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The menu is set. Thanksgiving my way! (Now with Q-view)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

It's taken some doing, but I've managed to explain to family and friends that we're doing Thanksgiving at home this year. Just the wife and I and one friend. Everyone else has their own family, and besides, our place is too small to have a big group, so the just the 3 of us.


The menu:


Smoked Turkey brined in apple cider, rosemary, clove and thyme as well as the usual salt/sugar solution.
Sausage dressing muffins. Basic old fashioned sausage stuffing but portioned into a muffin tin. Gives every serving a little crispy exterior and a little moist interior.
Croissants. Home made, using the dough from the Amish white bread recipe.
Baked brussels sprouts with bacon and bleu cheese. My own recipe, and I must admit they're INCREDIBLE.
Broccoli and brie casserole. My brother's recipe. It's one of the best things I've ever tasted.
Candied sweet potatoes. My Mom's recipe. Basic, old fashioned and entirely non negotiable. It's not Thanksgiving without it.
Cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries, orange, cinnamon, clove and candied ginger. Worth the hassle.
Baked mashed potatoes. Sandra Lee's recipe, with cream cheese, cheddar and bacon. We've actually made this and nothing else for dinner. AMAZING.
Coleslaw. Again, my Mom's recipe. Heavy on the mustard and very creamy. Again, non negotiable.
Gravy. Lots, but I'm considering using jarred this year as it was on sale 2 for 1. I'll probably change my mind and make my own however.

Egg nog ice cream. Looking forward to trying this. Basically it's Borden's super premium egg nog with rum added. The Borden's egg nog is essentially a thick egg custard. To be made in our ice cream maker.
Rum pecan pie. My sister-in-law's recipe with a little rum added. It's the best pecan pie I've ever had. Possibly the best pie.


The plan:

Most of this can be prepared well in advance. So by the time Thanksgiving dawns, I'll have everything prepared in disposable aluminum baking pans. My buddy and I will start the smoker at noon across the street in the park, and my wife will be putting the baking tins in the oven at predetermined intervals.

Dinner will hopefully coincide with the Redskins victory.

post #2 of 21

Dude...that's one heck of a menu!  Sounds wonderful!

post #3 of 21

Wow, that sounds great!


I am only cooking 3 things to take over to my wife's family (a bunch of cowgirl fans, food poisoning th_dunno-1[1].gif)  Should be a fun Thanksgiving and hopefully a Redskins win. So glad there is actually a game worth watching this year.


Have a great Thanksgiving! Ill be looking out for the Q-View on this one.

post #4 of 21

Borrowing the muffin tin idea, I have a cornbread dressing recipe to try!

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BIG TWIG View Post


I am only cooking 3 things to take over to my wife's family (a bunch of cowgirl fans, food poisoning th_dunno-1[1].gif)  Should be a fun Thanksgiving and hopefully a Redskins win. So glad there is actually a game worth watching this year.


Have a great Thanksgiving! Ill be looking out for the Q-View on this one.

True story, when my Dad found out my first serious girlfriend in high school was a Dallas fan he told me to break up with her. And he wasn't kidding.

There will be q-view. had planned to take some shots of the bird going into the brine, but I tried to use a Reynolds Oven bag as a brine bag and when trying to lift it into the cooler the bag burst. Brined my entire friggin' kitchen :) Luckily the bird landed in the pan I was lifting it out of.

Hope everyone has a Great Thanksgiving!!!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hmmm, looking at Alton Brown's site I notice he has a recipe which is conspicuously similar to my Brussels sprouts recipe. Perhaps I can't take credit for it after all. I must have seen the show and remembered the idea. Here I was all excited about "My" recipe. HA!!


And by the way, the idea for the stuffing muffins was stolen from Rachel Ray.

post #7 of 21

I would love for you to post your brussel sprout recipee....

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

1lb Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered.

1/2 lb bacon, diced and fried crisp. Fat reserved.

