Today: May 31 , 2020

Sales, Menus & Recipes: Thanksgiving

15 November 2018  

There’s More to Thanksgiving than Turkey (although that's pretty awesome!)

Thanksgiving is about family, fun and food. While Turkey is the most commonly seen main dish, it’s certainly not the only one. Each family has its own traditions. 

For this week we are presenting a reorganized column. After all, not everyone is fixing a mammoth roast bird with all the trimmings. But the meal does tend to be more elaborate than most. It is quite common for different folks to be bringing parts of the feast. So we’re presenting a variety of dishes, grouping the types of dishes together. Here are the categories:

  • Drinks & Appetizers
  • Main Dishes
  • Side Dishes & Salads
  • Side Dishes (Hot & Cooked)
  • Breads
  • Desserts

For non-Thanksgiving Day meals, you can always pick alternate items from the categories and build a new menu for that day. 

By now you should have most of the supplies you need that can be bought early. This week, if you are in charge of the meal, you will be needing a detailed plan of who is bringing what, and a daily list of activities, recipes and supplies.

In the recipes I will note those which can be assembled ahead of time.

One thing to note is that the ads for this week will extend into next week. through 11/22 for Fry’s and Sprouts, and through 11/21 for Safeway. Of course after Thanksgiving is a good time to start looking for good deals on perishable items like fresh turkeys and baked goods. 

Special Sales This Week

Fry’s—There are some early “Black Friday” deals on a few items you may want to use as gifts, like Hot Wheels Cars for $.79/each, and blankets. Fry’s also has a special holiday savings bonus, if you spend from $200-$400 or more shopping from Wednesday November 7 through Sunday November 18 you will get a special price on a Home Department purchase. See store for exact rules.

Safeway—$1/each deals on a large number of grocery and health and beauty items. Watch for special 10 for $10 shelf tags. Safeway also will give you a free Signature Farms (any available size!) Frozen Turkey if you spend $150 or more in a single transaction.

Screaming Deal—$4.97, Beef Ribeye Roast, 1 per customer, whole in bag.

Sprouts—Invites you to Go Organic this Thanksgiving with a wide range of special prices on organic items from free range turkeys to cranberries and sweet potatoes.

Spice of the Week—Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the earliest used and most prized spices. True cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a few trees in parts of India and Myanmar. Most of the inexpensive cinnamon today comes from the related species Cassia, grown in China and Indonesia. The source of cinnamon was hidden by the traders who wished to maintain the high prices they could charge until the late 1200’s when more sea exploration showed that it came from was southern India.

Cinnamon is used very widely in many world cuisines. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes. 

One of the best things about a feast is the uneaten food. We don’t call them leftovers—we think of them as derivatives. A lot more on this subject next week. Just don’t be afraid to order that large turkey or big ham.

A Feast by Categories


It’s nice to have a special beverage, a cold nibble, a hot nibble and chips and cold vegetables with a couple of dips.

  • Cranberry Punch
  • Spiced Cider
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
  • Layered Bean Dip
  • Blue Cheese Dip
  • Jajapeño Poppers
  • Cucumber Appetizers
Cranberry Punch
How about sparkling apple?

Mulled Apple Cider Slow Cooker Style
Maybe a little more spice?

Deviled Eggs Four Ways
Try one or two, recipes are right on the video

7 Layer Bean Dip
Make as much or as little as you want.

Jalapeño Poppers

Cucumber Appetizers

Recipe: Pumpkin Jalapeño Hummus

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 clove garlic, rough chop,
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1/2 Jalapeño pepper, seeded, rough chop
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil (or more)
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons salted, roasted pumpkin seeds

Place all ingredients except water in a food processor. Start machine, then pour water slowly through tube. Use just enough water to get a smooth consistency. Process about 1 minute more.

Serve in a bowl. Drizzle additional olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on pumpkin seeds.

