Thanksgiving Countdown: Pseudo-Gourmet Menu on a Budget

Hosting Thanksgiving in your rental and looking for the free-range turkey experience on a oven-stuffer-roaster budget?

We've got you covered. Impressing the guests is all in the subtlety. Add a few flashes here and there and they'll never notice you got your bird at Walmart. Start off with a festive cocktail to put everyone in a good mood and you're already off and running. Hit em with a five-dish meal then seal it up with zippy dessert and pow! You're a winner. (But warning: You may get stuck hosting again next year - so maybe burn at least one dish.)

And now, may we present our simple menu for a pull-the-wool-over-their-eyes, pseudo-gourmet Thanksgiving.

Step 1: Festive Cocktail
Wow boozy Aunt Suzie with this Corzo Holiday Cider or the non-alcoholic Sparkling Cider Bellini.

Step 2: Surprising Side Dish
This Blue Cheese Pear and Pecan Quiche is the unexpected side dish that'll wow your guests. And hint: Any dish with a French term gets bonus points (see step 3).

Step 3: Impressive-Sounding Turkey Scheme
Hit them with a another French touch with this Provencal Turkey Breast with Riesling. Manifique!

Step 4: Potato with Pizazz
Why stick to plain old Idaho potatoes, throw in some cousins like in this Root Vegetable Mash and the party gets more fun.

Step 5: Hearty and Yummy Stuffing
The heart of the meal, a delicious stuffing is absolutely essential. Here the sausage and broth add moisture to set apart this Herbed Bread Stuffing with Mushrooms and Sausage from Grandma's dry-old version.

Step 5: Herbal-Infused Dessert
Take them offguard with an unexpected dessert like this Honey-Lavender Plum Gratin, and get extra points for sourcing the lavender locally.

Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas? Check out our complete Thanksgiving Countdown, or the Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu and Italian Thanksgiving Feast ideas.

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