Let the Internet Help Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok – so the internet won’t bake your pumpkin pie or fix your over-dry turkey, but there are plenty of resources out there that can help you do it yourself and make it through the day without downing the entire bottle of rum you purchased for your dessert cake.

Some of my favorites are:


This site has lots of recipes, including several by Paula Deen. Most are twists on old classics. Be sure to also check out the articles – many are non-food related.

What’s Cooking America

Don’t judge this site by it’s ‘cover’ – it’s not the prettiest site, but it has a lot of really useful information. Answers some of the most common questions: How to roast a turkey, but also how to smoke and BBQ/grill a turkey and defines Turkey Terminology. Looking for variations on common T’day dishes? They’ve got ‘em.


The very first page has links for Stuffing 101Turkey 101Gravy 101Rolls 101 etc. If that isn’t enough information for you, check out this page for articles on The Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems – Solved! (including what to do about dry turkey!!!) and the always useful list of Holiday Helplines.


I love that their products help make clean-up easier. You’ll find lots of tips on their site including ways to avoid over-browning, cooking with limited oven space and how to cook two turkeys at once.

Ocean Spray

I think this may be my favorite site of all, for Thanksgiving usefulness. I can’t even begin to list all of the information this site has packed into it. Some of the highlights: help for the Top Thanksgiving Terrors, a holiday planning book you can prepare and print out (based on the recipes you want to prepare), crafts (using cranberries, of course), and family fun (including a kids table menu).

Remember: many companies are on Twitter as well, and most will be available on Thanksgiving to help with any cooking issues that arise.
Some  companies on Twitter
Kraft Foods
Land o Lakes
Ocean Spray

What resources will you be using this Thanksgiving? Share them with us:


How I spent my Thanksgiving (aside from cookin’ in the kitchen)

I was up until 1:30 in the morning working on that puzzle. I thought Thanksgiving turkey was supposed to make you drowsy.

We all started working on it after dessert. But the kids were soon dropping like flies, leaving Sean and I to work on it by ourselves.

That great big tree there? I think it is the spawn of some evil ugly thing. Not because it is an ugly tree, but because tree bark ALL. LOOKS. THE. SAME. And that isn’t helpful when putting a puzzle together. Add to that the fact that there are some shadows on that evil tree and that snow all looks the same too, and that some of the pieces fit together even though they didn’t go together, and you have a recipe for some good ole fashioned insanity.

And I must have fallen victim to it. Why else would I have stayed up, insisting on finishing this when everyone else had the sense to get to bed at a decent hour, nice and toasty snuggly?

{still tweaking}

Happy Thanksgiving!


Gobble Gobble (some good stuff)

I am so excited that people are making plans to come over and share their recipes and menus today! I have to admit, I had visions of my poor lonely recipes all alone with no recipe friends to hang out with. But several people have stopped by to let me know they are planning on joining in on the fun and yum!

I won’t bore you with the how-and-why of our Thanksgiving menu. My husband is a traditional eater: meat and potatoes, thankyouverymuch. He doesn’t like it when I mess with a good thing. He’s correct that all of those traditional goodies are yummy. But I like to try new things – twists on the original. I CAN’T WAIT to see what y’all have planned and make adjustments to my menu!!

Our menu follows.

Be sure to leave your link on the links list below and visit the other wonderful bloggers who are participating!
And thank y’all for joining in!

turkey with gravy
mashed potatoes
dinner rolls (regular ‘ol frozen ones)
sausage stuffing*
sweet potato casserole*
green bean casserole
cranberry sauce (jellied for my husband; compote* for the rest of us)
pumpkin pie
sparkling grape juice
* = recipes follow

I’m thinking about maybe steamed broccoli and/or fruit salad as well… but I already have so much food planned…

Sausage Stuffing

1 pound ground pork sausage
3 small onions, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1 (8-ounce) package herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 (16-ounce) package cornbread stuffing mix
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook first 4 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain mixture well, and return to pan.
Stir in walnuts and remaining ingredients.

Makes 12 cups

Sweet Potato Casserole

2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add half-and-half, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well (mixture will be thin). Scrape mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans, and sprinkle over potato mixture and marshmallows.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

16 servings

Fresh Cranberry Compote

1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
Strips of zest from 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup fresh orange juice

Put the cranberries in a medium-size non-reactive nonstick saucepan. Add the zest.

Peel and seed the orange, discard the white pith, and coarsely chop. Add the chopped orange to the pot of cranberries along with the sugar, water, vanilla, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice. Add the mixture to the cranberries and stir to blend. Simmer another 20 minutes until the mixture is thick like syrup.

Cool completely, then spoon into a decorative dish and pass at the table. Will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

5 servings


Don’t forget!“Gobble Gobble some good stuff” is tomorrow – the 15th.

If you’d like to participate, see this post for details.
I’ll have Mister Linky up tomorrow at 8:00 for you to start linking your recipes and posts. If you have any questions, leave them in comments and I’ll answer them there (in case anyone else has the same question).

(and for those who asked: I did create the button. I’m glad so many liked it!)