Thanksgiving Dinner! Easy and Delicious, Holiday table ideas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, we surely did! I always try my best to create a holiday atmosphere and bring joy and excitement to my loving crew. I hope you will find these Holiday Recipes and presentations useful to create a special dinner for your family!


Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

I Love to cook, and it’s pretty simple to make a weeknight dinner that consists of 2 to 3 items, but cooking for the party is a whole different ballgame!

Costco saves me time and energy. You will see that most of the ingredients were bought at Costco. So if you are preparing a Holiday table, I think you will find these recipes useful. 


Thanksgiving Dinner 2019 all food!

It always takes me a while to narrow down my much more extensive (unrealistic) menu plan. This year I was inspired by Mediterranean dishes and decided to have more salads on the table. 

It’s challenging to post recipes for the holiday dishes that I prepare since I don’t measure and eyeball the measurements to speed up the process. But I will try to give you approximate measurements. 

Thanksgiving 2019 Menu

Salads:

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)
Mediterranean Asparagus salad
Mediterranean Chickpea Egg salad 
Brussels Sprouts salad
Salad Olivier (mother-in-law)
Chicken liver pate (mother-in-law)
Deviled eggs with cream cheese and smoked salmon roses
2 Charcuterie Boards with Hummus selection, deli meats, cheeses…
Naan Pizza with bacon and second with mushrooms/onions

Main:

Smoked Turkey with roasted potatoes, peppers and broccoli
Breaded shrimp and edamame
Mashed Potatoes
Beef Bulgori with onions and mushrooms
– Cranberry Sauce (cranberries, sugar, pomegranate juice. Cook until sauce thickens. Easy!)

Dessert:

Caramel Apple Trifle
Roasted Fruit salad with Cranberry/Yogurt sauce
– Tiramisu (Costco)
– Candy
– Dried Fruit
– Seasonal Fruit

Salads:

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush) is a tasty low carb dip that goes so well with meats and vegetables!

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)

HOW TO MAKE LOADED EGGPLANT DIP

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini paste
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Slice eggplant in half or slices to bake faster, up to you. 

Brush eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Scoop eggplant pulp from the skin and place into a food processor.

Add greek yogurt, tahini paste, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sumac, and salt/pepper.

You don’t want runny baba ganoush, so blend gently few pulses. Adjust to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add mix to a serving plate, cover and refrigerate until serving.

Make a separate salsa topping by combining sliced colorful tomatoes, cucumber, radish, olives, and parsley.

Season with olive oil and a bit of salad vinegar. Just before serving, add salsa topping (be sure to drain any excess liquid) on top of the eggplant dip. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and sumac.

You can use a stove, oven, or microwave to toast pine nuts. Make a dent in the eggplant dip and add some olive oil. 


 

Mediterranean Asparagus salad

Mediterranean Asparagus salad

HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN ASPARAGUS SALAD 

Add olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add and cook garlic for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus, and cook for about  5 to 10 minutes, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking. Remove to a plate. Pan-fry sliced mushrooms, colorful bell peppers, and sliced tomatoes.

To serve this dish lay cooked asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle sumac and Za’atar. Add olives, feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts. 


Mediterranean Chickpea Egg salad 

Mediterranean Chickpea Egg salad

HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • celery, chopped
  • cucumbers, diced
  • green onions, chopped
  • shredded red cabbage
  • parsley
  • hard-boiled egg, sliced
  • crumbled feta cheese

Directions: 

Spread salad ingredients on the serving plate. Drizzle with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp dijon mustard, minced garlic clove, sumac, Za’atar, and salt/pepper to taste. Adjust dressing to taste. 


Brussels Sprouts salad

Brussels Sprouts salad

HOW TO MAKE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD

Cut off the bottom part of brussels sprouts and cut in half.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for a 1 minute. Remove the garlic and set aside.

Add the Brussels sprouts, pearl onions, sliced colorful bell peppers, and tomatoes. Cook occasionally stirring, until Brussels sprouts are fork-tender and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. 

To serve, arrange sauteed veggies on top of arugula leaves. Whisk together Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (see below). Top with Vinaigrette dressing, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp salad vinegar (or any vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad Olivier (mother-in-law)

Salad Olivier

Olivier Salad is a very popular Russian version of potato salad. It usually has peas, potatoes, carrots, onions, meat, pickles, and eggs, all mixed with mayo. The meat used is either bologna, chicken, or ham.

My mother-in-law makes a very simple version with just potatoes, eggs, peas, pickles, and mayo. I have garnished it fresh dill and pomegranate seeds.


Chicken liver pate (mother-in-law)

Chicken liver pate

You can find lots of recipes for the Chicken liver pate.

Mother-in-law cooks chicken livers, then blends them with sauteed onions and carrots. 


Deviled eggs with cream cheese and smoked salmon roses

Deviled eggs with cream cheese and smoked salmon roses

I’ve used “Foppen Norwegian Traditional, Dill, and Pepper Smoked Salmon Slices” from Costco to create the roses for this recipe. 

Super Easy recipe! The hardest part of making deviled eggs, as we all know, is the Peeling process. Well, if you have Instant Pot, pressure cook for 5 minutes and this process is a breeze!

Slice cooked eggs in half and add a teaspoon or so of Cream Cheese with Chives. Slice smoked salmon into long strips and roll to create a rose. Place rose on top of the cream cheese and add sliced cucumber, tomatoes (used yellow and red), and radish.

Sprinkle with diced fresh dill. Easy Peasy! 


Charcuterie Board with Hummus selection

Charcuterie Board with Hummus selection

HOW TO MAKE HUMMUS

I’ve made three versions of the following recipe. For Beet Hummus, I’ve just added a leftover cooked beet I had on hand. Don’t you LOVE this gorgeous color? WOW Looks even better in person. The pink one has some beet and lots of extra spices: sumac, Za’atar, and pepper for a spicy version.  

