Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only three short weeks away?  Eek!  This will be my third year hosting and I am so looking forward to it.  Last year I did a series of posts on my (seemingly neurotic but actually smart and time-saving) planning methods, and this year I’ll be following pretty much the same formula.  So, rather than rewrite a post with the same information, I’ll just direct you to the posts from last year.  This year I decided to replenish our dip knives which seem to wander off every time we use them, as well as get more serving utensils so we don’t end up using a random assortment of stuff we’ve had since college.

Thanksgiving Prep Series, Part 1
Thanksgiving Prep Series, Part 2
Thanksgiving Prep Series, Part 3

I’ve been having way too much fun planning my menu and as of right now, this is what I’ve got.  Of course everything is subject to change but this is pretty close to what we’ll be having.  (I realize this may seem excessive to some, but we host a very large crowd!)  Also, I am taking suggestions for any Thanksgiving recipes you would like to see posted before the big day.  Of course I won’t be able to get to them all, but I’ll do my best to make at least a few of your requests.

Thanksgiving 2011
Deviled Eggs
Parmesan-Crusted Goat Cheese with Basil Oil
Caramel Corn (yesssss!)
Savory popcorn of some kind (I’m thinking Parmesan-garlic butter-thyme or something similar)
Caesar Dip with Endive and Foccacia Croutons
Warm Spiced Pecans with Rum Glaze

Signature Cocktail:
Cranberry Margaritas

Main Course:
Brined Roast Turkey with Cider-Shallot Gravy

Side Dishes:
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes with Sage Butter Crumb Topping
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole (from scratch)
Baked Spinach
Mushroom Casserole
Roasted Carrots
Cranberry Sauce
Knotted Dinner Rolls
White Cheddar Biscuits
Garlic Herb, Honey, and Cranberry Orange Compound Butters

Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie (I’m doing a traditional version but this double chocolate kind is also awesome)
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
Chocolate Truffle Tart
Lemon Cranberry Bundt Cake

*Note: I only post recipes that I have tried before and would recommend, so any recipes listed on this menu that are new to me are unlikely to be shared prior to Thanksgiving.

  • I’m excited!!!!

  • Irene L.

    This time of year warms my heart! I love the holiday season! Your menu looks divine!

  • Oh. My. Goodness. This year is going to be awesome for you! How many people do you end up having over usually? That’s a whole lotta food!!

  • I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family this year and this post is awesome. Thank you so much. I’m so nervous about it — I hope everything goes as planned! Your menu looks great! :)

  • missy

    wow – can i come?!

    if you are looking for a good stuffing recipe, i made a rachael ray recipe a few years back that uses corn muffins for the base. it’s amazing! my brother-in-law declared it the best stuffing he ever tasted. then went back for seconds. and thirds. and fourths!

  • Wow, I can’t believe its three weeks away!!! Your menu looks amazing, I think we will come to your house! :)

  • Rebecca Bennett

    Would you be willing to share your recipe for the green bean casserole? I have food allergies and have missed having this dish at our family gatherings. Thanks!

  • Looks like a great menu. I made the Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie last year, and it was a hit. I am still working on my menu, and I only have 3 people to think about. Collards and dressing may just be on my menu to make Hubby feel more at home.

  • Melissa J

    This looks like an amazing Thanksgiving spread. I can’t wait to hear how everything turns out (and to see some pics). I would love it if you would share the green bean casserole, mushroom casserole, and white cheddar biscuit recipes. After Thanksgiving would be fine for me, since you may not have tried these recipes yet.

  • Hi Annie, I would like to see some sort of pumpkin or sweet potato souffle.

  • Annie, though I don’t comment a lot, I am a long time follower of your blog. I would love to see a post about homemade green bean casserole before the big day! If it’s not in the works, did you find the recipe at a website you can direct me to? Thank you!

  • Claire

    Your menu looks great! My mom and I will be cooking together, and I’m so excited. The spiced pecans, delived eggs, mushroom casserole, and chocolate truffle tart would be my suggestions for recipes. Thanks for sharing, Annie!

