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Thanksgiving Dinner Dreams and Schemes

 

I finally started planning my Thanksgiving dinner. Last night. This is unusual for me. Most years, I have an airtight plan prepared about three weeks out. But hey, I’ve been busy this year. Also – my Thanksgiving dinners are pretty low stress since they’re for only six people. I don’t ever have to worry about not having enough food. On the contrary, we usually always have way too much. Luckily, I’m completely content eating leftovers all through the long weekend.

After much consideration, here’s what I’m planning to make this year. Now, I very rarely print recipes and follow them to a tee. But these are the loose guidelines I’ll be using to prepare my feast.

Foxes Love Lemons Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup - Thanksgiving ideas for a gourmet yet classic dinner.

Top Row, Left To Right

  • Simple Appetizers – I’ll be honest, I don’t really like messing around with appetizers for Thanksgiving. I don’t want people to spoil their dinners, and I want to focus my cooking attention on the main event. This year, I plan to put out some sausage, cheese and crackers from Harry & David and call it good.
  • Sourdough, Wild Mushroom & Bacon Dressing by Bobby Flay – I usually put mushrooms in with the green beans, but this year, it’s going in the stuffing! I also rarely (or ever?) use bacon in my Thanksgiving dinner, so this should be interesting.
  • Sauteed Apples with Thyme by Martha Stewart – I won’t need to follow the “recipe” for this at all. It’s a simple five-minute dish that can be prepared at the last moment while the turkey is being carved. I just thought that since apples pair so wonderfully with roasted pork, they’d work pretty well alongside turkey, too. And it’s not like they’ll be a shortage of fresh herbs in the kitchen.

Middle Row, Left To Right
  • Cranberry Compote with Riesling and Pears by Williams-Sonoma Kitchen – My mom is one of the few people around my Thanksgiving table who likes cranberry sauce. She also loves riesling wine, so this one seemed like a no-brainer. Just need to pick up some star anise pods, and I’m all set.
  • Good Eats Roast Turkey by Alton Brown – Remember when I interviewed Alton? I almost ended up mumbling something about how I use his turkey recipe every year, and it’s the best turkey ever. It is. Also, this recipe sets some sort of world record for fastest turkey cooking ever. The recipe says it takes 2-1/2 hours to cook, but last year, our turkey was done in 1 hour, 55 minutes. Seriously. A 14-pound bird cooked in under 2 hours. So fast, so tasty.
  • How To Make Gravy Without A Recipe by Food52 – I just wing the gravy. And to be honest, some years it turns out better than others. One year, it was all thick and gloppy. My goal for this year is to just get the damn gravy right, by using these tips. I’m starting with homemade turkey stock, which should help the flavor situation.

Bottom Row, Left To Right
  • Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes by Bon Appetit – Have potato ricer, will travel. It’s pretty hard to mess up mashed potatoes when you’re using cream, milk, sour cream AND butter, right? Hey, I literally make mashed potatoes once a year. I’m doing it right.
  • Apple-Walnut Galette by Food Network Magazine – I’ve been making this for the past three years, and everybody seems to love it. The homemade walnut butter really makes it. While I love the rustic nature of a galette, I may make it in a tart pan for a prettier, more formal presentation this year.
  • Brûléed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie by Bon Appetit- It’s a pumpkin pie. With bourbon. And maple syrup. And I get to use my blowtorch, which is one of my favorite activities. How can I go wrong with this? I’ll be using regular pie crust instead of the chocolate, though. There’s 364 other days of the year to eat chocolate. I don’t eat it at Thanksgiving.
Not Pictured
  • Dinner Rolls with Parmesan-Chive Compound Butter – My mother-in-law also makes her famous bread rolls, and I whip up a simple flavored butter for spreading. Compound butter is a five-minute activity, but it really seems special when it’s out on the table.
  • Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing – I know many would disagree, but I feel that Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a salad. I love one with a bright, acidic dressing that cuts through all the richness on the plate.
What are YOU making for Thanksgiving this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

17 Responses to “Thanksgiving Dinner Dreams and Schemes”

  1. Chef Di — November 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Wow… what a fantastic menu! I’m doing Ina’s Split Pea Soup to start, then a pom and avocado salad w/Sweet and Spicy Pecans from a blogging friend, Sautéed Cipolline Onions from Mario, Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes from Alton and a Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast from Emeril. For dessert- Panna Cotta from Giada w/a Clementine sauce. Just us 2 this year, so decided to mix it up and add in some fun flavors :-)

    Reply

    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 21st, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

      Wow, Chef Di – I LOVE all of those flavors! I’m definitely in the pro “Thanksgiving experimentation” camp. I know some people like to make the same things year after year, but I like to switch it up, at least a little. I stick with the basics, but try a new version of the basics each year.

  2. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — November 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Great list of ideas to get the holiday juices flowing!

    Reply

  3. Nancy — November 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Good God, that’s an amazing thanksgiving menu, Lori! I’ll be there with my stretchy pants on.

    Reply

  4. Monet@anecdotesandapples.com — November 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Yum! This all looks and sounds delicious. I’m giving the reins to my mom this year since I’m quite busy with this new baby. I know she’ll cook up a lot of deliciousness though! I should send her this way for inspiration!

    Reply

    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

      Congrats on the new baby, and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, Monet!

  5. indiaandworldcuisine.blogspot. — November 22, 2013 at 10:30 am

    such a spread of delicacies…just right for a perfect thanksgiving treat :-)

    Reply

  6. kimchi_mom — November 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    This sounds great! I rarely ever make desserts, but your bruleed pumpkin pie sounds awesome! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

    Reply

    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — November 23rd, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

      Thanks! I’m with you – desserts are not my favorite part (to make or eat) of Thanksgiving. But, when I saw that bruleed pie in Bon Appetit, I knew I had to try it!

      Have a great Thanksgiving, Amy!

  7. Tara — November 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Thanksgiving is long gone up here in Canada but I sure love all your ideas for next year. YUM!!!

    Reply

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