)
*deviled eggs
*ham rolls (with green onions)
*homeade rolls
*gravy

Dessert is something different every year. I cannot bake a pumpkin pie for the life of me unless I buy the stuff where you just add milk and eggs. When I try the pure pumpkin it's awful! I don't know why?!??! Last year we made this pumpkin dessert with twinkies..it was really yummy! I got the recipe from the coupon section of the Sunday paper, but I found it online as well if you are interested:

http://www.recipezaar.com/194913

I love Thanksgiving. It's the kick off to my favorite time of year...Christmas!! We'll be out the next day picking out our Christmas tree (we avoid shopping at all costs that day icon_smile.gif )

lvablkmn Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 3:52pm
post #15 of 32

I'm already getting hungry for some turkey from reading all these recipes!!!This will be my 1st Thanksgiving at my house. My family had already invited themselves when I bought the house in May!!! I've already read several ideas that I would love to try. Especially since this is my 1st - I have to make it good!!! 1 thing that I do always have is a jell-o mold with dinner. We eat it with dinner-not as a dessert & we love it!!
For some decorations ideas - I think having the kids make some is always a great idea. It usually cost less & the kids love doing them. Most of my Halloween decorations are homemade & we'll be doing the same thing for Thanksgiving.Keep up with the great recipes!!!!! icon_smile.gif

leily Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 5:32pm
post #16 of 32

My family is pretty basic...

Turkey
Homemade gravy
Potatoes (mashed, twice baked, cheesy... it all depends on who makes them)
Corn (usually fresh from the summer that had been frozen)
Green beans (fresh or in a casserole)
A few other sides
A variety of desserts

But the best part is the day after thanksgiving!! No one is allowed to take any left over turkey home! We all go over again the fri or sat after thanksgiving for Creamed Turkey (yum-yum!!) and all of the other leftovers. We have tried to talk her into making creamed turkey for thanksgiving, but she gets all over multiple times to see us if she holds off a day or two.

maryjsgirl Posted 23 Oct 2007 , 8:30pm
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

My family is pretty basic...

Turkey
Homemade gravy
Potatoes (mashed, twice baked, cheesy... it all depends on who makes them)
Corn (usually fresh from the summer that had been frozen)
Green beans (fresh or in a casserole)
A few other sides
A variety of desserts

But the best part is the day after thanksgiving!! No one is allowed to take any left over turkey home! We all go over again the fri or sat after thanksgiving for Creamed Turkey (yum-yum!!) and all of the other leftovers. We have tried to talk her into making creamed turkey for thanksgiving, but she gets all over multiple times to see us if she holds off a day or two.





Hehe that's a good idea! I think when my boys leave the nest I will have the no leftovers rule so they have to come over to eat more. Sneaky...

Erdica Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 1:09pm
post #18 of 32

We tried something new last year and it was a HUGE hit. So we are doing it again this year.

We serve:
~ Deep fried turkey - our lovely bird is injected with olive oil, fresh garlic and rosemary....(mmm....I'm drooling already!)
~ A small ham for those who don't like turkey
~ My famous family mashed pototaoes
~ Corn, steamed broccoli and cauliflower
~ Stuffing
~ Gravy
~ Bread!!! (It's not a meal in our house if bread isn't involved)

Our dessert is something special. My BIL is a chef and he makes a pumpkin chiffon pie. OMG it is AMAZING! It's like a whipped pumpkin pie. When I get licensed this will be on my menu for the Holiday season.

I'm going to have to bust out the stretchy pants!!! I can't wait for Turkey Day!

nikki1201 Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 5:40pm
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erdica

I'm going to have to bust out the stretchy pants!!! I can't wait for Turkey Day!





LOL!!!! (as coffee almost flies out of my nose) I agree!!!

wgoat5 Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 9:08pm
post #20 of 32

Ohhh YUM


Turkey
Maple Glazed Spiral ham

Mock Oyster dressing (not oysters, actually a eggplant casserole to DIE for)
Cornbread dressing

corn pudding
greenbeans
whipped potatoes country style icon_biggrin.gif
Spinach Souffle
stuffed sweetpotatoes with cream, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon

mom's cathead biscuits and Yeast rolls

for dessert

Pecan pie
blackberry cobbler
Chocolate chess pie

For appetizers I make spinach balls, a spicy stuffed mushroom and veggies and dip


Ok Im hungry icon_biggrin.gif

kjt Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 10:35pm
post #21 of 32

[quote="nikki1201"]One year when we couldnt find the urn we just mixed it into a punch bowl and nuked the cups every time we needed a refill....quote]


okay, I laughed out loud when I read this...sounds just like my house! Couldn't find the urn-I can hear the conversation, " I know it's here somewhere, it's gotta be, we used it last year for the cider, I just can't remember where I put it after I washed it...maybe I lent it to somebody and they didn't return it..." Kids in the background rolling eyes...mine would say, "Mother, WHO would borrow Grandmother's coffee pot?!?---nobody, you're just losing your mind." icon_eek.gif

I don't burn the rolls-I just get them really brown and crunchy on the bottom icon_redface.gif
Looking forward to Thanksgiving around here, too! My mil and fil are coming from Memphis-I love them, really, and would like them to stay longer than three days...we play cards and pick on each other all day.

