There's no going back. The menu is committed to MS Word and printed, with lovely graphics of course.
For appetizers, bite-sized Asian Turkey Meatballs. I found this recipe at Gina's Skinny Recipes and loved them. I made them for the first time and posted the results in March 2010. I've made them many times since then, both for appetizer and entree.
To keep things simple, we will steam some shrimp and serve it with a quick and Remoulade Sauce.
I was going to keep the appetizers down to only two, but I've been wanting to try Suzanne's Cranberry Salsa, so I put that on the appetizer menu as well.
The turkey is in a cooler in the garage submerged in apple cider. Tom will make the stuffing in the morning, but tonight he's going to prepare the mashed potatoes, refrigerate them overnight in a casserole dish and we'll warm them in the oven tomorrow just before dinner.
The turkey giblets will be thrown in a pot of water with some onion, carrot and celery to be simmered all day on the stove. That wonderful turkey stock will be used for my gravy.
Instead of the traditional overly sweet candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato pudding, I'm going to roast chunks of fresh sweet potato with a little butter and a touch of pure maple syrup.
Fresh green beans will not be in the form of a casserole. They will be cooked until just done with bacon and butter. Simple, easy, delicious. I don't know why I never thought of cooking them that way, but I guess you have to have the vast experience of the chef who introduced me to them ~ my niece's husband, who is a chef and culinary instructor in southern California.
We may not have green bean in casserole form, but we will have casseroles of sorts. First, my son Mike's recipe for Cauliflower Gratin, which combines cauliflower with cream and copious amounts of Parmesan, mozzarella and goat cheeses for one of the best gratins I've ever eaten.
The second casserole is Marie's Parmesan Roasted Onions. To. Die. For. Honestly.
I don't like canned cranberry sauce. But I saw David Hahn, a filmmaker, on some cooking show a few years back promoting Cranberry Fool, a cranberry topping that he and his wife use to make and gave as gifts. Since he was trying sell his new product, he didn't give the recipe, but the ingredients are listed on the jar: cranberries, cherries, currants, raisins, vanilla and NO SUGAR, although I do add about 1/2 cup. How hard is that? I think his product contains fresh cherries, but we obviously can't get them year round, so I use dried cherries. I've made it ever since in place of cranberry sauce and I've even added candied jalapenos and served it over cream cheese as an appetizer. Pretty darn yummy...and I don't care for cream cheese.
We cannot have Thanksgiving dinner without rolls. I found the recipe for Sweet Potato Buttermilk Dinner Rolls at Pinch My Salt in 2008 and made them for Thanksgiving that year, too. They are absolutely delicious.
Finally, for dessert I am making Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake that I saw at The Pastry Affair. The recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of espresso powder, but I already know I'm probably going to use a little bit more.
Here's the menu in a more formal state:
I have a lot of prep work to do, so I better get started. I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday weekend filled with fun, love and good food! Happy Thanksgiving!!