For all the people trimming down their Thanksgiving menus (and the bird itself, for that matter), Ina Garten is with us. And if the Barefoot Contessa can get behind a "Micro Thanksgiving," then we can, too.
Garten typically hosts the holiday at a big table in her barn, she told NYT Cooking in a video tour of her kitchen, but this year she'll hunker down on Turkey Day with her beloved Jeffrey and make a spread for just the two of them.
"I know it's going to be an unusual Thanksgiving but I think it's important to find joy in the small things, the simple things and to make it a real celebration," Garten says in the video. "The holidays really kind of mark important dates and if we lose that, we lose the whole thing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, cook a lot share with everybody and have a very good time."
Onward we march!
For anyone still undecided on the ideal intimate spread, Garten shared her whole menu on Instagram, with full recipes on her blog.
Garten called this smaller bird the "easiest and most delicious turkey ever," adding that an eight-pound turkey is perfect for four people, and the best part about this is it can be seasoned days ahead of time. So on Thanksgiving Day, all you have to do is pop it in the oven for an hour and a half. Get the full recipe here.
This year, the cookbook author is opting for a slightly more decadent starch than her aforementioned mashed potatoes. Sliced potatoes and fennel, baked with sharp, earthy Gruyère cheese until bubbling on top make this side dish irresistible. In can also be assembled ahead of time and baked an hour or so before dinner. Get the full recipe here.
"Instead of stuffing the turkey, which requires you to cook it for more time which can dry out a turkey, this savory bread pudding bakes separately but has all the flavor of traditional stuffing - creamy bread and vegetables on the bottom, with lots of crunchy, cheesy bits on top," Garten wrote on Instagram. "That way, you’ll have the best 'stuffing' and a delicious moist turkey in less time! And you can assemble it ahead of time and bake it just before serving!" Get the full recipe here.
Sweet potatoes get some added sweetness and a little kick with Garten's maple syrup and minced chipotle chiles blended into the mix. Get the full recipe here.
French green beans are more delicate than the regular variety and take on the flavors of what they're cooked with beautifully. In this case, Garten adds fragrant, toasted hazelnuts, savory dill and a little butter — creating the perfect addition to a simple yet inventive Thanksgiving dinner.Get the full recipe here.
And if this micro-menu still has you stressing, just whip yourself up one of Ina's giant cosmos. Because, as she says, "It's always cocktail hour in a crisis!"
Here's what's on Ina Garten's 'Micro Thanksgiving' menu