Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well good day everyone, oh how I missed you!  I thought the perfect way to get back to the blog is to chat about our upcoming fav holiday in the Brandi fam and that is Turkey Day!~
My mom is the most organized woman when it comes to planning a holiday gathering.  She will start making her plans, for dinner at my sisters in a few days.....and everything I have learned was taught to me by who else?  Mom! 
So to those out there that maybe having their 'first' Thanksgiving Dinner or to those that want to get more organized.  Here are some tips for you!
*  3 weeks before----- Let's think about how much space to you actually have.  Do you have a double oven?  Do you have a spare fridge in the basement or garage?  Start planning your menu.  How much can you make ahead? How much will have to stored?  Are you cooking the turkey in the oven or on the Weber grill?  We began cooking the turkey on the Weber grill because we had no more room in the oven.  It turns out so nice and juicy!  Now if you are cooking the turkey in the oven you have to choose recipes that will fit in the oven with the turkey and cook at the same temperature.
----If your guests ask what they can bring, answer very carefully.  Where are you going to put it, while socializing?  In the fridge that is full?  Is the spare fridge full?  Or maybe it will be cold enough to set outside or in the garage.   If your fridge and oven will be full then let them bring dished you can heat or reheat in the microwave.  Or have them bring something that can be brought in a crock-pot.  Or better yet, have them bring the rolls from the bakery or fresh homemade bread!
---Let's start making the list of menu items. Note off to the side how long those specific dishes take to bake.  What time should you put them in the oven.  Keep this handy for Turkey Day also.
2 weeks before----Start shopping.  Ok I know you think I am crazy however I of all people know what it is like in these stores the week prior.  So please save yourself the hassle and please start shopping now.  You can buy your non-perishable groceries this week.  Buy the turkey this week.  I am sure there are some deals. If not who really cares how much it cost for a little sanity?  Also, pick up some extra storage containers and zip-loc baggies! 
4 days before---  Start thawing your turkey.  You have no clue how many people do buy in advance and try to thaw out the day of Thanksgiving.  ALLOW 24 HOURS FOR EVERY 4 POUNDS.  SO A 15-16 POUND TURKEY WILL TAKE 4 DAYS TO THAW IN THE FRIDGE!
3-2 days before---  Final shopping.  Buy your veggies and perishables and anything you forgot.  Remember the stores are open in the AM on Thanksgiving but seriously you should be organized.  You can also set your table.  Cover with a clean old sheet.  Also, buy some extra carrots and celery and other items that you may need to make Turkey Noodle Soup!  PS don't forget the garnishes, parsley or kale for a veggie tray, napkins or of course the Coca-Cola!
1 day before---  Make ahead day.  Mashed potates, dressing, salad dressing, sides, desserts and breads.  Check out my sample menu.
TURKEY DAY--  Double check your list.  What time does the turkey have to go into the oven or grill?  Prep your turkey and start your appetizers.
What is on the Brandi Menu for TURKEY DAY? -- this is our standard menu
Turkey of course on the Weber grill.
Dad's secret homemade Italian Dressing.  I changed the name to Wop loaf.   My grandma use to stuff the turkey with this dressing, however we make it in loaf pans as serve it sliced.
Mom's homemade dressing.  She has put a little twist on it now and has added Italian Sausage and it is so yummy.
Make a head mashed potatoes.
Sweet Potatos
Corn Casserole (like corn bread)
cranberries (for my mom yuck)
Salad with homemade Italian Dressing
Rolls from Hamilton Bakery!
Dessert--- My brother in law makes homemade pumpkin and pecan pie.  I wonder if my friend Barb will make me a Lemon merigue pie since the whole family will be here this year!
I will make some truffles and I think I will attempt a Pumkin Roll.....
Need any other pointers let me know~

Well as always Mangia!~