Happy Thanksgiving! Plus Our Menu, Tips & Tricks

Happy Thanksgiving week, my lovelies! Or, as Kelly Ripa calls it, The Day of Hard Feelings and Blame. I have so much to be thankful for (YOU for starters!) and in an effort to actually savor it, I’m going to bid adieu for a few days (I’ll miss you, but let’s keep in touch here, k?).

We are hosting our first Thanksgiving in our new casa and I couldn’t be more excited. Mostly to slow down and not be in front of a computer screen all day long to the break of dawn, dawn, dawn. This is actually our third time hosting now — three years in a row in fact (all in different homes, naturally). This was our first Thanksgivig in the 90211 and, someday, remind me to tell you all about last year’s Thanksgiving in Silver Lake (though you probably won’t believe me!).

Read on to see our Thanksgiving Day menu (that’s kinda healthy-ish and mostly gluten-free), along with tips and tricks for cheating your way through Turkey Day. Gobble. Gobble.

Cocktail Hour:

The Barefoot Contessa says to keep it simple, Sally, and to focus your real efforts on the meal. I agree. But I also get really hungry before the big shebang, so here’s what I plan to be nibbling on:

Mixed Nuts

Figs With Goat Cheese Drizzled With Honey

Sliced Apples With White Cheddar

Smoked Salmon on Cucumbers With Cream Cheese

Champagne With Frozen Berries & Kir Royales (like we made here!)


Tip: Use a Butterball. They really are the tastiest and easiest (we’ve taste-tested!), especially when you make your husband clean it because you’re too squeamish. Also, use a roaster like this and your job is dunzo. Seriously could not be easier. Throw a can or two of chicken or vegetable broth in the bottom of the roaster and maybe some carrots too and four hours later you’ll have the makings for gravy and caramelized carrots, without having to baste or any of that hard stuff. Oh, and stick an apple in that’ bad boy’s cavity before you roast it. You’ll feel fancy and help keep your turkey moist.

Cranberry Sauce
So easy. Just remember to actually serve it. I thought I was all clever making it the night before Thanksgiving my first year and then forgot it in the refrigerator on Tday. Doh!

Gluten-Free Gravy
Confession: I’ve never actually made gravy. Fred Baby and his mom did it the first year and my mom and Fred Baby had a gravy-off last year (the results were…cinematic!). But this looks super easy, right? What could go wrong? I’ll let you know!

Mom’s Mashed Potatoes 
Like my mom makes ‘em! That would be peeled, boiled in water (OR chicken broth) and sprinkled with lots of salt, and then whipped in a mixer with copious amounts of butter, salt and milk. Or, if lactose is not your friend, use chicken broth instead of milk – you can barely tell the difference, scout’s honor!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Like Gelman makes ’em. (Yes, I just wrote that.)

Green Seasonal Salad
Butter and romaine lettuce with pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, almond slivers and oranges with mustard vinaigrette.


Mixed Berries With Vanilla Ice Cream
Or, for those who like it lighter, sprinkled with sugar and lemon (I’m sorry, pumpkin, I’m just not that into you.)

What’s on your menu?

When I lived in South Carolina, mac ‘n’ cheese was a Thanksgiving Day staple of locals. In my family’s house, it’s my mom’s mashed potatoes. For Fred Baby, it’s his mom’s homemade gravy. Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest with those you love dearest. And for those we can’t be with this holiday season, like my newly toothless niece, I’m most thankful for Skype!

p.s. If you want to skip the all-day cooking session, my friend Jenny wrote a fab Thanksgiving Day Cheat Sheet. Or, try my friend Olesya’s trick and get a pre-made turkey (and sides) from Whole Foods. Clever turkeys!

[Keep Calm poster above is actually a free printable!]


Divine Lemon Bars
Fall Recipe: The Best Veggie Chili

7 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving! Plus Our Menu, Tips & Tricks

  1. Bill Lee

    This post if from Kelly’s father:

    Last Thanksgiving we went out to California to visit Kelly and Fred Baby. Fred Baby decided he wanted to have a cook off with his mother-in-law. He bought an organic turkey to roast and my wife and daughter cooked the good ole butterball turkey. There was a blind taste test and the butterball won. But let me get back to the funny part. In addition to roasting his own turkey, Fred Baby decided he was going to make his own Mom’s gravy recipe. Well, I’m sitting in the living room watching the football game and all of a sudden, I hear this big explosion from the kitchen. I jump up and go running out to the kitchen and discovered Fred Baby was making his gravy in a clear rectangular pyrex dish on an open gas flame on the stove. The thing imploded into a million pieces (fortunately it didn’t explode) and gravy was running everywhere. His turkey was sitting on the counter next to the stove when the dish imploded. So now the debate is whether any glass got on his turkey. So Fred Baby goes and grabs the wet-vac and is cleaning up the mess on the floor, stove, countertops, etc… Upon a close visual inspection, we do not see any glass on his turkey. My wife and daughter now have their attention on something else and I am still watching Fred Baby clean up his mess and I see him take the tip of the wet-vac and put it about an inch away from his turkey (he figures it will suck any glass off it that we might not be able to see). All of a sudden, in a flash, the left turkey leg pulls away from the body and disappears into the wet-vac…I thought I was in the middle of a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

  2. Elise

    Happy Thanksgiving! Kelly, I just realized we’ve been following each other on Instagram for a while. Then I randomly came across your blog. So fun! =p

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