2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Recipes and Time Managment

In today's post I'm going to be sharing the links to all of the recipes I'll be using this Thanksgiving.  In addition to that I'm going to share tips on time management for the big cooking day!  We'll start with time management tips and ideas, and go from there.  Unfortunately this won't be a fancy post with pictures, and charts, just good ole' fashioned advice in printed fashion!

I am a firm believer that the Thanksgiving meal should be, for the most part, cooked on Thanksgiving day.  Food made in advance and reheated just doesn't have the same feel to me.  Being as all my cooking happens on the day of Thanksgiving, I have to really keep track of things, and do some prep work a day in advance.  So, this is my personal plan for right now.

Monday, November 19th, make brine and let cool.  In the evening go ahead and put turkey in brine.

Wednesday, November 21:

Make apple, and pumpkin pie.
Make pumpkin bread, cut in slices, and let sit overnight.
Make the spicy caramel apple sauce.
Make the vanilla bean creme anglaise.

Side Dishes:
Dressing: cut bread into cubes, prepare the chestnuts, cut up the onions, celery, and parsley.
Brown Sugar Glazed Beets:  prepare and cut beets into cubes.
Creamed Spinach: cut onion, and garlic.
Cranberry Sauce

Thursday, November 22:

Wake up early and get turkey in the oven by no later than 8:45 AM
Start the process of making the dinner rolls.
Prepare mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes, put in their dishes, and refrigerate until closer to dinner.
Prepare both carrots and brussel sprouts for roasting.
About an hour before dinner is ready, put dressing into oven.
Put sweet potatoes, carrots, green bean casserole, and brussel sprouts into the oven right after turkey is removed.  Once one of these is done, start putting batches of rolls in to bake.
Work on preparing stove top items, such as the beets, creamed corn, and spinach.
Let turkey rest, covered, until all other sides are completed.
At last minute make gravy.

That's the plan!  As you can see I do not go by times on the clock.  The most difficult/time consuming items come first.  The rolls will be homemade, so they have to be made, and rise before they can be baked.  I plan this to take a few hours.  The mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole can be made, put in their dishes, and wait to get baked.  The same goes for the carrots and sprouts.  If life was fair, I'd get to do this with two ovens!  The day always starts pretty easy going, and get more and more stressful and hurried as things go along.  It's normal, try not to fret, and freak.  Everything will work out!  A little after dinner I'll prepare the bread pudding and slide it into the oven.  Then the day's cooking will be over.  You can sit back, and breathe.

Now, here are all the recipes I'm following this year.  Some are tried and true, some are new.  Feel free to give any of them a try!

Turkey Brine-tried this on a chicken.  It was simply delicious!
Dressing- I have not tried this recipe, it's from Martha Stewart.  I decided to do a traditional chestnut stuffing this year.  I have never tried this, and hope it's as good as it sounds!  I knew my husband wouldn't be happy about it, so gracing our table will also be a box of Stouffers!
Cranberry Sauce-I made this last year, it's wonderful!
Mashed Potatoes-These potatoes are amazing.  My husband gets all excited anytime I even mention mashed potatoes because he knows they will be these mashed potatoes.  If people attending do not like cream cheese, do not fret!  My husband hates it but doesn't mind it a bit in this recipe.
Pecan Sweet Potatoes-We have always had marshmallow topped sweet potatoes until I tried this recipe a few years ago.  We are divided here on what is best.  I love these, my husband doesn't.  So we make both!  These are very sweet, and could totally be put in a pie crust if you wanted a great sweet potato pie!
Roasted Carrots- These are amazing.  Roasting makes veggies amazing anyway, but these...these carrots are so good!
Rolls-I've never tried this recipe, but it sounds super simple!  She even has a variation that you can bake things you're thankful for into.  You gotta check it out!
Green Bean Casserole-Good ole green bean casserole.  It's so simple, but delicious   I'm making extra as a request by my husband because he loves it so much!  I would never deny a request to eat more veggies!
Brown Sugar Glazed Beets-Never had but I am dying to try these!  I've never actually cooked beets, only had them from the can!  I'm hoping this is so delicious I'll want to cook it all the time.
Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts- I tried just roasting brussel sprouts one year and was not impressed.  So, I'm trying again this year!  I'm hoping these are as good as they look.
Creamed Corn- I have not tried this recipe, and never made creamed corn, but it sounds like a great addition.
Creamed Spinach-I know it's gotta be horrible to have two creamed veggie dishes, BUT I couldn't say no to this!  I loved creamed spinach, but have never made it.
Pie Crust- I'll be using this pie crust recipe I posted about last week.  It's my grandmother in laws recipe, and totally amazing!  I could never make pie crust till I found this recipe.
Pumpkin Pie-This is also my grandmother in laws recipe.  My husband is in love with this pie, and would probably be fine with eating it every night of the week!
Apple Pie-Another recipe I haven't tried, but it has amazing ratings.  I can't wait to test it out!
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with a Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce, and a Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise-I made this last year, it's absolutely amazing.  It is also kind of expensive and time consuming.  Hence why it is, thus far, a Thanksgiving day only recipe.

I truly hope you have a chance to add one of these to your Thanksgiving Day plans!  It will be completely worth it!  We have just two more posts left to go in this series, this has been a fun challenge and I hope you've enjoyed it.  Again, if anyone has any questions, big or small, feel free to ask!

More in this series:

2012 Thanksgiving Guide:  Being a Good Host
2012 Thanksgiving Guide:  Menu Planning
2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Setting the Tone
2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Fun for Kids
2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Recipes and Time Management
2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Tips and Tricks
2012 Thanksgiving Guide: Resources and Reminders

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