Thanksgiving Planning 2011

by Cate on November 21, 2011

I am doing this all for YOU GUYS, ’cause I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year.  I am, however, having a bloggers’ after-Thanksgiving feast this weekend, so I expect my Sweetnicks’ readers to pony up their MOST FAVORITE feast-like recipes ever.  You just MIGHT find your recipe the subject of a future blog post here, or on Joanne’s site, or Patsy’s, or Sarah’s.  Cool, yeah?

Alright, so back to the plain old, Thursday Thanksgiving planning… you all know my favorite centerpiece by now, the Gratitude Tree.  Tonight, the kids and I were talking about it.  Madeline asked if everyone had a Thanksgiving Gratitude tree.

“No, honey, they don’t.”  I had to make sure to break the news to her gently.

“Well they should!” she shouted.

And, of course, I completely agree.

I asked her what she was thankful for this year.  “You and my brudder, Nick.”  Of course, I could not be more proud.  And I also happen to love the way she says brother.  I hope she never stops.

Now placecards.  Do you need them?  I don’t care how many people you’re having at your table, I think it makes a really nice touch, and these turkey ones I made a few years back are still in rotation.  Love them!  (And as a side note, completely unrelated, I still adore that dress Madeline wore that year, and it still fits!).  I also made a different version of the placecards for the folks at Disney last year, which you can see right here.

Need a little more in the way of Thanksgiving decorations?  How about this banner I made two years ago, which I just dug out this past weekend and hung?  Still la-la-love it!

Spinach Cheese Squares

And now the food…

Spinach Cheese Squares, Cheese Delights and Sausage Cheese Balls are always of our starting line-up, along with a Brown Sugar Almond Brie.  The Spinach Cheese Squares and Cheese Delights are recipes that my Mom made for us growing up, and they never fail to disappoint.  I love that our kids (mine and my sister’s) are eating things that we ate as kids ourselves.  The recipes are easy, and delicious and take just a few minutes of prep, exactly what you need on the big day.  You can also make the Cheese Delights ahead of time, and freeze them.  When it’s go-time, they just need a few more minutes in the oven.  Just be sure to watch ’em.

The appetizers and side dishes on the Thanksgiving table are always my favorite parts.  We have Cranberry Conserve (if you like cranberries, you’ll love this one, and if you don’t, I can almost guarantee it will make you a convert), Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Broccoli Salad and, of course, stuffing.  I’m a fan of an Emeril version, though I leave the oysters out when making it for my family.  We had our Thanksgiving feast at work today, and the stuffing we got was delish.  Real nice hint of salt, and I’m going to try and get the recipe for you me us.  Luckily I know the owner of the restaurant.

I am a huge fan of the pumpkin pie from Costco (the best bargain for $5.99 and delish), so dessert is uber-simple.  An old favorite, if you need another suggestion, is Paula Deen’s Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle, one of her few recipes that don’t contain a stick of butter or cup of mayo.  It looks so pretty in a clear glass trifle dish and is perfect for both kids and adults alike.  I just may make it over the weekend for our bloggers’ After Thanksgiving Feast just to get our trifle fix on, since it’s not hitting the holiday table.

Oh right.  The turkey.  The Overnight Turkey was one of The Ex’s specialties and I do miss waking up Thanksgiving morning to the smell of roast turkey.

Now if you need cranberry recipes, and more to the point, more cranberry recipes after you realize you overbought cranberries and have no idea what to do with the extra, check out this post – lots of good links in it.  Yeah, I’m too lazy to go relink everything here, but it’s all good.

And an easy take on what to do with your Thanksgiving Day leftovers?  This stromboli recipe I wrote about a few years back was delish.

Now, it’s YOUR turn… share your favorite Thanksgiving recipe with the class. 

Until tomorrow… xoxo

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne November 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

I am SO excited…way more excited than about Thanksgiving with my family. Our food is just going to be a gazillion times better. And it’s all about the food, yeah? :P

My most favorite Thanksgiving recipes are my ginger pomegranate cranberry sauce, smashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash with five spice marshmallows, and caramel apple cake. All.So.Good.


bridget November 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hi Cate,

I am planning on making your ex’s turkey this year since you have mentioned more than once how good it is! You mentoin that it is ready by 7 or 8….what time does it start cooking? What time do you eat it? If you eat it later in the day what do you do with it in the meantime and how do you heat it up?

Thanks in advance!!

As for recipes that we love for Thanksgiving… here a a recipe that has been made since my dad was young.

Cornflakes crushed by hand 1 large box
Saltine crackers 1 box
mix together
6 onions chopped
6 packs farmer john sausage
cook sausage and onions together, 1 pack of sausage with one onion slowly until all of the packs are cooked. Pour contents of pan into the mixed cornflakes and crackers. Stuff half of the mixture into the bird and cook. Once the bird s done add the dry stuffing to the wet and bake until heated through.
It sounds weird but tastes amazing..


Claire November 23, 2011 at 12:38 am

Hmmm, we do tacos on Wednesday night. Then Thursday we have the works: smoked and baked turkey, dressing, potatoes, green beans, broccoli casserole, squash casserole, brussels sprouts, rolls, gravy, and anything else you can think of that is classing thanksgiving…sweet potato casserole. Friday, however, we have my favorite part….gumbo!!!! I love that we have started this tradition. And it’s a “low fat” gumbo, meaning the roux is not made with butter/oil and flour, it’s just toasted flour. Works quite well. It’s not really as thick as traditional gumbo but it is still fantastic! Check it out here: Did I REALLY post that five years ago? WOW! Maybe a repost is in order. :-)


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