Thanksgiving Day Success!!!

My first turkey!

This was the year!

The year I stuck my foot in my mouth and offered to host the family Thanksgiving Day dinner. That went from being an awesome idea, to being one that I kicked myself for. But what other way could I truly try out my new kitchen? So, Mr. Turkey… welcome!

One thing I didn’t realize was how much food was actually involved in Thanksgiving. We normally go to my parents and grandparents house, where we will bring a side or dessert, but nothing prepared me for the planning or the shopping.

On the menu: Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, bread, broccoli and cheese casserole, stuffing, pie, pumpkin tamales. My parents and grandparents brought corn and beans, along with a few other desserts.

Thanks to the Food Network, I found a very tasty mac and cheese recipe, and I used my mom’s recipe for broccoli and cheese casserole. The tamale guy from the Tamale Company supplied the yummy pumpkin tamale’s, and Sam’s club makes a nice boxed mashed potatoes, pre sliced ham, and Stove Top Stuffing. The tough part… the part I was not looking forward to… the turkey. To my surprise, it was fun to prepare and I added a few things to make it extra yummy!

First, I put the turkey in one of those turkey crock pot things I borrowed from my mom. After taking out the innards, I brushed the inside and out with a lemon flavored olive oil. I mixed together sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Pampered Chef’s lemon pepper rub, and paprika (about a table spoon of each), and rubbed it all over the turkey. Inside, outside, and under the skin. I got way up in that bad boy. Then I stuffed it with some cut up onions, a stick of butter, and lemon slices. I turned on the pot at 325 degrees for 6 hours, and occasionally basted. The outcome? A beautiful, juicy, flavorful bird (not to toot my own horn).

Now, next year, I think I’ll leave all the work up to my mom. Sorry, Mom!

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