Thinking back on my previous Thanksgiving meals- I’m instantly transported to my grandparent’s kitchen. It is the hub of the house; a large room with an expanding table in the center. The t.v. is playing on the background and the dog begs for food while we bustle around. My sister and I help her peel potatoes and set the table while my father cooks a ham back home.
When dinner rolls around, everyone gathers and we dig in. It is an amicable time filled with warmth and easy conversation. Like all families, we disagree and holidays were no exception but what is a family gathering without a little arguing. After dinner, we were all too full to hold any grudges anyway!
Since food was always at the heart of our day, I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday recipes. With special thanks to my granny, Renee, who inspired this collection of recipes and fostered my love of cooking. I
I’ll be honest, we don’t deep fry our turkey. Something about my father trying it years ago and almost burning down the house. So, oven baking it is. Luckily, I happen to love cooking and eating turkey this way!
The number one rule for baking a moist turkey is properly bringing it prior to cooking. I cannot stress this enough! Without the brine, your meat can easily go dry and chewy. I recommend Alton Brown’s traditional roast turkey brine because let’s face it; Alton is a food scientist and if anyone can help create a moist turkey it’s him. You can find the recipe and a nifty video, featuring said food scientist, on FoodNetwork.com
One 14 to 16-pound frozen natural, young turkey
1 gallon vegetable broth, homemade or canned
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
1 gallon water, iced
Canola oil, for roasting
- Two to three days before roasting: Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
- Combine the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice and ginger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate the brine.
- The night before you’d like to eat: Truss the legs of the turkey with kitchen twine if desired. Combine the brine, water and ice in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey, with innards removed, breast-side down in the brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover and refrigerate or place everything in a cooler. Turn the bird once halfway through brining.
- Day of roasting: Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
- Place the bird on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the bird with canola oil. Roast the bird on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
- While the bird is cooking, fold and shape a double thickness of aluminum foil into a closely fitting breastplate.
- After 30 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and cook until the temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Use the breastplate at any point during cooking should the bird become too brown.
- Rest the bird, covered lightly with aluminum foil, for 15 to 30 minutes. Carve and serve.
I am not sure if everyone serves baked beans on Thanksgiving, but my Granny’s baked beans are a family favorite and a staple of every important get-together. So, here is my Granny’s (once-secret) ultra delicious baked beans.
Quick side note, this recipe is never recreated quite the same way because there is no formal recipe. It involves tasting and examining the consistency, and as this is my first attempt to write it down, I encourage to play with the proportions!
- Cut tips off 6 pieces of bacon, fry, and save grease
- Cut onions, 1/2 to 1 onion depending on preference
- Empty Campbell’s baked beans into glass or ceramic baking dish
- Mix about 1/3 cup of brown sugar into mixture, onions, bacon tips, and bacon grease into beans
- Cook in 350 degree oven until bubbling
- Let sit and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving
Nothing is as easy to whip up and as delicious as a batch of deviled eggs. I learned that from an early age as I watched my granny whirl around the kitchen making a hundred things at once. Despite the divided attention they always turned out delicious, making them perfect for large or small family dinners.
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 cup Mayo or Miracle whip (Granny swears by Miracle Whip)
- 1 Teaspoon Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- Paprika (for dusting top)
- Halve cooked eggs lengthwise and remove egg yolk.
- Mix yolk, choice of Mayo or Miracle Whip, vinegar, mustard, and salt
- Stuff eggs with mixture
- Sprinkle with paprika
While everyone might be thinking about Pumpkin Pie (which is amazing), I always thought about my granny’s sugar cookies around the holidays. Which is why, I decided to share this recipe with you!
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking-soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup Blue Butter Margarine
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 8 ounce container Sour Cream
- Mixed sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon sugar topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Cream margarine and sugar in separate bowl
- Beat Eggs into margarine and sugar
- Add vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream to wet ingredients
- Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet
- Put tin foil onto baking sheet, grease, and dollop batter on to
- Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
I am very lucky to be able to look back on my Thanksgiving holidays and remember a wonderful meal with my family! Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. So, this year, we are asking all our lovely BFF’s to donate food to their local food bank or food drive. Together, we will make the world a better place! To thank you for giving back, we will give you %25 off your next order at YourBestFashionFinds, just for uploading a picture!
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