Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

The Spread...all made from scratch! :)
Roast Turkey with Bacon-Herb Butter
Sauteed Spinach with Pecans & Feta
Mashed Potatoes
Cider Gravy
Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
Cornbread Dressing
Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Honey Yeast Rolls
Sweet Potato Souffle
Carrot Cake
French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache
Walnut Brownies
Cheese Ball with Pecans

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage:

Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce:

Walnut Brownies:

French Macarons with Chocolate Ganache:

Cranberry Sauce & Cheese Ball:

Carrot Cake:

Desserts! first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner was a huge success! Everything from the amazingly delicious turkey to the yummy carrot cake turned out great. I posted my entire menu in the post below (along with links to the recipes!), but I wanted to share some photos from the big day here.
This was only my second time roasting a turkey, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. I found THIS recipe at Bon Appetit, and let me just say...I've never had better turkey! The bacon-herb butter that's put under the turkey skin is absolutely delicious. It has the perfect taste...with just the right amount of flavor. And the cider gravy...YUM! I basted the turkey every 30 - 45 minutes while it was roasting.

Another favorite was the homemade cranberry sauce. I've always eaten the cranberry sauce right out of the know, the jellied kind. I don't think I'll ever go back now...LOL.

There's no way that I would have been able to coordinate all of these dishes and get them all on the table at the same time without being VERY organized. Microsoft Word was my best friend during this process. I started by putting all of my recipes in one document, along with a photo of each dish. I then created a shopping list and organized it by sections in the grocery store (baking aisle, fresh produce, dairy, etc.)....also including the quantity of each ingredient that I needed. The last thing that I did was create an itinerary for Turkey Day. I knew exactly what time to put the turkey in the oven, peel the potatoes, and start the yeast rolls...haha. It may sound like a lot of preparation, but hey...everything was done at the same time! I was also able to make several things ahead of time. I started on Monday with the Cranberry Sauce, made the gravy base and bacon-herb butter on Tuesday, and then I made the desserts & cheeseball on Wednesday. I also prepped the turkey and broccoli & cheese casserole on Wednesday, so I only had to pop them in the oven on Thursday! All of this preparation certainly made Thanksgiving Day even more enjoyable and easy.

On top of all this, I got the opportunity to bake a friend's Thanksgiving desserts...she placed an order for a Carrot Cake, Double Chocolate Cake, Walnut Brownies, and another batch of regular brownies. I was so excited to have my first big "order." My wonderful husband, Brad, designed a cute logo and made some decals for the bakery boxes. Take a look...I was so happy with the way everything turned out...I hope that Mrs. Watson was just as thrilled...

At the end of the day, I loved preparing Thanksgiving dinner! It was a BIG job, but I had so much fun with the preparations.

I hope that your Thanksgiving celebrations were just as wonderful!!!


Joelen said...

What a gorgeous spread and your order looks beautiful! Congrats on a job well done and hopefully it will lead to more orders in the future! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Celeste! You just blow me away!! Not only does it all look delicious, but the setup is just GORGEOUS! I'm super impressed! And those boxes are WAY too cute!! where did you get the sticker labels? I love them!!

wow... I had to say it again.