Tag Archives: cranberry sauce

Weekly Menus: Week of 11/18/2012

Gentle Readers, this post comes to you while The Practical Cook is deep into field research in New York. So planning menus is somewhat difficult. Plus, this marks the week when so many Americans will be cooking at home, in some cases for the first time this year.

Some thoughts: don’t panic, enlist help, don’t try to make everything.

With those directives in mind, here are the weekly menus:

Weekly Menus: 11/18/2012

Weekly Menus: 11/18/2012

And the Four-Square Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery List: 11/18/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List: 11/18/2012

Which all means:

Sunday: Dine Out in NYC

Monday: Salad
After traveling, I’m crave simplicity.

Tuesday: Tomato Soup and Sandwiches
I’m working on a piece about doctored soups. This will be the second round of trials. There’s a point where it’s too hard to convert the soup and easier to make it, that’s what I’m testing for!

Wednesday: Pizza and Salad
The simplest solution to the pre-Thanksgiving warm-up.

Thursday: Turkeyless Thanksgiving
Yeah, I said it out loud.

Friday: Leftovers
With a list of carbs that long, why cook more food? I am a big advocate of repackaging. It’s a great opportunity to make soup or transform leftovers into a roll-up. Cranberry sauce is a powerful connector.

Saturday: Dine Out!

What’s on the menu for you this week? (I will fully admit that I’ll be craving Indian or Chinese after Friday, anything but leftovers!) Post a comment below, I’m listening!

Send your queries, questions, and quips to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Wednesday, One Ingredient, Three Ways: Cranberry Edition.

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Turkeyless Thanksgiving for the Junior Pilgrims: Sides FTW

Gentle readers, if one wants to start a fight, threaten the national bird of Thanksgiving. There are few holidays that cause more passionate feelings around the table than this yearly feast. New-fangled ideas are generally not welcome. Such was the hue and cry around my declaration that the unconventional Practical Cooks Junior would not be having turkey this year.

Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Cookie Craft Completed.

Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Cookie Craft Completed.

They are both now declared vegetarians, and they plan to thank turkeys by keeping them alive. Truthfully, and lean in close here, I have always preferred the side dishes at Thanksgiving over the turkey. In the debate of turkey vs. sides, we pit a typically dry, flavorless bird against an infinite variety of starch and veg. How is that a fair fight?

Voila! Pumpkin Coconut Pudding with a Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust is born!

Voila! Pumpkin Coconut Pudding with a Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust is born!

For my good friend Dr. Tweeter, why not serve a virtual bird, hmm? Augment the reality of that turkey. We will have pictures of turkeys, and there will be a chicken casserole for those who wish to partake. Meanwhile, I have been given license to go wild on the side dishes. Thanks, I think I will.

Here’s the rough Thanksgiving menu, still in progress:

Chicken casserole
Homemade cranberry sauce (I adore this stuff, and turkey has always been merely a vector for it)
Turnip/mustard greens
Pea casserole
Fruit salad
Macaroni and cheese
Corn pudding
Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, dried cranberries, and mushrooms
Sweet potato casserole
Bread

Desserts will hopefully include a pumpkin pie, cherry pie, and spice cake of some stripe. I would add brownies to the mix, but then I would just find a reason to be overly thankful for them.

Turbaconducken FTW!

Turbaconducken FTW!

In all fairness, and with my extensive knowledge of Fried, I have never had deep-fried turkey. I’m sure I would like it. Or bacon-wrapped turkey (as shown here). Until such moment that one of these arrives at my doorstep, it’s turkey-free Thanksgiving for the extended Team Practical Cook.

Where do you stand in the turkey vs sides debate? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Send your cranberry, your turkey cantankerousness, and your pumpkin bread to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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It’s almost Sunday, Sunday, Sunday: Weekly Menus Time.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 11/20/2011

Gentle Readers, this marks one of The Practical Cook’s favorite times of the year, the official kick-off for the season of eating, Thanksgiving. Beware the grocery stores too close to the actual day, as they will be overflowing with bright-eyed once-yearly cooks on a stampede for fresh sweet potatoes. Lists and plans are key for this time of year, to avoid last-minute trips, and to cook in waves so as not to be overwhelmed on the actual day.

If you need to stock up on baking supplies and seasonal items, the next couple of weeks are ideal times to catch the sales!

Here’s my plan, weekly menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 11/20/2011

Weekly Menus: 11/20/2011

And the Four-Square grocery list:

Four-Square Shopping List: 11/20/2011

Four-Square Shopping List: 11/20/2011

Lastly, the translation into what we’ll be eating:

Sunday: Pasta and salad OR Veggie Burgers
Depends on whether it’s just us or if we have guests. Working on a two-fold research project, best commercial veggie burger and best homemade.

Monday: Indian Veggie Burgers on Naan
Serving this curried delight with raita and chutney. Perhaps some sweet potato fries with garam masala on the side.

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs, grits, fruit, and crudite.

Wednesday: Soup and Sammies
Flavors TBD based on what is left in the house.

Thursday: Thanksgiving
Turkey, ham or beef, cranberry sauce, bread, twice-baked potatoes, greens, crudite, sweet potatoes, baked dressing, macaroni and cheese casserole, corn casserole, cherry pie, brownies, and pumpkin bars (to be created in the test kitchen soon). More may be added as the week progresses. We don’t play around at Thanksgiving.

Friday: Leftovers!
Please see above.

Saturday: Dine Out
I love Southern cooking for all its salt and pepper straightforwardness, but by Saturday, I’ll be craving something with zing from another cultural tradition. Think Chinese, Thai, or Korean.

What are you serving this Thanksgiving? Share your menu ideas in the comments section below! Or send me a tweet with #Thanksgivingmenu as the hashtag.

Send ideas, questions, and more to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up next time, Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe! The answer to the lumpy mashed potato.

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