Archives for November 2012

Grill-Smoked Applejack-Molasses Beowulf Turkey

This year may have been the year of the best turkey I’ve ever made. It was also the most oven space I have ever had to work with for a Thanksgiving meal (though still not enough – we need a second oven).

The trick was on the grill. And shellacking it with a sweet boozy basting liquid. Oh yes, and brine and smoke. If you have ever wanted to make people’s jaws hit the floor when the bird hits the table on Thanksgiving day, this is the way to do it.

Grill-Smoked Applejack-Molasses Beowulf Turkey

This thing looked downright MEDIEVAL. My dear brother-in-law described the legs as looking straight out of Beowulf – thanks for the name, Matt!

Keep reading for the full recipe, as well as all of the steps to a perfect bird.

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Cornbread Stuffing with Kale, Bacon & Pecans

Stuffing is always one of my favorite parts of the holiday. Or dressing, as the case may be.

Because there is no way in hell I’m putting something this good inside a bird. I know there are stuffing vs. dressing fans on either side of the debate, but here’s why I will never eat anything cooked while stuffed inside a chicken or turkey.

Cornbread Stuffing with Kale, Bacon & Pecans

The bird needs to be 165 degrees in the white meat and 175 in the dark to be done and safe to eat. While that giant bird is cooking over many hours, raw poultry juices are soaking into the stuffing inside the bird. Juices that are sitting in the danger zone, temperature-wise, for many hours.

When the meat is cooked, what temperature would you guess the inside of that bird-juice-soaked stuffing is? If it’s anything less than the breast meat, you’re heading for food poisoningland. I do not like food poisoningland.

Final point – how is there any way that the cavity of that bird can contain the amount of stuffing needed to feed the amount of people you have gathered? There isn’t. So let’s just skip the middleman and the E. coli, cook in a casserole separately, and call it dressing. Good deal.

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Maple-Applejack Sweet Potato Pie with Marscapone Whipped Cream

Pumpkin pie is a classic, and few pies scream Thanksgiving more clearly and loudly.

But there is another orange-ish, mashable player in town that is perhaps just as classic – it just usually makes its appearance as a side dish drowned in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows.

Maple-Applejack Sweet Potato Pie with Marscapone Whipped Cream

Your standard candied sweet potatoes are so close to being a dessert already that this year we cut out the middleman and had our potatoes in pie form.

A little booze-spiked and covered in dabs of marscapone whipped cream (as an homage to the marshmallows), this stunningly smooth and creamy pie is just as rich and decadent as pumpkin, but with a deeper and more earthy flavor.

Also, my perfect pie crust formula!

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Lunaria Love | Daily Instagram

Lunaria Love

My sister’s rainbow wedding this summer needed a little greenery, so we turned to Save on Crafts for some lunaria to nature the barn up a bit. Then we used it for our after-wedding party decoration. And now we have shoved some in a vase to brighten up the bedroom. Come on money tree, bring that fortune.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Mushrooms & Mustard

My mother taught me that you should have a green vegetable with every meal.

I’m totally down with that. I like pretty much all of the green vegetables. But even for those who are not the biggest fans, this particular recipe for brussels sprouts is undeniably crave-worthy. Perhaps it is all the shallots and bacon.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Mushrooms & Mustard

Roasty, browned and delicious and full of flavors strong enough to stand toe to toe with the sprouts themselves, this is a side that is just as at home on the Thanksgiving table as it is on your Monday night table (although you might want to cut the recipe in half for a Monday night).

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