Today we are talking all about the sides. Sure the turkey is good; but what good a turkey without all the trimmings? smothered in gravy of course. With that being said, I also think we can get a little carried away with sides. I am going to share with you a few of my own tips along with some great side dish recipes and why I choose the ones I choose.
Tip #1 ~ When planning a big meal such as Thanksgiving you want to not only think about that day but also what you can do with all the left overs the day after. Here are a few examples of what I am talking about
* I choose pickled eggs over deviled because I know in the following days a refreshing turkey salad will do my body good since I spent the whole day in a carb/sugar coma. Or I can make a turkey sandwich on toast with lettuce, mayo and of course a sliced pickled egg.
* I like green bean casserole or my broccoli casserole because they are delicious wrapped in a crescent and baked with a nice bowl of caned tomato soup… and yes I said caned! you spent a week preparing for Thanksgiving day, once the holiday is over lets take it easy for a few days 😉
how to make pickled eggs
lets start with how to hard boil your eggs. This is the method my mom uses and they always turn out perfect, aside from the one or two that crack… hey, it happens.
How to hard boil an egg:
First place very carefully place the eggs in a pot. Fill the pot with COLD water, fill till water covers the top of the eggs. Turn heat on high and wait for water with eggs in to come to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up turn heat off, but keep pot on that same burner, cover eggs with a lid and set timer for 12 minutes. Once the 12 minutes are up carefully drain the water in the sink and fill the pot up with cold water to help them cool quicker. Once cooled they can be peeled.
I got my pickled egg recipe from my best friend. I’m not sure where she got it but I know it works and they are delicious!
Pickled egg recipe:
1 dozen eggs
2/3 cup white vinager
1/2 cup sugar
2 cans red beets (16 oz each)
Hard boil eggs, cool, & peel. set a side. In a small to medium size pot heat vinegar, sugar, & beets. Cool slightly. Pour over peeled eggs and refrigerate over night or until eggs turn a deep purple.
* Tip # 2 ~ If you are planning on making pickled eggs often you may want to find a container just for your pickeled eggs. I bought one at ollies. You want it to bee deep and wide enough to get a spoon in it. The Utz party mix barrels would work perfectly! similiar to the one below.
Now lets talk mashed potatoes. I love them! They are cheap to make and a little go a long way. You can purchase a 10 lb bag of russet potatoes for right around $4. And please don’t go instant, not for the holidays.
I also love mashed potatoes because they are great left overs to use in casseroles. I will be posting a chili cheese dog casserole next week if my Granny has enough left over mashed potatoes… Oh that is something I should have mentioned, Granny does Thanksgiving but I do a similar meal on Christmas, thats why I know all the do’s and don’ts of holiday meals.
Here is a fantastic recipe for Mashed potatoes!
Here is another fantastic side dish… Brussels sprout casserole. I made this for Christmas last year and people couldn’t believe how good it was, even the people who HATED Brussels sprouts.
CLICK HERE FOR BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPE (don’t mind the photo, it was from when I first started blogging and had no idea how important a photo was, it also did not have the french fried onion topping yet. I will try to take a better photo next time I make it!)
Tip #3 ~ It is ok to have an EASY microwave side! If you are going all out with Turkey, mashed potatoes, and a few other sides, it is ok to have a side such as cream corn that you just throw in a bowl and throw in the microwave….Trust me no one will complain!
Tip #4 ~ Sit down and look over your meal the week before. Try to think about what can be pre-made and what has to be made the day of. Also, figure out what prep work you can do a day or two before such as: cutting the stuffing, frying up any bacon or sausage, chopping any veggies, etc.
Tip #5 ~ Buy the aluminium casserole dishes for your sides! I always do this when I am the one having the meal, it saves on clean up after words! when the dish is empty I just throw it away, no clean up there! DO NOT, however, buy one of these for your turkey.. they are flimsy and the turkey is just too heavy, just don’t do it! =)
Tip #6 ~ Figure out what cooks when at what temp and how long. Write it down. Then yourself a list letting you know when to put what in the oven. This will help you stay on track so you don’t freak out! =)
I hope you found this post helpful. I wanted to share a few tips to make the holiday less stressful! =)
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