Kitchen Secrets for the Thanksgiving Holiday

“Kitchen Secrets for the Thanksgiving Holiday”

Compensation was provided by Safeway, Vons, Randalls and Tom Thumb stores via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Safeway, Vons, Randalls and Tom Thumb stores.

Preparing for a Thanksgiving feast doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right preparation, you can really knock it out of the park and wow your guests (and yourself).

One of the best tricks I’ve found to staying sane is to prepare what recipes you are going to make in advance. This requires printing them up, making a grocery list and knowing what you need before you even begin. If you wait until the last minute, you will be scrambling to get everything done and you will be limited on time.
Once you have your recipes printed up, go through them and sort them. You will obviously have some parts of your meal (like the turkey or ham) which will need to start cooking first, since it takes the longest. By knowing what needs to start baking/cooking when, you will know what time to get started and you won’t be trying to figure out math and time and countdowns in your head. Save your sanity.

As for finding the right recipes for your meal, you can browse your favorite blogs, visit your local store and get inspiration, view various cookbooks and come up with exactly what you will be serving. Everything from the appetizers to the dessert, make sure you know what you will make. Bonus points if you draw up a cute menu for your guests. This is, after all, your day to shine.

Speaking of recipes, here are a few of our favorites, which have been provided by Chef Jeff:

Savory Butternut Squash Casserole

Macaroni and cheese with butternut squash

1 tbsp Lucerne® Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup Lucerne® Whole Milk
2 tbsp Lucerne Heavy Cream
4 cup butternut squash cubes
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup Open Nature™ White Cheddar Cheese
1 cup honey-roasted pecans
2 tbsp Safeway SELECT® Pure Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 375°F.
To make sauce, add flour and butter to a saucepan and cook until flour is a light brown color. Add milk and heavy cream while whisking rapidly, then return to a simmer.
In a buttered casserole pan, toss together butternut squash cubes, thyme, salt, and white cheddar. Pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with pecans.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Ham with Marmalade Bourbon Glaze


1 spiral cut ham (3 to 4 lb.)
1 cup Safeway SELECT® Orange Marmalade
½ cup Kentucky Bourbon
½ cup orange juice concentrate
¼ cup mayonnaise

Bake ham per package directions.
For the glaze: combine rest of ingredients and mix well.
When ham has 20 minutes left to cook, remove from oven and brush on glaze; allow to cook for 10 minutes, then brush on a second layer of glaze and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

No matter what you decide to do, have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff. Something may burn, you might forget something but just enjoy it and have fun.

Visit your nearest Safeway, Vons, Randalls, or Tom Thumb store this holiday season to make your holiday shopping easy and affordable.



  • m on November 21, 2014

    Does the Savory Butternut Squash Casserole have pasta shells in it?


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