Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tantalizing Thursday - Thanksgiving Menu at Casa 187

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187 Chatter. The clock is ticking and it’s time to finalize your menu if you are hosting. For those of you who are pros and are annual hosts, this may simply serve as a curiosity post, but for those hosting for the first time, those who rarely host, or those thrown into a tailspin because they aren’t organized, this should surely help. I welcome and encourage you to add YOUR menu to this post to give all of the readers checking in alternatives for their menus. The more ideas the merrier!

Thanksgiving Menu at Casa 187


Crudite’ – assorted raw vegetables and dip

Cheese tray – 3-4 cheeses that range from mild to tangy with an assortment of crackers and grapes

Shrimp ring – nothing says Holiday like a generous serving of medium shrimp fanned into a circle on a serving plate with fresh lemons and a horseradish infused cocktail sauce (The premade ones at grocery stores are ok, but they aren’t as good as buying a bag of frozen tail-on shrimps, defrosting them according to package, and arranging your own ring; fresh shrimp is great, too!)


Roasted turkey with stuffing in the bird – you can make a homemade stuffing or dressing and that is tremendous, but a few boxes of Stove Top Stuffing will fit the bill nicely here. Do the “in the bird” stuffing but do a small casserole for those who prefer “out of the bird”. It’s always nice to give a choice. Some will take both!

Gravy made from pan drippings – a jar of turkey gravy will work in a lurch or if you are just not able to do the other way!

Mashed Potatoes – peel them, boil them, mash them, and try to serve them warm without losing your mind. I use instant, a really good brand and variety that suits my family, and I get rave reviews.

Sweet Potato Casserole – recipe appeared in last week’s Tantalizing Thursday or you could do the marshmallow-covered ones.

Vegetable – Corn is a good bet as are peas which can both be purchased reasonably in the frozen foods section. They are quick, easy, offer good color to the plate and children (of all ages) are usually not averse to them.

Cranberry Sauce – I use the canned because everybody always asks for the canned. I do “doctor them up”, something I did learn from my mother. I buy whole berry cranberry sauce and add fresh (or thawed frozen) mixed berries to the bowl; I mix and serve. Even people who insist they don’t like cranberry sauce will try this and love it! There’s something about the color and texture of mixed berries that draws people in and the taste that keeps the berries constantly being passed and taken! Make sure you have enough of this as it will GO!

Rolls – whether you buy the tiny dinner rolls from Pepperidge Farm or make Pillsbury Crescent rolls, the bread is an equally important element to this meal. And have more than enough for “gravy bread” during dinner, and turkey sandwiches later that night and the next day!

Relish Tray – This is a dish filled with little gherkin pickles, olives, and raw vegetables from the hos d’oerves hour. My mother-in-law always served one and it does fit nicely with the dinner.


Pumpkin Pie – a tradition that must be adhered… unless no one in your family likes it, then skip it! But if there are one or two people who like it, get one. Mrs. Smith’s makes a great and easy rendition. Farm stands may still have some as well. Make sure to stock up on whipped cream or Cool Whip!

Fruit Pie – Apple, Cherry, Berry, Peach, be sure to have at least one other pie offering.

Cookies or Candy – an easy thing to put on the table during clean-up of the main meal; some amazing conversations happen at the table during this time period. Set out cookies and/or a box of good chocolates and encourage the bonding. Make sure there is some chocolate!

Coffee – do I really need to profess the necessity? Treat your family and friends to the “good cream” and have enough sugar on hand!

This is the foundation of the annual 187 version of a Happy and Delicious Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to glean some good ideas, helpful tips, and a renewed sense of excitement for your own menu. Please let me know what you do!

Join me tomorrow as we end the week with the Friday Music Blog!

Thanksgiving at Casa 187 through the last 7 years as the family grew!

2004 -

2005 -

2006 We added a baby boy who is sleeping off-camera during this picture! -

2007 -

2008 -

2009 We added a baby girl who is sleeping off-camera during this picture! -

2010 - A virus befell nearly all of the adults in the 48 hours surrounding the holiday. Non-traditional celebrations are still picture worthy! -

Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy, and Joyous Thanksgiving Season!


  1. I will probably make a cream cheese dip this year that I haven't made in 10-12 years to go with a vegetable and cracker tray, deviled eggs is a must have, turkey with in bird bread stuffing(another must have, in fact if all I made was the eggs and stuffing the kids would be satisfied with that), gravy using a combo of dry package mix and pan gravy, mashed potatoes (boil and mash), I bought a buffet server last year going to see how well it works keeping them warm, I also have an electric roaster that can cook up to an 18 # turkey that also serves as a buffet warmer with water in the bottom and 3 pan buffet on top, plain and simple corn, green beans flavored with onions and bacon, sweet potato casserole, rolls, usually opt for the store bought anymore but this year going to do the homemade dinner rolls which I haven't done in 14 yrs, no bake cheesecake pies or a homemade devils food cake topped with no bake cheesecake filling and canned cherry pie filling (pumpkin is not a popular item here but I have come across a pumpkin bread that seems to go over well so I might make it)
    guests this year will be adding to the menu and what I know so far is a ranch dip and veggie tray, boneless ham and death by chocolate cake, no-one really drinks coffee except me (and my Mom now that she is here) so it will be tea and soft drinks

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all of that, Sherry! I appreciate ALL of it! Have a fantastic Thanksgiving Season! XO

  3. Same Menu Every Year:

    Field Green Salad w/a Balsamic Vinegar dressing

    Main Course:
    Brined & Roasted Turkey
    Grandpa Jimmy's Cornbread Stuffing (shh... secret recipe)
    "Loaded" Mashed Potatoes (salt, pepper, butter, milk, sour cream)
    Fresh Steamed Green Beans
    Glazed Baby Carrots w/ Dill ("saute" in chicken broth until tender then toss with butter & dill)
    Corn (canned w/butter, salt & pepper)
    Gravy (jarred- never learned how to do Grandpa Jimmy's)
    Whole Cranberry Sauce
    Dinner Rolls

    Usually we do a pumpkin cheesecake. This year is different and special. This year we will have Baskin-Robbins Clown Cones (if I can find them).

    This is my ultimate comfort food. If you were to ask me what I would want my last meal to include... Thanksgiving dinner is it. I am not a big eater, I generally eat because I have too. I have lots of favorite foods that change minute to minute but, Thanksgiving dinner is pure joy to me.

  4. Oops! To drink we always have Sparkling Cider. ;)

  5. What a happy family in those photos! I raise a glass of Jones turkey gravy soda to you!

  6. Love it!! This is my mom's traditional menu and when I can go home it is the best...

    Meatball-bowtie-veggie soup with need broth base

    Turkey with assorted sides:
    Parmesan baked mushrooms
    Sweet potatoes
    Stuffed artichokes
    Veggie dish
    Italian bread
    Homemade cranberry sauce, more like a chutney
    Homemade bread / ground beef stuffing
    Gravy made from turkey Bastings


    Fruit dish
    Apple pie
    Pumpkin pie
    Usually pastries and fresh fennel too