4oz crumbled bleu cheese

1TB butter


Toss the Brussels sprouts in the reserved bacon fat and bake in a 350˚ oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Melt the butter in a pan, then add half the bleu cheese and stir over medium heat until the cheese has melted.

Toss the sprouts in the butter/cheese mixture until evenly coated.

Place in serving dish and sprinkle with remaining bleu cheese and bacon bits.

post #9 of 21

Sounds like a great meal! I remember Borden's Egg Nog - that's some good stuff! Hope the Redskins win!

post #10 of 21

The Brussels sprouts sound great, but my wife would make me sleep outside that night because of the gas leakage that follows.




post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Some pics of the process. A little out of order, sorry. Turkey Q-view coming tomorrow.



The pie. It's a cinnamon pecan pie on a cinnamon roll crust with a chocolate ganache. It was supposed to be a plain pecan pie, but we called a few audibles.




My brother Robin's Broccoli, Brie and Wild Rice casserole. OMG--good stuff.



Brussels with bacon and Gorgonzola cheese. I won't mention the calorie count. I think I'm looking forward to this the most.



Cranberry, orange and ginger sauce. With cinnamon and nutmeg. It's really good,



The pie crust. Saw a friend post this idea on facebook, and as I was just about to make a pie, figured what the heck. Looks kinda cool, hopefully will taste good.



The pie crust from a side view, after baking.



The Stuffin Muffins. Rosemary leaves are the twig looking things. Weird, I kinda threw the mixture together, and ended up with EXACTLY enough for 12 muffins of identical size.


post #12 of 21
Looking good. Sounds like you will be well fed
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

As promised, here's the Turkey. It was really, really good. A little smokier than I wanted, but still really,really good. Wanted to use apple, but all I could find in chunk form was hickory.

Got the bird on just before noon, and it hit 160˚ just after 4. Ran the smoker right around 350˚-360˚.

Sorry, no pics of the white meat, but By the time I got to carving I was thinking only about eating, not taking pictures. When I made the first slice, juice literally squirted out. It was awesome!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!




It was a little juicy.





Decent smoke ring.




Nice skin. Not terribly crispy, but it sure was pretty.



post #14 of 21

You make one heck of an argument for home cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Those shots all look so fabulous I don't know where to begin and end. That pie looks infinitely delicious.



post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mark!! It was really good, and the pie was awesome! It was a little rich, but the flavor was wonderful.

post #16 of 21

Andrew, morning.... I'm still full from yesterday but somehow I got hungry looking at this thread.... The spread looks so good....  

Did I miss the part about you being a professional in the kitchen somewhere ??  

the pie crust is unusual and awesome....   I'm copying that picture and the ganache pecan pie picture...   Thanks, Dave

post #17 of 21
Very nice!

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 


Not a professional anything really :) I just like cooking, and have a long way to go before I'd consider myself a "good" cook. Most of what I do know, I've learned right here, from the good people of this forum. So, thanks to you all!! 

As for the pie crust, it's ridiculously easy. Like I said, I saw the idea on a friend's Facebook. She'd done hers completely from scratch, but I had neither the time nor the knowledge to make pie crust. So I took one of the ready made crusts, the kind that come rolled up in a box, laid it out and sprayed it down with butter flavored cooking spray. Just a light mist so the cinnamon sugar would stick. Then just re-rolled it into a tight log and sliced into 1/8" slices. Then just arranged those in the pie plate, pressing together as I went, until the whole thing looked about right. Soup to nuts it took maybe 10 minutes. I did spray the pie plate as well, as I was afraid the sugar in the crust would glue everything together.

post #19 of 21


Great photos too!

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Oh, and I had planned to spatch the bird and cut it in half down the middle so it would fit on the 2 racks in my mini. I was also going to give it a spicy rub. Then suddenly I changed my mind and decided to go for "pretty". I purposely rinsed off all the spices in the brine, only sprinkled the skin lightly with salt and brushed on a little melted butter a couple times in the last hour. For some reason, I really wanted to try for that traditional golden brown whole bird sitting in the middle of the table. I guess I was feeling a little nostalgic.

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