Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

Filed under: holiday — Tags: , — Emily @ 4:34 am

We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday before Thanksgiving because I had to work on Thanksgiving. I did most of the prep on Monday: chopped my veggies and put them in ziplock bags, baked my cornbread for stuffing, made my casseroles (sweet potato and corn) and put them in the fridge ready to bake, and I bought my pies. I also brined my turkey the night before. Then, in the morning all I had to do was prepare the turkey (we just had a turkey breast), bake the casseroles, throw the stuffing together and make the mashed potatoes. It was actually quite easy if I do say so myself! Here are my recipes:

Heavenly Sweet Potatoes: 

6 small cans sweet potatoes-drained and mashed (approx. 3 cups?)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Combine well and pour into a 9x13 pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 c flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together and pour over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*I use fresh sweet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes) instead of canned. I bake them the day before, then follow the recipe.

 Corn Casserole

1 can regular corn (with juices)

1 can creamed corn

1 cup sour cream

1 stick butter

2 eggs

1 box Jiffy corn mix

Melt stick of butter and place at bottom of 9×13 pan. Mix rest of ingredients thoroughly. Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes.

Cornbread Stuffing

12 tbsp. butter

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped green peppers

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

4 cups corn bread

3 cups crumbled toast (I oven-dried my bread–I recommend Pepperidge Farm white bread)

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 raw eggs

Saute vegetables in the butter until onions are translucent and they are soft. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl then place into a casserole dish and bake at 350 until browned.

Roasted Turkey breast with Gravy

I cheated a little bit this year with the turkey. I figured since it was just the two of us and I was doing all the cooking, I didn’t really want to do everything from scratch. So through the help of a few awesome ingredients from Williams Sonoma, we were able to have an awesome turkey! First, I brined my turkey with WS turkey brine. I put it in a large stockpot and brined overnight. Some people use apple cider, but I used ice water. There are instructions with the turkey brine. Next, I made a butter baste with WS turkey herbs (organic sage, organic thyme and organic marjoram) and about 6 Tbsp. butter. I used a brush and basted the turkey all over.

 My strategy for roasting a turkey is as follows: I buy a package of carrot and celery sticks (they come together in a tub). I place them on the bottom of my roasting pan to set the turkey on–it creates a little “rack” for the turkey to sit on. Then I place chopped onions on the bottom (I buy the prechopped ones) and finally, put 1/2 cup of chicken broth on the bottom to create steam.

I finished our meal with mashed potatoes (made with heavy cream and Yukon gold potatoes) and a pumpkin and pecan pie from Dupar’s and it was fabulous! Here are some pics:

My prep for the turkey


Turkey bath


Sauteing the veggies in butter for the stuffing


Ready for the oven! I roast at 325 F until the turkey reaches between 160-165


Oven-drying my bread cubes (put in the oven at 200 F for several minutes until dried and crispy)


Success!! I did not bake the stuffing with the turkey.


Our table



Even the dogs got a little Thanksgiving treat—baked sweet potatoes!




  1. Yum, it all looks so good!

    Comment by elly — November 28, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  2. everything looked spectacular! i love that the dogs got a treat, too. i want to make thanksgiving soon to have yummy food again! keep the recipes coming..
    love your pics of napa, the fries made me drool.

    Comment by Elise — November 30, 2007 @ 4:58 am

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