  • Heidi C

    Wow, Annie! I would love to be able to cook that much food for Thanksgiving, it sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun! Unfortunately it’s not my turn to host this year. The savory popcorn recipe sounds delicious; I recently made a Parmesan-Truffle popcorn using truffle salt. I’ll be making your version soon, the HP boxed set is being released soon, which means I’ll need a plethora of popcorn. :)

  • Jessalyn

    Hi, Annie! I know you didn’t post about the broccoli gratin you made last year from Williams Sonoma since it was a new recipe to you. I’m not looking to see an post for it, just wondering how the dist was received and if you enjoyed it. Is it something you would recommend? Thanks!

  • Thanks for providing these links! I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year but I’m interested to read your methods :)

  • Annie. Love all the cookbooks. I noticed one recipe you had listed that I would love to attempt that had no link for a recipe. Just wondering if you might post the recipe for that certain item before the holidays…My family loves Green Bean Casserole but I have never had it from scratch. Only the dumping cans of green beans, mushroom soup, and french fried onions into a pan. Would love to see your version! Happy Cooking!

  • This makes me wish I was hosting Thanksgiving this year. Your menu looks fabulous. And aren’t the Barefoot Contessa’s cookbooks the best!

  • Nikki

    Annie, I would love to see the recipe for the mushroom casserole! Sounds delicious! I love your site and all the great recipes. Thanks!

  • Your menu sounds great! I’d love to hear about the baked spinach- it sounds like something I’d we’d really like for our dinner!

  • Stephanie

    As many have said, you are wonderwoman! Looks delicious! Which recipes are prepared in advance, which do you make the same day?

  • That all sounds great! I want to come! ;)

  • I know the “Warm-Spiced Pecans w/ Rum Glaze” recipe very very well–it’s one of my favorites! I have one key suggestion to add to the recipe: rosemary. It makes a WORLD of difference and really rounds out all the flavors. Just crush up 1 1/2 tablespoons with a mortar & pestle till the needles are small and mix in with the spices.

    My blog on it is here, but please ignore the terrible photo–I was new to blogging and food photography!

  • Chelsea

    I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving this year with my husband and our families, and have started my menu also. I’m up to only three dishes; this post helped me out a ton! Thanks, Annie!

  • Wow, I really need to start planning my menu too! This is my first year as a new cook, and I should probably practice a few recipes before hand!

    Love your blog, by the way! :)

  • Annie

    I’m not going to go into that level of detail this year since I covered the basic strategy last year.

  • Annie

    It was okay but not good enough to make the menu again this year.

  • Annie

    Something like 15ish people.

  • I absolutely cannot wait to see your mushroom casserole; please say you’ll write a post on it! :)
    Those 15 people are going to have an awesome time at your place for Thanksgiving!

  • Rick

    Do you have a recipe for the cider-shallot gravy?

  • Ruthi

    Would love to know the cider gravy recipe if possible!

  • Annie, The mushroom casserole and baked spinach sound wonderful. I would love to hear how they turned out!

  • Emma

    I’d love to see recipes of (1) the cider shallot gravy, and (2) your pumpkin pie. I see that you made both of those last year as well, so I’m assuming that they’re winners!

  • Lydia

    Ohh yayyy!! You have gotten me excited. I would LOVE to see the green bean casserole recipe before the holidays. I have been looking for a good recipe for ages!! =]

  • Joe

    test comment

  • Great menu, Annie! Don’t be surprised if Judah, Ben and I end up on your doorstep that morning… :)

  • Danielle

    Your menu sounds fabulous! I am hosting for the first time this year, so I have bookmarked your prep series already and will be referring to it often. :) Question on the turkey. I saw this method in Taste of Home that looked awesome–it involved drenching a cheesecloth in oil & butter and covering the turkey with that, then basting periodically with tangerine juice. My question is, can you still brine a turkey & use that method, or would you not brine the turkey if you were going that route? On the recipes, I don’t know which ones are new to you, but I’d be interested in seeing the pecans, the homemade green bean casserole, the white cheddar biscuits, and the lemon cranberry bundt cake. Sounds amazing!

  • Annie

    That would be awesome :)

  • Annie

    I guess I’m not sure since I’ve only made the one method.

  • Emily

    How do you have the time to be this perfect as a resident??

  • Jamie M

    Not sure which recipes are new, but I would love to see the greenbean casserole and the cider gravy!

  • Annie

    Ha! I’m not perfect, just very organized :)

  • Katie G.

