I have to admit that this week, planning what my family will eat every night for dinner for the next 7 days has been pretty far from my mind. (We'll be gone 4 of those 7 nights, anyhow.) My focus is on Thanksgiving Day, of course! And for the first time in 5 years, I am NOT cooking Thanksgiving dinner! Hooray!
Not that I mind preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, I love to cook for the people that I love. Shoot, truth be told, I even love cooking for strangers. If you know me or have been reading this blog for any amount of time, then you know that cooking in sort of "my thing". : ) But, Thanksgiving is extra-special, because I am cooking for some of the people that I am most thankful for in this whole wide world. It doesn't seem like a chore...more like a labor of love.
But this year, it finally works out that we are able to celebrate at my parent's house. They are actually going to be home, we are finally within a reasonable driving distance, no one is too pregnant to travel, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Between my mom (the woman who taught me how to cook), my grandma (the woman who taught my mom how to cook), and my sisters (those chicks that attended the same cooking school that I did), they all have it covered. Since my husband, the kids, and I are the only family members who will have to travel, my mom asked what I wanted to bring...and then she mentioned about 3 times how much she loved my bread pudding from Christmas last year. So...I will bring a bread pudding, BUT I'm trying a new recipe this time. (I will probably post the results of that new recipe sometime this week.) At the request of my oldest daughter and one of my sisters, I will bring the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Fluff Filling.
That's all! 2 desserts. Although, I make throw in another dessert (Cranberry Blondies!) and maybe some cranberry sauce too (there's a new recipe that I want to try). Clearly, I have "issues" and won't be able to stop at just 2 desserts...
It's weird not rushing around right now, not making grocery lists, not polishing silver or ironing linens, not writing a timeline to-do list for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning so that dinner is perfect and on the table in time. But it IS good to take a break.
Through the holidays, my meal plans may be sporadic or even non-existent. I've made a rough meal plan for the next two weeks, consisting of meals that I can make from ingredients that I have on hand. I'm also planning for at least 3 new leftover turkey recipes...assuming that there will be leftover turkey (there always is!) I've also got a spaghetti squash that's been staring at me for weeks that I need to use up- it's definitely on the menu. But that's all I've got today. No day to day meal plan... and no grocery list.
I seem to have been less focused on meals and more focused on holiday treats over the last few days. Recipes for holiday candies and cookies and homemade gifts...recipes with titles that include words like "eggnog", "peppermint" and "buttered" are my un-intentional focus. I spent a good part of my Saturday pulling and stacking holiday recipes from my files- both favorites and new recipes that I want to try this season. I'll certainly keep you posted on how all of these recipes turn out, complete with notes and recipes.
But for this week, here is the link to my Thanksgiving Recipe post from last year: Thanksgiving Recipes.
And here is the link to some of my favorite recipes to use up leftover Turkey and Mashed Potatoes: Leftover Turkey.
I'm sure I'll be checking in before Thanksgiving, but in the meantime, Happy Cooking, everyone!