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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Full Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

I was musing on the Thanksgiving Dinner, when this submission came in, so it actually saved me a great deal of work! There are quite a few full recipes in this posting, and some links, so pick and choose what you like.

Thanksgiving Dinner

From Paula who submitted this full Dinner Menu:
Some are intimidated with the thoughts of making a complete meal for a holiday such as this. My niece asked me to give her a menu plan for her first attempt at making Thanksgiving Dinner. I share the following with you as well.

I start a few days before and prepare what can be made ahead. Items such as Cranberry Relish can be made weeks in advance.

Some vegetables can be made a day ahead as well as desserts.

The best way to approach is to start with a meal plan. Figure exactly what you want to serve your guests. Go through your list and see what can be made ahead.

The Turkey

Keep in mind, if your turkey is frozen, you will need to allow enough time for it to thaw.

Depending on the number of guests , the size of the turkey will range from 10 pounds to as large as 30 pounds. The cooking for the turkey is as follows at 325º (Fahrenheit) degrees:
  • 10 – 18 pounds cook without stuffing - for 3 – 3.5 hours
  • 10 – 18 pounds cook stuffed - for 3.5 – 4.5 hours
  • 18 – 22 pounds cook without stuffing - for 3.5 – 4 hours
  • 18 – 22 pounds cook stuffed - for 4.5 – 5 hours
  • 22 – 24 pounds cook without stuffing - for 4 – 4.5 hours
  • 22 – 24 pounds cook stuffed - for 5 – 5.5 hours
  • 24 – 30 pounds cook without stuffing - for 4.5 – 5 hours
  • 24 – 30 pounds cook stuffed - 5.5 – 6.5 hours
Other Ingredients For Turkey:

(The amount used below depends upon the size of the turkey, so plan accordingly. Numbers below are suggestions.)
  1. 6 Celery sticks
  2. 6 Carrots (peeled and cut into halves or thirds)
  3. 4 Onions (peeled and optionally cut into halves or quarters)
  4. 2-3 Tablespoons of meat/chicken/turkey seasoning inside the cavity
  5. Some fresh sage
Most people prefer to cook the turkey without the stuffing inside. After cleaning the inside, let it dry and add celery sticks, carrots and onions (peeled) with a little bit of seasoning inside the cavity and pat the outside with sage.

A trick for white meat that does not dry out, cook the turkey Upside down on a Rack inside the roasting pan. This allows for all of the juices to run down , into the white meat.

The turkey will take up the oven for a good portion of the morning , unless you have another oven, it will take some planning to make sure all of your items are done and ready for dinner.

Now we have finished with the Turkey, let us move on to the rest of the meal:

A Typical Menu For Thanksgiving

  1. 2 – 24 -30 pound turkeys
  2. Sweet Potato Casserole (can be made the day before) - Recipe Below or Click Here For The Recipe @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for Sweet Potato Pancakes or for the Recipe of Sweet Potatoes (Yams) With A Twist Of Orange & Marshmallow
  3. Green Beans ( can be made the day before)
  4. Butternut Squash (can be made the day before)
  5. Carrots with Honey glaze (can be made the day before)
  6. Bread Stuffing (can be made the day before)
  7. Cranberry Relish (can be made weeks ahead)
  8. Olives (purchased)
  9. Apple Pie (can be made the day before) - Some Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for Apple Cake & Apple Pie - Apple Cake #1, Apple Cake #2, Fruit Pies (Apple Pie), Apple Turnovers
  10. Pumpkin Bread - Click Here For The Recipe @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for Pumpkin Bread or Click Here For The Recipe @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for Banana Bread (if you prefer something different)
  11. Fried Rice
  12. Lemon Meringue Pie ( can be made the day before) - Click Here For The Recipe @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen for Lemon Meringue Pie
  13. Variety of Cookies and Cupcakes for the children (can be made a day or two ahead)
    Cookie Recipes @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen
    Cake Recipes @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

Cranberry Relish

*This is best made at least two days ahead

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIngredients:
  1. 2 pounds Fresh Cranberries
  2. 2 Cups Sugar
  3. 1/2 Cup Cranberry Juice
  4. 1/4 Cup Grand Mariner (you may substitute orange zest and orange juice)
You will need:
  1. One Large Pan
  1. Combine Cranberries, sugar and cranberry juice
  2. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes (cranberries will open)
  3. Skim foam from the top and discard
  4. Remove from heat and add Grand Mariner, stir to blend in
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Sweet Potato Casserole

*you can increase the amount depending on your needs

  1. 4 – 5 Large Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1/2 Pound Margarine
  3. Salt and Pepper to taste
  4. 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  5. 1/4 Cup Honey
You will need:
  1. 1 Large bowl
  2. Masher
  3. 1 – 9 x 13 Baking dish
  1. You can either peel, cube and boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender, (approx 20 minutes)
    Or: Bake them for an hour (wrap in aluminum and bake at 375 degrees
    Or *YIKES* Microwave them.. be sure and wash them, poke with a fork and micro for 7 – 10 minutes
  2. Once they are cooked, place in a bowl
  3. Add margarine , honey, salt and pepper
  4. Mash until lumps are gone
  5. Place in baking dish and drizzle maple syrup over them.
  6. You can refrigerate them now and heat in oven the next day for 35-40 minutes (350 degrees)

Green Beans

*Use a steamer for making green beans. Make them fresh, right before the meal, otherwise they will become limp and soggy.

