I’m kind of…obsessive…when it comes to meal planning. I don’t just make a grocery list. My list begins with a menu. I like to put it in table form so it’s easy to read. I have friends who think this isn’t normal:
(If you like the idea of menu planning like this, I’ll include a blank one at the bottom of this page!)
Anyway, if that’s how I do my weekly planning, you can only imagine how I am about planning Thanksgiving! I actually sent my mom the first Thanksgiving text the second week of October:
Hey, here’s what we had last year for Thanksgiving: ham, deer steak, dressing, mashed potatoes, butter beans, gravy, devilled eggs, broccoli cheese casserole, rolls. Start thinking about this year and let me know what you want me to bring!
She always plays along with my insanity and says sweet things like, “That sounds good, honey! I’ll let you know if I think of anything else!” when I know she’s really thinking, “Good heavens, girl! It’s not even Halloween yet! Calm down!”
I’ve been working on what I’m taking to my parents’ house (broccoli cheese casserole, Spinach Elizabeth, pecan pies, brownies with salted caramel sauce, cream cheese pie) and to Michael’s mom’s house (broccoli cheese casserole and bacon cheddar devilled eggs. I’m not slighting his side of the family. There are LOT of other people coming to that one!)
Last night, Elizabeth was looking at one of my many lists (I have several because I keep losing them.) when she looked up and said in shock, “You aren’t making The Carrots?”
I started making The Carrots before either of the kids were born. I make them for every special occasion. When the kids get to choose what we have for their birthday dinners, The Carrots are almost always on the list. Easter? The Carrots. Thanksgiving? The Carrots. Fathers Day? The Carrots.
I can’t believe I left them off the list. Sacrilege.
I called my mom this morning and told her and she said, “Well, I was wondering! I just read an article that talked about how good carrots are for aging eyes and I turned to your daddy and said, “Felicia didn’t have The Carrots on her list!” We were so worried that you wouldn’t bring them!
These are amazing! If your family – especially your kids – don’t like vegetables, try these. They are sweet and salty and yummy. My kids love them. Michael loves them. My mom and dad love them. My brother loves them.
I love them, too!
Honey-Glazed Baby Carrots
- 4 cups of baby carrots, steamed to tender
- 1 stick of salted butter
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Melt butter, honey, and salt together in a saucepan. Add carrots to mixture, stir to coat and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
Well Duh #1: You can roast the carrots in the oven instead of steaming them. Spread them on a big sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and roast at 400 degrees for an hour – or until they start to get brown, caramelized spots on them.
Well Duh #2: Whatever your cooking method for the carrots, you can do that part days ahead of time! Just cook them and put them in a sealed container or bag in the refrigerator. Take them out the refrigerator about 30 minutes before glazing them so they will come to room temperature – or close to it. We travel to my parents’ house – two hours away – so I usually take my cooked carrots in a big bag and my glaze ingredients and just do the glazing part there.
Well Duh #3: These make great leftovers, too. Just store them in the refrigerator and heat up whatever portion you need.
Well Duh #4: If I’m feeling sassy, I add a little splash of vanilla. It does not make them taste like dessert. It just enhances the salty sweetness.
I’m so glad Elizabeth remembered The Carrots! I don’t know what my family would have done if I had shown up without them! I mean, we wouldn’t have gone hungry because there’s always enough food there to feed an army. But you just don’t mess with tradition!
Click here for a PDF version of the Menu Planner.