Getting an Early Start on Thanksgiving Prep

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I cannot believe that I am saying this, but Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. I am starting to get pretty serious about my menu planning and my invite list. Ok, that last part is kind of a joke, we are inviting our family and whoever else wants to come. I welcome all to my Thanksgiving table. Plus, we always have Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family and that is simply not going to change. We got a new, bigger house last year and it was the first time in over a decade that we hosted thanksgiving. I am excited to do it again.

I am really focused on making it a delicious and healthy Thanksgiving dinner this year. Several of our family members have food allergies, so I am working on some gluten free dishes for some of us and dairy free dishes for others. I know that I can make it work though and I am so excited! I will be handing off some of the cooking duties though to let others bring side dishes, so I am glad to ease the stress a bit.

The Guest List:

Yes, I am saying that anyone is welcome, however, I know for sure that we will have 14 people here for sure. My father--in-law, my brother-in-law and his wife and son, my sister-in-law and her husband and their three children, plus myself, my husband and our three kids. That means 7 adults and 7 kids total to feed and entertain for Thanksgiving this year. That’s not too bad at all, I’m actually really looking forward to it.

What I am Making:

The Turkey - Well, of course I am making the turkey. Dinner is held at my house, and it is Thanksgiving after all. I think it’s required or something. Although, this year I am also going to make a ham for a secondary main dish.

Mashed Potatoes - BRING on the carbs! It is the holidays after all! Don’t you just love mashed potatoes? I do! This is my current favorite recipe.

Fruit Salad - I think I mentioned before that the first thing I ever made for a holiday recipe as an adult was a basic fruit salad. Because of that, I have to bring it every single year. It’s just not right not to! I make this fruit salad each and every year.

Pumpkin Pie - Pie is not my jam..I am just simply not a fan of it, nor am I really great at making it, but I am going to try. I do though, enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie every now and then. I’m looking for a great gluten free crust recipe though to make with it, so that I can at least say that I had pie this Thanksgiving. I think I am going to try this one this year and see how it turns out. If you don’t need a gluten-free crust, we have some great tips on making pastry crust!

BREAD - I know I have mentioned several times that I am gluten free, as is my daughter. The rest of the family though, is not. For this reason, I fully plan to make some bread and rolls (check out the recipes further down this post). You can’t have Thanksgiving without a great bread, right?

These are the recipes I plan to make and the Sassafras tools that I am going to use to create them:

Basic French Bread - Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t love french bread? I haven’t. I always have fresh made french bread at holiday dinners.

cracked wheat sourdough bread - I love a good sourdough bread recipe, and the health benefits are pretty impressive. My in laws have been big into it lately so we have been studying up.

Sassafras stoneware is awesome to have around when you are preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some of my favorites to keep on hand:

Garlic Baker - “our unglazed garlic baker is the perfect size for roasting about 4-5 heads of garlic. the stoneware material produces a tender, juicy garlic clove to use in salad dressings, recipes, or just with olive oil and parmesan cheese in which to soak up your fabulous home-baked bread! you can also use the baker to roast potatoes or chestnuts.” If you want to have any roasted garlic on hand for your homemade bread that we were talking about earlier, this is awesome to have on hand. There is just nothing like fresh roasted garlic. Yum.

superstone® bread dome - the "incredible" superstone® bread dome is an amazing product for baking breads and chicken, vegetable or meat dishes. the stoneware material replicates a professional brick-lined oven to create a dry, even heat and spectacular bread. the domed shape allows air to evenly-circulate around the baker for a uniformly browned crust on your bread while the unglazed lid helps create the perfect environment for baking crackly breads and juicy chickens and roasts. This is great for all of those tasty side dishes that we all love to make for the holidays.

rectangular baselina board - this beautiful board looks terrific on your buffet or coffee table when serving light appetizers. the cool marble surface prevents your cheeses from over-softening. also use the board to serve crackers, smaller bread loaves or fruits.

I am so ready to make this one amazing Thanksgiving. I am already hungry for all of those amazing recipes. Hmm...maybe I’ll make a practice run. :)