  • 1 can chickpeas, well rinsed under water and drained
  • lemon juice (1/2 large lemon)
  • 4 Tbsp. well-stirred tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend together in the food processor.


Naan Pizza with bacon and second with mushrooms/onions

Naan Pizza with bacon and second with mushrooms/onions

Another low-effort recipe. Everyone loves Pizza, right! Bought Naan bread and Bacon Bits at Costco as well! My son loves just plain: pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and bacon bits. For adults, I have added sauteed onions and mushrooms. 


Smoked Turkey with roasted potatoes, peppers and broccoli

Costco's Smoked Turkey

I was so hoping to get Smoked Turkey from Costco this year again after trying it last year.

It’s the BEST one we have ever tried, and I know others (since I’m in the Costco group) feel the same! I kept asking my friend that works there every couple of days if they have received the shipment. Finally, it came!!! 

You do need to reheat Smoked Turkey in the oven. It says to reheat it 12 minutes per pound. Mine was 10 pounds, so it’s 2 hours reheating time. I have placed the turkey in a large roasting pan, basted it well with melted butter and spices (garlic powder, paprika, Italian spices…). You can use your favorite spices.

Covered the turkey well with heavy-duty foil and roasted it 1 1/2 hours at 350F. Opened it up, drained liquids, and basted again with more butter and spices. Cooked it opened for another 30 minutes.

While reheating the smoked turkey, I have roasted baby potatoes and small salad bell peppers (from Costco as well) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Just drizzle olive oil on potatoes and bell peppers and sprinkle with your favorite spices on top. 

roasted potatoes, peppers and broccoli


Breaded shrimp and edamame

Breaded shrimp and edamame

The Breaded shrimp from Costco is another Party favorite for us! I always have them in my freezer. Great value, easy to rehat, and super delicious! I like to add edamame for color, and I think it goes well together. 


Mashed Potatoes 

Mashed Potatoes

HOW TO MAKE BEST CREAMY MASHED POTATOES

  • 3 Large Baking potatoes
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper
 
Instructions

Peel, wash, and cut potatoes into smaller pieces. Place potatoes into a medium saucepan. Add cold water to the pan until the potatoes are covered. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Turn the heat on to high, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Drain water.

In a small saucepan, bring to heat: milk, butter, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese.

Add hot mix to boiled potatoes and mash.

Add salt/pepper and adjust to taste.


Beef Bulgori with onions and mushrooms

Beef Bulgori with onions and mushrooms
That’s the first time that I’ve decided to try Beef Bulgori from Costco, and we all LOVED them! Gorgeous shape, lots of meat, a bit on a spicy side with lots of flavors! If you have never tried, definitely recommend these! 

Sauteed mushrooms, onions, and colorful bell pepper blend perfectly with these potstickers!  


DESSERT

I did have a “disaster” when my last cooking of the day –  Apple cake – that I’ve made so many times didn’t want to come out, and I had a big mess on my hands. (I think I put too many nuts and they got stuck to the bundt pan…)

My son gave me a big hug since he saw that I got upset, that helped! And my Hubby, that knows me so well, didn’t think any of it: “I’m sure you can salvage it!”. He is right! I love Frankensteining! I gave a second life to my creations numerous times before.

So I started looking for ideas and decided to make a Caramel Apple Trifle! Honestly, it tastes better than what I planned! Thank GOD to my disaster, I came up with a new Delicious recipe! 

My “Disaster”!

disaster apple cake

And…

TADA…

Caramel Apple Trifle

Caramel Apple Trifle

Caramel Apple Trifle top view

It’s just my “disaster” apple cake, layers of whipped cream (heavy cream/vanilla extract/powdered sugar). A layer of homemade caramel sauce (sugar, water, butter, heavy cream), caramelized fresh apples, roasted pecans, and you are in business! Simple but SO DELICIOUS!

You can use any pound cake, or even crushed plain cookies will work for layering. 

Whipped cream layer:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat.

Caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

Mix the sugar, butter, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until sauce thickens.

Caramelized Apples: 

  •  apples (such as gala or granny smith),  peeled, cored and sliced
  • unsalted butter
  • brown sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon 

In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add apples. Cook, constantly stirring, until apples are almost tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add sugar and cinnamon, cook, and toss the apples a few times until apples are caramelized on all sides.


Roasted Fruit salad with Cranberry/Yogurt sauce

Roasted Fruit salad with Cranberry/Yogurt sauce

This is so Healthy and Delicious! I buy too many grapes, and unfortunately, they get soft after a few days, but they are perfect for roasting.

Roasting brings so much flavor to the fruit. I just baked at 400F for about 30 minutes. You can drizzle with a bit of honey if you like, add nuts. Love sliced roasted apples, the perfect snack for me.

Especially the grapes have a ton of natural sugar that you don’t have to add anything; just bake them. You can add fruit to any dish that you cook. Eat as is or serve with yogurt, or blend to make fruit jam. 

I love baked goods, so this gives me the flavor I want without all the calories. 

I decided to serve it with Cranberry/Yogurt sauce (my homemade cranberry sauce mixed with greek vanilla yogurt). 

Fruit plate

I always prepare a lot of food even though we have a small family since I pack food for my mother-in-law to take home.

She doesn’t cook much for herself since she takes care of her husband that has been through so much and can’t eat most of the things. So it’s a big treat for her to have Yummy leftovers

I hope you will find this post useful! I have tried to be as detailed as possible with every recipe, which takes a LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT! 

If you use and like any of the recipes, please let me know! Your feedback always delights me!

ENJOY!!!

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