Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011 Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is in eleven days! I am thrilled! Thanksgiving could just be my favorite holiday. Who couldn't love a such a cozy holiday centered around families, and counting blessings, and feasting on comfort food?It's so great to enjoy the company of friends and family, food, and football before all the stress of Christmas sneaks in. Last year, I told my husband that I think I equate the tradition of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to that of Christmas stockings. I am downright giddy to wake up and spend that time watching the parade snuggled up with my family before the cooking chaos of the days ensues.

With Turkey Day fast approaching it is time to pull out the recipes and start planning the menu. Last year, my husband and I went full blown gourmet with it, and now there is no turning back. I hope it gives you some yummy inspiration if you are looking for some new Thanksgiving recipes.

<====Read on for the meal plan and the recipes that knocked our socks off and left us drooling year round...

This was our Thanksgiving Menu from last year...

I am uber-excited to share my cranberry sauce recipe with you! That's right, I just said "uber."  I adapted my recipe from one I found on Epicurious. It was in the November 2009 edition of Bon Appetit. Their recipe calls for some fancy, harder to find ingredients for which I opted to sub for fresh produce. I added fresh pomegranate and basil, and swapped out the red wine for a lovely sweet port.

Click here to download a PDF recipe card for Cranberry-Pomegranate-Port Sauce.

Next up, the turkey. This Roasted Heritage Turkey was hands-down the best Thanksgiving turkey we and our dinner guests had ever had! The recipe (also from Epicurious, Bon Appetit 2008) is intense and not for the faint of heart, but words cannot describe the bliss that is this turkey and even more importantly, its gravy. I have to admit I underestimated this gravy recipe by a long shot and didn't realize how long it would take. Every drop of it was worth every second though! This year I am going to make it a day ahead... we will see if it will make it to see the Thanksgiving table ;)
Click here to download the PDF recipe card for Roasted Heritage Turkey

I have shared this with you before, but a great way to add some flair to regular mashed potatoes is to season them with Black Truffle Sea Salt. This is my no-fail secret ingredient! I found it at a local winery gift shop but now you can find it on Amazon for about $8 less than I paid. This makes a great stocking stuffer for the foodie on your list! 

And lastly, one of the things I look forward to the most this time of year is hot mulled wine! Our hands-down favorite winery is Kestrel. They have an impressively affordable table wine called "Lady in Red." It's a Washington winery but they said it could be found nationwide, and so far we have found it to be true. We found it at Safeway, but if you can't find it locally you can always order it online from their site. We use it with our spice ball and cranberry juice to make our hot mulled wine. It makes for a delicious and crowd pleasing tradition. If you haven't heard of mulled wine and wonder what it is, you can kinda think of it as a fall spice sangria of sorts that's served hot. If you prefer an unaltered wine for dinner, their Signature line is exquisite. My personal favorite is their Raptor Red, their 2005 vintage is the best wine I've ever had.
So, those are the shining stars on my Thanksgiving table. What's your table going to look like? Do you have some cherished recipes? Please share!!! I am always looking for a way to spiff up all the other trimmings.

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