Yay, Thanksgiving Food!

Posted: November 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

I definitely have more to say about Matthew – but I just realized that  wonderful, glorious THANKSGIVING is only one week away.  Oh, I ADORE Thanksgiving.  A day off with family and football – and without the pressure of presents.

So, because I love food in all it’s forms and cooking is therapy to my little soul, I spend a LOT of time scouring the web and various cookbooks and magazines for the right Thanksgiving menu.  This year my crowd is smaller, so I’m not making the same variety of dishes I normally make, but I’m super excited about all the recipes I’ve chosen.  One of the things I love about cooking is that it’s so collaborative and creates such a warm sense of community…so I thought I would share what I found for our holiday and YOU can tell ME what you’re doing (and you might even get me to change my mind….I’m easy that way.)

Here’s our menu as it stands, with links to the recipes that are online:

Fruit-filled Muffins: I’ll bake these in the morning when I put the turkey in the oven and we’ll eat them for breakfast and all day long.  They are so simple but my family LOVES, loves them!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms: These mushrooms are being called up from Christmas Eve and Superbowl Sunday where they have lived heretofore.  I’ve linked a recipe, but it leaves out the most important ingredient which is: copious amounts of shredded mozzarella on top.

Bruschetta with Sweet Peppers and Creamy Gorgonzola (please know how many times I had to type Bruschetta to get it right):  I ADORE bruschetta and my husband loves gorgonzola, so this recipe looked just right to complete the appetizer course.  It’s the only thing on my menu I haven’t tried yet, so keep your fingers crossed!


Perfect Roast Turkey: I make Ina Garten’s “perfect roast chicken” probably twice a month in the summer when my herb garden is abundant.  It’s beautiful and fragrant and – Ina’s not exaggerating here – perfect.  This is the turkey variation.

Savory Spinach and Artichoke Stuffing: I love the tartness of the artichokes and the brie against the rich heaviness of the rest of Thanksgiving dinner.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes: I can’t begin to sing the praises of these guys loud or long enough.  They’re sweet and spicy and everything wonderful.  Even though  they  may seem a little funky at first glance, my whole family LOVES them  – even the hard-to-feed ones – so don’t be afraid of the chipotle conglomeration.

Cranberry Orange Sauce:  Yum!  Fresh…citrussy and just…yum.  Fantastic on turkey sandwiches or wraps after the main event is over.

Mashed Potaoes and Turkey pan gravy.  Because, seriously, of all the things to be thankful for in life – mashed potatoes and gravy?  Tippy-top of the list!

Green Bean Casserole: I’ve actually never made this before.  I usually make brussels sprouts or this fresh asparagus dish, but this year I decided to show the lowly green bean some love.  I’ll let you know if I have regrets.  Oh believe me, I will let you know!

And for dessert...one of my 2007 discoveries from the artery-clogging kitchen of Paula Deen:

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake. It’s sinful.  It’s delicious.  It’s probably illegal in 7 states.  All I can say is:  if lovin’ Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Cranberry Pecan Bread. Not everyone loves this stuff, but I love this stuff and at the end of the day, after I’ve cooked and slaved and toiled and troubled myself right into an early nap – this bread will be my reward.  This bread and a cup of coffee with cream.  Such a grand reward.

So that’s pretty much it.  I can’t wait for the day to arrive and I’m so glad to live in America where we set aside a whole entire day for the purpose of killing a fat bird and eating ourselves silly.

What are you eating?

With visions of cranberries,


  1. tamirice says:

    Our Thanksgiving will be a very traditional meal but I can’t wait to begin cooking! There will be three women in the kitchen which is a first for me in many years…so prayers that we all can move around without tripping over each other!

    We will have two turkeys. One traditionally roasted with herbs and butter filled with what I consider traditional stuffing, the kind Grandma made. The other turkey will be barbequed. I am leaving that one up to the manly men that will be filling my home. I hear that it is sublime, but I have never tried one so I will let you know.

    We will also be having the BEST candied yams ever thanks to a generational recipe that also calls for lots of butter, brown sugar and Karo syrup. What to talk about artery clogging? Although your idea for twice baked sweet potatoes has been printed off for future use.

    We are forgoing the mashed potatoes this year in favor of Party Potatoes…unbelievably good hashbrowns with yet more butter (are you seeing a pattern here), sour cream, cheese, cream of mushroom soup (I think you can make just about anything great with cream of mushroom soup).

    We will have two different veggies dishes. I haven’t tried either of them but they both sound yummy. One is a broccoli, cheese and again butter. The other is spinach, artichoke hearts and cream cheese kind of thing. Like I said..I don’t know…I have just been emailed the shopping lists!

    Then the typical rolls and pan gravy for the turkey. I am also making my world famous (ok not world famous but Rice family famous) Cranberry Mousse salad that is a wonderful combination of tart, creamy, crunchy.

    Dessert will include Chocolate and Banana Cream pies as well as a Pumpking and a gluten Free crusted pumpking for Miss Katie.

    After dinner we will all head over to the park for a “friendly” family game of football weather permitting.

    Abundant blessings to you and yours this wonderfully magical season!

  2. Anne B says:

    I’ll be over for Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake and risk arrest and public flogging for it!!

  3. Jen Hoffmann says:

    oooh, oooh. I just can’t resist. I have a Bruschetta that is simply perfection…and by perfection I mean it 1. Sounds strangely intriguing, 2. Is over the top easy and 3. Is never left over because EVERYONE I’ve ever served it too loves it.

