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.
So 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
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping
Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Onions
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Whole Cranberry Sauce (canned)
Homemade Apple Butter
This 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.)
Apple Cider Mules
- 4 oz. vodka
- ginger beer
- sparkling cider
- Sliced apple, for garnish
- Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- 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.
- Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve.
Cranberry Sauce Margaritas
- brown sugar
- 1 c. ice
- 2 oz. tequila
- 1 lime
- 1 1/2 tbsp. chunky cranberry sauce
- 1 tsp. honey
- Cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Rim a margarita glass with brown sugar.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, tequila, the juice of 1 lime, chunky cranberry sauce, and honey.
- Shake, then strain mixture into glass.
- Garnish with fresh or frozen cranberries.
Apple Pumpkin Beer Cocktails
- 8 ounces good-quality bourbon
- 9 ounces apple cider
- 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
- 12 ounces pumpkin ale
- cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, shake together the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Pour into 4 glasses filled with ice.
- Pour the beer evenly into each glass.
- 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?