Sunday, November 20, 2011

H is for: Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Thanksgiving is almost here!
I'm so FREAKING excited for Thanksgiving. It might be my favorite holiday. It seriously makes me so happy. Maybe because I always stuff myself so full of amazing food every year. Maybe because I'm surrounded by friends and family. Probably a little bit of both.

As I told you last week, I'm hosting my mom, my sister, and my brother in law. I've cooked several Thanksgiving dinners, so I'm not intimidated at all. I'm just excited to spend two full days in the kitchen. It's my happy place. (And for anyone who's seen my minuscule San Francisco kitchen, that's saying a lot).
And as weird as it sounds, I'm also excited to go grocery shopping. I have Monday off, so that will be my shopping day (aside from my Costco run this morning). I also took Wednesday off, so I will have lots of time to get everything prepped and ready for Thursday. I'm the ultra-organized type, so I may or may not have a spread sheet with my menu and shopping list. :)

Speaking of which, several of my friends have been asking me: "What's on your Thanksgiving menu?"

So it being the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I figured it would be nice to share with my faithful blog followers as well. Know that my family is a big fan of all the classics, so why try to change it on the one day that's dedicated to comfort food?

The only thing I've tried to change up over the years is the *way* I prepare some of these classics. I welcome new ideas and suggestions, and as always, your feedback!

Jaymee's Thanksgiving Menu 2011

The best mashed potatoes ever!
Roasted Turkey: I spend the extra $$ and buy a fresh, free range, local turkey. It makes a HUGE difference. I use Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe and brine the turkey for 24 hours before roasting. It turns out SO juicy and delicious. I also use butter and safflower oil instead of canola oil and a brining bag instead of a bucket.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: I posted this last week. Secret ingredient: creme fraiche. Mashing tool of choice: potato ricer.

Sweet Potatoes with Grand Marnier & Candied Pecans: I get requests for this one every year. I've spent years perfecting this recipe, and I hope you'll love it as much as my family does.

Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce: It's so easy, yet SO good.

Green bean casserole: a MUST for my family
Green Bean Casserole: Not your mama's green bean casserole. My mission this year, to make everything from scratch. Mission accomplished.

Sourdough Stuffing with Apples and Golden Raisins: I found this recipe in Bon Apetit Magazine a couple years ago. Especially good in San Francisco where we get great artisanal sourdough bread. I'll probably use Fuji or Pink Lady apples instead of Granny Smith because I still have a TON from my trip to Apple Hill.

Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seeds: I will be posting this recipe during "K" week, but if you want it early, just leave a note in the comments section and let me know. This will be a new recipe I'm trying out on the fam this year, so fingers crossed they don't hate it. I've tried it and love it...I think it's a perfect fall recipe. (P.S. I tried to sneak in Roasted Brussels Sprouts, but they weren't going for that one :) ).

Rolls: Will probably just use a basic roll recipe but tie them in a knot like my brother in law's mom, Pam, does them to make them more "special" as my sister puts it. :)

Dessert: Leaning towards pumpkin pie, but not married to any recipe in particular. If you have one you love, please share! And homemade whipped cream of course (with vanilla beans)!

Appetizers: I'm also considering doing Pumpkin Fondue and Fancy Deviled Eggs, but that might be getting a little ambitious. It might just have to be seven layer dip and/or Baked Brie, which is completely fine by me.

What's on YOUR menu??


  1. Jaymee - I had no idea you were so into food. This is fantastic. I write/talk about sports like you, and my brother is a chef. How about that?

    Sweet Potatoes with Grand Marnier & Candied Pecans: I'm totally on that one. Might try it this year actually. Sounds wonderful.

    I gotta ask... and please forgive me for being so bold, but are you married?

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Here is my menu!
    I'm doing a sourdough stuffing and kale salad too!

  3. I'm doing a free-range turkey too that I'm smoking in the smoker while basting with salted Martinelli's apple juice (it turned out SO good last year!), Prime Rib, Yukon Gold Garlic Mashies, your Grand Marnier Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini-Leek-Corn Au Gratin, Asparagus sautéed with prosciutto & havarti cheese. Plus, for starters: a veggie & fresh fruit plate, Brie & Crab Cakes. For dessert: rum balls, cookies, pumpkin pie. I'm SO looking forward to it!!! We are going to be SO fat!

    For left-overs I usually do turkey chili and/or turkey enchiladas. There's never any left-over prime rib...hmmmm, I wonder why?

    And don't worry, I use a spreadsheet to stay organized too. It keeps you on-plan. The only people who complain are the unorganized!

  4. SixTwists & Erin...I'm suddenly STARVING after reading your menus. Sounds SO yummy! Is the brie IN the crab cakes? Sounds amazing. And thank you Ray...I'm not married but I have a boyfriend. :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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