Thanksgiving Planning

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Thanksgiving is coming upon us. In the last month I’ve actually twice bought and cooked a whole turkey just to make sure we had the instructions right and some decent photos for my mom’s Roast Turkey recipe. (Her method – cook the bird breast side down.) Here’s a list of some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes as well as some ideas from other food blogs.

Thanksgiving recipes from Simply Recipes:

Roast Turkey
Turkey Stuffing
Turkey Soup
Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
Classic Baked Acorn Squash
Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme
Brussels Sprouts
Apple Cranberry Pie
Pecan Pie
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
More recipes from the complete list

Thanksgiving ideas from other food blogs:

A collection of Thanksgiving Vegetables from Alanna of A Veggie Venture
Cranberry and Dried Cherry Sauce from Nicole of Slashfood
Sage, Walnut, and Dried Fig Stuffing from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sweet Potato Pie from Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries
Sweet Potato Apple Casserole from Food Musings
Word’s Best Green Been Casserole from Alanna of A Veggie Venture
Pumpkin Cheesecake from Stacey of Just Braise
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ginger-Molasses Butter from Basic Juice

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12 Comments

  1. Jim Clark

    My mother ALWAYS cooked her turkey breast-side-down for the same reason. I’ve tried it both ways and have to agree, the breast-down makes for the most flavorful and moist breast.

    If you haven’t tried BRINING your bird, I strongly suggest you give it a try. Whether you’re cooking the turkey traditionally or deep frying it (another fun thing to try!) it really adds moisture and flavor and shortens the cooking time a bit as well. Here’s one (of many) articles on the web about brining your turkey.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  2. Tom Bolick

    I definitely suggest brining. I always thought of turkey as a carrier for gravy and dressing only. Once I started brining, I actually started eating the turkey for taste of it.

    I also suggest using a probe thermometer and cooking to temperature, not time, and not using that built in thing.

  3. Mo

    As always, beautiful and informative — I was wondering if you could recommend a Thanksgiving contribution that can be prepared ahead of time and that will travel well. I plan to drive eight hours to visit friends in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving, and I’m racking my brain trying to think of something I can make ahead of time (next weekend, hopefully), that won’t spoil during the drive, and that won’t make a mess! Any thoughts?

  4. Michael Sills

    I am going to make a squash puree. I will roast it in a similar fashion but then at the end scoop out the squash and simmer with butter and heavy cream…almost like you would make soup but not as much cream. I will use a hand mixer to puree it although a blender or food processor would work as well.

  5. Don Ray

    I envy that Thanksgiving dinner. Living in Panama I may do a little, but not the complete spread you have there. Looks great. My mouth is watering.

  6. krista

    All of these look delicious!

  7. Laura

    Hi Elise,

    This is a bit off topic, but it is related to the holidays! We just remodeled our kitchen and I’ve lost most of my old, OLD cookie sheets.

    Shopping for new ones, I was suprised how many different types of pans there are. I’m lost! I don’t want to make up a whole batch of cookies, only to have the bottoms burn because I choose the wrong type of pan.

    Any advice on what I need to look for in a good cookie sheet would be most appreciated!!
    Thanks!

  8. Katie

    Laura-
    Get the Air Bake cookie sheets. They make the best cookies! It shouldn’t burn (unless you leave it in too long, of course).

  9. Amber

    I’m a big fan of the Alton Brown method of cooking turkey, which doesn’t involve cooking breast-side down, but uses a foil “heat shield” (which I think accomplishes the same thing.
    http://www.epicurious.com/bonappetit/cooking_class/turkey03/roast_carve

    Also, if you don’t want to brine yourself and have access to a Kosher butcher, Kosher turkeys come already brined, since it’s part of the certification process.

  10. Gretchen

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I love your website and your down to earth style with your details and explanations and personal sharing! PERFECT! I’ve been on a ton of websites trying to create the perfect Thanksgiving menu. We host every year, you think it’d be easier but something isn’t what I remember from growing up or it’s just too many things needing to finish all at once and then everything is late… I only make and eat turkey once a year so I want it to be perfect and even ATK changes it’s turkey advice.. anyway, I loved finding your website it’s a real gem! I have been online way too long and it’s after midnight but I look forward to reading more of your website. THANKS for inspiring and guiding and NOT overwhelming!

  11. Denise

    This is in response to “Mo” who was looking for dishes that travel well. We are also making a 6-8 hour drive, in our case from Tucson to San Diego this Thanksgiving. Because my partner does not eat meat, but does eat fish, we’ve been asked to bring Salmon. So we might try to bring prepackaged smoked salmon, the kind that does not need refrigeration. I’ve seen it on line at Costco. You could probably also find wild-caught, which is preferable at health food stores. We will probably pack ours on ice, just to be safe, although that’s my own paranoia. Good luck.


    Mo wrote:

    As always, beautiful and informative — I was wondering if you could recommend a Thanksgiving contribution that can be prepared ahead of time and that will travel well. I plan to drive eight hours to visit friends in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving, and I’m racking my brain trying to think of something I can make ahead of time (next weekend, hopefully), that won’t spoil during the drive, and that won’t make a mess! Any thoughts?

  12. Julie

    I’m thinking about brining my turkey, but the plastic wrap says it’s already infused with a salt solution. Would it still benefit from brining? Would it be too salty?

    thank you.

    Your turkey sounds like it has already been brined, so I wouldn’t do it again. ~Elise

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