Because I run a blog that, for the time being, is mostly about food I decided this year a holiday where massive amounts of food is prepared and consumed, deserves its very own post. Aside from providing very specific meal plans for this glorious holiday, I have also included traditions, my own detailed timeline to get all the prep and cooking done in time, and a comprehensive shopping list. Here it goes!
We started this last year after I read about it in my Six Sister’s cookbook. The day before Thanksgiving tends to be just as hectic as the holiday itself. I get all the pies done that day as well as last minute grocery shopping and all the prep that I can possibly do beforehand. By the end of the day when dinner time rolls around the very last thing I want to do is cook more food! The Six Sisters cookbook explained that they were given $5 each to go buy whatever they wanted in the grocery store. Everyone combined their purchases and it made for a very unconventional, but I am sure a memorable, dinner. Last year instead of browsing the grocery store, Trevor and I hit up three different fast food drive-thrus and each chose one item from their dollar menu. Awesome tradition, enough said.
Whether his family puts on an early morning touch football game or it is organized by members of our church this is an event that Trevor looks forward to every year. This year we are far from family and in a new area so Trevor might just have to organize one himself.
Pie for Dinner
The title says it all. I think part of the reason my mom always made so many pies is so we could eat them for days after. Our Thanksgiving dinner happens around lunch time so later that day, when we are longer stuffed to the max and can tighten our belts again, we go grab the pies and dig in. My mom was also fine with pumpkin or egg nog pie for breakfast. I always looked forward to pie for breakfast the next day.
Black Friday Shopping
This one really makes me miss being close to family and childhood friends. I am fully aware I can do all my black Friday shopping online but where is the fun in that? As soon as my parents let me stay out that late, a friend and I would leave the house around 9:00, stop to buy hot chocolate, and hit up all the deals we had researched and planned for. Then you also end up coming home with more than you had planned for because some deals you just cannot pass up! Yes you stand in crazy long lines, yes it’s cold, and yes you get home really late. Sometimes making memories is just worth the sacrifice. Also, I get the large majority of all my Christmas shopping done in one night. Last year we were on our own for the holiday too so I just went by myself and Trevor stayed with the baby. It definitely was not as fun, so hopefully I can find another person crazy like me for that adventure this year.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Share below to give us ideas!
Trevor has requested French toast, so we will use this Thick and Rich Best Ever French Toast recipe and I will try it with my Udi’s gluten free bread. We will top ours with bananas and peanut butter and lots of syrup on Trevor’s end.
served with various crackers, and celery
2 packages of whole mushrooms
8 oz cream cheese
1 package Ground Italian Sausage (jimmy dean)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Stem and core mushrooms.Crease a cookie sheet and set oven for 350 degrees. Cook sausage with spices and then drain. mix in softened cream cheese with an egg and Parmesan. Spoon heaping amounts into each mushroom and bake for 20 minutes. Note: you may need to take mushrooms out half way through and soak up some of the liquid in the pan.
I am cheating – buying one already cooked from Costco that I just have to warm. I feel no guilt from this, roasting a turkey intimidates me for some reason and I care more about the sides anway.
*World’s Best Mashed Potatoes w/ Turkey Gravy
This will also be store bought from a box. My mom always used a box and it is always a hit.
I found gluten free fried onions so I am giving this dish a go this year. Substitute this recipe for the cream of mushroom soup recipe below
Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the following ingredients and microwave for 2 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency. Taste first, I usually add more bouillon and salt)
1 1/4 c milk 2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp thyme 4 oz mushrooms chopped fine
1/4 tsp garlic 1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
Gluten free note: I substitute an all purpose gf flour and add cinnamon to the crumb topping.
French Bread Rolls
Obviously these are not gluten free, but I am not perfect and sometimes I cheat because…Thanksgiving.
Darby’s French Bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 C warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar(I use brown)
2 tbsp oil
about 3 1/2-4 cups flour-until not sticky
Knead at least 10 minutes and let raise 1/2 hour. Form into roll and put in the pan with some space in between. Let raise for 10-15 minutes. Bake 10 minutes or until tops are golden.
I use the Best Gluten Free Pie Crust (pictured above) and my family cannot even tell the difference. I also use the Truvia stevia baking blend in my pies instead of sugar. We cannot tell the difference because the blend bakes the same and doesn’t have that weird sugar substitute aftertaste.
I use cornstarch instead of flour
My favorite recipe and the one my mom has always used is one on the back of the Libby’s can of pumpkin.
Cooking and Prep Timeline
- Organize Fridge/ Make Space
- Make Cheeseball
- Bake Pies
- Clean the house
- Do all dishes and empty sink night before
- 8:30 am – put turkey into crockpot to warm on low, breakfast
- 10:00 am – Prep stuffed mushrooms and Prep Sweet Potato Casserole
- 11:00 am – Set table, serve appetizers, make stuffing/put in microwave to warm
- 12:00 pm – Prep rolls, mushrooms in the oven, chop potatoes
- 12:20 pm – Sweet potatoes in the oven, green beans in oven, boil potatoes
- 12:45 pm – Make mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans in oven to toast onion
- 12:50 pm – Slice Turkey, rolls in the oven,
- 1:00 pm – EAT ALL THE FOOD
Stuffed Mushrooms – 350 degrees for 20 mins
Sweet Potato Casserole – 350 degrees for 30 mins
Green Bean Casserole – 350 degrees for 30 mins
Rolls- 400 degrees for 10 mins
- GF bread
- eggs – 2 dozen
- half and half
- peanut butter
- cream cheese x4
- grated parmesan cheese
- shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped green onions
- worcestershire sauce
- garlic powder
- sliced almonds
- garlic salt
- 1 package Ground Italian Sausage (jimmy dean)
- 2 packages of whole mushrooms
- turkey gravy
- 5lb bag of potatoes
- seasoning salt
- box of stuffing
- chicken broth
- GF fried onions
- canned green beans x2
- canned mushrooms
- sweet potatoes x3
- truvia sugar baking blend
- truvia brown sugar blend
- all purpose GF flour
- canola oil
- egg nog
- pie tins x4
- bananas x3
- cool whip
- cream of tarter
- cocoa powder
- Libby’s can of pumpkin
- canned milk
- sparkling cider x2
- canned cranberry sauce
There you have it! I hope your holiday is full of family, loads of pie and even more gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.