Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving

I was watching the news tonight when they took standard store bought Thanksgiving-esque side dishes and then had area chefs taste test to see which ones were best. A truly interesting idea! Some people are not so great in the kitchen, don't have a lot of money to spend, and also maybe just not all the time it takes to do everything from scratch. I thought I would share some of those ideas, and a few of my own tips.

Best of the gravy was actually using the turkey gravy packet from McCormick. Chefs suggested adding bits of turkey, giblets or maybe whip in some cream. I think any of those sound like great ideas to fancy things up.

Bob Evans and Country Crock mashed potatoes were about even. I'm going to admit I have had both kinds served to me. They need to be whipped with your mixer, have salt, pepper, a little milk and butter added. Still, super easy...and no peeling required!

Can you believe Stove Top stuffing won out? I can actually. It has great flavor, and as the chefs put it- is a great base. They suggested adding fresh celery, onions, & turkey. I agree on that front. But I would definitely sauté the veggies first in a bit of butter. Also, I usually make it with vegetable or chicken stock instead of water. Once done on the stovetop, put under the broiler for a bit for some crunch on top.

Marie Callendar's and Sara Lee were a tie for pumpkin pies, though Marie seemed to have a better crust. Suggestions for a bourbon infused whipped topping sound great too.

While that's all they tried in the taste test, you might need bread and a turkey! The turkey is the most frightening part to most people. Therefore, let me suggest you order one. From a BBQ place smoked, from a place like the Hamlet. These are both something I've had before. Smoked turkey is definitely my favorite though. For the bread, there is a great selection of frozen rolls out there. Or pillsbury crescents!

Hopefully that helps some of you kitchen impaired or those skittish about trying to cook a whole Thanksiving feast. If you have any short cuts, please free to share! Can you believe T-Day is a week from tomorrow?!? Me either.

Putting on her apron,
Mrs. Sinclair
in the kitchen

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