Easy Thanksgiving Mealsby Erin Schreiner
For many, Thanksgiving is all about the food. However, this emphasis on good eats does not mean that you need to spend your time slaving over a hot stove on this holiday. To free yourself up to enjoy the festivities with your family and friends, plan some simple Thanksgiving meal options. By selecting these alternatives to the old standbys, you can delight your guests with tasty treats without breaking a sweat.
Instead of beating away with the electric mixer on Thanksgiving Day, craft a mashed potato alternative that can easily be prepared ahead. To create twice-baked potatoes, bake the potatoes at 350 degrees until they are cooked through. Carefully slice them in half lengthwise and remove the center potato, taking care not to rip the skin. Mix this softened potato with butter, sour cream and cheese to taste. Scoop your prepared filling back into your potato skins, and place them back in a baking dish and into the refrigerator. As meal time approaches, pull the dish out and slide it into a 350-degree oven, allowing it to bake for approximately an hour.
Boneless Turkey Breast
Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, but you do not have to struggle with a whole bird just to add this protein element to your meal. Instead, purchase a boneless turkey breast. Marinate your breast in a seasoning of your choice. Cook the de-boned meat in a skillet or bake it in the oven as you would a standard turkey. Slice it up, and allow your guests to feast on this classic Thanksgiving mainstay.
Candied yams may seem like a complex mixture of starch and sweet, but they are really deceptively simple to prepare. To make your Thanksgiving meal complete, offer a dish of these favorites. Simply purchase canned yams and drain and rinse them. In a skillet, mix 1/4 cup of butter and 1/8 cup of brown sugar. Dump the yams into this skillet, and mix to coat them completely with the syrupy sauce. Add miniature marshmallows, and mix once again. Pour the completed mixture into a baking dish, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
To save time on Thanksgiving Day, you can prepare this mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
Trade your standard, labor-intensive, pumpkin pie for a simpler alternative. To create your no-bake pumpkin pie, purchase a premade graham cracker crust and pumpkin-flavored pudding. Prepare the pudding according to package instructions, and pour it into your ready-to-go crust. Chill the pie to allow the pudding to cool. Come dessert time, simply slice off pieces of this tasty treat and top with whipped cream.
If you are unable to find pumpkin pudding mix, create your own by mixing vanilla pudding mix with a can of pumpkin puree and the classic pumpkin pie spices suggested on the can by the pumpkin puree manufacturer.
- cheese plate image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com