Hello to all my CC family!! I have really gotten myself into something and need some rope to pull me out of this hole I am slowly going down. Here is the story..sorry if it turns out long
Last year I made a big fuss about traveling for the holidays and I told everyone that I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my house as well as Christmas. I figured no big deal...I have a year to plan. Wellll...I have had ALOT of things go on between then and now and now with Thanksgiving less then a week away..I am drowning. This will be my first year cooking and I know that everyone usually has their "traditional" items that they fix and cook. For some odd reason, my DH family is not that big on turkey and they have all requested ham. Ok..got that. For those of you who cook Thanksgiving dinner possibly give me some ideas of what to fix?? PLEASEEEEEE lol...and if there is a certain recipe that goes with it can you please PM with it?? I will owe you all BIGGG time. My MIL is the type that looks for the smallest thing to go wrong, that is why I am cooking the night before so it will all be done when she gets here that way I can do it MY way and not hers. This is going to be something that happens every year so whatever I fix this year I will probably do next year and won't have to go through this. I am determined to make this first Thanksgiving at home one to remember. TIA for all your help!! You guys are great
I will go back to biting my nails while I wait for replies...lol
Hello, Beth! If you want let me know what kind of food you would like to cook that day and probably I could help you better. I already have some ideas!
I never make ham for Thanksgiving because my stepdad & 2 brothers are Moslem, my mom is old testament Christian (same dietary restrictions as Jewish) and I have 2 sisters that are vegan, so Turkey it is. I don't know for sure, but I would just have the same trimmings as for Turkey, but I guess you'll have to do cornbread dressing by itself.
The only advice I can really offer, since it sounds like you're having a large gathering, is pare down your menu. If you're cooking for a lot of people, don't try to have EVERYBODY's favorite. Just do potatoes, sweet potatoes, a vegetable, ham, dressing and cranberry sauce. Everything can be easily prepped ahead of time. My downfall is always trying to make too many different things. This year I'm just doing the basics.
Go to Borders book store if you have one near you. Preferably the one with a coffee shop. They're having a NICE sale on cook books..of all kind. They also have some cooking magazines, all with thanksgiving help ideas. One specificly (a gourmet mag) has a great time-line specifics.
Also, the cherry glaze for ham is near the tobasco sauce (In most stores)
for some dumb reason, it's hard to find on thanksgiving when you need it!
I do the standbye mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (what T-day is complete with out it?!)
sweet potato casserole, a salad and LOTS of snacky stuff. The snacky stuff you can make ahead of time. all the chopping an ddicing ahead of time.
anywya, go to borders with a note book/pens, get some coffee, relax and read!
I get a lot of recipes off:
The one recipe I fixed last year that was requested again this year was Yams & Apples which I found on this website. It's very easy and is something you can make the day before and then pop in the oven an hour before serving.
Make as much as you can ahead of time. Like sweet pototo casserole or pasta salads. And I agree, keep it simple. Find simple recipes that everyone will like, with nothing "wierd" in them. Make a big toss salad and offer a bunch of different kinds of bottle dressings, or put a simple vingrette on it. And lots of rolls!!
btw, I pour canada dry ginger ale over my ham before baking. It carmelizes it and also seems to balance the salty flavor!
Good luck and relax!
I cook Thanksgiving here also, and my family doesn't eat turkey. Here's what I do, it's easy to prepare and doesn't keep me in the kitchen all day. Hope this helps.
Ham: I buy a spiral cut and use toothpicks to stick pineapple rings around the outside with cherries in the center. then i mix brown sugar with the pineapple juice (how much depends on how sweet you want it) I use a lot of brown sugar because my crew likes it sweet. I pour that mixture over the ham, cover in foil and bake at about 300 until it is hot all the way through...about an 1 1/2- 2 hours.
Sides: Develed eggs - these can be done the day before and covered and kept in the fridge:
Green been cassarole: i use the recipe on the can of french fried onions and it is great.
Potato Salad: use your favorite recipe ( if you need one let me know) and it can be kept in the fridge over night as well.
Field Peas: These too can be cooked the day before and just reheated. I buy Pick Sweet brand in the frozen food section and cook them on med. to low heat for a couple of hours so they taste fresh from the garden.
Squash cassarole: i have a great recipe for this too if you need it and it can be made ahead and cooked or reheated that morning.