Makes 4 cups

Items on Sale

Cranberries—$.98/12 oz @Sprouts, $3.99/2 lb @Fry’s
Eggs—$1.47/18 ct @Safeway, clip or click coupon,   $2.50/dz @Sprouts, cage free,          $1.99/dz @Fry’s, cage free
Sparkling Cider—$2.50/bottle @Fry’s, Knudsen or Martinelli
Cranberry Juice—$.99/64 oz @Safeway, clip or click coupon, $2.40/24 oz @Fry’s
Corn Chips—$1.99/each @Safeway, Mission, On The Border, $2.50/bag @Fry’s Fritos, Sun Chips
Potato Chips—$1.44/each (when you buy 3) @Fry’s, Kettle Cooked, Lay’s
Tortilla Chips—Buy One Get Two Free @Sprouts, Late July (O)
Canned Pumpkin (in case you don’t want to cook your own)—$1.50/can @Sprouts (O)

Main Dishes

Of course these are only few suggestions, so many things are possible depending on personal taste, budget, and family traditions.

Roasted Turkey
Spatchcocked Roasted Turkey
Baked Ham
Pumpkin Ravioli (Vegetarian)
Stuffed Squash (Vegan)

Roast Whole Turkey

Here’s a good basic roasting recipe.
If you are unsure, try the Butterball Website. 

Alton Brown's Roast Turkey Recipe (fast cooking)

Alton Brown's cooking method reduces the time your turkey is in the oven. Here's the basic method for an unstuffed turkey:

Place your turkey in the oven at 500º F for 30 minutes. Insert a basic probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F. Set the internal probe thermometer alarm to 161º.

It should take about 2-2 1/2 hours for a 14-16 lb. turkey.

I have used this cooking method on my own recipe, but here's his full recipe with video - Good Eats Roast Turkey Recipe | Alton Brown.

Spatchcock That Bird

Works best on Birds up to 14 lb. Great for barbecue. 

Honey Glazed Ham

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Easier with a pasta machine, can be done with a rolling pin.

Stuffed Squash 

She uses Acorn, could use Delicata or Butternut

Items On Sale

Turkeys, Frozen—Store Brand, $.69/lb @Fry’s (Price Match @Safeway), $1.69/lb @Fry’s, Simple Truth Natural Frozen Turkey
Turkeys, Fresh—$1.29/lb @Sprouts, $1.57/lb @Safeway, Jennie-O, $1.49/lb @Fry’s, Jennie-O, $2.99/lb @Sprouts, Free Range, (O)
Hams—$1.69/lb @Fry’s, Kroger Spiral, $1.67/lb @Safeway Hormel Cure 81, Spiral $1.99/lb @Safeway, Smithfield Premium, Spiral, $2.49/lb @Sprouts, Natural Juices, Spiral
Squash—$.99/lb @Fry’s, Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, (O)

Side Dishes & Salads

Green Salad
Corn Salad (should make a couple hours ahead)
Relish Tray (make ahead up to 3 hours)
Cranberry Relish (fresh, make ahead up to 1 day)

Relish Tray

Fresh Cranberry Relish

(best if made at least 1 day ahead)
We used to do this with a sausage grinder—before food processors. We also added an apple, cored but not peeled. Sounds odd, but good. I’d use a lot more sugar.

Recipe: Roasted Corn Salad

This was a big hit, and not time consuming if you start with frozen roasted corn (TJ)
Serves 4


2 ears sweet corn (or use Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn, thawed)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming spice mixture
2 Tablespoons teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 cup jicama, peeled and diced 1/4 inch (watch out for waxed jicama, makes it hard to assess freshness)
1 large tomato peeled, seeded and diced 1/3 inch
1 green chili finely diced
1 medium/large avocado, diced 1/3 inch
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small garlic clove, grated, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)


Heat grill to Medium/Hot.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime zest and juice and chili powder.

