Just a little over a week until Thanksgiving. I am already doing my grocery shopping. We need to get that Turkey defrosting this weekend. For those who are needing inspiration or want to make a full meal without thinking about the semantics. I created this post. It is exactly what I make each year so I've had a lot of practice and use of these lists.
Here is my full menu for Thanksgiving. It includes a Grocery List, Schedule, Quick view recipes plus by comments and rants. Serve about 8 People.
Also, In my family we like to serve dinner at 1:30 pm, so we can veg-out on the couch afterword and eat left overs as we go. Although when real dinner time comes around, sometimes we sneak out to Jack-in-the-Box. They are one of the few food places open and we are all turkery-ied out. But I included a separate Excel spreadsheet that will let you change the start and end time. I also included an Excel and Word Worksheets to help put together your own family recipes.
But, you’re the chef, do what you want and only cook what you are comfortable with. If you are not a baker, buy pies. If you screw up something every time, don’t stress about it. Everyone eating should be thankful that they are not slaving in the kitchen. This is a lot of food to make.
I love cooking and look forward to doing it every year. I usually down a bottle of wine in the process, so it’s not so bad.
If you are a novice in the kitchen, then you may want to Google step-by-step with pictures. These recipes are tested and delicious, but they are condensed down. I do this to improve reading time and speed up the process in the kitchen. They are more or less a reference.
The schedule is also just estimated times. You never know when your kid pulls you out of the kitchen or you start a fire. So don’t pay too much attention to the time, but more or less following the flow.
It is also great if you get a last minute volunteer. You can hand them the list and say go at it. For me I don’t have time to explain everything. It ultimately slows me down. Sometimes it’s easier to do it myself. Then again, I am told I am a control freak. But, you just can’t roll out that dough willy-nilly like some sort of kitchen rebel! Stay the course, friend.
The schedule is also good to be sure I am not missing steps. It takes the thinking out of it, which helps when I numb my brain with wine.
The grocery list is really specific to amounts needed. Obviously you can’t buy just a tablespoon of vanilla. But, I use it as an inventory of sorts. I have half of that stuff on hand, I just need to be sure I have enough. Just jam-pack your grocery cart with everything. You may not have a grocery store open on the big day, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint everyone who was looking forward to that casserole.
Since, I want the recipes to be condensed and printable without my rants, you can print pages 5-8. You can ignore me and go on your way. But seeing that control freak, instruction obsessed, and a writer with too much to say, I will go on with comments and narratives on each of the dishes. As I am also an illustrator, and not a photographer, you get food-doodles. I hope this year to actually take pictures. But, we’ll see.
Happy Cooking and Happy Thanksgiving -- Konnilaree Sanders
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Thanksgiving Menu, List and Schedule
Here is an Excel version of the schedule. You can input your own start and end times. It will automatically adjust.
Click on the below images to download the recipe. If you don't want to do this one at a time, then select the above "pin" and print the full PDF of everything!
Or just download the Quick Reference Recipe Review Sheet. It has no illustrations or my commentary.
The thing I love about this recipe, it includes Ale. I love cooking with beer. It imparts such a great flavor. I actually brine my roast chicken in beer, smother it with garlic and cooked under mounds of bacon!
For this turkey the apple cider adds a sweet flavor that feels like Thanksgiving.
Whole turkey -- 14 Pound (13-14)
2 sprigs Fresh rosemary sprig
2 sprigs Fresh thyme sprigs
2 sprigs Fresh sage
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 bag of ice
16 oz. ale
6 cloves garlic, pressed
- Make Brine. See below.
- Preheat oven 500° F. Move rack to lowest level
- Remove the turkey from brine and place on a roasting pan. Add the herbs, lemon, onion, and apple into the cavity. Bind the legs.
- Baste turkey with oil, salt and pepper, and rub garlic on the skin. Place in pan
- Pour ale in the bottom of the roasting pan
- Roast for 30 min then reduce tempt to 350° F
- Cover breast with tin foil. Roast for 2 – 2 ½ hours
- Inner thigh temperature should reach 180° F.
- Let Rest 15 minutes and carve.
For the Brine
1 Gallon Apple cider/Apple juice
1 cup Kosher salt
1 cup Dark brown sugar
8-10 Garlic cloves
1 cup Orange juice
1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
½ gallon Water (as needed)
2 Tbls Chili pepper flakes
- In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat until sugar dissolves.
- In a large bucket, pour the mixture and pour water, just enough to cover the turkey. Top with Ice.
