This year marks a rite of passage for Travis and me. We will be cooking a complete Thanksgiving meal by ourselves. Last year was spent with my family, the year before that was spent with a few friends here in Reno.
Unfortunately, this year we couldn’t convince (ahem, beg) anyone to celebrate with us. We’re on our own (with the exception of Travis’s sister, but she lives with us so she’s kind of a default guest, as in she gets no other choice).
I’ve dreamed of hosting holidays, cooking, baking, drinking, decorating like Sandra Lee or as if I’m an art director at Crate and Barrel. I just haven’t quite had the opportunity or the space to do so. Instead I plan on cooking my ass off and playing hostess on a much smaller scale.
Here’s Our Menu:
Turkey – All I know about this is that we’ve bought one and it is defrosting in our fridge. This is Trav’s department. He bought a special injector thingy and he’s putting it in a bag in the oven. He’s also been watching a lot of Alton Brown. That’s all I got.
Stuffing – I don’t know anything about dressing (are they the same thing?) and I grew up in a house that didn’t use recipes so I’m doing a sausage, celery, mushroom stuffing that I’m pulling from memory. It’s stuffing though, right? It’s already cooked bread that you add some fat to and bake. How hard can it be?
Cranberry Sauce – Travis likes the canned stuff and I love the Trader Joe’s brand. Check!
Mashed Potatoes – When I was a kid my parents took me to a buffet where they had mashed potatoes and I told them, “I’m in heaven.” That still holds true today. We’re going to make a roasted garlic mashed potato with red potatoes instead of russet.
Sweet Potatoes/Yams – We only had sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and they were always my favorite part of the meal. Now that I’m an adult and can have sweet potatoes anytime I want the charm isn’t the same, but I still love me some sweet potatoes. This year I’m doing a roasted sweet potato/yam concoction with olive oil and honey. My dad always made a mashed souffle of sorts that I loved, but I thought roasting would give a better texture that won’t compete with the mashed potatoes.
Brussel Sprouts – This is my substitute for green bean casserole. Lets face it – the best thing about green bean casserole is those crunchy onions that you snack on while you are making the nasty green bean casserole. Instead, I’m changing things up and making this recipe from Real Simple. It has bacon. Enough said.
Pumpkin Cheesecake – Paula Deen doesn’t steer you wrong. Ever. She uses butter and sugar liberally. And I see nothing wrong with that. Here’s her pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I’m going to try.
Am I forgetting something? Whatev.
Photos to come tomorrow.