Thanksgiving Menu: Half California Locavore, Half Italian, more than a Hint of Homemade

November 11, 2012

Vegetables from an Italian Garden

Every year when November rolls around, I start to think about what the Thanksgiving menu will look like. With so many options, though, I rarely nail down what the theme will be until a week or two ahead of time. Every year it takes one little thing to propel me direction, and last year it was the cookbook Vegetables from an Italian Garden. While I had picked up the book earlier that summer, it was the picture of baked carrots that had me fully entranced with the idea of an Italian Thanksgiving menu. But what did that even mean? Pasta and meatballs? Of course not. Instead, I decided to take inspiration from the simplicity of Italian cuisine – the best ingredients, fresh because they’re local, simply put together. (more…)

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Let the countdown to Thanksgiving begin!

November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away? If you haven’t yet begun to plan what you’re having, now is the time to start thinking about it. Will you do the traditional turkey, a vegetarian main course, or something less than traditional like a prime rib? And the sides, oh the sides! There’s so many ways to serve a potato, decisions to make about the green vegetable(s) to serve, and should there be more starch?

Last year I posted recipes for the Indian-inspired 2009 Thanksgiving dinner we had. This year there’ll be lots of posts about my more traditional menu from 2010 that included many fruit-laced sides. And then there’s what to make this year. I’m going back and forth between my Cajun favorites (oooh, cornbread dressing!) and a more Italian-inspired menu, laced with fresh veggies and hints of cheese and sage and citrus here and there.

What are you planning to serve for Thanksgiving this year?

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2010’s Thanksgiving Menu

November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

Since I decided that I would be having a Riesling-Brined Turkey for Thanksgiving, the rest of the menu had to fall into place around the centerpiece turkey. I like to do a blend of tried-and-true recipes with new recipes I’ve never had before. I decided to make a recipe from Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, Pear Gravy. As I perused the Epicurious site, I decided try the Winter Fruit stuffing, and my menu began to take shape by including fruits in many of the items. I went with a simple mashed potato to temper the sweetness, and a roasted brussel sprout recipe that included a balsamic reduction. Since one of my vegetarian friends will be joining us, I’ll make a Stuffed Pumpkin with Vegetable Stew for a main course as well. (more…)

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Thanksgiving Menu Planning: Riesling-Brined Turkey

November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving 2007

As I sit down to start planning Thanksgiving, I start to think about Thanksgivings past, and all of the yummy recipes I’ve discovered. Typically, I pick one recipe I really want to make (whether it’s from the past, or something I’ve just seen) and then I begin to plan the menu around that.

This year, I’m going to pick a recipe I did in 2007 to center on – a riesling-brined turkey from Martha Stewart Living. It was one of the best turkeys I have ever had (deep-fried excluded here, of course). (more…)

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