Friday, November 21, 2014

Dumb Easy Dinner: Thanksgiving Style

So if nobody's coming to my house for Thanksgiving, and I'm not going anywhere for Thanksgiving, this is what happens to me: I forget it's coming. It's kind of an unforgivable trait in a food blogger, but it's true. Exactly two days ago, I was like, "Wait. Thanksgiving is next week." Yup, that's how I roll.

Fortunately for me, I was already planning (and by planning, I do mean kind of sort of thinking about) doing a dumb easy dinner line up for Thanksgiving. Because sometimes you really are just planning a simple dinner for your own little family, but simple or not, you want it to taste amazing. I'd much rather make a few fabulous things for a small gathering than a booty load of food that comes out of cans. If you're not serving a crowd this year or are looking for a simple, but delicious side dish or pie, here you go.

1. Dumb Easy Chicken. No, it's not turkey and I'm wagering purists won't do it, but I'm not quite sure how to make turkey dumb easy simply because it is so huge (maybe a breast cooked in a crock pot???). But this roast chicken is easy and fabulous. It won't serve a crowd, but if you don't have a crowd, this only seems like an advantage (fact: Americans throw out $282 million dollars worth of edible turkey every year). Sometimes I'm pretty sure my kids can't tell the difference between turkey and chicken anyway.

2. Dumb Easy Cranberry Sauce. And, no, it's not out of a can. But it can be made ahead of time and is much more simple than you think. And worlds better than the canned crap.

3. Brussels Sprouts Salad. Best salad ever. Simple, adaptable, seasonal, mostly healthy. You can make this the day of. Or--it would be a perfect place for a bit of leftover cranberry sauce and turkey chunks.

4. 10-minute Green Beans. There's no can of anything soup. These are pretty fancy (though the picture I have up on the site is seriously ugly, so you'll need a tiny bit of faith, but it's delicious). Also, these just need a quick stir-fry on the stove. The big disadvantage of this dish is that it doesn't travel well, so if you're taking a side dish somewhere, it probably won't work for you.

5. Dumb Easy Chocolate Pie. Five minutes of prep time, people. That's it.  (Though you will need a chill time, so don't go making this 5 minutes before dessert, though it might be a lovely pudding if you do).

6. You'll also "need" as we all do some good mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes. So have at it.

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