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Thanksgiving Dinner Express!

Express Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and although I've never celebrate in the U.S, I love celebrating Thanksgiving just because of the food. I first started celebrating this holiday with Situ (my grandma), she would prepare thanksgiving dinner for 50 people and plus effortlessly. She would start a week in advance doing the groceries and preparing some dish each day.

Contrary to Situ, I do not have people coming over for Thanksgiving and even if I did it would never be more than 4 or 6 people top. So I decided to do it this year, however I do not have a week to spend on this, neither do I get a day off as here in The Netherlands is business as usual.

So I'm going to get very creative... Here is how:

Dish #1: Pumpkin Soup; if you have a blender that's already half way of the recipe.

Dish #2: Mashed potatoes; so this is no brainer and it does also not take that much time. Make sure you have a masher or potato ricer at hand.

Dish #3: I heard on the TV (don't remember who said it now!) "produce that grows together, cooks together"... So on that note: Asparagus, mushrooms & pomegranate it is.

Dish #4: Turkey; although bringing a whole turkey is such nice sight, it is completely not necessary. I like all meats, dark and white, but to keep it safe, I decided to get only breast turkey. Sliced and cooked in a pan, not in the oven, that already takes 4 hours of the conventional thanksgiving cooking. Gravy comes right after on the same pan where the turkey was cooked.

Dessert: I decided to go Portuguese on this one with Pastei de Nata.

My promise is that you'll be done within 2 hours, if I did, so could you!

Let's get started!

This menu serves 4 people.


3 cups of pumpkin (chopped)

1 cube of vegetable bouillon

2 stalks of green onion (chopped)

1 cup of sour cream

3 cups of potatoes (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic

1 hand full of basil

a stick of butter

1 tablespoon of powdered milk

200 gr. of Asparagus (ends cut)

200 gr. of Mushrooms (halved)

1 orange (zest and juice)

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

400 gr. of Turkey breast (sliced)

1 beef bouillon

1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup of cilantro (chopped)

4 empty pastry cups (already made)

3 tablespoon of all-purpose flour (for the dessert-custard)

1 cup of milk

1 cup of white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 cups of water

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

6 large egg yolks (whisked and at room temperature)

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Dish #1: In a pan; add pumpkin, vegetable bouillon and a stalk of green onion, fill with water and bring to a boil, blend and serve with a spoon of sour cream on top, garnish with the rest green onions.

2. Dish #2: In a pan; add potatoes, garlic and basil fill half way with water and let the potatoes cook. Once it is done without sifting the water within the same pan, add the powdered milk 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper.

3. Dish #3: in a sauté pan add mushrooms (keep 1/2 cup aside for gravy) and asparagus sauté with a tablespoon of butter, let the asparagus remain al-dente. Once this has been cooked, approx. 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper add the orange (juice and zest). Serve warm or cold, garnish with pomegranate seeds.

4. Dish #4: Season turkey slices with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the slices of turkey. Once done, remove and place in a serving plate. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, mushrooms, cilantro and beef bouillon, cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of flour, cook for 5 minutes and then add the milk, stir constantly. Spoon gravy on top of the turkey breast.

5. Dessert:

5.1 In a bowl add 1/4 of milk, and the flour whisk well.

5.2 In a sauce pan water, sugar and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil.

5.3 In another sauce pan, warm up the rest of the milk and add it to the flour mixture, mix well.

5.4 Remove cinnamon stik from the sugar water and add the vanilla. Stir this with the flour mix.

5.5 Add egg yolk whisk all ingredients well.

5.6 Fill the pastry cups 3/4 with the custard and bake 8 to 10 minutes.

5.7 Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of each pastry and put under the over broiler for 1 minute.


1. The 2 hours I mentioned early is of cooking time and multitasking.

2. Having chopped and washed all your produce in before it is always a time-saver (mise en place).

3. Having a store bought pie will be an option, you don't have to do it all if you don't have the time.

4. Instant mash potatoes can also be an option, but to be honest fresh does not take long to be made and it taste better.

Be Thankful & Enjoy!

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