Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

My parents are coming over for Thanksgiving this year. It is not a huge gathering, but it is the first time I have hosted Thanksgiving in several years.
I have found that organizing and planning the meal is much easier and less expensive this year than it was when I hosted the holiday in the early years of our marriage.
I realised that the key is proven, established recipes and raising our own turkey.
This year, when I planned the menu, I singled out dishes that I don't really like or lack a passion for preparing and asked my mother to bring them.
This left us with the
Turkey (defrosting will go into a brine Wednesday night)
Stuffing (I need to bake a stuffing bread tommorow)
Cranberry Relish (need to search the internet for something quick and easy, but bought a huge bag of cranberries at Costco and froze them)
Sourdough bread
Cranberry Apricot Bread
Garlic Mashed Potatos
Pumpkin Pie

I have a recipe in a cookbook called Fix, Freeze and Feast that prepares four trays of garlic mashed potatos. David and and I made these yesterday afternoon and put them in the freezer. We just have to grab one tray out Wednesday morning to defrost and we still have three trays waiting to get eaten later.

I will share some of my recipes this week. I will start with Garlic Mashed Potatos

10 pounds russet potatoes- peeled and cut into large chunks (we never peel and they are still great, we just wash)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, cut into quarters
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
four 8 inch square baking dishes
plastic wrap
aluminum foil

1. put potatoes in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until they break apart easily with a fork, 9-12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
3 Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add garlic with oil, cream cheese, salt and pepper; mash potatoes. Stir in chicken broth. Divide potatoes evenly among the baking dishes. Wrap each dish entirely in plastic wrap and cover with foil.
4. Label and freeze

To cook one side dish

1. Thaw one side dish in the refridgerator or bake straight from the freezer.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
3. Remove plastic wrap and foil from baking dish and replace the foil. Bake for one hour if frozen, 30 minutes if thawed or until potatoes are hot all the way through.

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