Thanksgiving Dinner-How To Prepare

I write a blog with weekly articles related to Fashion, Food and Travel. I thought it appropriate to include my "How To Prepare A Thanksgiving Dinner" from my blog article to this TALL Blonde's Cookbook collection of my recipes.

I typically feed 20 to 25 people at our home on Thanksgiving Day to friends and family, many fly in for the day just to eat. I guess folks really like my food; so here you have my entire menu that you too can prepare or borrow a recipe or two.  I love to share all of my very, very best, so all I ask is that you share your love, your friendship and these recipes to everyone who has a passion for eating good food and cooking.

Smoked Salmon Dip

Goat Cheese Filled Puffed Pastry
Hot Apple Cider
Whole Roasted Turkey
Sweet Potato-Pecan Marshmallow Streusel
Green Peas with Browned Butter Pearl Onions
Mashed Potatoes-MAKE AHEAD Gravy
Italian Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
Cranberry Walnut Onion Holiday Salad
Home-made Cranberry Relish
Croissants with Chives
Mincemeat Pie
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Caffe Romana

A classic Thanksgiving menu at the home of LIFE-StyleME. The shopping happens two weeks before Thanksgiving. I purchase all my non-perishables and specialty ingredients well in advance before grocery stores run out of stock, including a frozen turkey. A few words on the turkey is forthcoming. Monday night (the week of) after 8 pm when the store is quiet I grab a large fall-festival Starbucks's coffee to keep my hands warm (my store has one in house) and take my time purchasing all the remaining items. With 20 to 25 people in attendance for a home-cooked buffet style holiday meal some folks even fly in just to eat with us.

The following are Thanksgiving tips, shortcuts and recipes that family, friends and acquaintances request of me and now you have it all on one place
to refer to year after year.
This is one of my longer articles but it is meant to's a cookbook!

TURKEY Preparation-
Brining your turkey is absolutely necessary. Brining is a process of adding moisture to your meats. It starts with the purchase of a brand new 5-gallon bucket. 24 hours before you are ready to roast your bird fill the bucket with cool water, add 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup sugar 1 bottle apple juice or cider and a handful of aromatic spices whatever you can locate: allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks. I slowly slip into this brining solution my frozen turkey, it will stay cold and defrost slowly.  I prefer the breast meat of a turkey and have tried the method of roasting breast-side down on a rack.  Because of gravity you do serve the moistest white meat you have ever tasted, but the bird does not make a nice dinner table presentation. I alternate every other year this process. This is a money saving technique. No need to purchase a $50 or $100 turkey using this brining method.

RECIPES From My TALL Blonde's Cookbook

Everyone loves food when it is smoked. I even make a smokey grilled vegetable Lasagne, but that is for another article. Smoked Salmon Dip and toasted slices of baguette bread with ease your hungry guests:

Goat Cheese in Puff Pastry-Buy a package of Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry sheets, cut each of the two sheets into 9 squares, cut lines similar to tic-tac-toe. Add 1 teaspoon of goat cheese to each square, drizzle some honey over the goat cheese, add a couple toasted almond slices and fold in half like a triangle. Egg wash the puff pastry, a pinch of fresh course ground black pepper on the top, bake at 350-degrees for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden.

Hot Apple Cider-Buy large containers of apple cider, pour into a stock pot on the stove and heat. Add fresh orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, sugar to taste. Bring to a boil then turn off and allow to steep. When liquid is cool, pour ALL ingredients back into the original apple cider container and refrigerate. When ready to serve pour into a crock pot to heat and your guests can help themselves to the warm concoction which also fills your home with a wonderful aroma. I make this one week ahead for the flavors to meld.

Sweet Potato Streusel-


Green Peas in Browned Butter Pearl Onions-Purchase frozen peas and pearl onions. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large pot adding pearl onions until on medium heat until butter begins to brown. Add peas, stir together, salt and pepper to taste. You can also instead render the fat from bacon to cook the pearl onions in place of regular butter. Crumble the bacon into the peas before serving.

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing-

Orange Candied Walnut Holiday Salad-


Croissants With Fresh Chives-
Get the pop'n' fresh roll-out croissant dough. You know the one I mean. Dice sprigs of fresh chives. place on your croissant dough before rolling up so the chives are inside the bread. Bake as directed. Tastier than any rolls you can make from scratch and they are prettier.

Orange Pumpkin Pie-

Caffe Romana, Roman after dinner pick me up-

HOW TO beverage planning of any party, bookmark this page for New Year's Eve planning:

I also use a couple electric food warming trays perfect for a kitchen countertop similar to the one pictured above. TALL Blonde uses one that has a water bath to keep food warm so it does not scorch or burn.

For a group as large as mine on Thanksgiving, I serve buffet-style. I am very protective of the serving plates I found at Williams-Sonoma made by Spode. They are actually Charger plates that serve as the decorative setting plate to place you dinner plate. Also sometimes called Chop plate. They are 13-inches in diameter and GINORMOUS! Once you fill this sucker it is very difficult to have any room for seconds. And the Turkey design is perfect for the day!

Save this article as your resource year after year. You can prepare the entire meal and eat like a king or borrow one or two recipes, I don't mind if you do. All I ask is that you share your food, your friendship and these recipes with foodie friends like yourselves. I would love to field any questions you have about preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal especially if this is your first time, please send me an email with your questions. Enjoy the day feasting with friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Raise a glass and Cheer "Happy Thanksgiving"!