Remove husks from corn cobs, break off stem if there is one. Brush each ear of corn with the olive oil mixture and set on grill. Reserve remaining olive oil mixture. Cook a total of 6-8 minutes, turning to toast all sides. Kernels should be lightly browned. Remove from grill and let cool.

Rest large end of ear in a wide bowl and use a sharp knife to remove kernels from cobs.

In a large bowl, mix corn kernels with reserved olive oil mixture and all the rest of the ingredients. Let sit at least 1/2 hour to let flavors mix.

Items On Sale

Salad Greens—$10/3 or $3.99/each @Safeway, Fresh Express or Taylor Farms
Avocados—$1.50/each @Sprouts, Jumbo
Celery—$.99/bunch @Safeway, $.98/bunch @Sprouts
Bell Peppers—$98/each @Sprouts
Frozen Corn—$2/bag @Sprouts (O)

Side Dishes (Hot/Cooked)

Mixed Roasted Vegetables
Mashed Potatoes
Winter Fruit Compote (make ahead up to 3 days)
Cranberry Relish (cooked, make ahead up to 3 days)
Sautéd Brussels Sprouts
Honey Glazed Carrots

Roasted Vegetables

A great Technique video
Choose your favorites. I always do some onion and mini peppers.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Winter Fruit Compote

Maybe add peeled cored apple.


Cranberry Sauce

(make up to 3 days ahead)
Add grated orange peel and a stick of cinnamon.

Sauteed Brussel’s Sprouts 

I’d add a minced garlic clove or two after the sprouts are mostly done. And finish off with some cooked bacon.

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

Use Rainbow Carrots for maximum visual appeal. I’d use a little less butter and honey for this many carrots.

Items On Sale

Bell Peppers—$98/each @Sprouts
Baby Carrots—$.99/1 lb bag @Safeway
Potatoes—$.99/lb @Safeway, red or gold, $1.99/10 lb bag @Fry’s, Russett
Yams & Sweet Potatoes—$.38/lb @Sprouts, $.99/lb @Fry’s, $.99/lb @Safeway $2.98/1 lb bag @Sprouts, baby sweet potatoes (O)
Brussels Sprouts—$.98/lb @Sprouts, $2.99/1 lb pkg @Fry’s, (O)
Broccoli Crowns & Cauliflower—$.77/lb @Safeway
Bunched Broccoli & Cauliflower—$1.50/lb @Sprouts, (O)
Mushrooms—$2/8 oz box @Safeway, white and brown


Not usually a necessary item, depending on the number of other dishes. If you’re going to have bread, make it special.

Homemade Dinner Rolls (make in the AM, reheat before dinner)
Corn Muffins

No Knead Dinner Rolls

Good Technique. Does require  mixer.

Extra Corney Corn Muffins

Or use frozen corn, well drained.


Pumpkin Pie
Cranberry Cheesecake
Mincemeat Hand Pies (make ahead up to 6 hours)
Baked Apple Roses
Fruit Plate

Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

Cranberry Cheesecake

Mincemeat Hand Pies

Use homemade or commercial mincemeat. Sprinkle on coarse sugar before baking.

Pastry Apple Roses

Items On Sale

Canned Pumpkin (in case you don’t want to cook your own)—$1.50/can @Sprouts (O)
Cream Cheese—$4/3 @Fry’s, Must buy 3, Digital Coupon
Cranberries—$.98/12 oz @Sprouts, $3.99/2 lb @Fry’s
Pineapple—$2/each @Fry’s
Raspberries or Blackberries—$2.99/12 oz pkg @Fry’s
Blueberries, Raspberries or Blackberries—$2.50/carton @Sprouts
Grapes—$.77/lb @Sprouts, red, green, $1.49/lb @Fry’s, red, green, black, $3.99/2 lb bag @Safeway, $1.98/lb @Sprouts, red, green, black, (O)
Apples—$1.48/lb @Sprouts, Honeycrisp