Planning Your Thanksgiving Menu

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Thanksgiving can be a bit tricky if you are the chef. On the one hand, it’s a wonderful event for cooking and entertaining. On the other hand, if your family is like mine, there are a lot of traditions involved. I think if my family showed up for Thanksgiving and I tried to serve something other than my mom’s Cornbread Stuffing recipe then they would all leave. The same goes for most of the other items on the menu.

jennifer-pallian-146575So how do you make it special?

That’s a good question. Let’s start with my menu.

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Butternut Squash Soup with Assorted Homemade Breads

Smoked Turkey with Gravy

Mom’s Cornbread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping

Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Onions

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Whole Cranberry Sauce (canned)

Homemade Apple Butter

Popovers

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

Pecan Pie

d5b78a6d-ec52-4616-9aba-4a1668e3d36eThis menu sounds really boring because it is exactly the same as 95% of everyone else who is cooking on Thanksgiving. And it’s the same menu I have cooked every Thanksgiving since I can remember!  So what’s a girl to do when she wants to spice up her menu but she can’t make any changes to what’s being served?

That’s easy. I am going to do is add some Thanksgiving-themed cocktails. And because there is a lot to do in the kitchen when guests arrive, I am going to print out the recipes and make a fun Serve-It-Yourself Bar. (Anytime we can get help from the guys when they don’t realize they are actually helping, is a good thing.)

Cocktails:

apple cider mules

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Apple Cider Mules

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz. vodka
  • ginger beer
  • sparkling cider
  • Sliced apple, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill two copper mugs with ice. Pour 2 oz vodka into each cup. Fill 2/3 full with sparkling cider, then top with ginger beer.
  2. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve.

 

gallery-1446671561-delish-cocktails-cranberry-margaritaphoto source 

Cranberry Sauce Margaritas

INGREDIENTS

  • brown sugar
  • 1 c. ice
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chunky cranberry sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Cranberries, fresh or frozen

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rim a margarita glass with brown sugar.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, tequila, the juice of 1 lime, chunky cranberry sauce, and honey.
  3. Shake, then strain mixture into glass.
  4. Garnish with fresh or frozen cranberries.

pumpkinbeercocktails

photo source

Apple Pumpkin Beer Cocktails

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces good-quality bourbon
  • 9 ounces apple cider
  • 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounces pumpkin ale
  • ice
  • cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, shake together the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Pour into 4 glasses filled with ice.
  2. Pour the beer evenly into each glass.
  3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I think this is a great way to “spice up” my Thanksgiving.

Do you have any other suggestions?

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2 thoughts on “Planning Your Thanksgiving Menu

  1. Hello, we are going to my oldest son’s girlfriends parents home in Pasadena on Thanksgiving. I’ve been asked to bring the green bean/crispy onion side dish for 25 and need a great recipe. Can I get a copy of yours?
    I trust your recipe is amazing. Since I anticipate this family will someday be my in-laws, I want to make a great impression!!
    Cheryl 😊

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