Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, spend time with your family, friends, & loved ones, & to fill your bellies with lots of delicious eats of course! Every family has their own special Thanksgiving traditions & foods that they always include on the Thanksgiving table; here are some that Ryan & I include on our Thanksgiving table each year…
Grilled Turkey Tenderloins with Spice Rub
When it’s dinner for two, you just don’t need a whole turkey, & we eat little to no meat anyway so this has been a great option for us at Thanksgiving as several turkey tenderloins do the trick & save us from eating turkey for the next year; this is pretty simple & also takes WAY less time than cooking a whole turkey, so it definitely has it’s advantages!
Boneless Turkey Tenderloins, Extra Lean
Rudy’s BBQ Turkey Spice Rub
Blackening Spice Rub (see recipe below)
Coat turkey tenderloins lightly with olive oil. Rub turkey tenderloins with your spice rub of choice - homemade or store bought will both do the trick (we like Rudy’s BBQ turkey spice rub – their BBQ sauce is excellent as well, I might add, & is also delicious on turkey!) & we usually also make a blackening spice rub; we make half the turkey with the Rudy’s spice rub & use the blackening spice rub on the other half of the turkey. Grill these outside on your charcoal or gas grill or grill them inside in a griddle pan on your stove top.
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Cayenne (use lots of Cayenne to make it really spicy!)
Mama Talbott’s Mashed Potatoes
I LOVE my Mom’s mashed potatoes (the basil & coarse ground black pepper really give these a nice twist) & my Thanksgiving plate usually consists of a HUGE pile of these with a teeny, tiny, miniscule sliver of turkey on the side – I’m really all about the potatoes, people!
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Clean, peel, & chop LOTS of Russet Potatoes (we REALLY like our potatoes, so we always fill a large spaghetti pot with these!). Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until they are tender & easy to pick apart with a fork. Drain the water out of the pot. Add a couple sticks of butter (more butter makes it better!), a splash or two of milk (as needed - this helps to make them nice & creamy too), & blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in a generous amount of kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper & dried basil flakes (add to taste, I like LOTS of salt, pepper, & basil in mine, but this isn’t for everyone) & then mix again to incorporate.
Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes & Basil
This is a recipe I got off foodnetwork.com, by Giada de Laurentiis, & that we’ve enjoyed making for holidays; they’re really fresh & delicious!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Liquor
If you aren’t a fan of cranberry sauce & you’ve never made it fresh, I urge you to give this a try; this will kick the stuff in the can’s butt any day - enjoy!
1 Bag Fresh Cranberries
1/4 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
Dash of Cinnamon
Splash of Orange Liquor (i.e. Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec)
Rinse 1 bag of fresh cranberries well. Add water, fresh orange juice, & sugar to a sauce pan & bring to a boil. Add cranberries to the pot & bring back to a boil. Add orange zest & cinnamon. Stir & then simmer until most of the cranberries have popped. Add a splash of orange liquor, stir, & let simmer for about a minute more. Transfer to a serving dish & let cool in the fridge before serving. Garnish with a twist of orange peel on top.
Deviled Eggs – We Don’t Need No Stinking Mayo!
I HATE mayo & sour cream & I do my best to steer clear of these at all costs; so I’ve adapted & have a special place for these delicious, mustardy Deviled Eggs in my heart – I hope you like them as much as I do!
Dill Pickle Relish
Stone Ground or Spicy Brown Mustard
Boil as many eggs as you’d like to serve in a pan of water; I add them to a pan of cold water, then bring to a boil & let boil for about 10 minutes – keep in mind that 1 egg = 2 Deviled Egg halves. Drain the boiling water & cover them with cold water to help speed up the cooling process. As soon as you’re able to, while they’re still hot/warm is best (doing this while they’re still warm will make it easier to remove the shells, believe me!), crack the eggs & remove the shells. Slice the eggs in half, length wise, & scoop out the cooked yolks, setting them aside in a separate bowl, & place the halved egg whites facing up on a plate or serving platter. Using a fork, mash all the cooked yolks up. Quantities of mustard & relish to add will vary, based on how much cooked egg yolk you have to work with of course, but you’ll then add a combination of yellow mustard, spicy mustard, & dill pickle relish to the cooked yolks & mix all together well. Scoop the yolk, mustard, & relish mixture into the cooked egg white halves & top with a sprinkle of paprika. Salt & pepper to taste.
Our Thanksgiving feast will also include lots of rolls. Happy eating!