    You inspired me to get my menu set today, too. :)

    I’ve been on a savory popcorn kick lately and my most successful combination so far has been rosemary olive oil, oregano (fresh or dried though I have a slight preference for dried for this use), grated Parmesan, small bit of minced garlic, and a touch of finishing salt as needed. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Thanks for sharing, as always!

  • Karrie L

    I am pretty sure I just drooled on the keyboard :). You are such an inspriation and I turn to your blog often for recipes. We host Thanksgiving each year for 30-45 people and often have the same thing each year. This year we are going to give a few of your recipes a try. Thank you!!

  • dolph122000

    All of this sounds so delicious! It’s what I would do if my home were big enough to host Thanksgiving in :P. But I am bringing your delicious pumpkin cream cheese muffins as a dessert to my family’s gathering!
    My husband commented that since I used extra pumpkin pie spice rather than the other spices in your recipe (ground cloves for $7?! Insane!) they tasted just like small crumbly pumpkin pies once chilled! I think they’ll be a fun take on a traditional dessert :)

  • Elizabeth

    Please post the chocolate truffle tart! It sounds sooo good!

  • Ashley M

    I would LOVE to see posts on the Warm Spiced Pecans with Rum Glaze, and the White Cheddar Biscuits.

  • I’m going to live my Thanksgiving meal through you this year, Annie! This is my first year in a while without guests (everyone is out of state and unable to travel) and I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself. I am like you and plan ahead. Some have said too prepared but I say nay. Your list looks much like mine would. I should add that I am a bit thankful because in about a month, we’re moving into our first home and celebrating our anniversary alone for the first time since being married. (That’s what happens when your wedding day is near Thanksgiving I guess.) Keep up the great work!

  • Desiree

    Love your website! Where did you get the serving utensils/silverware? Love them!

  • Annie

    They are from Crate & Barrel.

  • Desiree

    Thank you!!

  • Since you asked for suggestions, I’d love to see a great whipped sweet potatos or sweet potato casserole recipe!

  • Amy

    I’d like to see you baked spinach and green bean casserole recipes, please!!!

  • Elise

    Ive had that caramel apple cheesecake pie bookmarked for ages…to be honest i’m a bit scared to tackle it. Looks divine though. :)

  • kathy

    Your spread looks wonderful. I would love to see a stuffing recipe! Thanks and happy cooking!

  • Lindsay

    Sounds awesome! Cant wait to see some of the recipes. I would love to see the Caesar Dip with Endive and Foccacia Croutons. Sound delicious!

  • Carly

    Your menu sounds delicious! I would love to see the recipes for the baked spinach, mushroom casserole and the carrots.

  • Nikki

    That menu looks delicious, thanks for the inspiration! Add me to the list of those who would love to see a recipe for a good HOMEMADE green bean casserole. I’d love to make one this year that didn’t involved canned beans and soup!

  • Julie Janis

    Inspiring menu….thanks! I would also love to see the homemade green bean casserole recipe as I am so tired of the Campbell’s one. :)

  • Wow – that is an aggressive but delicious sounding meal – can I just leave my guests to their own devices and come to your house?

  • Annie, you are inspirational…I’m not hosting Thanksgiving for my family this year, but I’ve been pouring over your tips and admiring the spreads you’ve planned…and plotting my own Thanksgiving feast for next year! Thanks for sharing your strategies and pushing cooks to take turkey day to the next level.

  • K

    Hi Annie, I noticed that you had pumpkin pie on this year and last year’s menus. Would you mind sharing your recipe source? I’m not big on pumpkin pie but I’ve been asked to bring one and your recipes are always a big hit around here. Thanks.

  • Annie

    If you read in the comments above I think I addressed this, but I actually don’t have a particular recipe I’m loyal to. I’ve made a different one nearly every year and they have all turned out great. I doubt I’ll get to post one before Thanksgiving but Williams Sonoma would be a good place to start. Hope that helps!

  • K

    Thanks for the rec!

  • Alexis

    Just wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE your Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie. I’ve made it for the past 2 years on Christmas but my family calls it the “Tomorrow Pie” because I always forget how time consuming it is to make & chill so it usually gets eaten the following day :)

  • If the green bean casserole turns out well, please share!