Delectable and Different: A Practically Perfect Thanksgiving Menu for a Small Fall Group!

Posted on Oct 11 2014 - 7:37pm by Brenda Meehan

With our tablescape falling into place, it’s time to plan our Practically Perfect Thanksgiving menu for 4! When keeping your holiday gatherings intimate, you can play with different and delectable dishes that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to serve. We chose a few classic recipes to bring to the table: Nana’s Glazed Cornish Game Hens, Homemade Harvest Wild Rice, a Pear & Gorgonzola Salad, and “Pear Crisp” Made-Microwave-Easy! Simple dishes, big flavors, all fall-fantastic!

Nana’s Glazed Cornish Game Hens:


4-6 Cornish Game Hens, rinsed and dried
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, and onion powder. (Enough to thoroughly season each bird inside and out)
1/2 cup to 1 cup white wine or chicken broth (We use wine)

For Glaze:
2 packages Lipton Onion/Mushroom Soup Mix
1.5 cups Apricot Preserves
1 cup orange juice

Optional garnish: We chose fresh parsley and fresh rosemary for our garnish as our Practically Perfect accompaniment on our platter was golden orange roasted carrots! You could also use sliced oranges to dress up your hens.


1. Preheat Oven to 350,
2. Season your Game Hens inside and out with spice mixture and add to large ceramic baking dish.
3. Pour white wine in bottom of the dish.
4. Bake at 350 for an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and half for 4 small game hens, cooking time will depend on how many birds you’re baking.

Prepare Glaze:
1. Add all glaze ingredients to a sauce pot, mix well with whisk until boiling then reduce heat to a simmer.
2. Simmer for 8 minutes stirring constantly, adding more juice if needed to reduce thickness.
3. Add glaze 15 minutes before birds are finished baking, and be sure to serve hens with additional glaze!

These sweet and savory birds are delectable, and everyone LOVES them. We even made a few extra and they were gobbled up by the 3P team and our lovely guests!

Now for our Fresh Pear and Gorgonzola Salad: (Serves 4-6)


1 Pear sliced in half, and then into thin slices
4-6 cups baby arugula
4 tablespoons Gorgonzola, crumbled
4 tablespoons glazed pecans

Salad Dressing Ingredients and Prep:
Combine: 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon agave or your sweetener of choice, 1 tsp each of salt and fresh cracked pepper…whisk together! There will be leftovers. 🙂


In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and vinegar dressing. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Add arugula to large serving bowl, slowly pour about 3 tablespoons of dressing and toss to coat.

Top salad with pear slices, Gorgonzola crumbles, and pecans. Serve immediately.


Hearty Homemade Wild Rice: (A long-loved recipe from Gavin’s Aunt in Canada.)
Serves 4-6

1 cup wild rice (We pre-cook ours to shorten baking time, and avoid having to soak rice overnight)
1 cup chopped celery
2 onions chopped (or 2 cups of green onions)
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes (chop tomatoes and reserve tomato juice)
1/2 cup of melted butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (More can be added to taste)
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (Enough to cover!)
(Optional: add mushrooms)

Mix all ingredients together, and spread into a large, shallow baking dish.  Top with grated cheese, bake at 300 for one hour and check, if more time is needed, bake another 30 minutes. Ours was done after one hour,

Each Practically Perfect Plate was brimming with fall colors and flavors!

..And now…For DESSERT! We made a DELICIOUS Microwave “Pear Crisp” or Streuseled Pears recipe! You’ll need an 8×8 inch microwaveable baking dish, and:

– 2 Cups Sliced pears
1.5 Cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup one-minute quick oats
1/2 cup flour


1. Dust your baking dish with 1/2 of the brown sugar, then layer sliced pears on top.
2. In a large bowl, use a pastry mixer or a whisk to mix together remaining brown sugar, oats, flour, butter and cinammon until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of pears, and microwave for 9-12 minutes or until bubbling. Serve with ice cream or a dollop of whipped topping!


Microwave “baked” pears are also a *lite* and lovely autumn dessert made simple!

You’ll need:
– 2-3 Pears, halved lengthwise
– about 1/2 cup brown sugar for sprinkling
– a teaspoon of cinnamon to “dust” pears with

On a microwave safe baking dish, arrange halved pears evenly. I always scoop a small “dip” into each pear to collect all the syrupy goodness, and slice a tiny bit off the back of each pear so that they’ll sit evenly while “baking”. Lightly dust each pear with cinnamon and brown sugar (or Agave, if you’d like a healthier option)…and microwave for one minute on high. Check your pears to see how warm and soft they’ve gotten. If they need one more minute or two, zap them in the micro again…and VOILA! A deliciously sweet and warm fall dessert in about 5 minutes!


This was a Thanksgiving to remember with simple pleasures: easy tablescapes, a unique and tasty take on “turkey day” with our delicious menu, and a wonderful evening spent with great friends. We hope you enjoy your fall-holidays as much as we’re enjoying ours. Be sure to share your family-time fall holiday favorites with us on Facebook! We’d love to have a virtual sneak-peek from a seat at YOUR table!