Ohara Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 11:03am
post #22 of 32

Thanksgiving is a weekend event at my house. My sister,BIL and their 6 kids come on Wednesday night and stay until Sunday afternoon. Thanksgiving day is for family...the rest of the weekend she and I will shop!!!

Our dinner is usually the same each year. DH is thinking we should change things up a little.

Oven roasted turkey
Deep fried turkey
noodles
mashed potatoes w/gravey
scalloped potatoes
stuffing
corn pudding
broccoli rice casserole
green bean casserole
banana pudding
yeast rolls

pumpkin pie
pecan pie
carrot cake

Memie Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 2:48pm
post #23 of 32

Does anyone have spaghetti with all the traditional foods? One year my mom decided to add this to our dinner and we all thought she was nuts and would have alot left over. To our surprise, icon_surprised.gif it was all eaten. Now she makes it every year. Also, does anyone know how to make a fruit salad with canned fruit cocktail and I THINK maybe coolwhip? My grandma made it every year and after she died, no one knew how to make it. I would love to have it at our dinners again (it's been 10 years).

indydebi Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 2:55pm
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Memie

Does anyone have spaghetti with all the traditional foods? One year my mom decided to add this to our dinner and we all thought she was nuts and would have alot left over. To our surprise, icon_surprised.gif it was all eaten. Now she makes it every year. Also, does anyone know how to make a fruit salad with canned fruit cocktail and I THINK maybe coolwhip? My grandma made it every year and after she died, no one knew how to make it. I would love to have it at our dinners again (it's been 10 years).




My mom made the cool whip fruit thing. Pretty much, it's just a can of fruit and add cool whip until it's mixed well. The juice from the fruit cocktail will cause the cool whip to separate unless you have PLENTY of cool whip in it.

Another dish she made with cool whip was what she called "Glorified Rice":

Cooked Minute Rice.
A can of crushed pineapple.
Enough cool whip to blend.
It's really good.

Memie Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 3:14pm
post #25 of 32

Thanks Indydebi! The rice does sound good. Do I need to drain the pineapple and fruit cocktail?

indydebi Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 3:23pm
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Memie

Thanks Indydebi! The rice does sound good. Do I need to drain the pineapple and fruit cocktail?




We never did. The rice will absorb the moisture, so if you drain it, the dish will be dry. It may look "juicy" when you first make it, but that's normal.

The fruit cocktail ... when I was a kid, I always thought it was too juicy, but heck ... it was fruit, it was cool whip, it was a dessert ... WE ATE IT! icon_lol.gif

krysoco Posted 26 Oct 2007 , 8:28pm
post #27 of 32

As for decorations, this is ultra simple and cute. Buy a few of the really small pumpkins and cut the tops off. Buy some mums, daisies, etc. and cut them a slight bit higher than the height of the pumpkin. Place the flowers inside the pumpkin. They should "fall" into the pumpkin (not be able to stand up). If done ahead of time, put water inside the pumpkin. If done right before dinner, wrap wet paper towels around the cut stems of the flowers.

JRAE33 Posted 27 Oct 2007 , 11:34pm
post #28 of 32

We do the fruit cocktail dessert as well. We drain the can of fruit cocktail, add sliced bananas, cool whip, and mini marshmallows. It's really good. Of course, at our house we serve it with dinner and not really as dessert. We like to add cool whip to anything healthy and call it a side dish icon_lol.gif

Memie Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 1:39pm
post #29 of 32

Jrae, I had forgotten - my grandma also added the bananas and mini marshmallows. She also added pecans, too. Ours was also served as a side dish and not dessert.

mkerton Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 1:46pm
post #30 of 32

you guys have made me sooo hungry............. I am heading north this year to have thanksgiving with my in-laws so its a bit different than what I am used too......but they are both good..... the only thing that we do that I have never met anyone else who does, is make cranberry sorbet........ its SOOOO good......but people often find it strange to be eating something frozen on their plate when they are eating primarily hot food........I love it though

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