Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

“If you have learned nothing from this list, I hope you get this one part. A little planning now, saves a lot of time later! And energy!” – FlyLady

Dear Friends,

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner? Do you know the menu? Have you bought the needed groceries? Have you made out a to-do list? If you sit down for 30 minutes and seriously think about the process, your life will have less stress. I am going to walk you through the planning process.

  1. What are your plans?
  2. Am I cooking or going to another family’s house?
  3. If you are going to someone else’s home, do you need to bring something?
  4. If you have to cook, what is on the menu? Traditional dishes, or something different and new to the family. Do members of your family have their favorite dishes?
  5. Don’t forget the rolls!
  6. Don’t forget dessert!

If you are like me, cooking a holiday dinner really zaps your energy. There is a way to cook this meal and still enjoy the family. I am going to tell you how in step-by-step instruction. This plan worked for my Thanksgiving celebration two years ago. This was the first time I ever tried this method. I well never do another holiday meal without this plan.

Flylady’s stress free plan
Menu Mailer Part 1 Menu and Grocery List
Menu Mailer Part 2 Turkey Talk 
Menu Mailer Part 3 Gravy Train
Menu Mailer Part 4 Recipe Roundup
Menu Mailer Part 5 Timeline 

FlyLady’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

“Wishing you all the joy and happiness that Thanksgiving brings. This is my favorite holiday!” – FlyLady

FlyLady’s Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli (about four crowns)
3/4 c. raisins (I like golden raisins)
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. vinegar (I like balsamic)
1 c. mayonnaise

10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 c. sunflower seeds (optional)

Fry bacon slices and set aside. Cut broccoli into flowerets and tender stem pieces. Mix, sugar, vinegar, mayo . Add to broccoli, along with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate and serve chilled. I make the day before.

Note: these are my proportions, which I changed slightly from the recipe that was given to me. That one says 5 cups of broccoli, so I guess it would depend on the size of the bunch you have to start with. I use more raisins and onion than the original.

FlyLady’s Stir Fried Green Beans

I use a cast iron dutch oven for this with a lid:

4 pounds of Fresh Green Beans
1/4 pound of bacon or lean fat back cut into tiny pieces
1/2 cup sweet white wine
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Break beans.

Fry the bacon and drain then set aside.

Pour out the grease and put olive oil in the skillet.

Over medium high heat put in cold green beans. Stir around for about 10 minutes. Turn down heat to low and pour in wine then put on the lid and steam. Taste one before you salt and pepper. LOL!

Cook for about 15 -20 minutes.

The beans will be tender and crisp at the same time. We love them.

FlyLady’s Squash Casserole

8-10 yellow squash washed and cut into on inch slices.
One onion cut into half and sliced into wedges.
Grate one medium carrot into slaw consistency.

Put in steamer and cook until tender. 10 minutes. Or boil in just a bit of water. I like to steam them.

Set aside to cool.

Then mix together on can of Cream of Chicken soup and
1 8oz Tub of Sour Cream.

Mash up the squash, onion and carrots. Pour off excess water. Add soup and sour cream mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I have used a bit of cream cheese in a pinch.

Take a package of Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix and sprinkle on the bottom of the casserole dish.

Layer mixture of squash and stuffing mix for 3 layers. Top with more stuffing mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Click here for FlyLady’s Holiday Cooking Schedule

Christmas Morning Strata

Serves 6-8

1 loaf French bread – cubed (either by hand or with a knife)
2 packages frozen chopped spinach — thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 pound Provolone, chopped
14 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper — to taste
2 teaspoons dry mustard (optional, but adds a nice little bite)
3/4 pound cheddar, shredded

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Make a single layer of bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the bread evenly with the spinach. Then add the chopped Provolone cheese. Top with another layer of bread cubes.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour over the layers evenly making sure that all of the top layer of bread is moistened. At this point, you have two options: refrigerate it overnight or bake for 1 hour (350 degree preheated oven)

When you bake it, watch it starting at about 50 minutes It shouldn’t be ready to pull until its puffed up a bit and just starting to get golden brown (you don’t want it too brown).

If you want to test it, a knife inserted in the center should come out clean. While it is cooling, top with the cheddar cheese and allow it to melt by itself. You might need to return it for just a minute to the oven to finish melting.

Makes 6-8 servings-depending on how hungry you are!

Christmas Eve Shortcut Cinnamon Buns

Makes 20 buns

These are made the night before and popped in the oven Christmas morning when the kids are attacking their stockings!

20 unbaked frozen dinner rolls (Bridgeport is a brand I have used)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan. Place frozen rolls into the pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, the pudding mix, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over the top. If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can use a muffin tin, but they turn out better in a bundt pan.

Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake rolls for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Turn rolls out onto a serving plate and dig in!

For more recipes please visit FlyLady’s Kitchen

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