Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu

This weekend I will be hosting my first family Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully there are only 5 1/2 of us in my immediate family (the 1/2 being my one year old niece, officially one on Thanksgiving Sunday)!

My plan is to serve a "healthy" Thanksgiving dinner by serving a reduced amount of dishes, using healthier cooking methods. There are only five of us after all so we don't need a table full of food. Contrary to popular opinion, Thanksgiving is not an excuse to overeat. To the horror of my family, I eliminated the traditional mashed potatoes. I was going to cut the stuffing too but my sister very vehemently overruled, so the stuffing gets to stay. I pared my menu down to just the turkey plus three side dishes and two garnishes.

With the help of The Healthiest Meals on Earth I will be preparing the following dishes:

- Citrus Herb Turkey - The turkey will be brined overnight in a mixture of water, salt, honey, lemon & orange peel and cardamom. It will then be stuffed (with lemon & orange halves, whole garlic cloves and fresh rosemary, sage and thyme) and roasted in the oven until golden brown and perfectly cooked.

- Sausage Apple Stuffing - My mom's classic stuffing recipe includes onion, celery, apple, ground sausage and fresh herbs. I'm using multigrain bread, of course.

- Roasted Root Vegetables - Instead of mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole, my vegetable dish will be a mix of butternut squash, fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets, onion and fresh herbs. I may top it with a warm shallot vinaigrette and throw in some toasted pumpkin seeds. We'll see.

- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and Asparagus - My second veggie dish will be topped with a balsalmic glaze and tossed with chopped walnuts.

- Cranberry Orange Relish - While we typically use my Grandmother's homemade cranberry sauce, it is packed full of sugar! This time I will be making my own fresh cranberry garnish using fresh cranberries, orange segments and orange marmalade.

- White Wine Gravy - Classic gravy (roast drippings & chicken stock), kicked up a notch with a cup of white wine and fresh herbs.

I am hoping to get some nice pictures of the dishes and will post the complete recipes next week.

In the meantime, I don't have any new recipes to share. The other day I made a couple batches of 10 Cent's Oatmeal Cookies. One batch was gluten free per her recipe and the other was with whole wheat flour for my co-workers. I also added raisins. My co-workers were very pleased.

Last night I snagged another 10 Cent recipe and made nachos to use up my left over Pico De Gallo.

No other cooking planned until The Big Day on Sunday. Posting to resume Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

photo taken Thanksgiving Day - October 9, 2006 @ 0705hrs

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