Thanksgiving 2020

Thank you for following along with us for the last two weeks as introduced some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Below is our full Thanksgiving Menu, including a timeline to help you be a rockstar host. The timeline starts this weekend. A lot of us will be hosting smaller gatherings this year, and many people will be hosting holiday gatherings for the first time. If you want to be relaxed and enjoy Thanksgiving this year, you must be organized and start prepping now. You will be so glad you did come Thursday! If you are still looking for more recipes to fill up your Thanksgiving Menu, checkout our Thanksgiving 2019 Menu. It is packed with loads of our favorite dishes including deep fried turkey with buttermilk gravy, our “best ever” mashed potatoes, and the love-it-or-hate-it green bean casserole. We have also included some table decorating ideas for a more low key celebration. We know that Thanksgiving is going to look different for everyone this year, but we hope your holiday is still filled with lots of good food, family, and friends (even if those family and friends are joining you virtually).

The Menu

Roasted Vegetable Platter with Dipping Sauces

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast

Spinach & Caramelized Onion Stuffing

Whiskey Soaked Sweet Potatoes with Cookie Butter Crumble

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Mac & Brie

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Prep List

  • The Weekend Before Thanksgiving (This Weekend!!)

    • Plan out your full grocery list and do all of your food shopping.
    • Stock up on beer, wine, and cocktail ingredients.
    • Finalize your ideas for table linens and decorations. See our ideas below!
  • 3 Days Before (Monday)

    • Make the sauces for the appetizer dipping platter if you are making them from scratch. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving Day, about 30 minutes before serving.
    • Cut the sourdough bread for the stuffing and let it sit out overnight to dry out.
    • Make the cinnamon honey butter for the cornbread muffins. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving Day; serve at room temperature.
    • Make your pie crust for the deep dish apple pie; refrigerate until the day before Thanksgiving.
  • 1 Day Before (Wednesday)

    • Set your table. Designate tableware, serving dishes, barware, and dishware that you will need and make sure it is set aside and available for Thanksgiving Day.
    • Refrigerate any beer, champagne, or white wine.
    • Roast the vegetables for the appetizer platter. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve appetizers.
    • Make the mac & brie to the point of baking. Set aside to cool and refrigerate overnight. Take out 30 minutes before cooking, top with the brie cheese and bake.
    • Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Blanch them in hot water. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
    • Prepare the turkey breast up until it is ready to bake in the oven; refrigerate overnight. Take out 30 minutes before cooking so that it isn’t cold going into the oven.
    • Slice/shave the brussels sprouts for the brussels sprout salad. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate overnight.
    • Prepare the dressing for the brussels sprout salad; refrigerate overnight.
    • Completely prepare and bake the apple pie. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes after baking before refrigerating overnight. Keep the pie in the springform pan; do not remove it until you are ready to serve.
  • Thanksgiving Day

    • Make the pumpkin cornbread muffins. You can cover them with foil and reheat in the oven just before serving.
    • Assemble the sweet potatoes and make the crumble.
    • Take the bacon wrapped turkey breast out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you want to eat dinner. Cook the turkey breast 90 minutes before you want to eat, so that there is plenty of time for it to rest and be sliced before serving.
    • Take the appetizer ingredients out 30 minutes before you want to serve appetizers. Assemble the ingredients on a platter and let sit at room temperature.
    • Assemble the brussels sprout salad. It can be dressed up to 30 minutes before dinnertime.

Table Decorating Ideas

We know that your Thanksgiving might be smaller this year, but that doesn’t mean that it should be any less celebratory and special. For our table this year, we have chosen to combine a bunch of different shades of whites and creams for a rustic chic look. We used ivory pillar candles from Crate & Barrel, various sizes of white pumpkins we found on Amazon, and bouquets of white roses that we divided into small arrangements across the table. If you don’t have small vases, short water glasses are a great substitute! We completed our look with rattan chargers from Pottery Barn, white dishes, napkins from Chilewich, and an assortment of gold napkin rings from Crate and Barrel. We particularly love the “grateful” napkin rings they are selling this year! The overall look is simple, elegant, and very easy to pull together.


Roasted Vegetable Platter

We know that Thanksgiving 2020 is probably going to look a little different for most of us this year. If you are used to having a large gathering, downsizing your menu and vision can seem a little sad. Our tip for enjoying the holiday to the fullest is to prepare your menu as you would any other year. If Thanksgiving doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without 10 side dishes, go ahead and make your traditional full menu! We suggest that this year you downsize the quantity but not the scale of your traditional Thanksgiving menu. We all need a little holiday cheer after the strangest year of history, plus, who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers?

