I am starting the holiday month off with my 2017 Thanksgiving Menu and Guide.
Can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving time again? It seems like Thanksgiving 2016 wasn’t long ago, but I’m pretty excited to be getting back into the holiday frame of mind. I know it’s lame, but the next two month are truly my two favorites of the year. I will forever and always be a holiday girl. And we have so many fun things in store this holiday season…today is only the beginning!
Clearly I’m trying to build up your excitement here, hoping it is working!
Thanksgiving is obviously the biggest food holiday of the entire year. Some years I take Thanksgiving a little more seriously than others. Fortunately, this is one of those years I’ve decided I’m really going to DO Thanksgiving. What exactly does this mean? Well, almost all month long I’ll have new Thanksgiving/holiday recipes I will be sharing. I’ll also be sharing easy dinners to make leading up to Thanksgiving Day (because we DO have to eat dinner for the next twenty-two days).There’s going to be a lot of really delicious food.
Today I am sharing my 2017 Thanksgiving Menu, along with a few tips to make Thanksgiving Day a breeze.
First up, the menu. A lot of these are new recipes and will be coming to the blog in the next two weeks. I wanted to share my menu first, so you could all plan properly…ok, I also wanted to get you excited for all the great recipes heading your way. I will be adding the recipes links to this post as each new recipe goes live here on HBH so you can use this post as your go-to Thanksgiving prep guide.
Half Baked Harvest 2017 Thanksgiving Menu
Tip: I always start the morning off with a good breakfast. We eat a little later than most, so breakfast is essential.
Tip: both cocktails can be made a day in advance (see directions with recipes).
Tip: each appetizer can be prepped a day in advance and warmed before serving. The acorn squash can be eaten at room temp.
Tip: the lasagna can be made a few days ahead and baked before serving
Tip: don’t be afraid to go overboard with the sides. They’re the best part!
Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa
Tip: Make the pies in advance, but bake the cookies just before serving. Warm cookies are the best…serve with milk.
As you can see, it is quite the menu, but I have a lot of mouths to feed. this year we are heading to Cleveland, so it will be a VERY big group. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving, go big or go home, right! As you will also see, I have included a lasagna as part of my main course. I wanted to have a hearty and delicious vegetarian option this year for the non-turkey eaters, and I can’t wait to tell you about this lasagna, it’s too good for words.
Since my menu is so big, I thought I would give you guys a break down of just how to get this entire meal on the table and not have stress about it. You ready? Here we go!
My Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday Prep Plan:
My Thursday Schedule:
It’s a lot, but trust me, having it all on paper is so helpful!
A Few Tips:
Think about your Menu
A few things to be thinking about when creating your Thanksgiving menu, how much oven space do you have, how many people are you serving, and does anyone have any dietary restrictions.
If you know you will have limited oven space, plan to make sides that can be served raw (salads), made on the stove-top, in a slow cooker, in an Instant Pot or cooked ahead and quickly reheated.
Depending on how many leftovers you’d like, plan on anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half per person. If everyone is heading out the door at the end of the day, I would go closer to a pound per person. If guests your guests are staying through the weekend go for a pound and a half. Bone in breasts are a nice option If you don’t want to cook more than one turkey. And lastly, keep in mind, that if you’ve got a lot of sides, guests will probably eat less turkey.
There are a ton of people in my family, a few who will eat most anything, but the majority are picky eaters. We’ve got the brussels sprouts lovers and those who will never go near them. Obviously, I can’t cater to everyone’s specific needs/wants, but I do like to make sure there is something on the table for everyone. It’s important to be thinking about these things before the big day so that everything can go as smooth as possible.
Make an Oven/Food Schedule
This is probably my number one tip to easily getting dinner on the table…and at a reasonable hour. An oven schedule is essential for staying on track on Thanksgiving Day, especially if you’re working with limited oven space.
Set the Table Wednesday
This is something my Nonnie taught me, and it’s probably my favorite trick. I like to set my dinner table the night before. It’s one more thing you can cross off your checklist early, plus you’ll be guaranteed to have the table set and looking pretty when guests arrive.
Relax and Enjoy your Family and Friends
I know it’s hard, but try to remember to relax and enjoy your Thanksgiving. Whether you’re hosting the gathering, or bringing a side dish, Thanksgiving can be stressful for everyone. Just remember, it’s just one day out of the year and the point is to have fun and be with loved ones. If you end up burning the whole meal, no worries, just make more cocktails, eat all the appetizers, and hey, you’ll have good story for next year!
And whoooaaaa…lots of words here on Thanksgiving! I loved putting this guide together, and while it’s by no means perfect, I hope it helps with your planning. I will be sharing so much more in the weeks ahead, everything from recipes, to cocktails, to gift ideas, to crafts, so be on the lookout for some fun posts.
Also, does anyone have interest in seeing how I set my Thanksgiving table? I wonder…
Happy November everyone!