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Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Posted by Hallee on Nov 22, 2011 in Hallee's Galley, Holiday fare, menus & menu planning |

This post was from last year.  Since this posted, I’ve also added to my recipe collection Winter Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pecans, and Dried Cherries.  I think it would be a PERFECT addition to any Thanksgiving table.

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Extravaganza! I’m so happy that you joined us!

I cooked a big Thanksgiving Dinner for my family, and am excited to share it with you! Everything has its own separate and more detailed post, so I’ve linked each one within the post.

The Table Settings

For the main table I decided to go with accenting in gold. The chargers, napkin rings, and accents on the centerpiece are all in gold. I felt like that all added a subtle hint of elegance to the whole package.

I didn’t want to go paper and plastic with the kids’ table, but I also didn’t want to have the same understated elegance. Instead, I just went simple but beautiful, with a Thanksgiving character themed centerpiece.

The Menu

I went completely traditional with the menu. The only thing I did not prepare for our feast was Wonderful Whipped Potatoes and Traditional Turkey Gravy.

Turkey

I roasted the turkey in my roaster. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving and don’t have one, I’d recommend getting one or borrowing one. For a second option, you could go with the oven cooking bags.

Savory Cornbread Dressing

Until I made this recipe, I had never made any kind of stuffing or dressing before, other than Stove Top. Working at the soup kitchen, I had seen the head cook there make it a few times, so I consulted her on how to make it on a scaled-down version. I was really pleased with the results.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

This casserole had just a hint of sweet, with a nice nutty crunch of pecans. I threw some mini marshmallows on top to make my kids happy, but it would have been just as good without them.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

I do not enjoy eating turkey without cranberry sauce. It’s just part of that whole dinner to me. Once I tasted cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries, I just can’t imagine going back to the canned kind. This recipe is wonderful – the orange in it cuts the tartness of the berries perfectly.

Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I LOVE roasted Brussels sprouts. They are easily one of my favorite vegetables. There is so much more flavor packed into their little heads than you could find in a green bean. Our Thanksgiving meal would not be complete without them.

Whole Wheat Pull Apart Yeast Rolls

What Thanksgiving table is complete without a beautiful basket of yeast rolls? This recipe read complicated to me, but once I did it, it made sense and was actually very easy.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

No Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie gracing the dessert table. And what better kind of pie can you make than when you start with a pumpkin that you have to break down yourself? The extra time and effort spent mashing your own pumpkin will be well worth the flavor of your pie compared to one made from canned pumpkin.

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

Sometimes, simple is better. I don’t think you could get a simpler pie recipe than this. You put the few ingredients together and mix them up, then pour it in the pie shell. No tricks, little effort, and not a lot of ingredients. The result was spectacular.

I hope and pray that your Thanksgiving is wonderful. If you are hosting it, make a gameplan before the day gets there. Know what serving plates, platters, and bowls will be for what dishes. Know what you need to cook and in what order. Get an idea of how long each dish will take to not only cook, but prepare as well.

Make sure you know the turkey preparation and storage tips so that you keep your friends and family safe. Invest in a thermometer so that you can double check the temperatures of the dishes you’re cooking.

Make the desserts the day before. They can wait an extra day without losing much freshness.

Stick with real food, whole ingredients, and as few cans as possible. The fresher the ingredients, the better tasting, better quality, better overall result.

Thank you for joining me for my extravaganza!

Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you and your family on this day of focusing on God’s gifts to us!

Hallee


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