Family far away? Kids with the in-laws? Whatever the reason…sometimes it’s Thanksgiving for Two.
My advice? Enjoy it! Think of all the dishes you won’t have to wash! Make a great meal, open a bottle of wine, and relax!
Relax on Thanksgiving? Yep! I said it. I’ll tell you how.
Thanksgiving for Two
I actually like the making-from-scratch part normally, but IT IS TOTALLY OKAY to buy the parts and assemble! I give you permission to take the pressure off and live a little! Imagine coming out of the season more rested. Maybe even catch a movie.
Keep it simple. It’s just the two of you. This is really only a bite to munch on before the meal. You’re not trying to keep a big group occupied. I suggest one of these options. If you don’t normally snack before dinner, don’t do it! No one will know! wink
- Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly w/Cream Cheese & Crackers – Of course you can make your own jelly if you’re industrious. I suggest this version from Trader Joe’s. It has just the right amount of sweet + spice.)
- Deli meats & Antipasti – grab these from your local deli. Salami, brie, salty olives… perfect.
The First Scene (Starters)
‘Would you like soup or salad?’ Adding this course makes the meal more of an occasion. It will feel more like having dinner at a ‘fancy’ restaurant. Perhaps to save time, and room in the tummy, choose either an appetizer or a starter.
- Pear & Roquefort Salad – This recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything is spectacular. The dressing is light and zesty – a perfect compliment to the blue cheese.
- Butternut Squash Bisque – Save time. Buy this at the grocery store. Everybody has a version of this available in the deli or in the soup aisle. Add a few toasted nuts when you serve it for a homemade touch! If you feel compelled to make it, try the Whole Foods recipe. It is quite good.
The Main Event (Main Course)
I love the classics, but I don’t want leftovers for the next month. With just two eating, I recommend making smaller portions, but don’t make them so small that you won’t have enough for that crave-able turkey sandwich the next day.
- Roasted Turkey Breast & Gravy – I picked up a Boneless Butterball Breast at Costco. This will make a great dinner + leftovers enough for that sandwich (or two!), and maybe a pot of turkey noodle soup! This great recipe from Oh! Sweet Basil will get your turkey juices flowing. Or, save time and stress. You can order the turkey (and sides) pre-cooked from Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market and many other grocery stores.
- Southern Cornbread Dressing – cornbread stuffing is my favorite. Pre-purchase the cornbread muffins if they’re available, and add them to this southern favorite from Dessert for Two. If you make Stove Top Stuffing, it’ll be our little secret. There’s no one to impress here!
- Baked Sweet Potato & Maple Cinnamon Butter – Bake your sweet potatoes as usual. In a small bowl, mix throughly 1 stick of room temperature butter with 1T Cinnamon, 2T brown sugar, and 1/4 maple syrup. Top your potato with the sweet butter and toasted pecans.
- Sautéed Green Beans & Caramelized Shallots – I was looking for a healthy replacement for the traditional G.B. Casserole. Rikki Snyder swayed me with this amazing photo! After making her recipe, I’m an even bigger fan! The caramelized shallots steal the show, providing a distinct balance to the turkey and gravy.
The Intermission (Wine!)
Don’t forget the wine! There are a bunch of articles out there telling you which wines to pick – the expensive ones, the impressive one, red, white, yada yada. A good wine is the one you like! If you have a favorite wine, CHOOSE IT! If you don’t, I have a couple of suggestions.
- Bubbly – This goes great with turkey! My tried and true is La Marca Prosecco. Broadly available and for about $12-14, you get a great dry bubbly that pairs perfectly with, well, pretty much everything!
- Cranberry Wine – Try something different! I love this version from Pasek Cellars in Mount Vernon, Washington.
The Finale (Dessert)
I’m a pie-and-ice-cream kinda girl. My favorite is pecan, but Mark will be disappointed if we don’t have pumpkin. (I’ll make pecan for Christmas!)
- Pumpkin Pie for Two! Try this egg-free, crust-free version from Chocolate Moosey. I promise you won’t miss the crust. Make these a day or two ahead of time, if you can stand to wait. They’ll keep well when covered with cling wrap in the refrigerator.
TIP: Make your shopping list, but don’t go on Saturday! Shop Monday or Tuesday evening. The crowds will be much better.
Happy Turkey Day to You!