Thanksgiving has always been my second favorite day of the year (my first true love, will always be the 3rd of July). So, you can only imagine how excited I am that this year I am hosting this special meal for 20. I've started planning the menu in my head, and yesterday I asked for tips on the Facebook page, and I got some amazing ones!
Yarn's End suggested prepping and freezing side dishes in advance and reheating on the day of- same goes for pies. This to me seems GENIUS! Normally we don't keep a lot in our freezer, so space shouldn't be an issue.
Courtney suggested using a turkey fryer. We experimented with this last year. My uncle brought his fryer over to my Grandmother's, set it up in the back yard and cooked away. This was great for keeping the house cool, and freeing up lots of space, but the house didn't have that holiday smell that I always long for.
Tamara and Jaclyn suggested buying the bird before Thanksgiving Day (which, if my memory serves me correctly, Wednesday is not Thanksgiving, and Bloom was not 18 miles from my apartment! Couple of fresh ladies!!) Jaclyn, perhaps you could read up on some Green Bean Casserole ideas.
Rosemary suggested cooking the turkey upside down... maybe I'll make the pineapple cake that way, but hopefully not the turkey!
Angela was looking for some crock pot recipes- I'm planning on doing a cider in my crock pot to help warm up my guests up and keep the aroma of cinnamon and spices strong!
I LOVE Kristin's tradition of skipping the sides, and skipping right to the best part- Thanksgiving Sandwiches!! That is BRILLIANT, and a total time saver!
What tips do you have for creating a time saving Thanksgiving?
I don't want to jinx anything for all my fellow New England fans, but it's a great time to start thinking about either hosting or attending a Super Bowl party.
Last year we bought a new television, and part of Rick's plea to purchase was that we would have people over to watch the game- I just can't say no to the opportunity to entertain! The game was fun, the company was great and the food was delicious. I made pizza dip, buffalo chicken dip & a chocolate cake decorated like a football field (complete with mini white chocolate chips as markers).
This year, I'm not sure what our plan is, but whether we are hosting, or will be visiting, I'm starting to think about game day food.
I've put together a list of a few things to keep in mind while planning your menu.
1. Stay Fresh. Because the game tends to be hours long, you'll want food that will stay fresh for either the length of the game, or until it runs out- pizza, sandwiches and dips are usually a great idea. Things that can be easily reheated, or don't need to stay cold are always a great choice.
2. Finger Food Favorites. When engrossed in a game, lots of people forget their surroundings and maybe their manners. Finger foods are an excellent choice- you don't want forks (or knives) flying when a major play is made, or people to drop dishes when jumping up to high five.
3. Super Simple Clean Up. I love that party stores have tons of options for decor- especially football themed plates, napkins and plastic cups. The last thing I want to do on Superbowl Sunday is a bunch of dishes at 11pm. One dish casseroles, meatballs in the crockpots, or wings on the grill are all easy ideas, that take minimal effort while yielding maximum results.
4. Be A Crowd Pleaser. While you may love trying new things, and food fusion, it's important to remember your audience. If you've got little ones running around, make sure you've got snacks that they will enjoy. I love the idea of having cookies in the shape of footballs ready for kids to decorate, or having fruit skewered and ready to snack on.
5. Stay on Track. Maybe it's just in my life, but so many events are based on food. With a wedding just a few months away, I know I want to stay on track to eating healthy and avoid overloading on unnecessary calories and carbs. While putting out a tray of tofu might not be the best option, consider putting out a plate of vegetables and low fat dip or providing whole grain crackers or multigrain rolls as a healthier choice!
These are just a few ideas to get the your menu in shape- what are some things you'll be having on your table for the big game?