Nigella Lawson's Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts (basically warm, spicy, sweet mixed nuts... you can't go wrong)
pomegranate seeds and green grapes
a few hunks of cheese (probably a five-year-old gouda and a triple creme brie from the local cheese dude)
*I like to keep Thanksgiving apps sparing and simple. With so many labor-intensive dishes in the meal to follow, you don't want your guests to spoil their appetites or have a bunch of extra, early prep on your hands.
Bourbon Turkey with simple pan gravy
Joy the Baker's Cranberry Sauce (Pictured above. I'm now more or less stalking Joy the Baker. It can't be helped.)
Fougasse Stuffing (Fougasse is a gorgeous bread made with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. Our favorite bakery in my parents' town makes a fabulous one, so I'm going to take a basic stuffing recipe and make the fougasse the focus of it, rather than those little Pepperidge Farms crouton bad boys you can pick up at the store. I am totally rolling the dice by making up and not pre-testing a recipe for one of Thanksgiving's centerpiece dishes. This is way ballsy. Pray for me. I'll let you know what happens.)
Smitten Kitchen's Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
(I am going to completely wing this recipe and will report back, as these could potentially be a winner for all of your holiday season menus).
My mom is also going to make her mother's old-school and much-beloved recipe for a chilled cucumber-sour cream salad.
The areas in which I am still brainstorming are beverages and desserts. Festive cocktails set the tone for the whole day and meal, and I really think you can't go wrong with a bellini. I love to mix prosecco and pomegranate at the holidays because the ruby red color is so festive, but the wine shop on my parents' street also sells a special pear puree, and I'm thinking that would also be mighty good with some bubbly. Why choose?! In an ideal world, we'll stock up on prosecco and both juices. I am also very intrigued by this Hot Vanilla Cider I just spied on Shutterbean:
As for desserts, I'm caught in a Libran indecision land between adherence to the classics (my sister is a sucker for a perfect, flaky crusted apple pie) and food-blog-stalking innovations (see below for Joy's pumpkin pie bars).
On the other hand, I may just have to try making this Salted Caramel Pie from November's Issue of Food and Wine Magazine. It looks simply outrageous.
Only time will tell.Special bonus: are you Thanksgiving-procrastinating and only planning your menu now? Does all of the above sound great to you? I'm creating a comprehensive shopping list for my menu and would happily e-mail you that Word doc if you want to play along at home. Leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail and I'll share the love.
What are you cooking/baking/eating/drinking on Turkey Day?