Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Menu (recipe links included)

I have to admit...I am getting VERY excited about cooking my first solo Thanksgiving!!! Well, I shouldn't say "solo" because Eric is helping me AND everyone coming is bringing more than one fantastic side. So I'm really not doing it alone. But if you know me, then you know I am an instant mashed potatoes type of girl and I would rather pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store than have to make it myself. So to cook two birds, stuffing, mashed potatoes AND a pumpkin pie from scratch is a pretty big step for me :-)

So, as I said in a previous post, Eric and I had our turkey recipe all ready to go. Well...that was until he tasted the turkey at his Uncle's house this past weekend. Uncle Dave brined his turkey and it was honestly one of the best turkeys I have ever had!!! It was moist and delicious...just the way I hope ours comes out. So when Eric asked if we could brine the bird first, I said sure! Little did I know the prep that brining takes. I searched about 100 recipes online for the perfect turkey brine and in the end...I came back to my go-to girl...Martha. Instead of copying the whole recipe, I thought it would be easier to just include a link. But here is a pic of what our turkey should like at this time tomorrow (since it must sit in the brine for 24 hours!!)...



 I have to admit...it does look pretty tasty. There is also Reisling in the brine and since that is my favorite wine AND I am not allowed to drink it right now...I thought this would be a great compromise. This brine got excellent reviews, which made me happy too. So we will see how it goes! If you are cooking a bird for the first time this year too, Martha had some great how-to videos on her website.

Next up on my homemade list is the Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Again, I thought it was easier to just include a link to the recipe I am using. I have made this recipe two other times (for special occasions of course) and they always turn out delicious! I add a little bit of fresh chives to mine too :-)


And last but not least...the best part of Thanksgiving Dinner...the PIE!!!! Can't you almost taste it just looking at this picture?


Martha's recipe happens to be very close to my grandma's so I can't give the woman full credit. But if you would like to see the recipe, you can click here.

And last but not least, if you are still looking for a great side to bring to your Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to share a great cranberry salad recipe that my bloggy friend Heather was kind enough to send me. I promise...even if you aren't a cranberry lover...you will still go nuts for this salad. Thanks for the recipe Heather!!! Can't wait to try it!

Bag cranberries
2 bananas-sliced small
3 apples (red/ fugi/ honeycrisp)- sliced small
1 c grapes- halved
marshmallows-small bag
1 pkg cherry JELL-O
2 c sugar
 
Cranberries:
Need to separate juice from cranberries. Use a grinder/ blender/ food processor. If you use a blender or food processor you need to strain and separate the juice from the dry cranberries.
 
add sugar to dry cranberries, set aside (will sweeten them)
 
JELL-O
add 1 c hot water and disolve JELL-O
add 1 cup cold water + cranberry juice
add cranberry and sugar mixture
add bananas, apples, grapes (can eye it if you want more or less fruit)
top with marshmallows (add as much as you like to top)
 
Refrigerate for at least 5 hours-over night is best

Gosh...I am getting hungry just thinking about all this food!!!! Prep starts tomorrow so it will be a full day! I love the holidays :-)

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