Rolls: these you can make or buy depending on your bread making skills
I cooked ham before, a few different ways and family and friends loved it. With ham there's a lot of stuff you can combine with. I love cooking, so I make sure I cook good meals; I just love people enjoing what they eat. You can fix the either with a pineapple glaze or with a cherry glaze, homemade sweet potatoes. Also potato salad or carrot salad, which is delicious. I'll think of some other meals and let you know.
This is super simple but I love it so I thought I'd share.
I (and my kids) love carrots so I buy a bag of the little carrots usually used for dips and such and boil them until they are soft. I add some butter, brown sugar (lots) and a little bit of dill. Keep it on the stove so it all gets nice and warm. mmmmm
I know this isn't some elaborate recipe but it yummy and won't take much time to make.
Here is link to a post the other day of some favorite Thanksgiving recipes:
Mine is the sweet potatoes and you can make them the day before and keep in the refrigerator overnight, then pop in the oven Thanksgiving day.
Hope this gives you some ideas...
How about ham, sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, some type of fruit or jello salad and rolls...and of course dessert, pumpkin and pecan pies!!!
The way I bake a ham is always a success...I tie the sliced ham with kitchen twine. Score the ham longways about 1/4" deep every 1" apart. Stick whole cloves into the top of the ham at about 2" apart. You don't have to use a lot. Set the oven at 325 degrees, set the ham in a large roasting pan. I mix a glass of sugar and water, about 3/4c. sugar in about 12 oz. glass of water and pour it ontop of the ham. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes. Then I get a can of sliced pineapple and pour the juice into a glass with 2 large heaping tablespoons of brown sugar mixed into the pineapple juice. Then I get a jar of marachino cherries and pour the juice into the pineapple juice. Mix liquid well. Drain the water out of the bottom of the roaster. Place pineapple rings all over the top of the ham with toothpicks and put a cherry through the toothpick. Pour your pineapple juice over the top of the ham. Bake for another 30 minutes occasionally basting.
Not only will everyone love your ham, it makes your whole house smell wonderful. It is easy!!!
I would make a casserole of cheesy potatoes, which is easy, or a recipe called company potatoes. These recipes are on I believe it's called allrecipes.com.. Make a salad, serve rolls and cranberry sauce and perhaps fruit salad and you have a meal that is easy!!
If you need further help, email me and I can help.
Oh wow!!! All of these recipes sound yummy!! Thank you for the recipes by PM too!!! Hubby has asked for candied yams??? I don't like yams but I am willing to make some for him. He doesn't want the can kind...go figure LOL I am going to go through and narrow it down to something that I know everyone will like. If anyone can tell me how to make the candied yams...please let me know!! You guys rock!!!!!! Thank you again so much..if you come up with anymore..keep em coming!
At thanksgiving we usually have ham and turkey, for the ham I pour a can of Coca- Cola over it and bake, my mil favorite way of baking ham. How about green beans, macroni salad, potato salad, deviled eggs, cole slaw, rolls, cranberry sald, sweet potato casserole, chicken cassrole, fruit salad. Hope this helps
Ok the deviled eggs sound good but....I have never made them and I have found a ton of recipes..but I am looking for the traditional recipe. Anyone have that?? TIA
ROTFL...Dale you are tooo much!! My tummy hurts from laughing. I thought you were giving me the deviled egg recipe...LOL Golden Corral don't sound too bad....
This is how my grandmother and my partner make them:
boil your eggs - hard
cut them in half and put the whites on your platter and the yolks in a bowl
add mayo and a very little bit of mustard until it is the consistancy you want.
Salt and pepper to taste
you can sprinkle the top with paprika for color before serving
Many different ways to do it. This is what I like.
1/3 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 dill pickle, finely chopped
Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. This is known as "Boiling dem eggs." Cover and let em stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Peel them bad boys.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Say mean things while doing this. Helps the taste. Place yolks in a medium bowl. Mash and mush em together with ranch-style salad dressing. Mix in the cream cheese, then the onion and dill pickle.
Fill the hollowed egg whites up with the egg yolk mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ya eat em. Say "Woooo weeeee, these is some sho nuff good eggs! "
Save one or two to fling at the mother in law if she gets persnickety. Remember...it's a holiday...fling with love.