    THe little breads, sprinkle with that beloved Gorgonzola and chopped pecans, drizzle honey (yes honey) over them and toast under a broiler.

    I’m telling you. They’re amazing 🙂
    I haven’t finished looking at your recipes, because I got so excited about your Bruschetta and Gorgonzola loves that I just had to comment, but I’m very excited to have day off tomorrow to do just that! I love the collaborative, people in the kitchen, cooking interesting food thing too! THanks!

  4. Jen Hoffmann says:

    Oh wow. Are you kidding me? I JUST saw the link to Pumpkin Gooey Butter cake. My husband has been begging for Gooey Butter Cake for months now and I’ve been telling him, “no honey, that was for when we didn’t know better, it’s cake mix, butter and cream cheese…I can’t let you keep living that way.” Hee hee

    You’re gonna be his new best friend this Thanksgiving 🙂

  5. bolovesjoe says:

    Oh Jen – on Monday night I had bruschetta at Portello that was almost just like that and it was AMAZING! What a great idea to make it at home. Actually, while I’m here, let me say to bruschetta fans everywhere that Portello has NINE different kinds and you get a bread board of your favorite four. My friend and I each ordered one so the three of us had eight kinds to pick from and… it was a happy, happy night. Also, yes, the Gooey Butter ANYTHING must be confined to one special day a year or it will take over our thighs.

    Tami – your menu sounds amazing. However, should you find you regret the mashed potato decision, feel free to swing by with some Tupperware and we’ll hook you up!

    Anne – just left you a comment and I have way more to say because I was so marvelously restrained. Perhaps I’ll say it in ALL CAPS when I see you in person! 🙂

  6. mare says:

    Twice baked sweet potatoes and pumpkin cake. Gees. I wish I was having Thanksgiving at your house!

    Crazy enough that I’m even writing here. I’m the one in Nigeria who e-mailed you about Chidinma. I found out about amani because of something Annie K had written on another person’s blog and then I read Annie K’s blog again today and saw Bo…and though…the same Bo?

  7. Karen says:

    Bo I love your recipes and plan to try a couple of them, later. My family does the whiney…”but we always have _____” thing so I have to stick to the traditional favs…and I can’t have milk/cream so half of the dishes are off limits.

    Regular stuffed turkey, mashed spuds and gravy, yams with cranberries and a bit of brown sugar, three kinds of cranberry sauce (ok one is more of a salad), rolls of course, carbs carbs carbs carbs….pumpkin pie and something other than pumpkin (probably dark chocolate pie) for our one pumpkin hater. Now for the green veggie…dilemma. Maybe I will do a spinach salad instead.

    I hope everyone has a joyous time prepping and cooking and eating. We are blessed, so very blessed, even in these hard times.

  8. Helen says:

    Hi Bo, I came over from Annie’s blog. Sherri (a mutual cyberfriend of Annie and me) has her Thanksgiving menu on her post, too. You people are making me hungry and ashamed 😉 Hungry, with the descriptions of the good food, ashamed, because I KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetie) on the holidays.

  9. Karen says:

    My mom’s chocolate pie….

    Jello cooked chocolate pudding
    a square of dark baking chocolate
    2 egg yolks
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar

    cook it up with the milk (2 cups) called for on the box and add 2 Tablespoons butter and a pinch of salt.

    Chill and serve with real whipped cream, or top with meringue.

    It’s so easy and so good…very rich and satisfying.

  10. bolovesjoe says:

    Mary Ann: So crazy, isn’t it? In this great big cyberworld, it’s amazing to run into friends! I’m working on a few ideas for Chidinma and I’ll send you an email shortly.

    Helen – welcome…any friend of Annie’s is a friend of mine! I often launch into the holidays with the Keep it Simple mindset and I always end up throwing that idea overboard as soon as I run into something that looks good and isn’t simple. My problem is not that I WANT to be busy…but that I LOVE food. So much. Sigh. It’s an affliction.

    Karen – I’m totally going to try that pie. I love chocolate pie and that recipe makes all kinds of sense to me – the dark chocolate and brown sugar would, I think, add what regular pudding is missing. Yum!

  11. ELizabeth McColl says:

    OK, OK, I am having my first ever vegetarian thanksgiving (my 3rd in the States) and I really, really, really want to come to yours and try out all your recipes….not that I need to put on any more weight but still, it will be awesome…

    Looking forward to Christmas though..it that the same sort of thing??

  12. bolovesjoe says:

    Actually, Elizabeth, we eat mostly celery and carrots for Christmas – in honor of the animals in the manger. Haha! Oh, I do make myself laugh sometimes. Actually, I think Christmas is looking like a prime rib affair. We’ll see…but I’m glad you’re brave enough to join us!

  13. ELizabeth McColl says:

    Celery and carrots…is that what we leave for Santa’s reindeer?? To be honest, I actually wouldn’t mind because its just fun to be with a family, whatever they eat..even celery (weird people)

  14. Karen says:

    I didn’t note that you add the salt and butter after the pudding is cooked. This is apparently important. However, it means that I often neglect to add the butter.

    In a pinch for time I’ve made this in a graham cracker crust and it’s quite good that way. It’s a recipe out of the 1940’s and the actual name is “Party Meringue Pie”. I love the cute names for recipes out of the 40’s. I picture ladies in their heels and cute aprons partying with their pie. Most of them include hot items like jello pudding or canned fruit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s