I first, posted this 2 years ago, and I’m asked about our Thanksgiving line up all the time. It’s not the healthiest meal, but it sure is tasty!! My rationalization is that if I get a workout in sometime in the morning (Running around the house like a chicken with her head cut off definitely counts!), then eating this meal is A-OK! Seriously, this is your meal line up!!
Thanksgiving. Wow. That day is just a gift. A great big gift of Yummy, yummy, yummy food.
Oh and the family, laughter, and football games are pretty cool too!! This year Thanksgiving fell the Thursday after the site relaunch. So the site went live again Monday, the girls all came down with massive colds that night, and 12 people + kids were coming to our house on Thursday. Hmmmm…mission impossible??
Thankfully I had thought about it a bit.
First, I like to host things at our house. It’s selfish, but I know our house and I know the boundries for my Littles and the visiting Littles when they are here. So subsequently, I’m more relaxed because I’m not chasing them out of trouble at someone else’s house.
Second, with almost every major holiday, EVERYONE is happy to help in someway, especially if the party doesn’t have to be at their house. So delegate! My parents were assigned the Turkey/Gravy/Cranberry Sauce, my Mother-in-Law the pies, my Sister-in-Law the wine, my Brother-in-Law the appetizer. So that just left Side Dishes for me.
Third, with a little bit of prep work, you can actually enjoy the day too, rather than work yourself to the bone.
Now to be honest, I very often prep ahead for meals, meaning chopping, dicing, etc. But I have never made all the side dishes (especially for Thanksgiving) the day before. So I was going on a wing and a prayer. (But after this the result of this year, I will be doing this for the REST OF MY LIFE! I truly enjoyed Thursday and the food all turned out better than I could have imagined!)
Monday night ~ I printed all the recipes I was making, clipped them with a binder clip to keep them all together, and wrote out the shopping lists.
Tuesday ~ I did all the grocery shopping. The super fresh-I-could-have-eaten-the-entire-bag-dinner-rolls went straight into the freezer. That night I baked a super easy pan of Jiffy cornbread for the stuffing. While it was baking I chopped, diced, & prepped anything I would need to assemble the dishes the next day, and popped everything into ziplocks. Then left both breads for the stuffing out to start drying.
Wednesday ~ I made arrangements for Addie to go an extra day to Daycare, so I would only have 2 Littles while I assembled everything. When Piper went down for her nap at 9:00AM, Hayden played with her puzzle and Mama got busy.
Cheese mama!! (Sorry, she see’s a camera and can’t help herself…)
The tastiest Broccoli Casserole, Hay approved too.
The puzzle wasn’t exciting anymore, so I let her wash the dishes.
You’re freaking out right now aren’t you?? (Hee, hee.) Polycarbonate (Plastic) Wine Glasses folks. Plastic. And I love em. A gift from my Genius Sister-in-Law. Perfect around the pool…or just to have when you have crazy Littles running around your house…
Anyway, with this going on behind Hay, I was happy to have her busy at the sink. She in fact washed dishes for about 45 minutes. Does it really matter what they are doing as long as they are safe and occupied??
Love the look of the stuffing coming together. I kid you not, it was THE BEST Sourdough Cornbread Sausage stuffing I have ever eaten in my life. And everyone at the table will tell you the same thing. Make this and make it soon! Thank you Picky Palate for coming into my life!
About this time the Sweet Potatoes were ready to mash. Hay thought she should be prepared…
And that she should say “Cheeeeeeese!” again. What? You would think she was the daughter of a blogger or something, sheesh.
Sweet Potatoes done. Have you seen these pewter dishes from Match? I have the Toscana Pewter Pyrex Casserole Dishes. They were wedding gifts (and I mean GIFTS!) and are AWESOME. You can cook whatever you want in the glass Pyrex dishes, then drop them in the Pewter when you’re ready to serve. (A SERIOUS wish list splurge item, but I love em! So I gotta share em with ya!)
In the hour Piper slept, I made the Broccoli Casserole & the Sweet Potatoe Casserole, Sourdough Cornbread Sausage Stuffing, and the Mashed Potatoes. The Tupperware was for my sister to take to her in-laws, simply the extra from doubling all the recipes.
Then with Piper on the floor at my feet and Hayden entertaing her, I finished the last of the deliciousness. Again a Picky Palate treat, Cheesy Bacon & Green Bean Casserole Pot Pie ~ sooo scrumptious! While the kids ate lunch, I cleaned up the kitchen.
Later that night, my sister brought containers to transport and bake the extra sides at her in laws. I wrote instructions on the tops of each and added accompaning toppings to labled Ziplocks (love me a Ziplock bag & and Sharpie!)
I was certainly tired when I went to bed that night, but knowing the bulk of the work was done, was HEAVEN to my brain!
Now, you’re probably wondering about the main star of the day. Well, as luck would have it, I have a dad that is skilled with the Grill. I found a fabulous sounding Turkey recipe on Twitter and Dad took over that responsibility (LORD LOVE HIM!). Let me tell you, thay Turkey did not disappoint! WOW! It was a Maple Brined Smoked Grilled Turkey. I will forever be a fan!
This was a late addition. I thought I should have one healthy alternative and my Genuis Sister-in-Law raved about this Green Bean Salad from the Flat Belly Family Cookbook. I did prep the veggies on Tuesday night as well, then threw it together in about 15 minutes the day of. Nice little refreshing salad. I’ll post the recipe later this weekend.
While the Turkey was on the grill, I pulled all the side dishes out of the fridge, (about 3 hours before I planned to bake them). I also pulled the Puff Pastry from the freezer to defrost for the Green Bean Casserole, and the dinner rolls to defrost. All the side dishes baked at 350 degrees for roughly the same time. I topped them with their respective toppings and 30 minutes later we were enjoying a meal to die for! Don’t forget to pop the rolls in the oven for about 10 minutes to get toasty too. Have them waiting to go on a cookie sheet.
Broccoli Casserole & Sweet Potatoe Casserole
Yum Mashed Potatoes! Can you say butter?
I will be seeing this Turkey in my dreams for years to come.
The side of my kitchen counter served as a buffet for everyone to help themselves.
Then head to the table.
See these glasses? Remember them. You’re about to hear a whole lotta a goodness about them…
And if you eat all that I’ve told you above, you will most likely have a Thanksgiving Food Hangover that apparently requires sunglasses…
Or at least that’s what 2 of my Littles told me.
Our Thanksgiving Feast that would be AMAZING for Christmas too:
Maple Brined Smoked Grilled Turkey
Broccoli Casserole & Sweet Potatoe Casserole
Sourdough Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Cheesy Bacon & Green Bean Casserole Pot Pie
Green Bean & Pumpkin Seed Salad
Fresh Bakery Dinner Rolls