Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. While gratitude shouldn't be saved for one day, I love the fact that we give thanks for our many blessings ... by stuffing our faces. What foodie isn't going to love a day that celebrates gluttony? My Canadian friends have already celebrated Thanksgiving, but here in the States, we still have a few weeks to go. Can I tell you a secret? I'm a food blogger who has never cooked a turkey. They scare me. I enjoy eating turkey, but the idea of roasting one makes me break out in hives. But everything else, I can do!
3 Steps To Make Thanksgiving Affordable and Less Chaotic
All holidays have a certain amount of pressure built into them. You want to find the perfect gift for Christmas. Halloween—the perfect costume. Valentine's Day—a valentine. Or is that just me? :) Honestly, the perfect holiday is being surrounded with loved ones, not giving yourself an ulcer trying to outdo Martha Stewart.
1. Host a Thanksgiving Potluck
There is no rule that you must cook the entire Thanksgiving meal yourself. In our family, guests were always assigned a dish to bring, such as a dessert, salad, vegetable, etc. We still provided plenty of food, but the guests helped round out the meal, saving us both time and money. Most guests don't like coming empty handed and are happy to bring a dish.
2. Have a Game Plan
Create your menu weeks in advance so you can be on the lookout for sales and coupons to help lower your costs. Some menu items can also be prepared in advance and frozen, such as homemade rolls. We also make creamy mashed potatoes the day before and reheat them in a crockpot. It works beautifully and frees up time and space on the stove. We also prep our stuffing ingredients the day prior as well. We toast and cube the bread and chop and saute the veggies, so we can throw everything in the crockpot the next morning. Yes, our crockpots get a workout on Thanksgiving. :)
3. Plan for Leftovers
Running out of food is every hostesses nightmare, which is why so many of us cook too much food. Think of Thanksgivings past, did you have a copious amount of leftovers? Consider decreasing the amount of food you prepare, especially if you ended up throwing out spoiled leftovers. Secondly, plan for leftovers too. You can buy cheap plasticware and give leftovers to guests who want them. I can tell you from firsthand experience that I appreciated noshing on Thanksgiving leftovers the next day. I know some families don't like eating leftovers, so get creative. Look for ways to turn leftovers into new meals.
Snickers Ice Cream Pie with Caramel Sauce
I struggled coming up with a recipe to share for Thanksgiving, but finally chose this dessert. I love how absolutely simple it is to make. The holidays are so busy and most of do not have the time to deal with complicated desserts. And it's a bit of unexpected too. I figure someone is sure to bring pumpkin pie, so you might as well show up with an easy, delicious and non-traditional dessert.
- Prepared Graham Cracker Pie Crust
- 1 quart Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 cups Snickers, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Allow ice cream to soften slightly. In a big bowl, combine ice cream and snickers together. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Cover with foil and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
- Mix brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring gently. Sauce should thicken slightly but will still be quite thin. Stir in vanilla and cook another minute. Cool sauce then store in a jar or a plastic container in the refrigerator. Sauce will thicken further as it cools.
- Serve with cold caramel sauce drizzled over individual slices of pie.
You can certainly make a homemade graham cracker crust or a chocolate crust instead. You can also replace the Snickers with any candy of your choice, such as Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers or some combination.