Thanksgiving for Two and a Giveaway

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food – not just the eating of the food, but I love the preparing of the food, I love traditions, and I love spending time with my family.

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After getting married Thanksgiving became my domain. My parents and brother came to the FL Panhandle along with my in-laws. And no, it’s not awkward and dysfunctional. We are very lucky to get along with both sets of in-laws and better yet, they get along with each other! It’s so much fun having 10+ people gathered around a table meshing traditions and sharing stories.

Now that we are living in Ohio, where it has already snowed this year, in a smaller house with a tiny oven I’ve passed my hosting duties to my mother-in-law. My parents are even flying to Alabama to join us! Unfortunately my brother can’t get away from work so he and his fiance will be spending the holiday with another couple.

Thanksgiving for TwoIf you are spending the holiday with a small group of people, or even just as a party of two, I encourage you to keep reading and look at my perfect menu for all your favorite Thanksgiving flavors made for 2 – 4! And come back next week to see how I use the leftovers in unusual round two recipes!

For my very first Thanksgiving as a Mrs. I introduced a new dish to the holiday table – creamed onions. It has now become my must-have side dish. (Well, that and green bean casserole.) The first time I made this I followed the recipe verbatim, and after a massive amount of leftovers and feedback from the family I have since halved it and removed the pearl onions. Today, I cut that original recipe by 2/3 and still keep the pearl onions out. There are lots of onions to cut and tears to fall, but it’s very much worth it! A bite of creamed onions is the one I save for my last bite of the meal.

Stuart’s must-have side dish is his Papa’s Sweet Potato Casserole. This dish has become a mandatory dish for my family’s Christmas meal, too! I wasn’t going to made a mini-version for this Thanksgiving for Two meal, but the sweet potato is still mandatory. I instead made Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. The flavors in the filling give the illusion of eating a full holiday spread.

And of course, you must have a turkey. For a small party you don’t need to stress over roasting the perfect bird, instead get a 3lb turkey breast. Lather it with flavored butter, place it on a bed of veggies, and roast it for only 2 1/2 hours. Serve it with your favorite gravy if you so desire.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 1 3 lb boneless turkey breast
  • handful of Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Steps:

  1. Once your turkey is thawed place it in a large bowl of salted water with a tbsp of sugar. Put the turkey in the refrigerator for at least two hours or even overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion into two-inch pieces and place on the bottom of a casserole dish.
  4. Remove turkey breast from brine and pat dry.
  5. In a small bowl combine the butter with the Italian seasoning, the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, S+P. Rub butter all over the turkey. Place turkey on bed of veggies.
  6. Roast for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F is reached. Allow turkey to rest 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.

*This recipe is modified from Kelsey at http://m.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/roast-turkey-breast.html *

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes, pat dry, and poke with a fork. Bake for 1 hour, rotate potatoes halfway through cooking time. Allow potatoes to cool. (If you are making this with the rest of the “Thanksgiving for Two” menu at this point reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.)
  2. Clean leaks by placing them in a large bowl of water. Using your hands, separate the layers, allowing all the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove using a slotted spoon.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Saute leeks until tender.
  4. Halve the cooled potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh of the potato, leaving enough attached to the skins for stability. Place potato flesh in a food processor. Puree with brown sugar, ginger, S+P. Add the ricotta and puree until smooth. Remove sweet potatoes to a bowl and combine with cooked leeks, Parmesan cheese, and sage.
  5. Place the mixture into the potato skins. Bake for 30 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://flavorsbyfour.blogspot.com/2012/11/twice-baked-sweet-potatoes-with-sage.html *

Creamed Onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 2 shallots, cut into half moons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 C heavy cream
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C panko
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley

Steps:

  1. Clean leaks by placing them in a large bowl of water. Using your hands, separate the layers, allowing all the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove using a slotted spoon.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (If you are making this with the rest of the “Thanksgiving for Two” menu 350 degrees is fine.)
  3. In a large, high sided skillet melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Saute the red and sweet onions until soft. Season with S+P. Remove to a bowl.
  4. In the same skillet melt the other tbsp butter. Saute the shallots and leeks until tender. Season with S+P. Add the minced garlic and cook another 60 seconds. Remove to the same bowl as the other onions.
  5. Add the cream to the skillet, bring to a gentle boil and let reduce slightly. Add the onions to the cream and combine. Taste and season with addition S+P if needed.
  6. In a small bowl mix together the panko, parmesan, and parsley.
  7. Pour creamed onions into a small casserole dish, or individual ramekins. (At this point you can refrigerate the onions up to 24 hours.) Top with panko mixture. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until topping is golden and onions are bubbly.

*This recipe is modified from Bree at http://bakedbree.com/creamed-onions *

Do you remember the super cool ThermoPop I used to check my poached chicken for my Maize and Blue Chicken Salad that I served during the #10DaysofTailgate blog event? If not, ThermoWorks was one of our very generous sponsors. They provided participating bloggers with a ThermoPop and also had a prize package in the giveaway. If you weren’t that lucky person to win a ThermoPop of your very own then, I’m providing you with a second chance! Even if you don’t win, these would make the perfect stocking stuffers for your foodie friends.

The ThermoPop comes in 9 colors. Not only do their bright colors make it a fun kitchen gadget, but it also means it won’t get lost in my drawer of utensils. It comes with a matching “sheath” to keep the probe free from dirt and damage when not in use. The ThermoPop is also easy to use. A simple touch of the front button turns the device and backlight on (the backlight will automatically turn off after 10 seconds to save power), a button on the back will adjust the temperature from degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius, and probably the best feature, another button will rotate the large digital display 90 degrees. There’s no more twisting your head in awkward angles to read your thermometer and there’s no need for a magnifying glass to read the temperature either.

ThermoPop

To enter the giveaway, please follow the link below for the Rafflecopter giveaway. Entries include a mandatory comment on this post answering the question “What is your must-have dish at Thanksgiving?” and additional optional entries to increase your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, age 18 and older. The ThermoWorks ThermoPop giveaway runs from Wednesday, November 19, 2014 12:00am ET through Saturday, November 21, 2014 12:00am ET. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced on November 22, 2014. Winners will also be contacted by email and will have 24 hours to respond to the email. If a winner does not respond in that time a new winner will be chosen. For more information, see the full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget.

Disclaimer: ThermoWorks is providing the prize free of charge.  I received a ThermoWorks ThermoPop to use for #10DaysofTailgate. All opinions stated are my own.

14 thoughts on “Thanksgiving for Two and a Giveaway

  1. I love the usual stuff – turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, etc…..but the main requirement for me is dessert! I have to have pecan pie or some variation of it with homemade sweetened whipped cream. 🙂 Pumpkin cheesecake is a bonus.

  2. Our “must have” Thanksgiving dish is my mom’s stuffing(true stuffing – cooked inside the bird). Super simple recipe – stale bread torn up and mixed with an egg and water mixture – salt, pepper and nutmeg.
    Love this idea for a Thanksgiving for 2, though!

  3. My must have Thanksgiving dish is my grandmothers fried okra! I don’t eat okra unless she makes it and Thanksgiving is usually the only time she makes it!! (If we’re also talking dessert, then it would actually be Potato Candy! – I can never make it the way my grandma does!)

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