Thanksgiving Survival Guide
It's the giving season and month of gratitude. We are SO thankful to be able to look back on where Mindful Menu started only 1 year ago and see how much this small business is helping families. It's not just recipes, but a way to relieve stress that planning dinners may cause, and help you spend more time doing what matters most; Family.
Let's take on one of the most celebrated holidays! Thanksgiving is kind of like the Super Bowl of dinners. There is a lot of hype and discussions about new dishes vs. traditional menu items you can't live without. Your Thanksgiving might boast a large crew of friends and family, or maybe it's an intimate immediate family meal. No doubt the prep for the meal and guests is a large undertaking!
We’ve rounded up some of our best tips and recipes to help you host a successful Thanksgiving:
Before the big day!
Make an extensive to-do list. Everything from putting the turkey in the oven at noon, to lighting the candles at 4. Once people are in your kitchen and your brain is full of Cabernet, you won't have forgotten the special side dish your mom always made. Wash any fancy dishes that have been sitting in your hutch cabinet since the last time you hosted Thanksgiving. If your going the more casual route, buy a roll of white paper at your craft store or brown paper at a home improvement store to cover your table. During dinner, put out crayons and little buckets of markers to entertain the kids while the adults enjoy a relaxing meal.
Take dessert off your to-do list by requesting all your guests bring a pie either home-made or store bought. You can even turn it into a contest to make it more fun.
Have a gratitude basket. Before dinner have your guests write down what they're thankful for and drop it in. Then during dessert, pass around the basket and take turns reading the slips of paper. They may be heartfelt or funny, but it's sure to be a tradition your family will cherish.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Anything from sharpening the carving knife to setting the table. It's a group effort and your guests WANT to be helpful. Don’t forget to enlist the help of your kids too! They can be responsible for setting out silverware, napkins or making sure everyone is greeted at the door.
Basic Roast Turkey Recipe
1) Position oven rack in lowest third of oven and heat to 400 degrees.
2) Remove neck and giblets from a 14 lb turkey (thawed).
3) Rub turkey with 1 Tbsp. coconut oil. Sprinkle all over with sea salt and ground black pepper.
4) Spread 3 large onions, coarsely chopped, in a large roasting pan.
5) Place turkey on top and roast for 30 min. Lower oven to 350 degrees.
6) Add 1 cup of chicken broth to pan. Tent with foil if browning too quickly. Roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, until temp is 180 degrees in innermost part of thigh and 170 degrees in breast. Remove to a platter. Reserve drippings for gravy. Greetings!
The Thanksgiving side dish below was a favorites of ours this month and we just had to share it! You’ll also see it featured in our app the week of Thanksgiving. Let us know what you think!
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Thanksgiving Side Dish- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Butternut Squash, Pecans & Berries
3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 1⁄2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (About 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pure Maple Syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and loose leaved removed. Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine.
Roasted butternut squash: In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup, and 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon. Toss to mix.
Assembly: In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, 2 cups pecan halves, and 1 cup dried cranberries, and mix to combine.
Place Brussels sprouts onto the foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet with the sprouts.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened. Sprouts and squash cubes should be browned but not blackened. If you can easily stick a fork through, they are done.