You plan and organize and stress over Thanksgiving. You have family coming and you want everything to be perfect..or you are just fixing for your immediately family and you still want everything to be the best that it can be. And it is! The turkey is perfect, the dressing is to die for, and dessert hits the spot. And then it's over. All the hype, worry and preparation, and it is over just like that, AND you are left with a ton of leftovers...ughh. What are you going to do with all of this leftover food? Well, I have gathered a few ideas to help you decide what to do with these things.Read More
No holiday meal would be complete without a decadent dessert or two for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable and easy ones you can make at home so you don’t spend a fortune at the bakery.
1. Pumpkin Pie
This is a traditional favorite that makes the most of the autumn pumpkin harvest. Buy pumpkins from a farm, cut in half, roast until tender, and scoop out the pumpkin puree. Each pumpkin should yield several cups, or you can purchase pumpkin pie filling at your local grocery store.
2. Pumpkin Bread / Pumpkin Spice Bread
Pumpkin is very moist and makes a great cake or loaf. You can make it as spicy as you like to suit your taste. You could also frost or glaze it to make it look more festive.
3. Apple Pie
Make the most of the harvest in the orchards with a traditional apple pie. Make a lattice crust and serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream on the side. Making it from scratch means adjusting the seasonings as you like, and you can add raisins, cranberries and more to make it really festive.
4. Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is another healthy but filling dessert option which makes the most of the autumn harvest. Add raisins for sweetness and a cream cheese frosting and some nuts to dress it up.
5. Apple Crumble / Apple Crisp
Instead of a buttery pie crust, use brown sugar, flour and spices as a crumble topping. An apple crisp uses oats. Both are very filling and great with cream or ice cream.
6. Pecan Pie
This classic Southern favorite is festive and tasty. Pecans can be expensive, however, so buy in bulk online. This is one that my husband loves, and I tend to make it more around Thanksgiving and Christmas, because pecans are falling from the trees and readily available. Sometimes I like to make little individual pies, and that is the real favorite!
7. Sweet Potato Pie
This is another classic Southern favorite that is similar to pumpkin pie, but uses yams and their natural sweetness for the pie filling. Making it from scratch means you can season it as you wish.
Cheesecake works well on its own, with chocolate, and with any fruit topping you like. Buy the cream cheese when it is on sale. You can also lighten things up by adding sour cream. There are so many variations of cheesecake, you can't go wrong with this dessert.
9. Chocolate Pie
Chocolate pie is a simple either custard base or pudding-like base with either meringue or whipped cream on top. This is another favorite with my family!
10. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This is a very festive-looking cake thanks to the topping of bright yellow pineapple rings with red maraschino cherries in the center of each ring. Buy canned pineapple and yellow cake mix when it is on sale at your local supermarket.
11. Lemon Meringue Pie
Lemon meringue is a combination of an easy lemon custard and a sugary meringue on top. The meringue will require quite a few egg whites, but eggs are inexpensive. Plan another dessert like bread pudding to help use up the unwanted egg yolks from this recipe.
12. Angel Food Cake
This is a light, fluffy cake that gets its texture from egg whites. It is low in calories and an ideal pairing with most fruits.
Home-made desserts are not just less expensive, they are often more delicious than the bought option too. If your family is like mine, we have our favorites, and they are expected to be served at Thanksgiving! Use these ideas to give your guests a real Thanksgiving treat after their wonderful meal.
One of the main things that can help round out a Thanksgiving feast is a good assortment of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There are several ways to offer a variety of drinks and save money if you are prepared to spend the time and effort.
Soft drinks such as Coke or Pepsi, Sprite or Seven-Up, are popular at the holidays - especially with children. Buy them at a warehouse club or when the supermarkets have them on sale. I also recommend staying away from the canned ones. They tend to get opened and left sitting around to go flat and basically wasted.
Sodas that mix with other drinks include seltzer, club soda, tonic water, ginger ale, and so on. Seltzer is well-suited to making wine spritzers, which can lower the cost of each drink you serve your guests. Ginger Ale is a great beverage to put in a punch, whether it be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, it gives it that extra fizz of refreshment!
Cranberry juice is a must at Thanksgiving. Orange juice is good for cooking and drinking. Apple juice is also a standard all year round, but particularly in the autumn. Apple cider, which is thicker and cloudier, is ideal for hot apple cider with spices. Look for large bottles of apple juice or bottles of cider at a warehouse club or the supermarket.
Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate
These drinks are a nice way to end the meal. They are also tasty with your dessert course. Avoid single cup coffee makers. Buy grounds and make them in a conventional pot. Use loose leaf tea for more flavor and less chemicals.
Make your own hot chocolate using real milk and cocoa powder. Add a dash of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick if you wish, and a dollop of whipped cream. You can control how much sugar you put in compared with boxed mixes, and your own homemade cocoa will usually work out more cheaply as well. You can also use non-dairy nut milks if you prefer, such as almond or cashew.
The coffee and tea can also be as a base for iced tea and iced coffee.
Milk and Cream
You will most likely need these in a range of recipes. You will also need more milk for coffee, tea, and cocoa. If you have guests staying in your home, you will probably need even more for beverages, cereal, and so on, especially if you have small children visiting. Buy these in bulk at a warehouse club.
These are useful for anyone who is lactose intolerant or vegan. Choose from soy, rice, almond, oat and more. Look in your supermarket, warehouse clubs or buy in bulk online.
Some shopping apps actually give you a discount for the wine and spirits you purchase. Two worth registering with are Checkout 51 and Ibotta.
Happy Drink Making,
The main course will usually be the most expensive part of your Thanksgiving meal, apart from alcohol. Being prepared can help you save money no matter what you decide to serve and what your family and guests prefer. Or, sometimes you just want some variety in your meal or to have some extra meat! In any case, here are 6 main dish ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner instead of turkey-or, in addition to your turkey!Read More
Thanksgiving is 10 days away....oh my. I feel like it snuck up on me...but I have had a ton going on, so maybe that's why? Anyway, some people host the entire Thanksgiving dinner at their home and provide all the food, drinks, everything....well, in my family and my husband's family, we all bring something (1 or 2 things) and it's one big potluck dinner. And, I LOVE it that way. There are certain things that people bring, that I look forward to every year....and I remind them...."you are bringing the sweet potato casserole right?"!Read More