Weekly Dinner Menu: Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner

One of the things we strive for when planning our menus is making everything fit together into one nice, neat little package. We look to use ingredients in different ways throughout the week so that we’re benefiting from the ability of do-aheads and being able to buy in bulk. We also benefit from a well-stocked pantry.

I woke up today on West 35th Street in New York. One cab ride, followed by a very long security line and a plane ride, and I found myself back in my own state, surrounded by tiny people who call me mom. I had such a wonderful time this weekend connecting with my fellow bloggers, cementing relationships and growing new ones. Thank you again to my roommates and friends, Brooke and Jen and to Jaime for spending the day on Saturday. I miss you already.

And here I sit attempting re-entry and dreaming of bed, but I’m diving in head first, for this week is the week of the Virtual Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner. Today, Aimee from Simple Bites and I are kicking off the party with a mustard-crusted turkey and stuffing, and I hope you’ll join us for the rest of the week when Tiffany from Eat at Home shares apples and cranberries baked in a pumpkin, Real Mom Kitchen‘s Laura makes carrots and mashed potatoes, Tara of Deal Seeking Mom and (recently launched!) Unsophisticook shares her cranberry salad and Liz from Hoosier Homemade whips up a pumpkin gingerbread trifle. We’ll take you through a Thanksgiving Dinner from start to finish.

If you’re looking to get organized as Thanksgiving approaches, please check out the FREE Thanksgiving ebook, as well as a planning checklist to get your started, how to pick your turkey and when to order it.

Monday – Butternut Squash Risotto

Tuesday – Spinach and Brie Chicken with Orzo

Wednesday – Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

Thursday – Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken

Friday – Grilled Pear, Brie and Chutney Sandwiches

The Preparation Shortcuts:

1. Cook the butternut squash ahead for the pasta while you’re making the risotto. This way you won’t need to wait for it when making the pasta, and you can just warm it up long enough to work with it.
2. Make extra chicken breasts seasoned lightly with salt, pepper and lemon while making the spinach and brie chicken, shred and save to add to the orzo pasta on Thursday.
3. Use extra vegetables in the pasta salad on Thursday and then extra brie is used as grilled cheese.
4. Buy naan from your favorite Indian restaurant for the grilled brie sandwiches to avoid having to make it.

The Shopping List:

10 thin chicken cutlets
3 medium tomatoes
2 plum tomatoes
2 butternut squash
2 cucumbers
1 ripe pear
2 lemons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
green pepper
red pepper
10 ounces frozen leaf spinach
4-6 slices naan
mango chutney
8 ounces crumbled feta
10 ounces Brie cheese
10 ounces Parmesan cheese

Pantry Items:
white wine
chicken broth
orzo pasta
farfalle pasta
arborio rice
Dijon mustard
kalamata olives
pine nuts
olive oil
red wine vinegar
curry powder
salt and pepper

Last week from Food for My Family:

FREE Thanksgiving ebook
Pumpkin Bread and Cinnamon Cheesecake Spread
Old Fashioned Italian Meatballs and a Chance to Win
Blank Canvas: Vanilla Ice Cream
Nutella Ice Cream Sundae with Toasted Hazelnuts

For more menu plans:
Org Junkie

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  1. I really love this site, I use it almost every week. That said, the butternut squash risotto link doesn’t work, and I’d love to make it! Once again, I love your site, and have many of my friends cooking from your Monday menu every week. Thanks!

  2. Love this (and you!!)..count me on this virtual fest. Where is my plate and napkin?

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