Have you always brought dessert to the holiday gathering? Maybe you are not used to preparing a full meal, but this year may be different. Enjoy the holidays with a new twist this year. If you are cooking a full meal for the first time – You can do it!
This can be a daunting task. Plan and strategize and pull this dinner off without a fuss. Have fun cooking with members of your household and enjoy the leftovers (or planned overs).
Holiday Meal Planning
- Decide on the menu. Make what you and your family like.
- Share recipes with family members ahead of time so you all can enjoy your favorite dishes.
- Assign tasks to family members, get everyone involved.
- Shop ahead.
- Let's talk turkey!
- You may not need a 30 lb. bird this year. Is the crowd smaller? Plan for ¾ pound of turkey per person, thaw in the refrigerator: 24 hours per every 5 pounds.
- Bake a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey (bone-in gives better flavor broth)
- Think about oven space—you can cook the turkey the day before, slice and refrigerate and heat in the microwave
- You can purchase an oven-ready or even a pre-cooked turkey
- Cook ahead and reheat when possible. Bake pies or buy your favorite. Assemble casseroles and refrigerate uncooked; bake on the holiday.
- Cut and prep vegetables, garnishes 2-3 days before.
- Set the table the day before.
- Relax the timetable: sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and enjoy a late afternoon holiday meal.
- There is no law against a dessert, cranberry sauce or bread product purchased from the store.
- Or make this easy cranberry recipe
- Check out our video for mashed potatoes; What’s Cooking with Mary Liz Wright
- Reduce the number of dishes or cut the recipe in half.
To reduce a recipe by one-half the amount, follow these measurements:Full amount | Use this amount to divide in half
- ¼ cup | 2 Tablespoons
- 1/3 cup | 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
- ½ cup | ¼ cup
- 2/3 cup | 1/3 cup
- 1 Tablespoon | 1-1/2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon | ½ teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon | ¼ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon | 1/8 teaspoon
- 1/8 teaspoon | dash
What about leftovers?
- 1 cup of chopped turkey
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1/2 of a medium onion (chopped)\
- Juice of 2 fresh limes.
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2-4 cups Tortilla Chips
- ½ cup Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh jalapeno slices
Directions: Sautee onion add turkey and cook till brown. Add ground cumin and squeeze with fresh lime juice. Cover and gently simmer. Place tortilla chips on a platter. Add the turkey mixture, cover with cheese and jalapeno slices. Bake in the oven at 450 till cheese is bubbly. Top with cranberry salsa. Eat!
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- 1-2 Tablespoons jalapeno pepper (depending how spicy you like your food)
- 1 tsp. chili pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro.
- 1 Tablespoon or stem, green onion
- Juice of 2 fresh limes
Directions: Place ingredients in blender or food processor. Mix well and enjoy with the Turkey Nachos!