Even with a small gathering, we love to have an appetizer out and ready for our guests to arrive. Because a traditional Thanksgiving menu is loaded with carby side dishes, we like to keep appetizers light. Save the baked brie for other winter gatherings. We love this roasted vegetable platter because all of the components can be made the day before. We love the addition of the romesco sauce and the lemon aioli to provide a zesty punch, but you can serve the vegetables with any dipping sauce you enjoy. All it takes is some quick assembly on Thanksgiving Day and you will have a gorgeous appetizer to set the tone for a festive holiday dinner. We have gone ahead and listed out every vegetable and dip on the platter that we used in the recipe below, but we encourage you to plan out your platter so that you do not have any repeating vegetables in your main dinner menu.

Roasted Vegetable Platter

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print


A healthy and robust appetizer platter to have waiting for your Thanksgiving guests!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and cut into florets
  • 1 acorn squash, seeds removed and sliced into wedges
  • 1 package petite rainbow carrots
  • 3 beets, rinsed, peeled, and sliced into wedges
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • romesco sauce, or dip of your choice
  • lemon & garlic aioli, or dip of your choice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prep the vegetables that need roasting (cauliflower, squash, carrots and beets) so that all of them are peeled, have their seeds removed, and are chopped into large bite sized pieces. Lay the vegetables on a cookie sheet or two so that they are in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the vegetables until they are fork tender, anywhere from 30 – 40 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool so that they are warm or room temperature. If you are making the vegetables the day before, refrigerate and bring out to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve the vegetables on a platter with romesco sauce and lemon aioli, or any dips of your choice. Serve with small forks and/or toothpicks to allow your guests to help themselves.


15 Recipes For Your Labor Day Cookout

The unofficial “end of summer” is approaching and we are using Labor Day as an excuse to cook on the barbecue and celebrate. In honor of Labor Day, we have compiled some of our favorite recipes to create the ultimate summer sendoff. We have a little bit of everything, most of which can be prepped ahead of time, so that you can spend your holiday in the backyard enjoying the weather. 

  1. Strawberry Lemon Rose Sangria 
  2. Cucumber Lemonade Gin Fizz
  3. Classic Guacamole 
  4. Kale & Artichoke Dip 
  5. Spicy Turkey Burgers 
  6. Juicy Lucy Burgers 
  7. Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork 
  8. Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri 
  9. Summer Pesto Pasta Salad
  10. Spicy Watermelon Salad
  11. Hatch Chili Mac 
  12. Elote (Grilled Street Corn)  
  13. Farmers’ Market Brown Butter Orzo 
  14. Everything Bagel Coleslaw
  15. Summer Berry Trifle 

Mezze Board

Creating an appetizer board is our go-to vehicle for feeding mouths as they walk through our door. There is always a little something for everyone and for some reason having more appetizers feels less stressful than having one and hoping it’s a winner. We love Greek food and often make a dinner party menu featuring this type of cuisine. Keeping that in mind, we set out to make a board of Greek appetizers (mezze) that mostly stays away from our traditional meat and cheese boards. If you feel like over-achieving you can make many of these items from scratch, but to save time we have purchased them from Trader Joe’s. Pro Tip: whenever we purchase a pre-made dip from the grocery store, we always give it a little TLC before serving. For this board we used Trader Joe’s labneh and hummus; we transferred each into smaller bowls and drizzled olive oil and red chili flakes on the labneh and olive oil and everything spice on the hummus. It’s a small touch that makes the board look better and less like you just got home from the grocery store. 

Mezze Board 
Makes: 8 servings 
Prep Time: 25 minutes    Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 container small tomatoes on the vine 
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 1 block (6-8 oz) feta cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 container dolmas 
  • 1 jar of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts, drained 
  • 1 jar Greek olives, drained 
  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts, or similar 
  • 1 package pita, cut into small wedges 
  • 1 container hummus
  • 1 container labneh 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • red pepper flakes 
  • Everything Bagel Spice 

Directions: 

  1. Prep the ingredients that need a little TLC. Slice the cucumber into thick slices on a bias. Cut the feta into large chunks. Drain the dolmas, artichoke hearts, and olives. Cut the pita into wedges. 
  2. Transfer the hummus and labneh (or any other dips) into small ramekins or bowls that will fit on your board. Top each dip with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on the labneh and Everything Bagel Spice on the hummus. 
  3. Arrange the platter. Start by putting the two ramekins of dips onto the platter. From there, layer each of the ingredients in at least two places on a large board. We try and mix and match the ingredients but also make sure that dry ingredients like the pita or mixed nuts stay dry by being placed near a ramekin. Once the board is full and assembled, serve immediately. 

