thanksgiving 2011 planning


Planning for Thanksgiving Dinner 2011.

dear christmas

Haha yes, so true. Let’s not jump the gun here with Christmas, yet. It’s one of my favorite holidays but we have to get through Thanksgiving first (although, I’m not going to lie, Christmas shopping has already begun and my list for Santa is growing by the day)!

My mom called me up a month or so ago and said, “Julie, you’re cooking Thanksgiving this year.” Uh, did I hear that correctly? Me cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family this year? A million thoughts started to race through my head cause I mean, it’s a huge responsibility. There’s going to be all these family members waiting for a nice meal and what if I mess up or not have something on the menu that they thought was going to be on there? Or what if the meal goes to the shitter and everyone’s expecting this elaborate holiday meal & we have to order Chinese take-out? “Hello?” says my mom and immediately I snap back to reality and the words “sure, why not?” came barreling out of my mouth. Diarrhea of the mouth..I really need to learn to get that under control.

In hindsight, I’m glad I agreed because you know what? I LOVE cooking and what’s better to expand upon that skill than to cook a full on holiday feast for my family? I mean, it’s at the expense at everyone else cause who knows what’s going to happen, but you live & you learn.

Annnnnnnnnnnd we have exactly 3 weeks until Thanksgiving. Holy cannoli! 3 weeks?! I need to get started on planning out my Thanksgiving menu. Granted, I don’t have a big family but I still want to make this a spectacular event.

My menu won’t be as big as most people’s since my immediate family only consists of my mom, dad and brother (all my other relatives are in Taiwan). Jason will obviously be attending and maybe my brother’s girlfriend. That’s about it, unless my mom decides to blabber to all her friends that I’m cooking Thanksgiving this year and for all of them to come over — in that case, my menu will likely have to expand or change.

Oh, and here’s something that’s very different about me and my family: in case you didn’t know, I’m Taiwanese-American, which means, our holiday dinners 99.9% of the time include some sort of Asian cuisine in there as well. Yes, I realize Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. are American holidays, but we incorporate Asian dishes as well. It’s always been that way. Taiwanese-American holiday meals is what it should be formally named in my household, with that said, you are obviously allowed to omit those dishes from your menu, but I do encourage you to try them on another day because they’re yummy!

I know I can prep a lot of items beforehand so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of all the prep time I can get and most importantly, if I can prep something a few days ahead of time and then freeze it, you bet I’ll be doing that. It’ll make the day-of so much easier and less stressful. At least I get to work in my parent’s gourmet kitchen with a big island and double ovens :)

Tentative Thanksgiving 2011 Menu


Deviled eggs with lemon zest, chives, and capers

Main Entree

Turkey (not sure how I’m going to do this yet) with gravy


Garlic-Parmesan mashed potatoes
Cheddar-Bacon biscuits
Green beans with sesame, garlic and soy sauce
Sweet potatoes with sage butter crumb topping
Broccoli Supreme
Sourdough cornbread stuffing
Garlic herb butter
Cranberry sauce


Apple crisp
Pumpkin crème brûlée


So all this sounds extremely overwhelming to do by myself especially since I have to work the day before (although, we always get released early so I hope that I’ll still have half a day to get to the grocery and load up the car and head to my parent’s house for the night to prep and spend the night there so I can wake up early and start the cooking). This menu obviously might change but as of now, I’m super excited about this and I hope everything turns out the way I planned. Mistakes happen so I’m not going to get too upset about it if it does — there’s many more Thanksgiving to keep on trying and I’ll just be thankful I have the opportunity to be able to do all this!

Recipes and pictures will obviously be posted post-Thanksgiving but I hope this has helped get your brain churning on what to make for your Thanksgiving feast! What are you planning on making this year? Leave a comment and let me know! :)


Posted on November 03, 2011

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