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!
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.
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
– 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
– 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!)
HOW TO MAKE LOADED EGGPLANT DIP
- 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
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.
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.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- celery, chopped
- cucumbers, diced
- green onions, chopped
- shredded red cabbage
- hard-boiled egg, sliced
- crumbled feta cheese
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
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.
- 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.
apples (such as gala or granny smith), peeled, cored and sliced
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.
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).
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!