Making a Big Meal in a Small Space
Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and while the most important thing about Thanksgiving is to give, well, thanks… food is also a big part of celebrating the holiday! If you are staying in DC or at school for this holiday, and getting together with friends, you can still have a traditional dinner in a tight space. This is where I come in.
Last week Chelsea outlined the rules of Friendsgiving. And no Friendsgiving would be complete without some essential dishes – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, veggies and PIE!
Space, time and money can be an issue for an intern living in close quarters. With this in mind, I’ve found some cheap, quick and easy Friendsgiving recipes that you can cook without having Rachel Ray’s kitchen or burning down your building (we hope!!!).
1. Cook Turkey Cutlets, Not the Whole Bird
Believe it or not, that turkey didn’t magically appear on your Thanksgiving table, and chances are you probably won’t have the patience to spend hours cooking a bird. And, if you have a small crowd, and a small oven, a big turkey (and they are all big!) may be too much. Leave the hard work to the expert (aka your Mom!) and make some quick and super easy turkey cutlets instead. Trust me, you’ll be happy when you’re still talking to your friends at the end of the day.
Find the recipe here.
2. Gravy You Can Make Without Drippings
Thanksgiving gravy is usually made from the drippings of the turkey, but if you’re going to make turkey cutlets, this won’t be an option. Don’t worry though, you can still have delicious gravy to cover your dinner if you use broth and soy sauce instead of turkey drippings. It works, we tried it.
Get the recipe here.
3. Mashed Potatoes the Easy Way
What’s a dinner without mashed potatoes to soak up the gravy? All you need is a potato masher, butter and a pot to boil the potatoes in, and you’re good to go.
Check out this easy recipe.
4. Garlic Greens with Pine Nuts
Spruce up your greens this Thanksgiving with this super simple recipe.
5. Roasted Vegetables – Veggies The Easy Way
If you really want to impress your friends, chop up some winter vegetables like carrots, cauliflower and onions. Even the dreaded Brussels sprouts turn out sweet and caramelized by roasting. Toss with olive oil and a little salt, pop them in the oven at 400 degrees and in about 35 minutes you have a side dish from heaven. Super quick and easy, and you’re friends will think you’re super skilled in the kitchen!
Get the recipe here.
6. Crispy Roasted Sweet Potato
It only takes 40 minutes and minimal effort to whip up this tasty Thanksgiving dish. Sweet potatoes are a must, even if you have mashed potatoes.
Get the recipe.
7. Cranberry Sauce
You can’t have turkey without cranberry sauce, and you won’t get much quicker than this 15 minute recipe. It’s fresh, simple and will taste so much better than the stuff you get in a jar. Cook it the day before. Just buy a bag of fresh cranberries, and with minimal cooking, this sauce may not make it to the table.
The final piece of your Thanksgiving feast is the pie! Pumpkin, apple or pecan are the most traditional, but it really doesn’t matter, as long as you have a pie! Personally, I’m an apple pie kinda guy, and this simple recipe is one of my go to’s. It will take a little longer than the rest of the dishes, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. But you can make it the day before and get it out of the way. Just keep it away from your room mates!
If you time and space, prepare the pie and let it bake while you are eating dinner. It’ll be perfectly warm to serve with ice cream after your Thanksgiving feast.
You might be missing out on your Mom’s home cooked meal, but these simple dishes will make you feel like you’re right at home. Try it, you’ll thank me later!