Grey Morning | Daily Instagram

Grey Morning

Sometimes when you turn the wrong way on a soggy morning, you just have to pull over and muck it up to take some pictures.

Stumpy Textures | Daily Inspiration

Stumpy Textures

There’s this little patch of wooded area right behind our apartment with so many beautiful fall textures. Love.

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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