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Impress your guests with one of our regional Thanksgiving menus.

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PREP LIST FOR A TASTE OF NEW ENGLAND MENU:

Four Weeks Ahead
Order fresh turkey (or wait 2 weeks to purchase frozen) to ensure timely delivery.
Purchase any additional pans, serving trays or baking sheets needed.

Two Weeks Ahead
Purchase frozen turkey if not using a fresh turkey.
Begin thinking about your centerpiece and how you wish to assemble it on Thankgiving. Is there a favorite vase or bowl that you would like to use? Remember, Indian corn, apples, gourds and whole nuts in their shells combine to make a beautiful centerpiece.
Take a moment and free yourself from the kitchen. Get outside with your kids and collect a few bittersweet branches, vibrant leaves, acorns and pinecones. For extra sparkle (and with adult supervision), the kids can spray paint the acorns and pinecones gold or silver.

Four Days Ahead
Begin defrosting your frozen turkey near the rear of the refrigerator, where it's coldest.
Start following your shopping list and purchase items accordingly.
If you choose to make your own piecrust, make the dough, lay it into pie plates and freeze until needed.

Two Days Ahead
Make the Cranberry Compote and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare and cook the Butternut Squash Soup. Keep refrigerated until ready to reheat and serve.
Ask the kids to help prepare your table. Let them choose the tablecloth and set up the place settings, glasses, serving dishes, etc.
Arrange the bittersweet branches, pinecones, and acorns that you previously collected in a decorative circular or oval design in the center of your table. Interspersed among the branches and pine cones, place some fresh cranberries and the colorful fall foliage. In the center of the design, place one large burgundy or cream-colored cylindrical candle or if you prefer, arrange three candles of varying sizes. Place a base under the candles to catch wax drippings when the candles are lit.

One Day Before
Pick up your fresh turkey if previously ordered.
Defrost piecrust, prepare, and bake the St. Supery Pumpkin Pie. Cover with foil.
Make the Cranberry Apple Bread, wrap it well and refrigerate to keep it fresh.
Toast walnuts and dice the vegetables needed for the Currant and Walnut Stuffing. Place both items in airtight containers. The vegetables need to be refrigerated, while the walnuts can be kept on the counter.

Thanksgiving Day Prep List
10:00 am: Remove the Cranberry Apple Bread from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature
11:00 am: Preheat the oven while you remove the turkey from the refrigerator and prepare it for the roasting pan.
11:30 am: Place the turkey in the oven and baste with its juices every 30 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and done, about 3 to 4 hours.
While the turkey is roasting:
2:00 pm: Make the Potato and Parsnip Puree, warm when ready to serve.
2:30 pm: Assemble and bake the Currant and Walnut Stuffing. Keep warm until ready to serve.
3:30 pm: Remove the turkey from the oven when it is done and allow it to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Gather vegetables and juices for the gravy; set aside.
While the turkey is resting:
4:00 pm: Ask someone to carve the turkey while you prepare and sauté the Green Beans with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions. Also, reheat the Butternut Squash Soup.
4:15 pm: Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with family and friends.
After dinner:
Warm the Pumpkin Pie and serve.

PREP LIST FOR A SOUTHERN SUPPER:

Four Weeks Ahead
Purchase any additional pans, serving trays or baking sheets needed.

Two Weeks Ahead
Begin thinking about your centerpiece and how you wish to assemble it on Thanksgiving. Is there a favorite vase or bowl that you would like to use?
Have your kids gather magnolia leaves and pinecones to strew about the table for a lovely addition to your centerpiece. For extra sparkle (and with adult supervision), spray paint them gold or silver.

Four Days Ahead
Start following your shopping list and purchase items accordingly.
If you're making the crust for the Bourbon Apple Tarts from scratch, make the dough, lay it into tart plates and freeze until needed.

Two Days Ahead
Make the Mulled Cranberries and Spiced Cherries and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ask the kids to help prepare your table. Let them choose the tablecloth and set up the place settings, glasses, serving dishes, etc.
Complete your Thanksgiving table with a vibrant centerpiece with a colonial Williamsburg look. Dig out your grandmother's beautiful pewter serving bowl and fill it with a combination of lemons, pomegranates and walnuts in the shell. Place a good-sized, fresh pineapple in the middle. For an added touch of the South, strew some Magnolia leaves around the base of the bowl.

