A fashion, family, and lifestyle blog from Harrisburg, PA

Thanksgiving Menu Made Easy

Image via bon appétit

Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise and Orange(pictured above)//Easy Gravy From Scratch//The New Classic Stuffing//Cider Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Bacon//Our Favorite Creamy Mashed Potatoes//Cranberry Gelatin Mold//Chicken Liver Pâté//My Mom’s Carrot Soufflé (scroll down!)

Thanksgiving is officially 2 weeks away and it feels like this holiday season has really crept up fast this year. We’re still celebrating Halloween over here! Sadly, the candy’s all gone, but we’re on to Round 2 of costumes, having moved on from Curious George to Buzz Lightyear. Just when I thought Cary couldn’t be any cuter than he is as George (or as he says, ‘Gerge’, ha!), he proves me wrong as an even more adorable little Space Ranger!

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving so by this time I was in full on planning mode, and elbow deep in list after list of things to do to get the house and meal ready for the big day. Aside from an emergency plumbing situation, courtesy of a burst pipe, resulting in hand washing all the dishes and limited bathroom access, the day was a success. And, while we’re not hosting Thanksgiving this year, we will be making everything we made for Thanksgiving last year so that we have plenty of leftovers around. The meal was too good not to have it again, even if there are no guests this time around!

I spent a lot of time sourcing and testing recipes to have the best outcome last year. I really didn’t want the first Thanksgiving we hosted to go down in family history as being plagued with forgotten dishes, meltdowns and tears, or a turkey that was burnt on the outside and frozen on the inside. It’s now just the one where we ate off of paper plates and had to throw toilet paper away in the trash can instead of flushing it!

So, to give myself the best chance for holiday success, I chose recipes that allowed me to do almost all of the prep work ahead of time, all cooked at around the same temperature, and didn’t require getting up at an absurdly early time to cook a turkey for 12 hours- grilling and deep frying are delicious, but can take a while for a bigger bird!

Enter the spatchcock method of cooking a turkey. By cutting out the backbone and then cracking the breastbone the bird lays flat, almost like it has been butterflied. This technique combined with a dry brine results is a turkey that cooks significantly faster than a traditional roast, and is perhaps the most juicy turkey you’ve ever tasted. I asked the butcher at the farm I ordered our turkey from to do this for me and showed him this video to use as a reference.

All of these recipes were easy to make, didn’t require any hard-to-find ingredients, and made for an impressive and delicious meal. I can’t wait to make them again this weekend and get this holiday season started. Let the countdown to Thanksgiving 2017 begin!

My Mom’s Carrot Soufflé


  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • dash cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel carrots and cut into large pieces. Boil in water until soft, then drain and mash. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into a 1.5 quart baking dish. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


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Food & Drink, Holiday


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