As a Realtor®, I know very well that the kitchen is the heart of any home. However, while I absolutely love food, culinary arts have never been a personal specialty of mine. That’s why, when it came time to share our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, I decided to defer to Ann, my outstanding assistant, and her amazing family recipes. As I read through her suggestions for this year’s Thanksgiving feast, my mouth was watering. I’m sure yours will be, too. Enjoy! ~Liz
Thanksgiving is pretty much my second favorite holiday because I love cooking, I love family, I love getting together with everyone, and I love mashed potatoes. Okay, I’ll admit, the mashed potatoes might be slightly higher up on that list, but I won’t reveal who or what they’re higher than. On the blog this week, we’ve compiled a collection of new and classic Thanksgiving recipes that are sure to wow even your mother-in-law.
I always start the day out with a really light breakfast and continue to eat lightly during the day because I want to save enough room for turkey. I always want appetizers while I’m cooking, but can’t eat anything that’s too heavy or bread-laden. My favorite Thanksgiving appetizer is a Caprese Salad because it’s light, easy, delicious, and quick to assemble. You don’t even need a recipe, just tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Layer them together and put the olive oil and balsamic on top. If you want a recipe, here’s a good one.
I can’t wait to share my favorite mashed potato recipe with you any longer. I tried. I really did. So here you go. This recipe for Heavenly Mashed Potatoes has been in my family for as long as I can remember. My mom first found it in a magazine, made it one day, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Instead of boiling the potatoes, they are baked, scooped out when done, and blended with a hand mixer. Then you take whipping cream, beat it to soft peaks, and fold in Gruyère cheese. You spread this over the potatoes, sprinkle with (lots of) Parmesan, and bake again. I’ve been making these for six straight Thanksgivings and, even with a double recipe, there are never any leftovers. Not joking. Trust me – make them.
I’ve never made this, but came across it on Food Network’s website. This Mustard-Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower looks pretty darn good. At an hour and fifteen minutes of cooking time, this can even be made in the time it takes for you to take the turkey out, let it cool, and carve it. There’s a really good chance I’ll be making it this year.
These Burgundy Mushrooms are incredible and super easy for Thanksgiving. They cook for 9 hours, so if you’re going to make them, you need to start them early. We usually (try to) eat around 4, so I’m in the kitchen around 6 putting these babies on. Simply put mushrooms (prepared the night before for quick prep time) in a pot with a bunch of burgundy wine and a few other herbs, let them simmer all day, and you are left with little pieces of meaty, mushroom-y, goodness.
I started brining my turkey a few years ago, and will do it every year I’m in charge of the turkey from now on. It makes the turkey and gravy sing with flavor (and you don’t get those super dry white meat pieces that NEED a lot of gravy!). The orange peel and rosemary combination is completely heavenly. I usually cut the amount of salt in half, though, because I buy frozen turkeys and they’re already injected with a saline solution. If you do a brine with a frozen turkey, be sure to cut the salt and increase the after-brine soaking time to 30-40 minutes. This is to insure that the turkey isn’t too salty. If you use a fresh turkey, you can leave the salt amount and soaking time as they are in the recipe.
I have something to admit. Even though I love Thanksgiving, I’m really not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin, however, which makes this Pumpkin Cheesecake my kind of dessert. The crust is made from gingersnap cookies and the filling is pumpkin-y, nutmeg-y, and cinnamon-y goodness. It’s a nice and different dessert that will make pumpkin pie lovers and haters alike happy.
Now that I’m officially hungry, I hope that you are able to use these recipes and I hope they bring your family as much happiness as they continue to bring mine. Be sure to leave a comment to let us know if you tried them and how they turned out! Happy Eating!