Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Planning for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is getting close and I'm sure many are starting to panic.  What are we going to do for our "Thanksgiving Meal"?  Don't panic just take a minute to plan.

First you need to know who all is coming or how many will I serve for dinner.  Then you need to plan a menu.  If this isn't your first "Thanksgiving Dinner" you have served it will be easier to do that menu.  You have past history of what worked and didn't work.

As you plan that dinner remember that you can always have guests bring a dish.  Do any of the guests have a special dish they usually make for Thanksgiving?  If so and it is a popular dish, ask them to bring it.  Be sure to let them know how many total guests there will be for the meal.

Once you have that figured out and communicated, you can tackle the rest of the meal.  An overwhelming majority of families serve turkey for this special occasion.  If that is what you're doing, figure out what recipe you will be following and make sure you have everything that is needed for it.

If you haven't ever had a turkey that has been brined before cooking, you might want to try it.  My recipe for a brine is Brine for Whole Turkeys (Chickens).

Next you need to decide on the side dishes to support the turkey.  I've several good ones already on my recipe page.  So be sure to check them over for one that might fit your needs.

I'm also adding two new recipes this week to give you some different choices.  My first one is for a "Sweet Potato Casserole" and it is layered with sweet potatoes and marshmallows.  The second recipe is for a "Crab & Wild Rice Dressing" which is easy and done on top of the stove to save oven space for your other needs.

That reminds me, when you are doing your menu for your Thanksgiving day meal think about cooking space, time and temperatures.  You can come up with a great sounding meal and then realize it doesn't all fit in your oven when needed.  That's why we plan things and then work our plan.

Next week I'll be talking leftovers.  That's one of the nicest things about Thanksgiving - the leftovers.  I know my mouth is watering just thinking about what I'm going to do with some of the leftovers.  I'll have a couple of recipes for that leftover turkey besides the ones already on the recipe page from last year.

Have a great week and "Happy Cooking."

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