One Day Before
Pick up your pork loin from the butcher for the Molasses-Cured Pork Loin and begin marinating.
Prepare the vinaigrette for the Fall Salad and store in a sealed dressing bottle.
Defrost the dough for the tarts in the refrigerator overnight.

Thanksgiving Day Prep List
11:00 am: Roll out and cut the dough for the Bourbon Apple Tarts and store in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.
12:00 pm: Preheat the oven. Assemble and bake the Bourbon Apple Tarts.
12:30 pm: Prepare and bake the Smoked Oyster and Greens Spoon Bread; warm up when ready to serve.
2:00 pm: Peel, boil and mash the sweet potatoes for the soufflé. Prepare and bake the Sweet Potato Soufflé.
2:30 pm: Place the pork loin in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes, basting regularly with the marinade.
3:30 pm: Remove the pork loin from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Prepare and sauté the Bitter Greens while the pork loin is resting.
4:00 pm: Prepare the Fall Salad; toss with vinaigrette when ready to serve.
4:15 pm: Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with family and friends.
After dinner:
Warm the Bourbon Apple Tarts.

PREP LIST FOR WESTERN FLAVORS MENU:

Four Weeks Ahead
Order fresh turkey (or wait two weeks to purchase frozen) to ensure timely delivery.
Purchase any additional pans, serving trays or baking sheets needed.

Two Weeks Ahead
Purchase frozen turkey.
Begin thinking about your centerpiece and how you wish to assemble it on Thanksgiving. Is there a favorite vase or bowl that you would like to use? Remember, fresh chilis, Indian corn, nuts in shells, fall foliage and flowers combine easily to make a lovely Southwestern centerpiece.

Four Days Ahead
Begin defrosting your frozen turkey near the rear of the refrigerator, where it's coldest.
Start following your shopping list and purchase items accordingly.
For a simple, attractive Thanksgiving centerpiece with a bit of Western flare, check out your local nursery or farmer's market for a decorative pepper plant. Depending on the length of your table, purchase 1 to 3 plants. Also purchase a plain terra cotta pot for each plant to be potted in. Space the plants out lengthwise across the middle of the table.
Have the kids paint the terra cotta pots for the chili plants. They can use a Southwestern or Thanksgiving theme, or come up with their own, unique designs.

Two Days Ahead
Make the Cranberry Salsa, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare and cook the Pumpkin Bisque, keep refrigerated until ready to reheat and serve.
Ask the kids to help prepare your table. Let them choose the tablecloth and set up the place settings, glasses, serving dishes, etc.

One Day Before
Pick up your fresh turkey if previously ordered.
Make the Southwestern Sweet Potato Puree and refrigerate until ready to reheat and serve.
Prepare and bake the Cornmeal Pumpkin Cakes without topping and store in an airtight container.
Bake the Hearty Maple-Wheat Bread and wrap well.
Toast walnuts and dice fruits and vegetables needed for Wild Rice with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts. Place both items in airtight containers. The vegetables need to be refrigerated, while the walnuts can be kept on the counter.

Thanksgiving Day Prep List
12:45 am: Preheat the oven while you remove the turkey from the refrigerator and prepare it for the roasting pan.
1:15 pm: Rub the turkey breast with the chipotle paste and place it in the oven until golden brown and done, about 2 hours.
2:30 pm: Make pecan topping for Cornmeal Pumpkin Cakes; keep warm on stove until ready to serve.
3:00 pm: Start cooking the wild rice.
3:15 pm: Remove the turkey breast from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Gather vegetables and juices for the gravy; set aside.
Adjust the oven temperature to 400°F to roast the Brussels sprouts.
3:45 pm: Ask someone to carve the turkey while you finish preparing the Brussels sprouts and the wild rice.
Turn the oven down to 350°F and warm the wheat bread in the oven for about 10 minutes and serve.
4:00 pm: Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with family and friends.
After dinner:
Warm the Cornmeal Pumpkin Cakes and drizzle them with warm pecan topping when ready to serve.

 

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