- Add a bag of ice, cover and set the bucket aside for 18-24 hours.
Wed 3:45 PM Prep Turkey (remove innards) store turkey in brine and ice bath over night
Thurs 10:00 AM Prepare turkey and place in oven
Thurs 12:30 PM Remove bird from oven and rest.
Thurs 1:30 PM Serve.
This one is a favorite; albeit, if you are trying to stay away from sugar, you best stick to a salad with vinegar and oil. You can use a low-calories substitute but sometimes there is an off-flavor. I love the tart of lemon, the sweet crunch of apples or pears, and the nutty walnuts or pecans. See how many different ways you can mix it up! So yummy.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running add oil in a slow steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process just a few seconds more to mix.
1 Head Romaine Lettuce, torn into pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 apples chopped
¼ dried cranberries
- In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, walnuts, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.
Thur 11:45 AM Prepare salad veggies keep cool and serve
The Olive Pickle tray may seem odd, but it was a family tradition. If you didn’t see a kid wear 5-whole black olives on their fingers, you’re doing it wrong. It is all a really easy appetizer and something to snack on while you wait for dinner. If you want to be fancy you could replace with a wine fruit and cheese platter. That is yummy stuff, I have had that as a dinner. Try goat cheese and figs.
1 lb carrots, cut into sticks
1 stalk celery, cut into sticks
1 jar Lighthouse Ranch
1 Jar Bread and Butter Pickles
1 Jar Small Dill Pickles
2 Large Cans Whole Black Olives
1 large Jar of Green Pimentos Olives
- Create two platters, one with the veggies of your choice, and the other with your pickles and olives of choice.
1 (4oz) jar pimento peppers, drained and patted dry
6 Tbls mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce, plus more to taste
1 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper
- Process pimentos, mayo, garlic, Worcestershire and hot sauce together in food processor until smooth
- Add the cheese and pulse until uniformly blended, about 20 pulses
- Serve with more salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste
- Serve or refrigerate up to 2 weeks, let sit at room temp for 15 minutes before serving.
Thur 12:35 PM Place out cheese & crackers
7 large eggs (cold)
1 Tbls yellow mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 ½teaspoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tbls grated yellow onion
½ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp celery salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place eggs in steamer basket and steam for 13 minutes
- Transfer eggs to ice water let sit 5 minutes.
- Peel eggs and slice each in half lengthwise.
- Remove yolks and add food processor.
- Arrange whites on dish.
- Add all ingredients adjusting to taste.
- Pulse them until smooth.
- Fill pastry bag or zip lock bag.
- Pipe mixture into egg white halves, s
- Sprinkle with paprika.
Wed 12:45 PM Prepare Deviled Eggs Filling, place in zip lock back, reserve for tomorrow
Thur 12:35 PM Fill deviled eggs and Serve
1 cup whole milk
3 Tbls unsalted butter
2 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 c. potato flakes
2 tsp salt
3 Tbls sugar
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
- Combine butter and milk in sauce pan and heat until mixture reaches 110oF degrees
- Mix flour, potato flakes, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir in milk mixture.
- Knead dough until shiny and elastics, 5-10 minutes.
- Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours or until double in size.
- Turn dough onto oiled surface and divide into 16 1 ½ - 2 ounce balls.
- Place them 1 inch apart in a 9x13 pan.
- Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours or until double in size.
- Preheat oven to 350oF
- Bake until internal temperature is 190oF -195oF and they are light golden brown, about 20 -25 minutes
- Brush with melted butter, serve warm.
Thur 11:35 AM Shape Rolls and Let Rise Again
Thur 12:25 PM Place bread in oven 30 min
Thur 12:55 PM Remove bread
3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled in 1-inch chunks
1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Tbls dried chives
½ tsp garlic powder
2 Tbls grated parmesan cheese
- Boil potatoes in a large pot with water and salt.
- Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, until fork tender.
- Heat the milk and butter, separately. Set aside.
- Drain the tender potatoes.
- Press them in a potato ricer, or mash by hand.
- Add melted butter first
- Add heated milk and stir until creamy.
- Add salt/pepper, sour cream, chives, garlic, and cheese.
- Stir to combine.
Thurs 12:30 PM Boil or steam potatoes
Thurs 12:45 PM Rice or mash potatoes and mix with ingredients
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into large dice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup roughly chopped pecans
- Place sweet potatoes in slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except nuts; spoon over potatoes.
- Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender.
- Sprinkle with nuts.
Thurs 1:15 PM Check tenderness and serve
12 oz canned fried onions
12 oz frozen or canned green beans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
16 oz white mushrooms , sliced
3 medium cloves garlic , minced
Salt and Pepper
3 tbls unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cups heavy cream
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a 12 inch skillet add butter and melt
- Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly.
- Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated.
- Arrange in even layer in 3-quart (or 13 by 9-inch) baking dish.
- Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Thurs 1:25 PM Remove green bean casserole to serve
1 (18 oz) French Bread, 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoon butter
2 cup chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs sage
2 sprigs thyme
4 stalks celery (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 small apple (diced)
1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
- Dry the bread – Heat oven to 225
- Spread the cubes on a baking sheet in single layer
- Bake 90 minutes until dry; stirring occasionally
- Sauté vegetables in 4-Tbsp. butter in a large pot – 10 min
- Stir in garlic and herbs
- Add broth and remaining butter, bring to a boil
- Add bread cubes and cook until water has been absorbed
- Remove from heat, let stand 5 min, fluff with a fork.
- You can serve immediately or bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Wed 3:55 PM Reduce oven temp, and dry the bread
Wed 5:35 PM Remove bread; cool and store
Thurs 11:55 AM Prepare stuffing veggies
Thurs 1:10 PM Prepare stuffing on stove top then serve
1 pound frozen cranberries
1 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel), and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
- Can serve warm or cold
Thurs 1:00 PM Place cranberry sauce in serving dish
I don’t think pie crust is that scary to make. You can make it in advance so it doesn’t affect my cooking schedule and it is so much better than store bought. I also make my crusts a little thicker because I love it.
But, tip wise, I use shortening to make it tender and butter to make it flaky. Grating (yes, just like cheese) helps make the butter the perfect size, so it melts evenly. I do use cold water and butter to help prevent the dough from becoming too tough, but it has never been a problem enough to make a big whoop about it.
Also, yes refrigerating and blind baking are nice, but I have totally skipped that and it was fine.
Finally, the best part about making your own crust is that there are usually scraps. I roll those out, spread melted better and cinnamon sugar all over and bake for 15-minutes. It is the best chef’s treat.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ,
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter , grated
½ cups ice water
- With a pastry blender, mix butter, flour, salt, and sugar.
- Add cold water and shape into a disk; refrigerate for 1 hour
- Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle
- Transfer to 9-inch pie pan; refrigerate 1 hour
- To Blind Bake: 400 degree oven bake shell with tinfoil and pie weights for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake10 additional minutes
Wed 12:35 PM Rollout Crusts and Refrigerate (1 hour)
Wed 1:15 PM Blind Bake Pie Crusts (15 min + 10 min)
I love Pecan Pie.
I know it is seen as a Southern dish, but we have a lot of Pecan trees in Arizona. My grandmother had one and we loved collecting and cracking them. The one issue I have with store bought pecan pie is that it can be sickly sweet and a little gelatinous. I offset this by reducing the sugar/corn syrup and using a bit of molasses and lots of pecan pieces. Blind baking the shell helps with the crust getting too soft, but I skip that all the time and it is fine.
6 tbls unsalted butter , 1-inch pieces
1 cup (7 oz) packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole or chopped pecans
(8 oz), roasted for 15 min in 350oF oven.
- Reduce Oven temp. 275 degrees. Place pie shell in oven if not still warm.
- Melt butter in medium heatproof bowl set in skillet of water maintained at just below simmer.
- Remove bowl from skillet; mix in sugar and salt with wooden spoon until butter is absorbed.
- Beat in eggs, then corn syrup and vanilla.
- Return bowl to hot water; stir until mixture is shiny and warm to the touch, about 130 degrees.
- Remove from heat; stir in pecans.
- Pour mixture into warm shell; bake until center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, 4 hours.
- Serve pie at room temperature or warm
Wed 2:40 PM Remove Pecan Pie, cool and wrap, place in refrigerator or store on counter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin Puree
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 9-inch pie shell, blind baked 15 min
Whipped cream (optional)
- Mix sugar and spices. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
- Warm in microwave for 5-8 minutes until mixture has thickened
- Pour into pie shell.
- Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Wed 3:50 PM Remove Pumpkin, Cool (1-2 hours), Wrap, and Refrigerate
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
5 cups Ginger Ale, chilled
- In a pitcher combine lemonade and ginger ale.
- Serve over ice.
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