Awesome recipe there Dale!! I may make an extra batch to sling at her..if you knew her you would do the same. Maybe I should tell her to meet us at the Golden Corral and then never show She would be there all alone......LOL Ok that was mean
It also helps when you do deviled eggs to put the yellow mixture into a piping bag and pipe directly into the white. Much less mess. I don't use a tip or anything. I also add just a little sweet pickle juice to my yellow mixture.
First of all, take a big breath. If you're anything like me....you can get yourself too worked up by making the event way more serious than it really is. The dinner is at YOUR house.....make and serve what you're comfortable with. Alot of experimenting with new recipes can set you up for failure really fast. The casserole ideas are great. Ham is pretty simple..... I've always believed that perspective is EVERYTHING. I can stand on one side of a situation and completely freak out.....and look at the same situation from another angle, and it's quite achievable! Relax. Find some simple tried and true recipes......AND THEN PUT ON SOME CLASSICAL MUSIC AND CLEAN HOUSE!!!!
we do turkey and ham both, the turkey gose in the oven the night before on about 200 and stick some butter all over that bird and up inside as well ,put my seasons all over and wrap it up with foil. or we put it in a roster oven .boy it is some good eats.the ham we do the pineapple and brown sugar.
green beans, mac&cheese, potatoe salad, deviled eggs,rolls,mashed potatoes&gravy,
pies, cakes ,dips, drinks
We also have ham and turkey. The turkey is smoked by a local store here and the ham is from Honey Baked Hams. Makes things much, much easier!
I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner myself for the first time ever too!! lol My MIL & FIL are going to be in Waveland, MS on T-day to cook/serve the hurricane victims & workers that are trying to rebuild the town....hard to believe that's still going on, in a way. Anyway - since they're doing that, I offered to cook our meal, which we're doing on Friday. (Lots of changes this year!! lol ) Well...I'm cooking almost everything! I made a deal with my FIL....if he'd fry the turkey, I'd do the rest...lol. Yeah...we fry the turkey...yuuuuummmmmm is all I can say. We inject it the night before with a marinade - garlic, onion, melted butter, little cajun seasoning, thyme & sage....then fry in peanut oil the day of....sooo good! And while I can cook a pretty mean ham, I decided to buy one from Honey Baked Ham this year, since I'm cooking everything else. Plus, mine's good, but nothing like a Honey Baked Ham!! lol
So this is the other stuff I'm making: Sweet-tater casserole (brwn sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, pecans for topping) plus a small one w/just marshmallow topping for the kids; Creamed Spinach w/roasted garlic; greenbeans sauted w/garlic & lemon; simple tossed salad; small batch of reg. mashed potatoes; Carrot Ginger soup (got the recipe from the restaraunt at Animal Kingdom/Walt Disney World when we were there at the 1st of this month...unbelievably good!!) very simple to make!; Deviled Eggs; Brie baked in pastry w/brwn sug. & pecans; Cranberry & Pear Crisp w/whipped cream for dessert; a cheescake w/praline/caramel topping & nilla wafer crust (for MIL's birthday, belated! ) bought a pumpkin pie (can't make a good one ); a big batch of Mango Tea...you don't think "mango" when you taste it...just light citrusy tea taste, very refreshing from the standard southern sweet tea!
Can ya tell we like GARLIC just a little bit??!! HA! I'm doing a lot of prep on Tuesday...roasting the garlic, grating the carrots, measuring out ingredients, etc. Then putting things together & cooking some things on Thursday. Some things I'm making/putting together on Tues. & freezing...cranberry/pear crisp; brie in pastry; creamed spinach, Sweet Potato Casseroles. All I'll have to cook the day of is the reg. mashed taters, deviled eggs, green beans, soup & make the tea. Everything else will just have to be put in the oven for a while to get warmed through. I know it sounds like a lot, but eveyrthing I'm making is really easy, no rocket science recipes here! Plus they all can sort of be done in stages, so that makes it easier. At least I HOPE it will go as smoothly as that sounds!!! hahaha We'll see! Wish me luck!
Hey, JennT! Everything it's going to be perfect, you'll see.
Don't forget that yams are basically the same thing as a sweet potatoe if you decide to do yams!
A very very easy recipe i love is:
4 cans of peas
1 stick of butter
italian style breadcrumbs
2 casserole dishes
take the two casserole dishes and put 2 cans into each dish.
