Read about a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes in this month’s Nuvo Magazine HERE
Hear me talk about them on B105.7 Soft Rock HERE
Watch me make them on IndyStyle HERE
(Many recipes shared on Basilmomma.com over the last few years)
There is probably no meal more protected than the one many of us have on Thanksgiving. I mean- I went on morning television to share my top 3 fresh cranberry recipes and you cannot imagine the backlash I had. Not people being mean per se- but people defending their choice of the ridged, log-shaped can jelly variety. I guess we all have our own favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
If you wiggle that out of the can to serve for your family meal- that’s great. No judgement here. I am just sharing options. I grew up eating it and clearly I turned out ok ????
For now though I am sharing a few of my favorite tips and recipes I have made over the years. I think this meal is your chance to shine. I can see where it would be intimidating if you do not like to cook. Clearly I do (duh). These recipes are easy, fairly traditional and will be a hit on your family table. Whether you are cooking for 2 or 20 make sure you make something YOU like to eat. I mean, you are doing the work. At least enjoy the fruits of your labor!
I shared a few of these recipes last week with Sean Copeland on B105.7. You can hear us every Monday at 7:15 am both on the radio and online.
First up is my fool-proof turkey breast. You can expand this recipe to a full bird, just double the proportions. If you are worried about the full sized bird drying out then use a Reynolds turkey bag as well. I think you will be fine though- but again, this is personal preference. I start all of my birds no matter if they are in the crock pot or oven breast side down. In this post I also share my gravy recipe. Easy-peasy.
Next up is my candied sweet potatoes with apples. This is a great item to make ahead and reheat in the last 40 minutes of meal prep time. You can layer the apple and sweet potato slices OR just throw it all in. This is a great compliment to the meal with a pinch of sweetness and a hint of cinnamon. Sure you can open the canned yams and top with stay puffed marshmallows. But in the same amount of time you can make THIS.
Cranberry Sauce. I have 3 family favorites that are so easy and not to mention quick. If this is what you were assigned to bring- pick one of these. You’re welcome!
Mashed potatoes. I love, love these. I have no hard and fast recipe here but I do use the following:
I boil the potatoes with one bouillon cube or 2 C of chicken stock. Every time. I don’t add salt and let people add their own.
When the potatoes are drained and still hot I add 4 oz of cream cheese and half and half. This is based on 5 pounds of potatoes. I also use a hand blender to incorporate all of this and to make a smooth texture. Any other day I just hand mash them. But Thanksgiving is special ????
Show me the green. I like to see some veggies on the table. So many ways to dress them up. I have gotten away from making the ever popular green bean casserole but when I do I tweak THIS recipe from Guy Fieri. His is a little salty and I like to make crispy shallots (or leeks) for my topping instead.
I also make steamed green beans that are only dressed with a sprinkling of crisp bacon crumbles, blue cheese and thinly sliced red peppers. A winner every year.
Another favorite is this shredded Brussels sprout saute. This can be made in 15 minutes, it’s healthy and is a real scene stealer. Try it and tell me what you think.
When it comes to stuffing… (although I do NOT stuff mine) I don’t have a recipe really. What I do is cook 1 pound of sausage (Last year I used a nice one from Smoking Goose), add 1 large sweet onion-diced that I cook until soft, add 1 large diced apple (skin on) and 1 C diced celery that I saute 3 minutes, I sprinkle on Salt, pepper, 1 tsp of ground sage, 1 tsp ground thyme, 1/3 C chopped fresh parsley and 2 standard bags of bread cubes. I then toss with enough chicken stock to coat the bread. I turn all of this into a buttered baking dish (rectangular and deep) and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned. That’s it. I just throw in this and that. I think the best recipes have no recipe ????
Finally. The sweet stuff. My mother has taken on the role of pumpkin pie making. Use canned or do one better and roast your own pie pumpkin. It’s easy, cheap and not as hard as you think. I do a few at the beginning of November and freeze the results in 1 cup containers for recipes just like my family favorite pumpkin pie dip.
Lets not leave out the drinks. To save time I fill the coffee pot and get it ready so all I have to do is push a button after dinner. I also have a nice pot of this slow warming away all day to fragrance the house: mulled wine. Don’t forget that a nice Rose or pinot grigio makes a nice accompaniment to any meal of this magnitude.
Don’t forget the leftovers. Linda Wallace of Red Gold Tomatoes shared with me one of her favorite ways to use leftovers.
These recipes are on my list for Thanksgiving this year. I told my mom that if she hosted I would literally make everything else. I think that’s a pretty good deal, don’t you?
What traditional foods do YOU make on Thanksgiving?