You Could Stress Out Over Thanksgiving Dinner, Or You Could Go to Target
What if you’re hosting your very own Thanksgiving -- or more likely, Friendsgiving? And what if your job is already stressful, you’re working up until the very day, and you can’t deal with any! More! Stress! Who is there to make this easy for you?
We know, we know: Trader Joe’s. But hear me out: What if you could take care of Thanksgiving dinner in a single shopping trip to Target? Which you have to go to anyway because you’re out of light bulbs? I decided to find out if it’s possible, and guess what? You can, Stan. For a Thanksgiving that goes off without a hitch (well, mostly), here are 11 products from two of Target’s in-house grocery brands, Good & Gather and Archer Farms, to get you through November’s biggest feast.
No one is ever disappointed to see a pig in a blanket. The flaky, buttery, salty treat is a winner at potlucks everywhere and is sure to be a crowd-pleasing appetizer while you put the finishing touches on the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole. These ones are a bit fancier than your average crescent roll affair; there’s Parmesan cheese baked straight into the puff pastry dough, as well as a sprinkling of poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds for an experience akin to eating an everything bagel. Simply pop them in the oven, set them out, and watch these appetizers disappear instantaneously.
Cheese and crackers are the easiest appetizers to set out and be done. This package gives you an assortment of classic water crackers, multigrain, wheat, vegetable, poppy and pepper, and graham crackers, and everyone can munch on their favorites while you worry about all the other food you have to prepare.
But what to put out with all those dry crackers? A cheese tray you didn’t have to “curate” yourself, that’s what. Enter Good & Gather’s Assorted Cheese Tray. All your mild favorites -- including pepper jack, colby jack, swiss, and cheddar -- are there, and cut into bite-sized rectangles that are ready to eat. Place this next to your entertaining crackers and call it a day. Or not, because you’re still cooking dinner.
Mashed potatoes are a classic. You can enhance them with garlic, fill them with studs of goat cheese, or leave them in their buttery state. That being said, mashed potatoes take a lot of time to perfect. There’s peeling the potatoes, boiling them, mashing them, and making sure all your proportions are right so you’re not left with gummy starch that will reduce grandma to tears. You could take the easy way out and opt for Good & Gather’s cheesy scalloped potatoes. You’ll have it all: creaminess, cheesiness from Parmesan and sharp Cheddar, tanginess from chives, and most importantly, a total lack of effort on your part.
Sure, you can snag a bag of frozen broccoli, steam it, and set it on the table where it will remain scarcely touched because, honestly, who wants to eat plain steamed broccoli on our most glutinous holiday? You could do that, or you could get a pack of Good & Gather’s roasted broccoli smothered in a four-cheese sauce. Cheese makes everything better.
You don’t have to watch the Great British Bakeoff to know that baking your own bread, or rolls, is a lengthy and at times difficult process. So instead of doing that from-scratch baking, do some last-step baking using Target’s Archer Farms Take & Bake rolls, which come partially baked. Simply slip them into the oven just before you’re ready to sit down for dinner and guess what? You get that fresh-baked bread smell and six lovely country white rolls that taste almost homemade.
Turkey is, undoubtedly, the most intimidating part about hosting your own Thanksgiving dinner. How long does it need to be brined for? How do I ensure my turkey is fully cooked without rendering it completely dry? Is anyone ever really that excited to see turkey? If you find yourself worrying and pondering these questions, don’t fret. Target has a cook-in-bag turkey that even the most amateur of chefs can’t screw up. All you have to do is take the seasoned frozen turkey, pop it in the oven, and be patient. That’s it.
No turkey dinner is complete without some hearty gravy to smother everything in. This version from Good & Gather encompasses the flavors of turkey stock, onions, butter, and cream -- and preparing it is way easier than formulating your own from turkey drippings. Pour the gravy into a microwave safe bowl, heat it up, and voila -- gravy is done and mashed potatoes and turkey are happy.
If you’re not yet bored of it, Archer Farms does offer a pumpkin coffee to pair along pumpkin pie and other spiced treats. However, hot buttered rum coffee is an exciting and equally tasty alternative that may surprise and delight your guests. You can get pumpkin-flavored coffee anywhere, but how often do you have hot buttered rum coffee? Leave out some rum, Baileys, or Amaretto for coffee with a kick.
Okay, let’s be real: you do need to have a pie for Thanksgiving. That seems like an unspoken rule of this particular holiday and I’m not going to sit here and pretend it isn’t a necessary aspect of the sweets spread. That being said, fall-themed cookies will also help fill out your dessert table without taking up any prep time whatsoever. Simply pick up these leaf-shaped butter cookies, set them next your pie, and dust off your hands because dessert is served.
Apple cider really rounds out a Thanksgiving meal with its sweet and spicy fall flavors. Archer Farms has both an old fashioned version as well as one made strictly from honeycrisp apples, so you’ve got options. Serve this up alongside your coffee as a nightcap and pat yourself on the back for a Thanksgiving well done.