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Thanksgiving Menu for Two

Not as hard as you think...

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Right. The kids (or parents) live 1000 miles away and travel is expensive. After dropping a few hints none of your friends has invited you to join them for Thanksgiving Dinner. Or perhaps Margaret, who always overcooks the turkey, did and you declined.

Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. There's nothing like an order of General Tso's Chicken and some won ton soup to celebrate - and fortunately it's easy to avoid. But although Denny's might be more traditional it probably tastes worse. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. It really is possible to do a traditional Thanksgiving feast for two.Recipes serve 2 with leftovers.

Not that hard

Thanksgiving Dinner
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks

Thanksgiving with all the fixings is an effort, but you can rein in that effort by spreading it over two or three days and working on it together. This menu is geared for two with a day or two's leftovers (and will serve four if your neighbors have been dropping you hints).

I suggest starting off with an appetizer and glass of wine. Some caviar on toast points is always nice, but instead you might consider making these Ceci Fritos, or perhaps Proscuitto and Goat Cheese Crostini.

Apple-Brined Roast Turkey for Two

Roast Turkey
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
Even a small turkey breast is a lot of turkey for two people. My approach is to buy a whole small breast, thaw it, then cut it in half and refreeze half for later. Half a breast is not only enough for dinner for two, but enough for a couple of turkey sandwiches later. I also like to brine the breast, which produces a moister and more flavorful result - especially if you flavor the brine as I do in this recipe.

Apple/Sausage Stuffing for Two

Apple/Sausage Stuffing
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
This recipe for stuffing (or dressing as we say in the South) features Italian sausage, apples, and raisins and is specifically intended to complement my recipe for Apple-brined Turkey for Two. You can prep the bread, sausage, and vegetables a day in advance and then store in separate sealed containers (don't refrigerate the bread cubes, and make sure they've cooled completely before storing) until ready to combine and bake.

Gravy for Two

Turkey Gravy
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
Just because you aren't spending three or four hours roasting a whole turkey doesn't mean you have to give up homemade gravy. I offer three options ranging in difficulty from some trouble to a piece of cake. Wait until the last moment to actually make the gravy, but you can prepare the broth up to a week in advance.

Broccoli with Blue Cheese

Broccoli with Blue Cheese
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
This is hardly worthy of being called a recipe, and yet it's one of my favorite dishes, not least because it's so quick and easy. You can also do this with steamed asparagus, but broccoli is really the best - the blue cheese complements the broccoli perfectly. I've also used the Marie's Blue Cheese dressing (available in the produce section at your supermarket) but it's not the same as my dressing recipe.

Mashed Rutabaga with Bourbon and Maple Syrup

Mashed Rutabaga
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
When I was growing up rutabaga was served at Thanksgiving far more often than sweet potatoes. It's a sweet vegetable (albeit more like a winter squash than sweet potatoes) with a hearty texture. Growing up we usually had them just mashed with butter, but I've gussied up this version and it makes a nice change from ordinary mashed potatoes and from sweet potatoes. Best of all, you can make this a couple of days in advance then heat in your microwave.

Cranberry Mousse: A Holiday Tradition Made New

Cranberry Mousse
Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
One Thanksgiving a few years ago I was looking for something different to do with cranberries - something really different. Cranberry relish or jelly certainly wasn't going to cut it. I could have added the cranberries as an ingredient in another dish such as stuffing or green beans, then I hit on it: dessert! Specifically cranberry mousse. This has a nice tart flavor, is made at least a day in advance, and makes a gorgeous presentation.

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