Thanksgivin' Brunch with the Tatros
However, as we all know, holidays cannot be completely one-sided; there must be bend and flexibility (as much as I hate to bend and flex -- I'm a rigid type-A, remember?). Some couples will do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other, then switch year to year. Or some will do Thanksgiving dinner with one family, and dessert with the other, again switching year to year. However, my husband and I have worked it so that we host "Thanksgiving Brunch with the Tatros" for his family, and see my family for Thanksgiving dinner (especially this year as my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary landed on Thanksgiving! woohoo!!).
Hosting Thanksgiving Brunch has never been too stressful. I am the trifecta: a type-A, uber early riser, crockpot lover -- no further explanation needed, right? My meals are always a hit. And this year will be no different! Here's the menu:
The Perfect Thanksgivin' Brunch Menu:
(click on the links below to see the recipes that I use)
Crockpot Cinnamon Coffee Cake (2 hours cook time)
Crockpot Sausage & Egg Casserole (8-10 hours cook time)
Overnight Hashbrown Casserole (40 minutes cook time)
Fruit & Cinnamon Yogurt Dip (15 minutes prep time)
Bacon (10 minutes cook time)
Sparkling Guava Apple Cider (Guava Juice mixed with Sparkling Apple Cider) (2 minutes prep time)
As a hostess (and guest), I strive for three main things concerning the meal: 1) that it be served on time 2) that all components that need to be served hot, are served hot, and 3) that it be tasty, of course! It's a skill that simply takes prior proper planning (preventing perplexing problems).
First, I always shop the day before the planned meal. I take with me all the recipes, and when shopping, I shop recipe by recipe. This means that although I may visit certain areas of the grocery store multiple times, I never confuse the amount of ingredients that I need for each recipe. Moreover, not only do I check off what I have put in the grocery cart, but I double and triple check before leaving that I have everything that I need, again recipe by recipe.
Second, I make a game plan. I physically write on a piece of paper the dishes that I need to make and how long they take to cook. Then I subtract that time from the time that I want to serve everything. For example, if I want to serve breakfast at 9AM, and my dishes take 40 minutes, 2 hours, and 5 hours to cook, I'll start cooking them at 8:20AM, 7AM, and 4AM (yes! I REALLY will get up at 4am to start cooking something!!), respectively. That way, everything is served hot at the same time.
Thirdly, I try to eliminate all prep work the night before. Within my game plan, I decide what I can get done that night. Meaning, if I can make a casserole the night before, and cook it the next day, I will prepare the casserole, and put in the fridge until the next day. Or, if I can only make something the day of, I measure out and prepare all the ingredients the night before (chopping, dicing, measuring, etc) and place them in marked ziploc bags so that the day of, it's a no-brainer.
Fourth, crockpot, crockpot, crockpot! The crockpot is your best wingman -- it does all the work for you and makes you look super impressive!
I hope that you all have a joyous Thanksgiving. Even with all the devastation throughout the world (and I pray for relief everyday), there is still so much to be thankful for. I hope you all take a minute to realize all the good in your life.