Happy Thanksgiving!

brining turkeyHappy Thanksgiving all!

I am so thankful for my amazing family and friends and all the wonderful things that life has brought us. This year we’re keeping it low key at home since we have another amazing celebration to look forward to this weekend–my brother-in-law is getting married!

I hope you’re Thanksgiving is filled with wonderful family, friends, and food! Here’s what we’ve got on our “plate” for tomorrow: [Read more…]

Spaghetti Night: Turkey Meatballs Florentine

mmmm meatballsFeatured Recipe: Turkey Meatballs Florentine

Wednesday night is spaghetti night in our house. Well, not actually IN our house…our favorite pub down the street has a spaghetti special on Wednesday nights and after a day of brain drain we typically blow off whatever healthy dinner we had planned and head on down to the pub. N doesn’t mind.

But, it’s the new year and all, so we’re trying to be healthy… [Read more…]

Weekly Menu: Turkey Trot

Turkey, turkey, and more turkey. I bet you’re getting sick of talking turkey by now. But if you’ve got leftovers, your turkey days aren’t over yet! Here are some recipes for the week that will help you move on from Thanksgiving and finish up that turkey…one classic recipe, one *hopefully* new one, and one that has no turkey at all (but it uses up some of that turkey stock you made)!


Menu #1: Game Day

Make this on Sunday for a football fiesta!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Corn Chips or Cornbread
Garden Salad

The recipe calls for ground beef or turkey. Just omit the beef or turkey, and add in 3-4 cups chopped, cooked turkey at the same time you add the beans. Delish!


Menu #2: Make Ahead Casserole Night (and baby food)

A great way to use up all of those leftovers…just put them in a casserole and bake. This is easy to assemble the night before. Then when you come home all you need to do is throw it in the oven and 45 min later you have dinner. For this one, you can also make a Stage 3 baby food version of Shepherd’s Pie.

Nicholas loves Turkey Shepherd's Pie!

Shepherd’s Pie
Garden Salad

Baby Food: Shepherd’s Pie


Menu #3: Hump Day Help

Here’s a good one for a cold, rainy midweek meal. You’re sick of cooking, sick of eating turkey, but you can come home to a warm nourishing meal nonetheless.

Sausage, Kale, and Navy Bean Soup

This recipe is for the stovetop, but making it in the slow cooker couldn’t be easier. Just dump everything in the crock pot (you don’t need to soak the beans), set on low, and 8 hours later you have dinner.

Shopping List

5-6 cups cooked, chopped turkey
polish kielbasa or other smoked sausage
kale–1 pound
cubanelle or poblano peppers–3
sweet potatoes
1.5 oz dried New Mexico chiles
1.5 oz dried ancho chiles
olive oil
dried thyme
bay leaf
chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
28 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
chicken or turkey stock–3 quarts
kidney beans–14oz can
pinto or black beans–14 oz can
garbanzo beans–14oz can
dried navy beans–1 pound
corn chips
1 oz dark chocolate
yogurt or sour cream
Cheddar or jack cheese
frozen green beans
frozen peas
turkey gravy
mashed potatoes




Thanksgiving Therapy…er, Potluck

We go to a Thanksgiving potluck with family every year. Actually, not sure it was intended to be potluck but you can’t stop people from bringing stuff. As the newest member of my husband’s family–I just earned my 10 year pin–I’ve had trouble finding my annual dish. Appetizers, pies, mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles were claimed when I was still playing with Barbies.Thanksgiving dinner

And the Thanksgiving dish is important. I only see most of these people once a year. This dish defines me for the next 364 days. I need to make an entrance with my perfect 2 children, effortlessly set a dish on the table that needs no attention, play the part of the perfect guest complimenting the house, the food, the weather, and then blow people’s mind when they finally dig in to my casserole of awesomeness. All the while saying, it was nothing, oh it’s so easy I’m so embarrassed to have even brought it.


One year I made Martha Stewart’s cornbread dressing. Dry as cardboard. It was also one of four dressings. The only one that had leftovers. Ouch.

Another year I begged for a shot at the mashed potatoes. They’re so boring, I wanted to put my own twist on it so it would be truly memorable. I peeled and roasted 40 cloves of garlic and mashed them in with 3 pounds of potatoes. It was memorable alright. The potatoes were returned to their rightful owner after that.

Then I offered wine. Then I priced buying wine for 20 people. Did not bring wine again.

Finally I settled on vegetables–a perfect fit for me. Not sexy. But pretty good for you and never out of place at a table full of food.

I don’t always bring the same veggie, and that’s ok. In fact, that’s perfect. As it turns out I don’t actually like to be defined by one dish. So after 10 years, I’ve got a whole category of dishes to play with. Roasted butternut squash, swiss chard gratin, collard greens, they all go great with a big Thanksgiving dinner and let the turkey be the star. You may have forgotten during my quest, but this is about Thanksgiving. I kind of did.

So, this year is collard greens.

And here’s a menu of the basics if you’re the one hosting. Hopefully you can assign some of this to the guests and hope they don’t emotionally attach themselves to their side dish.

Thanksgiving Basics Menu:

Foolproof Brined & Roasted Turkey
Cornbread Stuffing with Pecans and Cranberries
Mashed Potatoes (garlic optional)
Collard Greens (aka, crock pot of awesomeness)