Spread a couple of handfuls of the italian style breadcrumbs over the peas(make sure they are covered ,but don't put to much!).
Then just spread a stick of butter(or two sticks, one stick for each dish) around the bread crumbs and peas in chunks in each dish.
Put it in the oven until the butter is metled mix and its done!
My favorite side dish!
Maybe my family is lazy ,but we always buy the ham from Honey Baked Ham just warmed up in the oven. LOL
The deviled egg recipe that calls for mustard and mayo and that's it..THE BEST. Simple, traditional deviled eggs are everyone's fave that I know. The only thing I add that makes the extra good, is some sweet relish. Its fabulous! I also sprinkle paprika and use a piping bag, they look more elegant that way. I use the BIG start tip, and swirl it around..makes the display look like they took a long time!!
Hope this helps!
I just did my first TG dinner last year. Simple Midwestern TG menu:
Heavenly ham is just the gift that keeps on giving. Be sure to pick it up Monday. You DO NOT want to stand in line to pick up on Wed. (shudder)Monday's also a good time to pick up some movies at Blockbuster.
Butterball turkey does all the work for you. You just can't ruin it. Kicker is making sure you give Tom enough time to thaw. You'll want to start cooking him VERY early so you're oven will be free for other things. I find baked turkey extremely bland so I rubbed all kinds of spices on that badboy and stuffed him with celery, onions, and garlic. I cooked it an oven bag and it was so tender it was falling off the bone. My brother teased me about the turkey being pre-carved, but it was sooo good! Be sure to save your broth to pour over the slices and to add to the gravy.
Gross part is that you have to save the turkey's innards and boil them slowly on the stove. Add a lot of water. I didn't add enough and only had enough to make a cup of gravy. (Ok, my brother only had enough juices to make a cup of gravy. Thank goodness for Heinz Turkey gravy in a jar!)
Jiffy cornbread crumbled into pieces, Brownberry seasoned crumbs, and a box of Stove top stuffing. Add in chopped celery and onion. Liberally pour turkey broth all over and bake at 350 till damp. Gotta leave some moisture in it or it will be really dry by the time you're ready to eat.
Del Monte blue lake green beans are darn good eatin'. Empty green beans into pot with juice. 1/2 way cook a couple of strips of bacon and add to the green beans. Also add a little chopped onion and a tiny bit of seasoning salt. Voila!
Mashed potatoes and rolls
You already know how to make these, but make sure they're not cool when you serve them. Do not mash them until you're ready to eat dinner. Mash the potatoes and pop the dinner rolls into the oven at the same time. Do not buy store brand dinner rolls. They are some chewy little buggers.
My brother always makes these, but they are easy. They just need to cook slowly with plenty of water and a piece of pork tossed in. My brother makes a low-fat version by using a little olive oil and liquid smoke.
Macaroni and cheese
The family size box of Kraft mac n cheese is good (not the one with pwd cheese). Add regular cooked macaroni to it and place in baking dish. Pour milk on top. break up some slices and mix-in. Top with more cheese slices. Season to taste. Bake at 325 or 350 till it's no longer soupy. Approx 40min.
Gotta have munchies and this really comes in handy if you're waiting for someone to arrive so dinner can start. Carrots, dip, celery stuffed with cream cheese, sliced green peppers, olives, sweet pickles, and some of those pickled veggies for the weirdos in my family. Cherry tomatoes are messy so I skip those.
Thyterrell, where were you last year when I needed you? I was the person wiping filling off the egg whites cause it was so messy. We also like pickle juice in our deviled eggs.
Pain in the neck if you don't have a food processor. Then you have to place the food grinder in your dh's lap while he's watching tv. Grind fresh cranberries add a little sugar to them like you would strawberries. Lightly grind oranges. Add prepared strawberry jello. Voila!
We usually have sweet potato pie and cheesecake. These desserts are really to heavy after such a big meal. People always eat the pistachio (sp?) jello and icecream first. Gotta rest before you can tackle the others.
Make sure to get out your serving spoons, butter dish, gravy boat, warming tray, bread basket and whatnots the night before. If you're having a lot of people over, then buy a bag of ice for the drinks. Leave the pop/beer on the porch or garage. It will stay cool and it won't be in your way. If you have kids, preplan what breakfast and snack you're going to feed them so they won't drive you crazy with "is dinner ready yet?"