Cooking and baking are my acts of service. They are one of the many ways I show my family how much I care about them. During the holidays, I like to make a variety of food. Since Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close, I like to prepare a simple menu that can be finished by Noon. Our tradition is Thanksgiving dinner for lunch and a variety of left overs with other protiens for the rest of the weekend. To do this, I make a variety of food from scratch to prepared items. To get in the holiday spirit, feel free to watch one of my favorite Great Taste holiday episodes. A few of my go to menu items are mentioned.
Homemade Sides and Entree
1. Candied Yams or Carrots – There is a fine line between savory and sweet. Both of these are sweet sides. Honestly, they are barely vegetables anymore.
2. Greenbean Casserole – I always use fresh greenbeans. I tried canned beans once…never again. Cooking Tip: I sautée diced onions and mushrooms too.
3. Baked Macaroni & Cheese – I don’t have a concrete recipe for this. The size of my casserole dictates how much I make.
4. Deviled Eggs – There is something about this zesty dish that adds some color to the plate and flavor.
5. Turkey Breast – I used to bake a 8 to 10 lb Turkey and freeze a portion of it for later. To be honest, my family doesn’t like turkey that much. I’d rather cook more protein Thanksgiving weekend and serve it with the sides from Thursdays feast.
6. Pumpkin Bread – Remember Once Upon A Pumpkin? My bread is a crowd pleaser and fairly easy to make with a stand mixer. It really comes down to timing. Usually it is the last thing I make.
7. Brownies – Compared to other desserts, Brownies are very low maintenance. When I make it from scratch, I use Hershey Cocoa Powder. If feel like cutting corners I use Pillsbury or BettyCrocker mix.
Quick Fix Sides
There are a few things that I do not make from scratch. I am not interested in learning. Plus, most of my feast is made from scratch.
8. Sara Lee Hawaiian Dinner Rolls – I have no desire to make rolls. I prefer to buy these and make leftover turkey sliders with them.
9. Stovetop (Turkey Stuffing) – I don’t know how to make stuffing from scratch. Stovetop is pretty simple. Bring water and butter to a boil, stir in stuffing, let it stand, and stir with a fork. All done!
10. Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce (Jelly) – I like cranberry sauce, but it only plays a small role on the plate. If I forget to buy a can, it is okay. I’m the only one that likes it.
There are plenty of articles about Thanksgiving sides and menus. My list mirrors my family’s traditions. Since I’m not cooking for a lot of people, I don’t cook all the things anymore. It makes Thanksgiving Day more relaxing for me.