Putting together a dinner party isn’t easy and one thing that always stresses me out is the amount of planning that goes into each dish and making sure that everything is hot and ready by dinner time. Every Thanksgiving, everyone always anticipates the moist turkey that I make. This year we decided to have a few more friends join us for dinner, so a few extra side dishes needed to be prepared to make sure everyone’s bellies were full and as well as making sure there was plenty of leftovers. We paired it with Mission Hill Wine from the Okanagan, which is mighty delicious.
A trip to the grocery store is essential to make sure you have everything for your meal. I went to Loblaws City Market as they just introduced their ‘From Our Chefs’ line of dishes as a good accompaniment to the turkey and roast beef for our dinner.
Loblaw Executive Chef Mark Russell ha spent the last few years perfecting their dishes to make sure they are store ready and the taste exceeds customers expectations. To save some time, I grabbed a few items to add to the dinner like salads, pasta, and mac + cheese. I don’t mind taking a shortcut because I only have so many ovens and stove tops for cooking.
My favourite turkey to get is the President’s Choice Fresh Turkey as it’s already injected with butter. This turkey was 10kg/22 lbs and it took about 4.5 hours to cook at 350F. I layer the pan with cut up veggies and stuff the inside with more of the veggies.
Then, I rub the turkey with a butter and poultry herb mixture above the skin and under the skin. More butter the better right? Don’t forget to throw a pack of bacon on top too.
My sister made a delicious roast and it accompanied the dinner very well. The Angus certified beef is pretty amazing and make sure you get it spot on at medium rare.
Get a meat thermometer as that will be your best friend for getting perfect cooked roasts and turkeys.
Cheese and Meat Board
Before everyone gets here, the table needs to be set. So, in between checking on the turkey, setting the table is an important aspect that some people may forget about. While grocery shopping, I grabbed a few items from the Home Collection at Real Canadian Superstore to make sure the table was well presented. You don’t need to go overboard with centerpieces since food will take up most of the table.
I picked up some festive potpourri, a woven basket, cloth napkins, and placements to really tie the table together with hints of warm fall colours.
The table wouldn’t be complete without a cheese and meat board for the table. It’s a nice item to have when guests start arriving. I make sure to grab a soft cheese, hard cheese and then a few semi-soft cheeses. For meat, I got prosciutto and capicollo. My all time favourite crisps to get are the PC Black Label Cranberry + Fennel Artisan Crisps. So good. Throw some jam and fruit, then you’re set. Having some mini cheese knives are super handy and it fits perfectly on the board and not having long cutlery knives. Clearly, I’m such a fan of Presidents Choice products.
By dinner time, we had more food than we could fit on the table. There definitely was an abundance of food on the table. A half days of work and it’s really rewarding seeing all the happy faces at the table.
The sides from the Loblaws City Market ‘From Our Chefs’ dishes were such a huge help in adding a healthier part to the dinner. Heated up and ready to serve. Everyone’s favourite seemed to be the baked mac and cheese. Super cheesy and creamy.
Of course the star of the show was the turkey. Perfectly cooked and super moist on the inside. We did have the roast that we put in the oven but it needed a bit of extra time, so we accidentally missed it in our photos.
Once everything got plated, we dug in and didn’t stop eating until our pants needed to be unbuttoned. The guests who wore leggings and sweatpants were smart.
That’s my Thanksgiving dinner demystified. This dinner was partly sponsored by Loblaws City Market, but I stand behind their products. I make plenty of trips to The Real Canadian Superstore and I’m a proud customer.