Monday 25 November 2013

Thanksgiving! We are ready!

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner this year? Are you freaking out about how you are going to get it all done?

Relax! It's not about putting on the "perfect" dinner party. Remember it's about gathering with family and friends and giving thanks. 

I've been hosting our Thanksgiving family meal for over 40 years and I have a plan that works for me. For the most part, having a plan lessens the stress, except for those year's we lost power! But, not to worry, I went out to the "Motorhome"  and "wha la" we had a full on "Thanksgiving dinner" for 30 or more! No worries! It's all about * Mise en Place!

A couple of years ago, I handed the Holiday baton to my very capable children, with a promise to be right there with them, and to help prepare anything and everything.....including, setting the table the night before! This year my son TT (Dustin) is cooking the bird, the stuffing and the cranberry sauce!! Amy girl is almost ready to deliver Cooper Owen and is not wanting to be on her feet in the kitchen too long:-) She will pop in to help now and then and make a few side dishes. My daughter's, daughter-in-law and 93 year old Mom are all making appetizers that promise to be scrumptious and I am making a Pumpkin cream brulee tart and Butternut soup, Jean George's recipe! Wee Bear is bringing Pecan and Pumpkin pies!

Here is some idea's and tips that will help make your Holiday dinner delicious!  


Apple Spiced Bourbon 

Autumn Manhatten 

Orange Julius for breakfast 


I like to keep it light, as I want my guests to enjoy the meal in which I have spent day's, if not weeks planning and preparing.

Jalapeno crackers 

Southwestern Bean Salad dip 

Vegetable Shooters

Pancetta Crisp with apple and gorgonzola 

Thyme roasted Marcona almonds 

Spiced nuts 

Both these soup's are delicious, this Thanksgiving I am making the Jean Georges. Pictured is three ways to garnish and serve either of the soups.


Butternut Squash Soup- Jean Georges 

Pumpkin Soup with a popcorn garnish 


 Cranberry Vinaigrette

Field greens, poached pear and arugula 

Southwest Salad with chopotle dressing


JJ's Favorite Cranberry Sauce 

Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Red Lobster)

 Quinoa stuffing with pine nuts

Tink's Roasted Vegetables 
Vegetable Timbales 

Roasted pearl onions 

Spicy Long Beans 

Hungarian Nut Strudel 

Spiced Roulade with Custard Sauce  

Pumpkin Brulee 

Maple Pecan Pie 

Pecan Pie Bites 

Pumpkin cookies with Penuche frosting 

Cinnamon Pin Wheels 

Last minute table arrangement
A vessel filled with nuts, a small canning jar filled with flowers and water, placed in the center. That's it!

* mise en place- pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs, means, to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. Translated, “ to put in place.” It’s kind of like when you go on a trip, first you make sure you have everything you need and are not forgetting anything, then fold everything nice and neatly so it fits into your bags. If you have mise en place, you are ready and if a storm happens, you have a back up plan.

 Wee Bear, Moose, Bandit and I hope where ever you are, you have the warmest of Thanksgivings with your family and friends....we will, and our back up plan, well, TT and Amy have a generator that powers the entire house!! Now that's "Mise en Place"!

This photo taken by Dave Harmon of Moments of Expression, our family photographer.


  1. I am excited to say, our menu for Thanksgiving is mostly off your blog! Thought you'd like to know. Our family loves it!
    Jim and Jen

    1. I love that you took the time during this busy season to comment and let me know that you are not only enjoying the blog but, using many of the recipes. I know that Jen comments often and I enjoy hearing from both of you! Happy Thanksgiving! JJ

  2. Great post! We are all looking forward to your pumpkin brulee this year! So many great recipes in this post, you are sure to find your thanksgiving menu here. :-)

    1. Amy, what can I say, we are so excited to meet little Cooper and are happy to help in any way we can. Love you sweet one. JJ

  3. My family loves you! Thanks to yuou, we had the best Thanksgiving ever. I used the Quinoa stuffing, which is the best stuffing ever.We had pumpkin muffins for breakfast, and Hungarian nut strudel for dessert along with my Dad's favorite pumpkin pie. I made the veggie shooters and the spiced nuts for afternoon appetizers. Thank you! Please never quit this blog, it is the best blog in blog world. All your recipes work, no complaints! Gina and Jim

    1. Wow! Thanks so much for all the kindness! I love the quinoa stuffing to. Check out the Dec 13 blog for stuffing bites! You could do it with the quinoa too. I love the pumpkin muffins and they are quick to make! I just made the shooters two times last week for gatherings we had, they are a big hit at all gatherings. I haven't any plans to stop writing, and it have lots of recipes, but sometimes I get short of time and wonder if I should take a break. Cheers! JJ


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