The Thanksgiving Menu and Cooking Action Plan

I have a lot to be thankful for this year.  My move to London over a year ago opened one of the most influential  and wonderful chapters of my life.  It hardly seems that one, albeit large, meal could do justice to all that I have to give thanks for.  At least this Thanksgiving, I am recognizing how blessed I am for the opportunity to travel and do business throughout Europe, to learn new cultures, wander through history, build friendships with people from all over the world, and create a home in the heart of London. I’m thankful for my family who is patient with the eight hour time zone between us, my incredible boyfriend, and the warmth of knowing that eventually I’ll move back to the more temperate climate of California. Now on to the delicious part…

The Official 2013 Thanksgiving Menu

Herbed Almonds from Faith Durand at
Garlic Herb Rolls from Mary at One Perfect Bite

Perfect Roast Chicken from Karen Burns-Booth at Lavender and Lovage
Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing from Bon Appétit
Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Diane at Delicious as it Looks
Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Goat Cheese from Deb at Smitten Kitchen 
Brussels Sprout Slaw with Pancetta and Caramelized Shallots from…ME! 
Green Beans with Almonds from Jessica Seinfeld at Do it Delicious
Cranberry, Apple, & Ginger Chutney from The Chef’s Wife

Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping 
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart from Gourmet
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Epicurious

* Even though there will be only 6 of us at dinner this year, and despite being thousands of miles away from my family this year, it’s unlikely that I will distance myself from the familiar habit of making too much food.  The Tupperware and freezer are more than ready for leftovers!
** Turkey is somewhat difficult to find in London except right before Christmas, so I will be substituting two whole chickens instead.
*** Photo Credits are from each of the Blogs/Websites that are linked to the respective recipes

The Cooking Action Plan 

Two Days Before
1) Bake  Cornbread for stuffing
2) Prepare Cranberry Ginger Chutney
3) Prepare Fresh Cranberry Relish

One Day Before
1) Bake Pumpkin Pie
2) Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
3) Bake carrot cake but do not frost
4) Prepare the remaining stuffing with previously prepared cornbread
5) Chop all vegetables for Chickens, Roast Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Brussels Sprout Slaw

Thanksgiving Morning 
1) Prepare and bake dinner rolls
2) Make roasted nuts
3) Frost Carrot Cake
4) Roast Sweet Potatoes and mix topping
5) Set the dinner table

Thanksgiving Afternoon
1) Make Brussels Sprout Slaw
2) Prepare chickens for oven and start cooking
3) Chill drinks if necessary

While chickens are in the oven
1) Make Mashed Potatoes
2) Cook the Green beans
3) During the last 30 minutes of cooking the chickens, reheat mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, stuffing.