  1. 1 – 1.5 pounds Green Beans
Utensils You Need:
  1. Vegetable Steamer
  1. Snap off ends
  2. Place in Steamer and steam for 10 minutes
  3. If you do not have a steamer, you may cook them in a pan of water until tender. It will take a bit longer this way ( approx 30 minutes)

Butternut Squash

  1. 2 Squash, peeled and cubed
  2. 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  3. 1/2 Cup Margarine
  4. Salt and Pepper to taste
You will need:
  1. 1- 4 quart pan
  2. 1 – Baking dish
  3. Masher
  1. Place cubes of squash in 4 quart pan, cover with water.
  2. Cook over medium heat until boils
  3. Boil for 10 minutes ( just fork tender)
  4. Drain and add margarine, brown sugar, salt and pepper
  5. Mash until blended
  6. Pour into baking dish
  7. Refrigerate (if made the day before)
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes prior to serving

Honey Glazed Carrots


  1. 1 Package Baby Carrots (16 oz)
  2. 1/4 Cup Honey
  3. 1/4 Cup Margarine
  4. 1 /4 Cup Bourbon
  5. 1/4 Cup Water

You will need:
  1. A Large Sauce pan
  1. In a large pan , place honey, margarine, bourbon and water
  2. Heat over high heat and bring to a boil
  3. Add Carrots and reduce heat to a simmer
  4. Stirring occasionally
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes (until carrots are tender)
  6. And liquid is reduced.
  7. You can store in the refrigerator and heat in casserole dish just before serving.

Bread Stuffing

*Best to make the night before and bake the next day

  1. 1 Loaf Oatmeal Bread
  2. 1 Loaf Wheat Bread
  3. 3 Red Peppers (diced)
  4. 3 Italian Green Peppers (diced)
  5. 2 Apples (peeled, cored , sliced)
  6. 6 Stalks Celery
  7. 2 Bunches Scallions
  8. 2 Eggs
  9. 1/2 Cup Seasoning ( I use a blend of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme and pepper)
  10. 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

You will need:
  1. A skillet
  2. Casserole Dish
  3. A large Bowl
  4. Small bowl of water
  1. Heat oil in skillet
  2. Add peppers, celery, and scallions.
  3. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of seasoning
  4. Saute until tender, set aside
  5. Take a few slices of bread, dip in bowl of water, squeeze out exess, place bread in large bowl. Continue this until all the bread is in the bowl
  6. Add two eggs and the rest of the seasoning
  7. Mix with your hands until well blended
  8. Add sauté mixture (cooled) and continue to mix with your hands
  9. Place in Casserole dish and bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees.
  10. I add a little of the pan drippings from the turkey over the stuffing before baking. It adds a nice flavor and keeps the stuffing a little moist.

Fried Rice


1. 2 Cups Rice
2. 1 Cup Celery ( chopped small)
3. 1 Bunch of Scallions (chopped small)
4. 1 Red Pepper (chopped small)
5. 1 Green Pepper (chopped small)
6. 1 Cup Bean Sprouts ( cut in half)
7. 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
8. 1 Stick of Margarine (as usual Teddy's kitchen would use Extra Virgin Oil here and not margarine - but that is up to you.)
9. ½ Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
10. 2 Eggs Scrambled (optional)

***Rice is made while raw. Do not pre-cook.


1. Melt stick of margarine in pan (with deep sides) over medium heat.
2. Add Celery, Scallions, Peppers, and Bean Sprouts.
3. Saute until veggies become transparent or less crisp.
4. Add Rice and mix well. Add water and mix well.
5. Lower heat and cover pan.
6. Checking rice frequently, cook until water is gone.
7. Add Soy Sauce (and scrambled egg) and mix well.

What can you say, except we should all be invited to such a sumptuous and great Thanksgiving Dinner! Enjoy, and count your blessings!

1 Fire Comments - Click To Post A Comment:

Anonymous said...

Mahalo for these coking tips. I have cooked my turkey imu-style for the last 10 years but we have some company this year that wants a "traditional bird". The imu recipe, if you want a treat, is at

Aloha nui from Going2Oahu!!