Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Meal & Meal Plan for the Week

Oh. Hello there.

Yeah, I haven't written much here evidenced by my last Mermaid Tail tutorial a month ago! Strangely enough, having kids in school all day long doesn't really give me any more free time. I guess that is because I've increased my work-from-home hours. My days just pass in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, because it's Thanksgiving week, I got inspired to get back on the ol' blog and write something. I actually really love Thanksgiving. Since we're poor and the husband has finals coming up, we aren't traveling to see the fam on the West Coast. We're gonna stay local as we have the past two years. Although we will miss seeing our family, we're so blessed to have some family right here in town.

Our Thanksgivings have looked like this the past couple of years. My sister-in-law Aimee and I make a pretty good cooking team and are busy in the kitchen. Our husbands (the brothers) hang out, catch up on life, inspect the latest home project, and maybe sort of oversee the Turkey Placeholder crafts for the kids (see this free printable for instructions and turkey template).  Our girls run around the house and play all day with a short break to make the aforementioned turkeys. Then we feast. And then we hangout and look at the Christmas deals.

Our Thanksgiving Menu this year:
  • Turkey - I think we're keeping it simple for the pre-brined turkey from Trader Joe's this year. We typically follow these turkey cooking tips from my sister.
  • Green Bean Casserole - I made this Really Homemade Green Bean Casserole last year and totally love it. I subbed Parmesan for the Asiago because I didn't want to buy any other cheese and it was fab. I think it will be my go-to from now on.
  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy - I love these mashed potatoes, and I'm doing make-ahead gravy this year because we're using a brined turkey. I heard somewhere that making gravy from the brined juices doesn't work that well because it is too salty. So, I'll just whip up this gravy the day before.
  • Cranberry Sauce - Aimee makes a yummy homemade one.
  • Veggies - We need to add a bit more color to the plate. We might do roasted veggies. Last year at Christmas I roasted a rainbow mix of pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and grape tomatoes that was really yummy. We might do that again. Or maybe some carrots - Aimee made some last year that were delicious. Or maybe this simple corn with thyme. I guess I need to verify with my cooking partner. :)
  • Desserts: There might only be 4 adults and 4 kids under the age of 9 at our meal, but we're having three pies and fudge. Oh yes, yes we are. The men are contributing to the desserts this year. My brother-in-law will make his famous apple pie, and my husband will make fudge. As for me, I'm going to make this Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pie and a Lemon Cream Cheese Pie.
We're not doing stuffing (aka dressing) this year. Apparently the guys didn't really want it, and honestly, it's one less thing to make. We'll see how much it's missed. A lot of what we're fixing is make-ahead, so that should make for a nice and relaxing morning. I'm sooooo looking forward to it!

As for the rest of the week, I'm just following this Meal Plan to Print & Cook #30 from Life as MOM. Nice and easy. Oh, and yummy. That's very important. I hope y'all have a great Thanksgiving!

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