Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year – so many great things to eat, so many leftovers…Anything I can do to make it a stress-free thanksgiving makes for a much more enjoyable holiday! I could eat turkey and cranberry sauce for days – I cook just about everything myself – my father in law is bringing cranberry relish (but we still have to have the canned solid sauce too!) and acorn squash. To make things easier, I make what I can in advance, so all I have to do is assemble or warm up on Thanksgiving day.
This week I’m going to go over my recipes, preparations and how I get things done with as little stress as possible…
Cooking The Turkey
I usually marinate/baste my turkey during cooking – my favorite is this one – it’s sweet, savory, you could even make it a little spicy if you want!
Sweet and Savory Marinade
- ½ C orange juice
- ¼ C Olive oil
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1 T Soy sauce
- 1 T Orange Marmalade
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Brush, pour, or spoon onto a turkey or pork loin.
This makes an amazing gravy too! Is also a FABULOUS marinade for pork too.
Otherwise I do a butter and herb rub – Bake at 500* for one hour, then lower temperature til fully cooked – this really seems to seal in the juices and give you an awesome crunchy skin.
I am a stuffing snob – I like certain things in mine – no chestnuts, oysters, giblets or jalapenos, thank you very much (although the jalapenos does kinda sound good!)
I usually like to mix cornbread and traditional stuffing, or do just cornbread. I am not so snobby I won’t use prepackaged stuffing mixes though! What a lifesaver! My favorite things to mix in are sausage (plain, breakfast type – although Italian sausage gives a nice flavor too!), apples and cranberries. Stuffing is one of the things I make in advance to warm up on Thanksgiving day – it’s so easy to toss into a casserole dish and heat up in the afternoon.
One of the ways I am making my stuffing easier this week is this!
I was given one to try and I can honestly say I’ve been using it at least once a week ever since – making the stuffing is one of the 3 things I’ll be using it for…
I’ve loved having the Ninja – It’s become my go-to crock pot, and I’ve made roasts, pasta, cinnamon rolls…I even prepared a complete meal using it!
One of my favorite features is being able to do complete one pot cooking – you can cook your ground beef, saute your veggies, brown your roast – and finish your recipe all in the same pot! And the best part? It’s NON STICK – holy cow do I dislike cleaning my other crockpots…that alone is worth getting one!
Come back Wednesday for mashed potatoes (yum!) and green beans! Hopefully my tips and suggestions can help you have a stress-free Thanksgiving too!