Embracing a Healthy Family: Our Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving was special this year in that we, my oldest daughter and I, cooked and we cooked everything from scratch which made it more fun.  I even brined our turkey and used a recipe (below) that involved stuffing the cavity with a cinnamon stick, an apple, sage and rosemary.  This recipe was rated by over 3000 people and had five full stars so I figured I couldn't go wrong.  I also stuffed the turkey for the first time ever with a sausage stuffing and I have to say that it turned out wonderful!  I had so many compliment on the taste and texture.

My oldest with the two younger ones made turkey shaped brownie bites and added gum paste feathers in which they were able to paint with slight food colored water.  Brownie bites are so easy to make.  All you need are baked brownies, a can of frosting to mix in with the brownies, chocolate for dipping and that's it!  Shape your brownie bites into whatever you want, cool in the refrigerator.  If you are going to make brownie pops, dip the stick into the dipping chocolate and carefully insert into the brownie shape before you refrigerate and then place in the refrigerator.  After they have cooled, you can dip.  I found that I have to mix vegetable oil in with the chocolate to thin it enough to not make the brownie bites/pops too thick and rich.  Once I dip, carefully, I try to let the excess drip off and then put back on the wax paper or parchment paper to cool.   They make great decorating pieces for your table.


Good Eats Roast Turkey

Alton Brown


  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil


Click here to see how it's done.
2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skinliberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

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