My Thanksgiving re-cap and plan

Place settingI hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving :).

Ours was nice. My father-in-law came to visit us for a few days. On the morning of the holiday, S and I participated in a 5-mile Turkey Trot and then afterward, I finished preparing dinner. Here’s what we ate:

Ultimate Dinner Rolls

This year, I only made one pie instead of two and I started making preparations two days ahead of time instead of only one. I suppose these changes made a difference, because this was probably the “easiest” time I’ve ever had cooking the T-Day meal! I felt far less rushed than usual and I loved that. So I’m going to record the “plan” I used here, so I won’t forget it and can hopefully recreate it in the future :).

Tuesday, I —

  • baked a pan of cornbread for the dressing
  • made pie crust dough and refrigerated it
  • got out all my serving dishes, utensils, etc. and made sure everything was clean and ready to go

Serving dishes and utensils

Wednesday, I —

  • transferred the Tofurky Roasts (I make two because they’re so small and I like leftovers) from the freezer to the fridge to thaw
  • made the pumpkin pie filling, rolled out my pie crust, and baked the pie (and for the first time ever, instead of using pieces of foil, I used this doohickey* I recently bought to prevent the crust from burning; it worked perfectly and I was very pleased with the results)
  • made the dough for my rolls, shaped them, covered them with plastic, and put them into the fridge
  • opened a can of cranberry sauce and put it in its serving dish in the fridge
  • crumbled the cornbread and mixed it with the rest of my dry dressing ingredients. I stored this in my largest Pyrex mixing bowl and covered it with its matching lid so it was all ready to go the next day.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Thursday, I —

  • peeled and cut potatoes, put them in water and stored them in the fridge in another covered Pyrex mixing bowl (side note:  I’m not a Pyrex rep or anything. It’s just that I got these bowls as a birthday gift last year and I love them. I use them for everything, ALL the time!)
  • washed and cut broccoli, put it in casserole dishes, and topped it with the olive oil and seasonings; stored it in the fridge
  • put the Tofurky Roasts in a roasting pan, basted them, and put them into the oven to cook
  • took the rolls out of the fridge and let them rise on the counter; brushed them with butter
  • cooked onion and celery and mixed them with the other wet ingredients for the dressing, added them to the dry ingredients and put the dressing into baking dishes
  • put the dressing into the oven when the Tofurky was partway done
  • put the broccoli into the oven
  • boiled and mashed the potatoes
  • heated the gravy on the stove
  • cooked the carrots and baked the rolls (since these both only took 15 minutes)

And voila! That was it. Probably the only thing I would do differently is cut the broccoli, and possibly the potatoes, on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

Like I said, though, this was overall the easiest Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever made and I feel like the pre-planning I did helped. I literally wrote out all the steps I needed to take ahead of time and then checked them off as I went. So even though on Thanksgiving Day, my garbage disposal decided to back up and spray gunk several feet into the air (and my husband very kindly came in and fixed it for me), it didn’t throw a huge wrench into my day or anything ;).

However, what I apparently didn’t remember to do, was take photos of most of the food! We didn’t get any of the Tofurky or the pie before it was cut :(. S did manage a shot of one slice with his phone before it disappeared, though…


Now I suppose the Christmas planning can begin…? 🙂

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Choosing my T-Day recipes (+ a reading update).

It’s lunchtime and I’m reading my book and polishing off last night’s leftovers.

Still reading Dracula. Last night was a “reading night” here (as in an evening when S and I read books instead of watching a movie) so I was able to make a good dent.


Yay, progress! (I really do like this book, I promise; I’m just slow.)

As for the food — I am accentuating my Tofurky sandwich with what remains of this recipe I tried last night for Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts.


This was all that was left, so I guess you could say the sprouts went over pretty well :).

I’m still on the fence about making them for T-Day, though. I keep thinking the garlic Parmesan topping would work just as well with broccoli, and I love broccoli (as opposed to just being friends with Brussels sprouts), so I may use that instead.

I WILL be making these Ultimate Dinner Rolls that I tried a couple of weeks ago, though. They were easy and turned out really well! This will be my first Thanksgiving making rolls from scratch. I usually use frozen ones. Here is a tutorial for how to make them:

This nice lady (Tessa at Handle the Heat) seems to have a LOT of helpful videos on her site, actually. This morning I watched this one about making pie crusts.

I have gotten pretty good at making pie crusts over the years (if I do say so myself), however I still picked up some tips here!

I’ve mentioned before that I was not a domestic diva growing up. My mom claims this is because I “never wanted to learn anything.” To which I say, what kid DOES want to learn anything useful? When the choice is between chores or watching TV in your room, I don’t think I’m the only child who would have picked TV (please tell me I’m not the only one). So parents who know how to do cool homemaking stuff, please do me a favor and force your kids to learn those skills, too! Otherwise they will end up clueless like me. When I first moved out I had to try and pick up things from Food Network, HGTV and books. Now it’s the internet, of course.

But this is why I am so grateful to people who post tutorials and instructions online. They really help out “stragglers” like me.


NaNoWriMo is interfering with my reading schedule.

It’s Tuesday, but I don’t really have anything book-related to report :(.

I’m still reading Dracula. I’m not very far into it. Normally I’d be further along, but…NaNoWriMo!! It’s been a few years since I participated and I’d forgotten how much time it can actually take up. Especially when you fall behind for two days (as I may or may not have done over the weekend :(). I’d also forgotten how much fun this challenge can be, though. I’m enjoying my story so far. It’s so freeing to just write whatever and not have to worry about how it sounds (yet)!

Anyway, instead of books, I do have this picture of some vases I bought at Goodwill over the weekend. Now, I have downsized my possessions a LOT over the past few years and I’m still trying to get rid of stuff, so I’m usually loathe to bring in anything new. In fact, I wouldn’t normally step inside the Goodwill for fear of coming away with something I don’t need, but…S and I had some clothes to drop off and were wanting some other specific items, so we decided to take a look around. We didn’t find what we were looking for, but I ran across these. I already wanted at least one other vase (I’d accidentally broken one of the two clear ones I’d kept a while back) and they match my kitchen/dining area color scheme, so…I got ’em both. Look how cute they are! I love cobalt blue stuff.


They actually do not match perfectly. The one in the back has a swirled pattern on it and has a slightly bigger mouth than the other. But I actually like that they’re not exactly the same.

S and I also bought a really cute, actual-wood (our last one was particle board) dining table off Craigslist on Sunday. S found it and arranged everything with the seller, so he should really get all the credit. Now, thanks to him we are all set for Thanksgiving! Except for the food. I am still trying to figure out what all to cook. I have a set of favorite recipes for mashed potatoes and dressing and whatnot that I rely on, but have never been completely satisfied with the vegetable sides. Maybe this will be the year, though. Maybe roasted Brussels sprouts will be my answer :).

Ok, time to go get some other stuff (like novel writing) done. To everyone else out there doing NaNoWriMo, I wish you all the best of luck!! Hang in there.