A Thanksgiving Menu

I have a ton of recipes picked out now, carefully calculated to allow me to review as many cookbooks as possible, naturally! This is going to seem like an awful lot, but we live off of our Thanksgiving menu for the week before and after the event, and we also tend to freeze extras for delicious leftovers during December. Finally, I’m sure we’ll freeze some biscuits, cookies and the like and bring them along to our next D&D run!

We’re making two different cheesecakes so we can finally review a certain cheesecake cookbook we’ve used a few times before (“Cheesecake Extraordinaire”): caramel pecan cheesecake and vanilla cheesecake. We’ll make both in little individual sizes so we can freeze some of them more easily.

We’re making a roast garlic gravy from Thanksgiving 101. Sure, I’ve already reviewed it, but it still provides the best basic gravy recipe I’ve ever had, and it’s easy. Similarly we’re making a classic bread stuffing from 50 Best Stuffings and Dressings because we have a friend visiting who likes a nice, plain stuffing on the menu.

There’s a new printing of The Thanksgiving Table out, so I’m taking it as an opportunity to make even more recipes out of that old favorite. We’re making a cranberry molded salad, cider brine for the turkey, caramelized sweet potato wedges, the Italian sausage, mushroom, & sage stuffing, and their stock recipe (to use up the turkey carcass) as well as a turkey pot pie with biscuit crust to use up leftover turkey meat.

In order to have enough healthy veggie recipes we’re including two from Celebrate!–a tomato salad and a bean salad.

One of the review books is an ice cream book, “A Passion for Ice Cream”. Unlike Weinstein’s Ultimate Ice Cream Book it’s more about dishes that incorporate ice cream than it is about simply providing a wide array of ice cream flavors–but let that in no way make you think it lacks in the ice cream recipe department! Already I can tell you that the white chocolate ice cream (for espresso floats) is awesome. We’re also making Cafe Viennese Yogurt Milkshakes and a Brown Sugar Ice Cream Roulade.

I’ve long wanted to review “Luscious Lemon Desserts,” so I’m making a few more recipes from that once again: a lemon pudding and lemon curd. (There’s a lemon mousse in there that could make you fall over dead from sheer bliss.)

By special request we’re making a caramel coconut cream pie from Caramel that we made last year as well.

I’m addicted to the recipes from “Biscuit Bliss,” so we’ll finish out our trial of that book with bacon-cheddar cocktail biscuits and parmesan-herb drop biscuits.

I’ll also finish out “Big Fat Cookies” with a recipe for butterscotch marble blondie drops. We made several recipes from this book last year, but I wanted to do at least one more.

In addition we have a “Christmas Cookies” book that I’d like to review, so we’re making Norwegian lace cookies, macadamia-white chocolate brownies, and embossed macadamia stars.

I received a glorious thing called “the Chocolate Deck” for review. It turns out that it’s by the same woman who wrote “Luscious Lemon Desserts,” Lori Longbotham, so I have high hopes for it. From that we’re making chocolate mousse pie, chocolate jelly (kind of a jello-like dessert), and black velvet chocolate mousse.

We have a book of food from Jewish holiday feasts to review, so we’ll be making zucchini latkes, asparagus and herbed cheese strudel, and sugar snap peas & honeyed carrots.

Finally, from “Everyday Celebrations”, a refreshing cucumber salad, smoky green beans, blueberry turkey sausage, wild mushroom topping for bread, and a curried parsnip soup.

I did mention that we love to cook and are insane, right?

In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for the cookbook reviews. It looks like there’ll be some good ones, so if you know someone who might want a yummy cookbook for a holiday present this year, we can help you choose!

[NOTE added later: Links to reviews have been added in to the text]

Traditional edit: Whoops! Can’t believe I forgot the mashed potatoes! (Bev would never forgive me if those didn’t put in an appearance.) So, from Thanksgiving 101, the gloriously simple and delicious Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole.

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