What’s For Dinner #87 - the Holiday Menu Planning Edition - November 2022

And it’s not just ONE menu for the U.S. Thanksgiving - there’s the Christmas holidays as well!

Have you been testing out new dishes to see if they’ll work or are enjoyed prior to the big holiday(s)? Or do you stay with tried-and-true, because you can’t change up the traditions of Thanksgiving? (Personally, that was my family - Christmas was the one where you could add new dishes.)

Are you staying traditional with a turkey (or chicken if you don’t like turkey) or are you going rogue with a ham or Beef Wellington or seafood?

Do you figure out menu timing or just wing it? Because you can’t have everyone sitting there waiting to eat and the turkey’s not done yet…Grandma will get cranky. :wink: And there’s only so much cheese and crackers and wine the family can pre-game with!

Are you going over the river and through to woods, to Grandmother’s house you go? (And what about Grandfather? He got short shrift in that little ditty!)

Or are you going out to eat at a restaurant and letting someone else do the cooking and cleaning up?

Or are you planning on serving others on the Day of Thanks by helping out in a soup kitchen or food pantry either on or prior to the holiday?

Whatever you do, here’s wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday, and lots of good eats and drink.

In the meantime, there are dinners to get on the table. What’s cooking in your house?


My local grocery store had this beautiful Ham on clearance. I think they just had too many of them in stock, so they “deeply” discounted a few of them. I grabbed one and put it in the freezer for Christmas, so I already have my Christmas Ham.
I talked to my girlfriend and we are not having any company for Thanksgiving this year, so I’ll probably just pick up a Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving.
I’m still sending two large meals a week down to my neighbor who is recuperating from her surgery/hospital stay. She had a little set back and still needs some help with meals/cooking. So, I will be making a “no salt” version of Thanksgiving dinner, as I want to give her a nice Thanksgiving meal.
I’m just cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal, Turkey (breast), stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, cranberry sauce (jellied-can), gravy and rolls (brown and serve).
I haven’t figured out all of my Christmas menu yet, but that Ham will be the main course.


We get back from NOLA (first-timer here :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:) the Monday of Thxgiving week, so we are unlikely to be hosting friends like we have in the past.

But my BIL & SIL in upstate NY recently asked if we’d like to come up, as she’ll be hosting her two brothers. If we’re not traveled out by then, we might make the 5+ hour drive. We haven’t seen each other in person in a couple of years, miss them dearly, plus she’s a great cook :slight_smile:

Xmas is too far off for me to even ponder… though after that smashing rib roast success I’d be inclined to make something like that again.


This year’s thanksgiving thread:


Enjoy NOLa!

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Thank you! No doubt I will. I have many recs from seasoned visitors like @mariacarmen & others, plus a dear friend of ours is a NOLA native. This is my 4th attempt in 5 years to get down there. Fingers crossed it actually happens this time around :wink:


Love that you do this. Such a good neighbor.


I made black bean tofu with carrots, broccoli, and zucchini (crisper cleaner). Served over jasmine rice with chili crisp, it hit the spot.

ETA: yes, it’s 4:30 and dinner is over. Busy day with no time for a lunch break.


We’ve been craving the NYT Trini-Chinese chicken, which I don’t think I’ve made it since we left for Berlin in May – and what better side than the NYT stir-fried bok choy that my PIC has perfected over time? A collaborative dinner effort @casa lingua tonight, if you will. Hit all the spots :yum:


Had a side of salmon to turn into fillets - usually the trimmings become salmon burgers, but tonight I wanted something different, so I dug out some shrimp from the freezer and made shrimp and salmon moqueca. Super easy and satisfying one-potter, though I was jonesing pretty hard for a big chunk of bread to go with.


Dinner was a big salad - a version of a wonderful Ming Tsai recipe for spicy tofu and spinach napoleans. My favorite part is the salad dressing, which combines miso, pickled ginger, sambal oelek, etc. I quick marinated and then baked the tofu, and added a bell pepper and some roasted eggplant to bulk it out. The og recipe only has tofu and spinach.

And because dinner was so virtuous, dessert was a gateau invisible, named because there are 2.5 lbs of sliced apples in this single loaf pan, and only about 1.5 cups of batter holding them together. But the apples visually disappear into the cake. Very yums. The teen liked the big bowl of spinach a bit less than the adults did.


Made Greek /Cypriot-style braised goat with quince, cinnamon, white wine and bay leaf tonight. It was okay. Will try a tagine or curry next time .


A go-to, household favorite: pan-roasted chicken thighs (ala diavolo) and garden greens. There will be some brandied fruit for dessert.



Roasted oyster mushrooms, brussels sprouts and carrots in herb sauce. There was more, but it wasn’t as pretty.


Dinner tonight; salad with cukes, baby greens and red and green peppers, dressed with Creamy Caesar. Roasted spaghetti squash with hot Italian sausage, peppers, Monastery sauce from last year, with Parmesan and Mizithra cheeses. Still using cucumbers, peppers, garlic and tomatoes from the garden. Tasty it was.


Woke up with it snowing , And the power was out .
Here comes winter .
Power came back on and the snow left .
Great northern bean soup with ham . The parmigiana rinds took it over the top. Cheers .


I was inspired by @chiel ’s delicious looking tacos last month and made some cheese and chorizo tacos.

And also some beans.


I went into a bit of a cooking frenzy today trying to make as many things as people had requested or love before I leave in a day and a half. Time has flown.

Made lamb korma for biryani tomorrow, pav bhaji for dinner this weekend (after I leave, because one kid who loves it is down sick with something unknown – having tested negative for everything known, and the other kid prefers many other things), a stack of parathas to freeze because both kids love them so much (and homemade are so much better and better for them), my mom’s fish curry for dinner tonight (also vegetable curry with the same masala), my dad’s chicken soup made vegetarian for the sick kid, and roasted cauliflower to accompany tonight’s dinner. PHEW. It was only a couple of hours actually, but I’m TIRED!

Dinner for the adults was curry (fish or vegetable) and rice, with roasted cauliflower. One kid had parathas, simple (sweet) dal, “instant” paneer matar (using Rao’s), and roasted cauliflower. The sick kid had some soup with soft vegetables and rice, same as his lunch.


This afternoon, I had a snack of steamed barbecued chicken buns while I worked on “History of Food” for a lecture next week. The section I’m currently on is our connectedness through stuffed doughs around the world. Made me hungry! I thought this would be an easy presentation to design but instead I’ve found there to be so many focal points that I don’t know what to include and what to omit. But I love dumplings, so there will be dumplings.

I was dining solo tonight, and recovering from a late Halloween and a day off from the regular job that was anything but due to hours at the computer researching. I made Spanish Chicken-Rice and since I was by myself, there are loads of leftovers. No pics. Bombay G & T to drink followed by a Bombay rocks.


How cool! Those look great.

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