Meal Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Edition {with recipes}

This year we are hosting the family Thanksgiving meal.  Here's what I'm planning on serving:

Appetizers/Finger Foods

Since this is my first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal, I decided I should have a few snacks on hand in case it doesn't go according to plan.  If the turkey takes longer than expected or something is overcooked and I have to start over again, I will have something for people to snack on while they're waiting. :)

Cheese & Crackers
Hershey's Kisses {This is a last minute addition since they are $1.00 per bag at Rite Aid this week!}

Main Course

Herb Roasted Turkey {from Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Recipes Free Download}

Side Dishes

Fresh Herb and Sausage Stuffing {from Women Living Well}

What you need:
10 cups cubed stuffing bread (near deli)
½ cup butter ( ¼ for sautéing and ¼ to melt over top)
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 roll of Italian Sausage
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 eggs
cooking spray
pepper to season

  1. Fry sausage in a skillet; drain.  Remove from pan and keep warm.
  2. In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup butter, chopped onions and celery and cook until tender.
  3. While the onions and celery are cooking, prepare the herbs by removing the thyme leaves from the stems and chopping the sage and parsley.
  4. Combine broth, 3 eggs, and water in a medium-sized bowl.  In a large bowl, combine stuffing bread, herbs, sausage, and sautéed onions and celery. Add the egg mixture and stir well.
  5. Place all ingredients into a prepared 9x 13 pan . Melt 1/4 cup of butter and pour over top of stuffing and sprinkle with pepper. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 25 mins, uncover and bake another 25 mins until lightly browned and cooked through.
Oven Roasted Potato Medley {from Great American Recipes}

What you need:
2 sweet potatoes
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
8 new potatoes
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes.  Scrub the new potatoes and cut into cubes. {Instead of new potatoes, I usually use 3 to 4 red potatoes and peel and cube them.}
  2. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan.  Add enough lightly salted water to cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  3. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a large nonstick baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with tarragon, salt and pepper.  Roast the potatoes until browned and crisp, about 25 minutes.  Serve immediately.
Broccoli Casserole

What you need:
1 pkg. frozen or fresh broccoli
1 8 oz. pkg. of grated velveeta cheese
1 tube crushed ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted

  1. Cook broccoli; drain. 
  2. Put broccoli in a casserole dish and stir in 1 tsp. melted butter and grated cheese.
  3. Mix the remaining melted butter with the ritz crackers and sprinkle on broccoli and cheese.
  4. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Orange Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

What you need:
One bag of cranberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest

  1. Rinse cranberries, discard any that look shrivelled or brown. 
  2. Put all ingredients together into a medium-sized pot and heat over medium heat.  The skins will begin to open and they may begin to spit.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes.  Most of the berries will pop open and the sauce will be quite "jammy".  Let cool at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator.  Can be stored for a week or so.  Makes just over 2 cups.

Homemade Rolls - my sister-in-law is bringing these!  Thanks, Megan!



Blueberry Pie {One of my aunts, who happens to be a great cook, told me that blueberry pie made with tapioca is much better than with cornstarch or flour.  I am using the recipe that is right on the back of the box of tapioca.  Since this is my first-ever blueberry pie, I am hoping that it comes out ok!} 

What you need:
4 cups blueberries
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Mix fruit, tapioca, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a bowl.  Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust.  Fill with fruit mixture.  Dot with 1 tbs. butter.  Cover with top crust; seal and flute edge.  Cut several slits in crust.
  3. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 45 to 50 minutes or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly.  Cool.
Turtle Pumpkin Pie {I don't remember where I found this recipe, but I love that it is no-bake!  I would recommend making this about an hour or two before you serve it.  I have noticed that the crust gets a little soggy if it is made too far in advance.}

What you need:
1 graham cracker crust
1/4 cups + 2 tbs. caramel topping
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. pecan pieces
1 cup cold milk
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tub whipped topping

  1. Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.
  2. Beat milk, dry pudding mixes, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping.  Top with remaining whipped topping.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour.  Top with pecans and drizzle remaining caramel with a fork.

Happy Thanksgiving!