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Thanksgiving Dinner Planner (by John Spottiswood)

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There are so many options for great things to cook for Thanksgiving. If you haven't yet settled on a fixed family Thanksgiving tradition, I hope you'll find some great ideas here for dishes to serve for your Thanksgiving meal. Not everything goes well together, so I'll try to point out flavors which are complementary. Please add your comments and reviews below to make this a useful repository of Thanksgiving ideas!

Recipes

Appetizers & snacks

You don't need a lot of appetizers at Thanksgiving, because the meal itself is the main event. Still, it's nice to have something along with cocktails and conversation!
Two Rooms Hummous

Two Rooms Hummous

by Matthew Crabbe

Baked Brie

Baked Brie

by Linda Hanson

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

by Jean Walter

Clam Dip

Clam Dip

by Elena Jimenez

Guacamole

Guacamole

by Lyndsey

Hummus

Hummus

by Annette Vlahos

Crispy Eggplant Croquettes

Crispy Eggplant Croquettes

by Daniel Brock

Stuffing

Thanksgiving without stuffing is not worth eating! Ok, maybe that is extreme. But stuffing/dressing is one of my favorite parts of the meal. Below are some general tips and recipes for you to try.

Bread Stuffing
Packaged bread mixes generally taste fine, but it's more fun to create your very own fabulous concoction from scratch. Here are a few hints:
* Use a 1-2 day-old loaf of firm Bakery-style bread instead of a soft and gooey white bread. Leave the crust on; cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and air-dry overnight.
* If you add vegetables or meat to your dressing, be sure they are pre-cooked and sized similarly to the bread cubes.
* Add enough liquid to keep the dressing moist but not soggy.
* Fresh turkey or chicken broth adds a wonderful flavor. If you're making extra dressing outside the turkey, make sure to add some of this!
Cornbread Stuffing
For some folks, this is the only kind of stuffing worth eating. If you're in a rush, packaged cornbread stuffing can be used; however, it is easy and better to make cornbread from scratch.
A couple pans of cornbread should be made at least a day in advance or further ahead and frozen. Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and air dry overnight before making your stuffing.
Rice and Grains
I love adding Rice and Grains to stuffing.. Rice stuffings, aka "dirty rice," are usually cooked with onions, peppers, poultry giblets or livers, and plenty of seasonings. These ingredients give the rice a 'dirty' but tasty appearance. Wild rice can be added to any rice or bread stuffing. Wild rice adds a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor.
For added protein try experimenting with legumes and hearty grains such as lentils or rye. The key with grains is to avoid over cooking them. Cook all grains al dente, that is, tender yet still firm and a little chewy. They will finish cooking in your turkey or casserole dish. ENJOY!
My favorite Stuffing without Meat

My favorite Stuffing without Meat

by John Spottiswood

Louisiana Cornbread Stuffing

Louisiana Cornbread Stuffing

by John Spottiswood

Best Turkey Stuffing

Best Turkey Stuffing

by John Spottiswood

Main dish

It's hard for me to swallow anything other than Turkey at Thanksgiving, and a well cooked Turkey is a must. I provide options below for a simple flavor that will remind you of home cooked birds past, as well as some interesting creative options. You could opt for a ham or prime rib, but I'd hold that for Christmas so long as no one is allergic to Turkey.
Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

by Sharan Hattabaugh

Side dishes

While I love Turkey and stuffing, it's the side dishes that always make my plate weigh in at 3 pounds. I'm a sucker for potatoes, root vegetables, greens, and cranberry sauce. Here are a few good recipes to make your sides sing this year!
Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

by marcia zeballos

Shredded Brussel Sprouts

Shredded Brussel Sprouts

by Nancy Miyasaki

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

by marcia zeballos

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

by Jacqui Patek

Yam & Sweet Potato Souffle

Yam & Sweet Potato Souffle

by Deborah Parker Wong

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

by marcia zeballos

Desserts

Pumpkin pie, Pecan Pie, and some creative additions make Thanksgiving Dessert the final blissful bite before food coma ensues. Don't waste it on anything less than perfection!
Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

by Andrea Faz

TomCo`s Yogurt Pumpkin Pie

TomCo`s Yogurt Pumpkin Pie

by Connie Mcmillan

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie

by Enjoy Life Foods

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

by Margaret

Pumpkin Tartlets

Pumpkin Tartlets

by Enjoy Life Foods

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

by chris weiss

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

by Michele Stewart

Pumpkin Cookies with Icing

Pumpkin Cookies with Icing

by Nancy Miyasaki

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Reviews

  • Lonni Dubaldo
    November 16, 2011
    Easy to follow recipes-simple ingredients-quick
    I've cooked/tasted recipes from this theme!
    • Connie
      November 20, 2012
      Isn't it a little late to be send this out, less than one and a half days before Thanksgiving?

      How much help is that?
      I've cooked/tasted recipes from this theme!

      Leave a review or comment