Thursday, November 21, 2013

Host a No-Hassle Thanksgiving

I love the holidays. I love the cooking and family time. I love the sweet aromas--pure bliss. I don't usually travel for Thanksgiving, too short for the hassle, so I always cook at home. I always invite people over because I usually have a lot of food. I live by 3 golden rules so I can have the most fun no matter how many people show up: start early, everyone can chop something, and you don't have to make everything from scratch. 

 #3 is big especially for us southern folks (I know I know I am a Cali girl but my dad is from Mississippi so my roots are there too). I do NOT have time for making everything from scratch. My grandma would probably be shocked from the grave to know that I haven't made a cornbread stuffing from scratch in years but ain't nobody got time for that (at least not me). Instead, I buy the Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing mix. Add chicken broth, celery, onions, butter, and a little sage and done. Why would I ever go back?? Find a mix that is right for you. Stove top stuffing isn't so bad either but the Pepperidge Farm brand has more seasoning options and a more "like granny made it" feel.

Another mix I use is for my macaroni and cheese. Kraft home style is your friend. They also have a variety of flavors but I tend to use the classic cheddar. I prepare it as directed on the package sans the bread crumbs and with extra shredded cheese. Once you follow the directions (and add your own cheese), put it in a casserole dish, cover it with more cheese, pop it in the oven and bam! You are done.
Here is how I make it happen:

Thankgiving Menu 2013
Baked Sugared Ham-I usually buy the Smithfield Paula Deen Crunchy Glaze Ham but since she burnt that bridge, I'll buy a Smithfield ham and make my own glaze from Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible. I sitll love me some Paula.
*Turkey (hopefully fried this year J)-if not, my sister makes this.
Sweet Potato Casserole-I use this recipe sans the pecan topping. I top mine marshmallows instead.
Exclusive Recipes from the Southern Cooking BibleSmoked Turkey Neck Green Beans
Macaroni and Cheese
Corn Bread Stuffing
Buttermilk Pie-I use a family recipe for this but you can also find one in the Southern Cooking Bible or on Pinterest I am sure.
My Game Plan
Weekend Before/Mon
Tues Night
Get all the food/ingredients
Start chopping onions celery, etc*
Mix cornbread stuffing and put in dish
Baked sweet potatoes
Mix sweet potato casserole and put in dish
Grate cheese*
Boil noodles/mix mac and cheese and put in dish
*whole family helps with this. If you don't want to bother chopping, you can buy a chopped celery and onion mix from your grocery store.
Prep dessert pie custards
Bake Desserts   Cook greens beans
Prepare ham glaze
Bake ham
Bonus: Prepare Praline French Toast casserole for breakfast (I forget the exact name but it’s like a cinnamon roll)
Bake it and eat it for breakfast!
Eat more! J (it tastes better after a few days)

How do you tackle Thanksgiving? Do you like the craziness or is yours pretty laid back too?

1 comment:

  1. This is crazy and amazing - I tackle it by eating everything (I usually help with dessert, but that's it) - every year though my mother reminds me that one day I will have to take over...LOOOOORRRD, on that day I will be looking back at this post! Thanks, Barb!