Superbowl 2020 Menu

We have had so much fun putting together new ideas together for the Super Bowl this year. At Tuck & Tate, Super Bowl is as much about the food and half time show as it is about football (except when the Broncos are playing). We have put together a list of some favorite recipes that would go great together for game day eats this Sunday.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip

Appetizers:

Kale & Artichoke Dip
Kale & Artichoke Dip
BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with All the Toppings
BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with All the Toppings

Entree:

Quick & Easy Dill Pickles
Quick & Easy Dill Pickles

Golden Globes 2020

Here at Tuck & Tate we love just about any reason to have a party. After the winter holiday season ends and New Year’s Eve has passed, we anxiously await the start of awards season. The Golden Globes nominees were announced a few weeks ago and we have been trying to cram in every movie and TV show we can before the show airs this Sunday. Each award show we host a small get together with lots of drinks, snacks, and voting ballots. We all vote for who we think will win each category and usually have a small prize for the winner. In the spirit of a good theme, we always try to make a punny dinner menu based on the nominees and award recipients. 

We created this menu with two things in mind: 1) you are probably just getting over the rush and stress of the holiday season and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, and 2) you may have set some health-related resolutions that you don’t feel like breaking in the first week of the new year. The two of us made this entire menu in under two hours, and with the help of extra hands could have done it all in 90 minutes. With the exception of the dessert, the dishes are all VERY healthy so that you can snack without guilt while you watch the Globes. 

We plan to serve all of our dishes at the same time, appetizer style so that everyone can grab what they want when the show starts. We like to keep it casual and let our guests help themselves as we anxiously watch the red carpet and show.

The Menu

Chicky Gervais Skewers- Chicken Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce 

Ricky Gervais- Host of the 2020 Golden Globes 

Mellen Degeneres Margaritas- Watermelon Margaritas

Ellen Degeneres- Winner of 2020 Carol Burnett Award

Tom Franks – Air Fryer Jalapeno Corn Dogs 

Tom Hanks- Winner of the 2020 Cecil B. deMille Award 

Guacine Phoenix – Homemade Guacamole 

Joaquin Phoenix- Joker- Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama

Christina Appletart – Apple, Thyme, & Mascarpone Tart 

Christina Applegate- Dead To Me – Best TV Actress Musical or Comedy 


Cranberry Lime Moscow Mules

If you have been following along with us here at Tuck & Tate, you know we love a festive cocktail. Having a themed cocktail ready for our guests really sets a positive tone for the evening. When prepping for our New Year’s Eve menu, we wanted to stray away from the traditional champagne option and send the holidays off with a bang. Tate’s mom has an extraordinary number of cocktail glasses, and we decided to break out the copper mugs and give Moscow Mules a little holiday twist. 

A traditional Moscow Mule consists of ginger beer, vodka, and fresh limes. We have given them a holiday glow up by adding fresh cranberries, Trader Joe’s Winter Wassail, and fresh rosemary. This makes the mules taste like they have been mixed with spiced wine. We love this recipe because it can be made ahead of time and set out for guests in a big pitcher. 

Cranberry Lime Moscow Mules 
Makes: 12 servings 
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • A fifth of vodka (25 oz) – we prefer Tito’s 
  • 2 bottles (12 oz each) ginger beer 
  • 3 cups (24 oz) of Trader Joe’s Winter Wassail **
  • 4 limes, separated 
  • 3 springs rosemary, separated 
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • Crushed ice 

Directions: 

  1. Combine the vodka, ginger beer, and Winter Wassail in a large serving pitcher. 
  2. Cut three of the limes in half and add the juice to the vodka pitcher. Add the limes to the pitcher to add extra lime flavor to the cocktail. 
  3. Use your fingers to gently bend and rub two of the rosemary sprigs- this helps release their aroma in the cocktail. Add to the vodka mix. 
  4. Gently give the cranberries a light crush and add them to the vodka pitcher as well. Stir well so that all of the flavors combine. 
  5. Serve the cocktails with copper mugs and crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of the remaining lime, a few fresh cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary. 

** If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, the Winter Wassail is described as a “festive blend of apple, black currant, and lemon juice” which gives the mules a spiced wine taste. You can add lemon juice, orange zest, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg to apple cider or cranberry cocktail. 


Cheese Board: Winter Edition

It’s no doubt that we love ourselves a good cheese board at Tuck & Tate. When thinking about winter cheese boards, the first thing that came to mind was creating a board that was versatile enough to go to any holiday celebration, including New Year’s Eve. We wanted items that were tasty but felt light so as to not overshadow the decadence that typically comes with holiday menus. For detailed steps on constructing these appetizer dream boards, read through our Cheese Board: Fall Edition post found here.  

