After looking at holiday recipes at work for months already, I'm day dreaming of the best parts of the Thanksgiving, which in my opinion are the side dishes and time with family. But such cravings are practical, too.
Make Ahead and Freeze. Making your dressing and other sides ahead of time makes Turkey Day itself much simpler; try prepping some casseroles on a less busy upcoming Saturday or Sunday and freezing them. Think of the satisfaction of ease when you can simply defrost and bake it down the road.
Plan Something Different. I know if I'm meal planning last minute, I tend to stick with recipes I know work, but I much prefer to gather inspiration for a twist on old favorites. Here's what I want to try to break a bit from family tradition this year:
Adding sauteed celery and onion to packaged Pepperidge Farm dressing has always tasted great when my family did it in the past, but then I tasted a friend's homemade dressing with apples and dried cranberries. The uniquely fresh turkey side convinced me include these essentials next time: crusty bread, Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, and fresh sage.
I don't typically like carrots, but this sweet, light dish is delicious. Its spiced root veggie flavor and creamy texture is really similar to sweet potato casserole, so I'm going to try the soufflé in its place this year.
What are the best Thanksgiving sides you've ever had? What are you going to make this year?