We’ve all asked that question before when going over to someone’s house for a meal. However, Thanksgiving is a whole different ball game! Chances are the kitchen will be bustling, the oven and stove will be full and there won’t be much space in the fridge so you can be limited as to what you can actually bring. Here are a few of our recommendations for dishes you can bring to Thanksgiving dinner that require little prep time and no cooking at your host’s house:
Not Your Grandmother’s Deviled Egg:
Growing up in the South, deviled eggs were part of most family holidays for Hallman, but deviled eggs are no longer a just a Southern thing. Chefs all over the country are serving gourmet deviled eggs! The great thing about bringing deviled eggs as an appetizer is that you can make them ahead of time and there are so many ways to spice them up. We used Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for bacon & blue cheese deviled eggs from his cook book Twenty but check out Ruhlman’s many variations for more inspiration!
- 6 eggs hard boiled, halved, yolks and white separated
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tbsp. of fresh chives
- 3 oz. of bacon finely diced and sauteed until crispy
Mash egg yolks and blue cheese together with a masher. Mix in the mayonnaise, both mustards and cayenne. Add half of the chives and half of the bacon and mix until well combined. Pipe or scoop the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with remaining chives and bacon.
This is my “go to” kale salad that I bring to dinners or lunches all the time. I altered it slightly by adding pomegranate seeds for a splash of color. If you decide not to add the pomegranate seeds, simply double up on the dried cranberries. I normally use pine nuts, but swapped them for Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) this time to bring in a classic fall ingredient.
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 large lemons)
- 1/3 cup good olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 bunches of kale
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds without the shell)
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (make it easy by using pre-shredded parm)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
In a container with a lid, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the lid on the container and shake until the dressing is emulsified. Wash and dry the kale. With a knife, remove the thick stem from the center of the kale and coarsely chop the leaves (the leaves should be roughly 2″ x 2″). Place chopped kale in a large salad bowl and massage the kale firmly until the leaves start to turn a bright green. Kale can be a tough leaf to eat and massaging for about 30 seconds helps break them down a bit. Add the cranberries, pepitas, cheese, pomegranate seeds and salad dressing then toss.
To make this salad easier to prepare at your host’s house, you can wash and chop the kale ahead of time at home and place it in a large ziplock bag. Right before you are ready to serve, place the kale in your salad bowl, massage it and continue on with the rest of your salad prep.
Cranberry sauce is a great side to bring because it tends to be an after thought for hosts in many cases, yet a great homemade sauce is delicious! Cranberry sauce is so simple to make and travels very well. The orange juice and zest have a nice subtle flavor, and you can also stir in some chopped walnuts or fresh pomegranate seeds right before you serve to add a little crunch!
- 3 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries (we used the entire contents of one 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 tightly packed tsp. of orange zest (about 1 orange)
- 1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2-3 oranges)
- 6 Tbsp. sugar (if you like your sauce slightly more tart use 5 Tbsp. of sugar)
Place cranberries, orange juice and sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest and place in a container. Let cranberry sauce cool to room temperature. Place lid on the container and store in the fridge for up to a week.
When in doubt or short on time, you can always purchase a fabulous dessert from your favorite bakery or a great loaf of freshly baked bread! We bought this beautiful almond cafe from Thyme Cafe & Market.
Almond cake photo courtesy of Thyme Cafe & Market.