Cheese Board: Winter Edition
Serving Size: 8-10 servings 
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients On This Board (all from Trader Joe’s):

  • 1 wedge of Brie cheese
  • 1 wedge of Creamy Toscana Cheese soaked in Syrah
  • 1 round of Camembert cheese 
  • 1 package assorted charcuterie meats
  • 1 package of asparagus
  • 1 package green beans
  • 1 tub of Everything Bagel Yogurt Dip
  • 1 container raspberries
  • 1 container blueberries
  • 2 cups of 3 seed beet crackers 
  • 2 cups of pistachio & pomegranate crackers 

Directions:  

  1. Start to assemble by placing the cheese on the board. Keep it spread to various corners. Add the dip to a serving dish and place in the center of the board.
  2. Add the ingredients on the board and try to mix types of foods and colors throughout. You can keep the board at room temperature for 2 hours before serving or assemble and serve immediately. 

Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter

We know that this point in the holiday season can feel like a revolving door of guests and family coming over. There is a constant struggle of wanting to be the hostess with the mostest and also relaxing during the holidays. To help our cause we stock up on lots of  snacks so that we can throw together an appetizer board in just a few minutes. We love this whipped feta platter because it turns something ordinary into something much more extraordinary that really impresses your guests. Instead of a quick trip to the grocery to purchase the standard box of veggies and ranch, a trip through the produce section will give you the ingredients for this Martha Stewart-on-steroids Whipped Feta & Vegetable Platter. 

Making a Martha-esque veggie platter means expanding your horizons in the produce section of your grocery store. Instead of celery, opt for endive and asparagus. Instead of baby carrots, choose the longer rainbow variety to give your veggie platter some color. When making any type of appetizer board or platter, we always try to choose a variety of colors, textures, and tastes. This way there is something on the board for everyone. To compliment this array of veggies, we have made a Whipped Feta Dip with lots of fresh herbs. The feta gives the dip a nice punch of salt, Greek yogurt adds a nice tang, and the fresh herbs make it feel like summer even in the coolest of winter days. 

Whipped Feta Dip and Vegetable Platter                                                                                                                        
Serving Size: 8-10 appetizer servings                                                                                                       
Prep Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients for the Feta Dip :

  • 8 oz feta cheese 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs, finely chopped (we used dill, rosemary & chives)
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients for the Vegetable Platter :

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed 
  • 1 bunch of radishes, rinsed and quartered 
  •  1 zucchini, cut into spears 
  • 1 package rainbow carrots, stems trimmed and peeled 
  • 2 bunches endive, leaves removed 
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced on the diagonal to make spears 
  • 1 small bunch of cauliflower 
  • 1 package green onions, ends trimmed and outer layer removed 

Directions:  

  1. To make the dip, put the feta in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the feta until it starts to become fluffy- three to four minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and continue to mix. If the mixture is still dry (this will depend on the type of feta you buy) add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and has a thick, dip-like consistency. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Be aware the feta is very salty, so add the salt sparingly until you get the taste you want to achieve. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.   
  2. The reason this recipe has a 30 minute prep time, even though the dip takes 5 minutes or less to make, is so that you take the time to prep the vegetables. Wash everything thoroughly and pat dry before assembling on a platter. You can mix and match the veggies we have used in this platter or use up whatever you have in your refrigerator! Just be sure to choose a variety of colors and textures. 


Christmas Brunch 2019

Tuck & Tate did not grow up celebrating Christmas, but adopted the holiday when their parents got married. What they have learned over the years of celebrating is that Christmas breakfast should be quick and easy. No one wants to spend their morning slaving in the kitchen when there are presents to be opened and an exciting day getting started. With that in mind, we have created a quick and easy tablescape and menu to help you plan your Christmas morning festivities. We chose red and gold for our theme and used items that we have collected over the years to keep the cost of this look festive but at a reasonable price.  

The Look: 

Red Placemats (see similar) -Houzz- (Red Pomegranate Crock Placemat)

White plates (see similar) – Crate and Barrel-18th Street Dinner Plate 

Coffee Mugs – Starbucks – You Are Here Coffee Mugs (not available online)

Prosecco Glasses (see similar)- Reidel – Gold Champagne Flutes

Ornament Flower Vase

The Menu: 

Our menu this year is great for breakfast for a crowd. If you have some helping hands in the kitchen, everything can be ready in less than 45 minutes (including down time to get started drinking our Christmas themed cocktails). We wanted to have things feel decadent and special, but not so overkill that everyone needs a post-breakfast nap. 

Christmas Breakfast 2019 

Prosec Ho Ho Ho Cocktails 

Coffee For Those Needing a Caffeine Boost 

Egg Nog French Toast 

Vegetable Frittata 

Thick Cut Bacon 

Cookies for Santa